Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Journey with ACTS 1:23-26

Greetings Everyone,

Here is the next segment of my Journey with ACTS. I know I haven't been here for a while, so we are going to be making up for lost time. This is the last few verses of Chapter 1 on our Journey. Look for Chapter 2 coming soon.

“So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.” - Acts 1:23-26 NLT

They Nominated two men and then they prayed. My question is why didn’t they pray from the beginning? Did they feel like they knew everything they needed to know before choosing the candidates through prayer? If that’s not enough they then proceed to cast lots. It almost seems like they are running the show on their own. Whatever happened to waiting on God when it came to making big choices for our future?

That’s the problem in today’s world as well.  We tend to forget that God doesn’t work on our time. He works on His time. God’s timing really is perfect and if we mess with that, everything we’ve worked for would have fallen apart. We need to make sure we are, indeed, waiting on God but we also need to be aware of the conscious effort that needed as we grow in God.

Sometimes God has something planned for us and we just need be patient and wait upon Him. In the midst of it all through,we must remember that if concerns and worries to the doctor things may just turn out a bit differently that you might think, but in a good way. Make it a point to actively seek God.


Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room,"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV)

M. J. Elliott

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Journey with ACTS 1:20-22

Greetings Everyone,

Here is the next segment of my Journey with ACTS, I know it's been a while since my last post and I am sorry for those of you that were on the edge of your seat waiting to see what I find next. I've been in a bit of a loll recently, but more on that another time. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position. “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.” - Acts 1:20-22 NLT

Peter had moved to replace the one that had betrayed them. He saw that everyone was in need of something to do and gave them a task to complete. Was it from God? We don’t really know but he used some compelling proof and it worked. The believers were reassured so much so that they felt this was indeed the next step. Replacing the betrayer was a reasonable step to take in preparation for what was to come.

Together, they outline a criteria for this replacement and then begin to make their way through the candidates. In modern terms, they were interviewing and narrowing down their search. All the while hoping that God would lead them to the right person. If you think about it, this is a great example of how to proceed when we aren’t really sure what’s next.

I’d like to think this would help us determine what God’s is when we are unsure. Peter does this quite well and we can learn from his example, but we must always remember to seek guidance when we find ourselves in such a scenario.  God’s plan may not always be clear to us, as it was in this instance for Peter and the others, but they are there. It’s usually just a matter of narrowing down the possibilities.

We are never promised that His will just be revealed to us, but we are promised that if we seek him, we will indeed find him. Now is the time for us to step out and do so.

Yes, Judas had betrayed them and yes, there was a need to bring someone new into the fold, so to speak. But there is a time and a place for that. Peter may have thought that the present moment was the right time for that, and it may have been, but there is also the possibility that it wasn’t. No one truly knows, what the next step was meant to be.

I would like to believe that replacing Judas was God’s will at this point for the disciples but something tells me, He had something else in mind.

Revised 6/24/16

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room,"

Stand Strong and continue to beleive the teachings given to you...(2 Thes. 2:15b NCV)

M.J. Elliott

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Journey with ACTS 1:16-19

Greetings Everyone, 

Here is the next segment in my Journey with ACTS.  This one was a pretty big eye opener for me and I'm really excited to share it with you all.  It may be a bit unconventional but, it's what I feel was placed upon my heart to write. One thing I'd like to remind everyone at this point is that everything posted here will be a rough draft and has not been edited as thoroughly as it probably should be. With that in mind feel free to share your comments and suggestions in the comments below.


Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us. (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)” -Acts 1:16-19 NLT

Often we take the mistakes of the past and turn them into something they are not meant to be. We see that something needs to be done and despite what we may be feeling on the inside, we act. This is what I believe Peter was doing in this instance. God had promised him and everyone else that he would sent another and instead of waiting for whomever was to come, The Holy Spirit, he moves, he acts, and he may actually have been making another mistake. But we’ll get to that in a few moments…

For now let’s direct our focus back to Judas, he is after all the one who betrayed Jesus and for all intensive purposes, Peter and the other disciples. The passage above is a pretty crude sight to think about but it can serve as a reminder of how horrible Judas’ act was and teach us that there are consequences for our actions.

From what we can tell in biblical history, Judas thought that Jesus had come to lead a rebellion. When he came offering love instead of war, my guess would be that Judas betrayed him thinking that Jesus would finally act.

Instead of waiting to see what God had planned Judas basically took things into his own hands. His intention may have been to give Jesus a reason to act but that was not what God had already planned. Sometimes we too can take things into our own hands and instead of waiting for God to act, we take it upon ourselves to change the outcome.

We forget all too easily, that our job is to trust in God’s plan and let Him do the heavy lifting. Our job is to embrace God’s plan knowing that we may not always like the direction He takes us.

Judas failed to realize was that God’s plan was bigger than any war that could have been fought. My guess is that Judas didn’t actually realize this until everything had been said and done already. We all make mistakes, if there is anything that can be learned from these few verses, it would be that God’s plan may come into fruition the way we expect it to.

You may also say that all mistakes come with their own consequences, for Judas betraying the savior lead to one of the worst. But I’d like to think that the lesson is more about trusting God with the desires of our heart and understanding that He sees things come a much bigger perspective than we ever will.

5/23/16 1:30am Revised 6/08/16 2:30am