Acts 1, 23-26
Something to read
So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
New International Version
Something to think about
It is hard to know whose ‘hearts’ the apostles were concerned about here: those of the two candidates (who might not be all they seemed), or their own (because they recognised their limitations in making such a decision).
Perhaps they just thought the two men equally good, and needed an authoritative way of deciding between them. Perhaps the new apostle would need an element of divine choice in order to take their place with authority alongside the others. The method chosen would certainly have had credibility amongst those Jewish early Christians.
It is wise to be aware of the limitations of the human heart, including our own. Many brave decisions have been made in the history of the Christian faith. Some of them have been wrong. We need similar credible ways today to allow God to speak into situations and show us what we should be doing for the Kingdom in our day.
Something to do
Take time to look inside your heart. Do you know what’s in there? Do you have the right priorities? Decide on one practical thing you can do to allow God to have the final say in the matters of your heart. Put it into practice the next time you have an important decision to make.
Something to pray
Lord, you know everyone’s heart. You know what’s in mine. Help me to live today with a sense of the limitations of my own heart, and a willingness to let you have the final say in what I do. Help me to offer the best I can, as those early apostles did, but still defer to your greater wisdom and holiness. Help me to find ways to do that.
Today’s contributor is JUST LIVING, a fresh expression of church in Devon devoted to the Christian pursuit of justice for the poor and closely linked to Christian Aid.