Key Verse | Acts 1:8

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."



Scripture | Acts 1

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying 1 1:4 Or eating with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with 2 1:5 Or in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Ascension

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 3 1:14 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated brothers) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verse 15

15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong 4 1:18 Or swelling up he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

‘May his camp become desolate,
    and let there be no one to dwell in it’;


‘Let another take his office.’

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


[1] 1:4 Or eating
[2] 1:5 Or in
[3] 1:14 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verse 15
[4] 1:18 Or swelling up

Our Promised Provision to Live Walking with Christ: His Holy Spirit

Devo | Acts 1

There are three important points Luke addresses in Acts 1. These points, at first, seem to not connect. First, Jesus speaks to the coming of the Holy Spirit after He goes to heaven. He assures His disciples...

There are three important points Luke addresses in Acts 1. These points, at first, seem to not connect. First, Jesus speaks to the coming of the Holy Spirit after He goes to heaven. He assures His disciples that they will have help on their mission. Second, Jesus speaks to the challenge before them to trust God's authority over both when and how things will come to pass. Even as the "two men . . . in white robes" stood beside the disciples watching Jesus ascend into heaven, God assisted the disciples in understanding that this was how Jesus will return from heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Third, the disciples were charged to replace Judas (Acts 1:22). Peter reminded everyone that Judas' betrayal was foretold (Acts 1:16). The kingdom of God will advance.

There is no list I could make at this point in my life to demonstrate how often I must be reminded of this divine instruction. There is no way I can imagine how Christ's disciples felt after His ascension so soon after His amazing triumph over death. I stand on this side of that ascension with the Word, waiting in anticipation for His return. Jesus spoke of worshiping Him in Spirit, but those in Acts 1 did not yet understand how the Spirit could guide and direct. I am amazed how all of this works out daily around me.

Christ has repeatedly loved when I felt abandoned and unloved. He has redeemed every tear shed. He has poured out His mercy and grace over my sinful choices. He has brought beauty from ashes. God redeems the past and continues to redeem in my heart and those I love.

I continue to battle my own desires to hold on to the good God has filled my years with in family, divine appointments, and ministry opportunities. I know He calls me to look toward heaven for His Son's return. I ask myself, Is my anticipation filled with a sense of urgency for His will in my daily mission? God will complete all that He began both then and now (Philippians 1:6).

Discussion Questions

1. Do you know what it means to be a Christ-follower? Does trusting God's provision of Christ's sacrifice on the cross speak to a yearning in your heart for a truth that is real? Do you want to know what it means to live in spirit and truth? Consider reading the book of John, an excellent presentation of the gospel. Also reach out to a Christ-follower. Ask God to guide and direct—He will. (John 16:13)

2. It was important for there to be a replacement for Judas. Do you understand why? The Church is many with one purpose—to tell the Good News. Will you join that mission throughout generations? (Matthew 28:19-20)

3. Do you know in your heart of hearts that God will accomplish His will even if you ignore or reject it? Would you prefer to walk in the truth and spirit He desires for each of us? (Isaiah 46:8-11)

Meet Pam Rittenberry

Fellow Journeyers, I'm Pam Rittenberry, a deeply thankful follower of Christ. God has faithfully protected and provided for all my needs since I became a follower of Christ in 1968. I am blessed with two adult children and three young adult grandchildren, one gifted through marriage. I am thankful to serve at Watermark in Community, Women's Bible Study and with Legacy. I was also blessed to be given the opportunity last year to grow through the Watermark Lay Institute. Over this past summer, I have become attached to much that is Watermark South Dallas. I live daily in God's redemptive grace.

9 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

Pam!!! What a joy it is to open the Journey for 9/23 and see that you will beleading us through this chapter!

I’m thankful to be sitting in the stands while Amy and I watch you serve our body with the love and grace God has given you; which is a lot.

I am so glad from all that I hear in WM South Dallas. What wonderful work you all are doing.

Q1. On trust. Shortly after God parachuted me down into Watermark it became abundantly clear that I was like a “teenager stick in Second grade, (Crabb). I love this saying,

“What I had was degeneration and what I needed was regeneration.”

Also this- “Jeremiah constantly reminds me how close I am to relapse.”

My only path to trust him is to know him, Jeremiah 9:23-24.

Awhile back this video asked me, “Do you know Him?”

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

Q2. I love the truth that God called all the 12 and so the apostles knew God well enough to ask Him to call the 12th apostle to replace Judas.

Q3. “Walking in the truth and the spirit” links me to this- “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what’s true.” - Soren Kierkegaard

Pre-salvation, I was double guilty. By the mercy of God, I now am not fooled.

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

My big takeaway from Acts 1 is that the disciples had a sincere but false understanding of what came next. Me too. All the time. Thus my “What’s next” prayer.

What this chapter tells me is that Jesus will tell me what to do when its time to do it. The Holy Spirit will empower me to know and to do.

My call is to model the apostles and to “wait for the promise” and (paraphrasing) to be ”in one accord with others and devote myself to prayer”.

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

Super devo, Pam! I wondered about why they needed to find a replacement for Judas since Matthias is never mentioned again. Then I remembered the Lord’s pattern of sending disciples out two-by-two, so there needed to be an even number again.

The Eleven asked Jesus about when the kingdom would be restored to Israel, and He wouldn’t answer. When we read the rest of the New Testament, we see that what the first-century Jews were expecting–a political return to power for Israel–is not what God is going to do. The Kingdom of Heaven will come to earth in fullness when Jesus is literally on the throne. It’s not about Israel, it’s about Jesus.

A good reminder to me that I don’t know how my expectations are off-base, so I need to keep an open mind and an open hand for whatever reality that God is going to unfold.

Jermaine Harrison 2 months ago

Pam thanks for sharing your thoughts! There are so many great reminders in this chapter that resonated with me as well! I love that we’re shown that one of the things the early believers did after Jesus ascension was to pray together constantly! I love the imagery of the 120 followers of Jesus strengthening each other’s faith so soon after Jesus had ascended. How crazy it is to think about the reality that Christianity has spread all across the earth starting with the faithfulness of these few men and women. May we be faithful today!

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

Luke never names himself in the book but we know it’s an eyewitness having ‘we did this’ and ‘we did that’ language in the book.

We see use of the word ‘proof’ in the book as well as the importance of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus offers many proofs that he was raised to the apostle who can tell us as eyewitnesses. Acts 1:3

God offers proof to all men by raising Jesus from the dead is said later in the book by Peter. Acts 17:31

Man can be shown many proofs, The Holy Spirit still must open eyes and hearts to respond before they ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’.

Linda Green 2 months ago

Sweet devo! Your statement “ I continue to battle my own desires to hold on to the good God has filled my years with…” Me too!

That’s what makes me resist change that God is bringing. “No God, I’m comfortable here!” Any sentence I begin with “No, God…” takes me down a rough road.

And your question #2 about why replace Judas Iscariot- Matthew 19:28!

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

It was important to replace Judas because it was written of Judas in 3 psalms 41, 69, and 109 and one of those was written “let his office be given to another”.

The new Jerusalem however has only 12 foundations with the names of the apostles and there is a question the other the 12th name in heaven was Matthias or Paul. John did not tell us the names he saw.

The new Jerusalem also does not have hundreds or thousands of names from long succession of leaders written on the foundations for leaders through the centuries as the apostles teaching was foundational and they were ‘with Jesus’ as eyewitness.

Muriel McKee 2 months ago

Do you know in your heart of hearts that God will accomplish His will even if you ignore or reject it? Wow, I needed to ask that and see the truth in Isaiah that God does fulfill his purposes even in rebellious family members who have at one time trusted Jesus. Thank you Lord Jesus for being the Word, for your faithfulness, your redemption and your mercy!

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