God Said It Maxwell 2008

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Continuing God’s Work; God’s Way

(Acts 1:20)  "… May another take his place of leadership.” 

1. Introduction:

(1) How does church move forward after a significant setback or loss in leadership?

(2) How do we bounce back and get on with the kingdom business?

(3) How do recover & return business winning souls, making disc., & equipping sts.? 

2. Leadership changes are a part of life!

(1) Elementary, Middle, and High Schools experience leadership changes. 

(2) Colleges and Universities experience leadership changes. 

(3) Sports teams experience leadership changes. 

(4) Corporations and businesses of all kinds experience leadership changes. 

(5) Towns, cities, states, countries and nations experience leadership changes. 

(6) Even the church must experience leadership changes. 

(7) Whether bc. of resignation, relocation, retirement, inefficiency, health reasons, or death, leadership changes happen.   So, it is worthwhile for the church to understand how to handle them … how to continue God’s work, God’s way. 

3. Background ... that’s precisely what our text is about this morning. 

(1) The text says, “In those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a group numbering about 120)…”

(2) In what days?  days immediately following death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation of the Lord.  days of transition … from the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ to that of the disciples he has trained.  days of church’s infancy … a group of about 120 met in the upper room of house in Jerusalem.  In those days Peter stood up! 

(3) In times of transition … someone must stand up … someone must rally the troops … refocus the team … revitalize the ministry.  Peter takes the lead in replacing Judas and continuing God’s work. 

(4)  I believe a brief study of the replacement of Judas in Acts 1:15-26 will show us how to continue God’s work; God’s way.

4. First we see the necessity of the replacement of Judas in verses (15-16)

(1) The replacement of Judas was necessary to fulfill scripture (15-16)

·         Explanation:  Peter reminds  … all taken place was predicted … H. Spirit spoke these words long ago through the mouth of David.

·         This book is God’s Word!  It is not just collection of interesting stories, teachings, proverbs, and poems.  Not just another great piece of literature like Homer’s Illiad, Odyssey, Shakespeare’s plays, Grisham’s novels.  This is the Word of God for the people of God.  If God said it … it shall come to pass.

·         This book is God’s plan!  God is omniscient … knows all that is knowable … knows past, present, and future perfectly.  Never surprised … caught off guard … taken aback.

·         Ps 139:16 … God planned all our days before there ever was any of them

·         Eph 14 … God chose us in Him (Christ) before the creation of the world.

·         Like T.D. Jakes … stuff doesn’t just happen … not chance … luck of draw …

(2) The replacement of Judas was necessary to continue his ministry.  (17-20)

·         Had been numbered with them … shared in the ministry … hand-picked by Jesus … witnessed same miracles they witnessed … broken bread w/ them … heard same preaching & teaching

·         But turned aside from them:  allowed Satan enter heart … pervert … and use him … to betray the Lord … instead leading lost Christ … became guide for those who arrested Jesus … for 30 pieces of silver … sold out Jesus.  Matthew says he tried to return the money … but the religious leaders refused to take it back … so bought a piece of land with the money … land that was supposed to house the living became a place for dead.  Took his own life … fell headlong … bowels spilled out … called place Akeldama … field of blood…

·         Luther Barnes  … I’m still holding On …  For there were many that started out with me, But now, they've gone astray. But I'm still holding on.   

·          The ministry transcends you and me.  God’s Work must continue!  Peter says, it is written in Ps 69:25 … let his dwelling place be desolate and let no one live in it; and let another take his office.  God’s Work must continue! 

·         Leadership changes will come and go but the God’s Work must continue.  But we must do God’s Work; God’s Way

5. Next we see the methodology used in the replacement of Judas (21-26)

(1) They replaced Judas with someone who had been proven.

·         (read vss. 21 – 22) … i.e. someone unlike Judas … proven faithful

·         Notice criteria excluded Paul … not with them whole time

·         1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 … elders deacons … selected on basis of type person

·         Different situations require different methods of election …

(2) They replaced Judas with someone who had been prayed over.

·         (read vss. 23-25) … discovered they had two equally qualified men … Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) And Matthias.  So they took it to the Lord in prayer … “LORD , you who know the hearts of all, show which of these two you have chosen.”

·         To do God’s Work; God’s Way … need ask Lord show us who he has chosen.

(3) They replaced Judas with someone who had been picked out by the Lord.

·         Read vs. 26

If want to continue God’s Work; God’s way … we need folk who have proven themselves faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If want to continue God’s Work; God’s way … we need folk who have been prayed over.

If want to continue God’s Work; God’s way … we need folk who have been picked out by the Lord.

Moses didn’t think he could do God’s work bc. Didn’t speak well … was not eloquent.

The soldiers of David’s day did not think God’s Work could be done by a ruddy cheeked shepherd boy. 

But God’s Work had to go on.  David stood … told Goliath … “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. gBut I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have hdefied.   his day the Lord will deliver you into my hand,  (1 Sa 17:45-46).

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day did not think God’s Work could be done by a lowly carpenter’s son from Nazareth.  For according to them, nothing good had ever come out of Nazareth.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.  (1 Cor 1:27) 

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