Peter continued [about the need to replace Judas], "This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, 'Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.' It also says, 'Let someone else take his position.'
"So now we must choose a replacement for Judas..."
— Acts 1:20-21 NLT
When leaders fail, hearts break. Marginal people, tender people, often fall away. Fellow leaders are left wounded by the betrayal of their former friend and ministry partner. Many groups never address failure. They live in denial. They don't want to rock the boat or bring up a sore subject or air dirty laundry. While the wound may seal over on the surface, the festering mess underneath secretes its putrefying poison into the whole system. But the Holy Spirit wouldn't let that happen in this situation about replacing Judas. The deeply flawed Peter and his apostolic band dressed their wounds, in the presence of other disciples. The language they used was harsh but was needed to address the problem and flush out the poison. The healing was transformational. More than just filling the gap left by Judas, their actions invited God to restore the group and set the stage for the Spirit's new future for them!
God forgive us. Forgive me. We have failed you and each other. At times we have failed as leaders. At times we have failed our leaders and our fallen leaders by our vindictiveness or denial. Thank you for giving us a real story of saving grace and not a neat and tidy one. It gives us hope to know that even some of the best leaders, from the start, were flawed like we are as leaders and followers today. Give us the courage to speak the truth in the face of evil actions, and give us graciousness when leaders are weak or stumble. Holy Spirit, help us know the difference. Most of all, dear Father, stir us to dress the wounds of our past so we can move on to your new future for us. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Sunday, January 16, 2022
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.