March 31 – Chronological Gospels

“Come, follow me.” — Jesus (Matthew 4:19)

We are following Jesus through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, wrapping up on Easter on April 1st. We’ll be hopping around the four gospels for a chronological perspective of Jesus’ life on earth. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!

Acts 1

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”
18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:
“‘May his place be deserted;
    let there be no one to dwell in it,’
and,
“‘May another take his place of leadership.’
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

SOAP Note

United in Prayer | Jess Howell

Scripture

Acts 1:14

Observation

They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

Application

The disciples have been through a roller coaster of emotions after Jesus’ death and then resurrection. I can’t help but wonder how life-changing that experience was – even more so than when they first decided to follow Jesus. I think back to the moment when I turned my life to Jesus. I found myself longing to connect with other believers and just BE together – much like what it says in verse 14 that they were “constantly united in prayer”. On days when I shelter myself away from everything, I long again for people to surround me in prayer, and I shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for it.

Prayer

Father, I have been trying too hard to hide behind my busy-ness. But You always find me. Help me to reach out for prayer, not just from/to You, but from my circle that surrounds me. Thank You for Your love and grace.  Draw me closer when I’m drifting. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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Posted on March 31, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. My verse for this reading was 14, too, but I focused on the fact that Mary was there. It only occurred to me for the first time that she was there for it all. From the very first chapter of each of the gospels, she was there. She was there when he was conceived, there when he was born. She was there for every scrape and “boo-boo” She was there (or, WASN’T there) when he got “lost”. She was there for his ministry (she jumpstarted it, even!), there for his death, and there for his resurrection. And now she’s there, waiting with everyone else for what comes next.

    We sing the song “Mary, Did You Know?” at Christmas time, wondering if she fully understood the magnitude of what just happened as she held the baby Jesus in her arms. But I have never before stopped to wonder how she must have felt in THIS moment. After all she’s seen. Did she think back on the moment Gabriel first approached her? Or to the time she had to lay on the floor of a barn to give birth to the baby who would eventually go on to change lives, challenge authorities? Did she think about a time she had to dry his tears? Or when he had to dry HERS when she finally found him after 3 days of searching?

    She certainly knew now. Now that he’s already raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. She’s waiting expectantly for the next phase in God’s plan. Always eager to please, that Mary. She has never hesitated to carry out His will.

    At Christmas, I often ponder whether I could ever be a Mary. To so willingly and unquestioningly accept God’s plan. And here she is, post-Easter STILL doing it! Mary isn’t just a Christmas story figure. She’s a full on “Christian story” figure!

    Liked by 1 person

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