Transitions – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Acts 1:15-26

Transitions indicate change, something that some people embrace and others detest.  How should God’s people deal with transitions?  After all, transitions are important and usually necessary.  Diane recently bought new glasses with transition lenses.  The purpose of these lenses is to protect the eye from harm while providing the best atmosphere for vision.  I believe that we can find a word for the church in this.

Vv. 15-17.  Jesus ascended and the disciples stand there, staring into the sky.  They are visited and receive their instruction to go and wait for the coming of the Spirit of God.  While they waited, they spent time in constant prayer.  Peter reminded the group that the prophecies were quite clear in showing that one would betray Jesus, and that is exactly the role that Judas fulfilled.

Vv. 18-20.  Peter outlines how Judas was to be replaced.

Vv. 21-22.  The importance for these disciples/apostles was to not only replace Judas, but to restore the symbolism of the “12”.  The number “12” was a symbol for completeness or wholeness.  They knew that in order for the apostolic ministry to be able to function properly, it began with having the proper number of individuals.

Vv. 23-26.  Prayer leads them to narrow the selections down to two.  Knowing the importance of this selection from a spiritual perspective, they prayerfully cast lots to determine who replaces Judas.  Yes, this was an OT method of learning God’s will that was perfectly acceptable.

A major issue they were facing was a huge transition.  Jesus would not be there “in person” to lead them from here on out.  The Holy Spirit would come, but they had to recognize at an entirely different level how to be led by “God within.”

They opened themselves to God’s leadership and the Lord clearly provided.

Every church experiences change every day.  Each member grows older.  Visitors cause members to respond to a changing environment – even if they don’t come back.  Patriarchs and Matriarchs pass away in time.  New people arrive.  Spiritual maturity happens.  Leaders come and go.  The church I most recently served as Pastor before coming to my current place of service recently installed their next Pastor.  I could not be happier for them, but am also aware that this particular congregation will now undergo another transition.  There are endless examples of how churches change daily.

I’ve seen people deliberately sabotage advances in the church.  I’ve seen churches split over the dumbest of things, but also important things.

All of these transitions are to be viewed as learning opportunities, not moments to stop all progress.  The past must be the rudder that guides you and not the anchor that drags you.  Forward motion must always continue and there are specific things that contribute to that.

  • Godly leadership (not selfish or carrying an agenda of their own)
  • Clarity of vision
  • Clear understanding of roles individuals play
  • Commitment to be led and to grow
  • Careful organization
  • Attitude, attitude, attitude – there must be a willingness to allow God to lead HIS direction.

Your life changes every day.  You are a day older today than you were yesterday.  Jobs are lost or found, family dynamics change, loved ones are lost. 

In the midst of everything that changes in our life and church every day, God remains the same.  His love and concern for us is impossible to measure.  His plan for our lives is perfect.

Jeremiah 29:11.

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