Day 239: August 27, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Acts 1:12-26
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers. 15 During these days Peter stood up among the brothers—the number of people who were together was about 120—and said: 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David spoke in advance about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was one of our number and was allotted a share in this ministry.” 18 Now this man acquired a field with his unrighteous wages. He fell headfirst and burst open in the middle, and all his insides spilled out. 19 This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that in their own language that field is called Hakeldama (that is, Field of Blood). 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his dwelling become desolate; let no one live in it; and Let someone else take his position. 21 “Therefore, from among the men who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day He was taken up from us—from among these, it is necessary that one become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23 So they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “You, Lord, know the hearts of all; show which of these two You have chosen 25  to take the place in this apostolic service that Judas left to go to his own place.” 26 Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was numbered with the 11 apostles.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
Let his dwelling become desolate;
let no one live in it;
Let someone else take his position.
—Acts 1:20

The Aftermath of Miracles and Mistakes
by Kay DeKalb Smith,

They witnessed the ascension of Jesus.

I tried to imagine this scene. Had this happened today, no doubt all of the people in this gathering would’ve been texting or Tweeting their recent "miraculous happening" connected to Jesus. Their posts might have read: "You won't believe what we just saw!"  Or possibly it would emphatically state: "Jesus once again amazes us!" 

Then posts would reflect the next happening.

"Headed back to Jerusalem for Peter to select a replacement for Judas."

Have you ever been a part of a church family where a leader has fallen? Can you remember the shame of that event? Do you remember the way in which it was dealt or the process of finding a replacement?

I remember one such gathering. We were cautioned to "throw no stones" as our pastor lifted a rock as a visual reminder. He admonished us to instead be mindful of the sin that can so easily entangle our own lives. We were urged to forgive 70 times 7, and to confess all that was hidden within us that might cause us to fall.

Back to Judas.

It’s interesting to note that the proceeds procured from "turning Jesus in" went toward purchasing a field—a field in which Judas fell, headlong, and died a horrible death. So much for greed! And the field was forever called, "Field of Blood" (verse 19).

I’m not typically surprised when people sin. However, I’m stunned when people, claiming to be Christians, don’t want to repent from their sin. The appearance is they aren’t sorry for their sin, only sorry for having gotten caught

Many people choose to embrace their sinful decisions, live apart from God, and act like their actions affect no one but themselves. These decisions of some "so called" Christians, who have chosen to abort their faith, sometimes leave their families and friends in emotional ruins. The wake that’s left in their aftermath is devastating! It’s a tsunami of a different kind. 

No doubt, Judas left much debris in the hearts of the remaining believers. 

So much so that Peter said, "May his (Judas) place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it" (verse 20). I’d hate to think my life would be so painful to remember, that my friends would be told to never dwell where I’d been.

The final tweet.

"Matthias is chosen to replace Judas."

And life went on.

Reflection Questions

  1. What could you Tweet or report of your experiences today? Are you mindful of your Heavenly Father? Are you bent on doing His will?
  2. Can you remember a fallen leader and the shame that came with their personal downfall? Are you living with a high standard of the calling of Christ in you?  Will your actions and decisions today bring glory to God?
  3. Right now, ask God to make you aware of the areas in your heart and life that might cause shame. Ask Him for a clean heart. Be willing to repent and go in the opposite direction. Pray that all who remember your life, work, and actions might smile as a result of your life. 
  4. Let's say, unlike Judas, you’re willing to buy land to honor God. What name would you hope to earn for the property due to your faithfulness?

About the Author

Kay DeKalb Smith
» Blog/Website

Kay DeKalb Smith has been called the "Carol Burnett of Christian Entertainment." Her infectious laughter and insights have honored God and touched hearts for a lifetime. As a singer, speaker, and humorist, she's spanned the globe sharing the joy of Christ. A former Opryland USA Performer, Kay has sung in two nationally-televised Billy Graham Crusades and has been on the cover of HomeLife magazine three times. She and husband Ed have been Brentwood Baptist members for four years. Ed is the President of Williamson College. Both of the Smiths are committed to pouring their lives into others for Christ's sake.