Decision Making and God’s Will

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Acts 1:21-26

21 Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out [a]among us— 22 beginning [b]with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to [c]occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they [d]drew lots for them, and the lot fell [e]to Matthias; and he was [f]added to the eleven apostles.

Discussion Questions

September 30  ,2018

 1. What is the hardest part of making decisions for you? How do you approach decision making?

2. Note that in verses 21 and 22 the person selected to fill the apostle’s position vacated by Judas had to have accompanied the other apostles through all of Jesus’ ministry, from John’s baptism to Jesus’ ascension — why was this required? Look carefully and the last part of verse 22 … what light does this shed on this requirement? The apostles had to function as guarantors of the Gospel tradition and be witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Why was this so important?

3. Verses 23 and 24 show that the early Christians prayed, seeking God’s choice of a new apostle. What does this teach us about human and divine input into decision making, that is, what did the group do and what were they looking to God for? How can we practice a similar process today with our decisions?

4. What is significant about their assertion that God knows the hearts of all people (verse 24)? How could this be applied to our selection of leaders today? See Romans 8:27 and 1 Chronicles 28:9.

5. Verse 26 refers to deciding by casting lots (as used in Old Testament times — see Leviticus 16:7-10; 21-22; Joshua 14:2; 18:6; 1 Chronicles 6:54; 1 Samuel 14:41-42; Nehemiah 10:34). What would you say to someone who said our church today should select elders, pastors, and church officers by casting lots — a practice mentioned clearly in the Bible? How would you support your response with Scripture?