St. Luke’s record “The Acts of the Apostles” is not intended to be a prescription for the Church of every age, but does describe how God was at work in the Church at that time and place. One of the significant events that is recorded in chapter 15 is the Jerusalem Council. What took place at that point so early in the Church’s history still sets for us a pattern for how we make decisions.
Here are some of the things that are noted by St. Luke that occurred at the Council...
- Gather together to hear the Word of God.
- Engage in constructive debate about matters where there is not clear agreement – in an effort to reach agreement.
- Report on what God is doing through His Church.
- Make decisions guided by the Word of God.
Though we are far-removed from that convening of the Church, we continue to gather for those same type of functions. Our Congregational Meetings, at their most basic understanding, are for the purpose of being united in the Word of God which frames all of the reports, debates, and decisions that we gather to discuss.
The description we find in Acts 15 can also provide guidance to couples and families, church boards and even a congregation seeking to consider a Godly VISION of the future of ministry following a decision on a God-given MISSION statement.
When we gather for reasons apart from having our work guided and framed by the Word of God, then we have resorted to the ways of the world. However, our prayer is that all of our decisions as individuals, families, and the Church would be guided by the Word of God, for we know that the Word of the Lord endures forever. May that emphasis always mark our decision-making processes!
Prayer – Almighty and gracious God, we thank You that by Your Holy Spirit, You bless and guide those who assembled in Your name that all that that is done is according to Your good and gracious will and for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
[The above is adapted from the “Encourage” devotion by Missouri District President, the
Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan on June 15, 2022.]