Takeaway Verse 14:
They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s Word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, come to me and I WILL give you rest. This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So, take a deep breath and let’s get started.
Today’s episode is called, “God Knows the Future & He Has a Plan”. Not only does he have a plan B, but he has a plan C D E F G all the way to Z! He’s got us. Isn’t that refreshing? We’re gonna be diving into the second half of the book of Acts, chapter one. And before we do that, I wanna pray. I can’t believe we forgot to pray yesterday, but I kind of do a blanket prayer. God may your will be done in my life, so I know that he understands my heart. I bet you do too, I bet you forget stuff sometimes as well. So, join me in a word of prayer as we give our time to the Lord Jesus.
Oh Father, we come to you in the mighty and powerful name of the Lord Jesus, and we are so glad that you have a plan. And nothing can stop the plan that you have for my life and the life of my friend who’s listening. So, Lord, would you open our eyes and our hearts to see and understand what you would have us to see and understand in your word today, we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Okay. So yesterday, before Jesus ascended into heaven, he met with the apostles on the hillside before he was taken up and told them to stay in Jerusalem until the promised gift would arrive: the gift of the Holy Spirit, the comforter. So what do you say we dive right back in? Here we are in Acts chapter one. Written by Luke, the doctor. He didn’t witness the life of Jesus, he just wrote down what other people, who did witness what Jesus did, saw.
So here we go. Luke, chapter one, we’re gonna begin in verse 12. “Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem.” Awesome. “They listened to the instructions of Jesus.” Lord, may we listen to you, right? “From the Mount of olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present.” Roll call; “Peter, John, James, Andrew, Phillip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all met together and were constantly united in prayer.”
This is our key verse. “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary, the mother of Jesus, several other women and the brothers of Jesus.” Wouldn’t you have loved to have been in that room. Quick note, when you heard me say Judas, that is not the Judas who betrayed Jesus, this is another Judas, another apostle and follower of the Lord. “During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. ‘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 when he betrayed the Lord. 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”. 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.”
What an honor, huh? “So, they nominated two men; Joseph called Barsabbas, also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they all prayed. ‘Oh 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 11.”
You know, before Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus with a kiss in the garden, Jesus knew that Matthias would be called. God knew, he always has a plan. Perhaps it appears like the plan for your life has gone off the rails. I have been there, there was a time where I left a job I loved because I knew I was supposed to. And I was very, very depressed. I cried all the time. Like, tears wet my pillowcase to the point where I had to change it in the middle of the night. It was a very hard time, but I remembered at one point during this very dark season in my life that my friend, Tammy left me her butterfly collection, before she went to heaven to be with the Lord. She loved butterflies. Kids drew her butterflies. She had butterfly’s devotionals, and purses, and all of these things, and she loved the Lord. She had such a passion for him. She would put butterfly stickers up on the roof of her radiation machine when she was battling that cancer.
And God gave me this idea to start a ministry called butterfly hugs in the middle of my depression. He gave me this idea that I would write Tammy’s story and attach it to each of her butterflies and give these butterfly hugs to chemo centers, and I would drop them off in big boxes. And I don’t have time to tell you how the Lord used that ministry and is still using it. There are butterfly hugs in hospitals along the east coast. And it blesses me just to think about that. But at the time, when my pillowcase was wet with tears, all I could think of was, my life is off the rails. But God had a plan. He had a plan to replace Judas before Judas betrayed him. And he has a plan for whatever is going on in your life right now. You can trust him. He knows the future and he’s got a plan. All right. I can’t wait to dive into Acts chapter two tomorrow with you. Till then remember, you are so loved.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.