31-January-2021

The Call to Come and the Call to Go
Text:  “And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons”.  Mark 3:14-15  Full text: Mark 3:13-19
We all enjoy singing the popular Hymn about coming to Jesus;
Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou biddest me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Ron and Patricia Owens
It is so hard for people to come just as they are.
Most people want to get their act together or cleaned up to come to Jesus.
The problem is only Jesus can get their act together and clean them up.
We need to know that and we need to share that.
We might come just as we are but we must not stay just as we were.
Jesus produces radical changes in those who come to him and experience his transforming presence.
It is His work to change us, it is our work to invite Him to change us and then follow Him to those changes.
We see this transforming power in the lives of those he called to be with him and then go forth and spread the good news.
After the infilling of the Holy Spirit these men were brave and courageous proclaimers of a message that brought upon them the hostility of both political and religious leaders.
As Luke reported, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”  Acts 4:13
An apostle must first be a disciple, and not all disciples became apostles.
A disciple is a listener, a learner, a follower.
Twelve of Jesus’ disciples became his apostles.
Apostle means” “one sent forth.”
An apostle is a representative of another who went on a mission.
We now call them ambassadors.
Paul spoke of apostles as being the gifts of the Spirit to the church.
Anyone who goes forth on a mission, being lead by the Holy Spirit, is in reality an apostle with a message.
Experiencing the new birth in Christ is the starting point.
If we would become the servants, the helpers, the apostles of Jesus Christ, we must be with him.
The first disciples became apostles.
These men who sincerely worshiped him and stayed with him went forth to be his witnesses.
These common men who began as helpless and insignificant, became the helpers of Christ, of God, and of the church.
These men who became known as apostles were originally receivers.
They were self-seekers who had a vested interest in following Christ.
But by being with him, they were changed into givers.
They started their pilgrimage as reservoirs and ended their pilgrimage as streams of living water.
They went from being spectators to participants and eventually partners with the Lord Jesus.
Jesus  Christ calls us to be with him before he sends us out to be his blessing to others.
Jesus calls all to come.
He invites us to him that we might experience the cleansing of forgiveness.
Through his death on the cross, Jesus dealt with our sin problem.
He offers us forgiveness that is free, full, and forever.
Every person needs to be clean before God.
He invites us to enter into a family relationship with God.
No one is an outsider, all can come to Jesus.
Jesus came in order that all people might enter into God’s family.
He wants everyone to experience the sense of belonging that comes to those who are  members of God’s family.
He invites us to come to him for fullness of life.
Jesus intends that we experience something more than birth into God’s family or enrollment in his school.
He wants us to experience wholeness, Shalom.
Jesus calls us all to companionship.
After inviting people to become believers and disciples, Jesus selected and called them into a companionship in which they might become apostles.
We are to respond to him as Lord and Teacher and Shepherd and Friend.
Before the original disciples could become apostles, it was necessary that they be with him.
Only by being with Jesus could the disciples get acquainted with God.
Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Jesus came to introduce God to people and people to God.
He came to manifest the character and purpose of God.
He wanted his disciples to be with him so they could truly become acquainted with God.
It takes time to get acquainted with someone.
We must listen to someone to get acquainted with them.
We must carefully watch someone to get deeply acquainted with them.
The disciples needed to get acquainted with the God whom Jesus was revealing.
To experience this acquaintance they had to be with Jesus.
How long have you been with Jesus?
To what degree are you watching and listening to  God in order that you might come to a greater acquaintance with him?
Only by being with Jesus can we learn how to live by faith.
We have to learn to trust God.
Many people want to trust in themselves or in circumstances, to walk by sight or common sense.
Many people want to plot their own course and then let God okay it.
They want to jump off the cliff and depend on God to rescue them.
Jesus teaches us that God is good and wise, that God is at work for good in all things and that he is always reliable, and that God does not always work according to a human timetable.
Jesus helps us know that God will always show us what is right.
Only by being with Jesus can we lean the way of love.
Jesus wanted to teach his disciples to love God supremely and to love others with the same measure they loved themselves.
In the natural we live self-centered lives.
The world confuses lust with love.
Jesus taught and demonstrated the way of love.
He always had a persistent, unbreakable spirit of goodwill toward others and an unflinching desire for constructive action on their behalf.
The security and development of others was always uppermost in his mind.
By his example, as well as by his teachings, Jesus showed his disciples what it meant to live by the principle of love.
They could learn this only when they were with him.
How much time do you spend with Jesus?
Are you in the process of learning to live by the principle of love?
Only by being with Jesus could his disciples learn the importance of absolute obedience.
Jesus was obedient to his Father and sought at all times to carry out God’s will in his life, even to the point of dying on the cross.

He sought to instill within his disciples the desire to so love  God that they would always be obedient to his commands, for he knew that the evangelization of the world would be dependent on their obedience.
When a person dies to self, they will be raised back to life again.
This is a principle that remains true for us today.
Have you come to know Jesus, The Christ, through the forgiveness of your sins?
Have you come to know God as Father and his family as brothers and sisters?
Have you spent time with Jesus in order that he might place his mark upon your mind and heart so that others can see his presence in your life?
It was after considerable teaching and growth that the disciples were, for the first time, called Christians.
In Antioch they became Christians as they let Jesus change them into his own image.
God needs you; others need what God can do through you.
Determine that you will be with him so that he can make an apostle out of a disciple, using your life as the raw material to spread the good news.


 

 

 

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