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The Pilgrim Path (1-7-2021)

The Pilgrim Path---Acts 1: 15—26

In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry. (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

“’May his camp become desolate,

And let there be no one to dwell in it’;

And

“’Let another take his office.’

So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the LORD Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us---one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, You, LORD, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

LET ANOTHER TAKE HIS OFFICE…

Judas was around Jesus---yet he was not really in love with Him.

Judas was around Jesus---yet he was more concerned for money he accumulated (John 12).

Judas was around Jesus---and when the Savior indicated He would be betrayed by one of the disciples---none of them yelled, “We know Judas is a traitor!”

These early followers of Christ had to be hurt by the actions of Judas. What carried them “after” his betrayal---The Living Christ!

Now a replacement was needed. Prayer and pondering before the LORD was essential. A peaceful selection of a new servant was made. What a marvelous accomplishment (and a blessing to the Church). My –my---peaceful selections are wonderful!

When you think about it---Judas betrayed the LORD Jesus for thirty pieces of silver---or did he? As you look back at the text of the Old Testament, you find that was the price “paid” when someone had taken the life of a slave. Imagine that? Judas sold himself for 30 pieces of silver. In that day---that was about 5—6 months wages for an average worker. He did not sell his soul at a very great price, did he? People rarely estimate soul matters well…

Are YOU just hanging around Jesus Christ and His Church?

From Saint Cyprian of Carthage: We find that the apostles and disciples prayed likewise after the LORD’S ascension: “They all continued with one accord in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren” (Acts 1: 14). They continued with one in prayer, showing by their prayer’s depth and harmony that God, who makes people dwell in a house with one mind, welcomes into the divine and everlasting home only those united in prayer.

From James Boice: …when God sends revival, he almost always does it by leading his people to pray. Prayer is not superfluous. The disciples knew this. Jesus had taught them. So, they must have prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit and for blessing when the Holy Spirit came.

HYMN

Behold the throne of grace!

The promise calls me bear:

There Jesus shows a smiling face,

And waits to answer prayer.

My soul, ask what thou wilt;

Thou canst not be too bold;

Since his own blood for thee he spilt,

What else can he withhold?

John Newton, 1779

PRAYER: Glorious Father, we bless and honor Your Holy and Righteous Name. We are saddened by the events that occurred at our US Capitol yesterday---but we are painfully reminded that we live in a fallen world. Please have mercy on our Precious Republic. Forgive us for too often looking too longingly-- to mere men. Enable us to focus more devotedly upon You and the truth of your Holy Word. Please pour out your Spirit upon our Land---we need Him desperately. We hear loving LORD that four people died---due to yesterday’s violence. Help their families. They could never have imagined that such a trip would have yielded such results. Please bring their loved ones hope and consolation---some connection with the peace of the Gospel. Aid us as a people---to dispense with hatred. To begin to learn what it is to forgive, “as you have forgiven us---for Christ’s sake.” Prepare us all daily to, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for holiness, without which no one will see the LORD” (Hebrews 12: 14). We ask these benefits in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and men. Amen.

Grace and Peace in Jesus, the Only Redeemer of broken and wretched souls, Pastor Jason