HOW DO YOU GET THERE FROM HERE?
The Disciples were good and dedicated men who made “honest mistakes”. These men did extraordinary things, but, they sometimes acted out of passion, or from their traditions, certainly from their current understanding of matters or out of ignorance.
We do that at times, don’t we?
They have been named as Apostles of the Gospel. And we have raised them to lofty positions in our churches and in our minds. They have been venerated, and rightly so.
But, we seem to be struggling to follow them and get the results they obtained. So, how do we get to the point we can accurately follow Jesus and get the results He said we should get. How do we get there from here?
So, let’s be clear from here on: Jesus is our example. Jesus is the standard. Jesus, always. Jesus, alone.
THE CONTEXT OF THE ENTIRE BIBLE
We must always be careful to read the Bible n the entire context of the matter and in the context of the entire Bible.
We generally try to relate what we read in the New Testament to our day and time. This can be very helpful but it can also be very reckless and dangerous.
Jesus and the Apostles warned of a coming day when times would become very difficult. A time when people would be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, atime when people would hold to a form of godliness, although they will have denied its power. It would seem that we are living in such a time. (2 Timothy 3)
Jesus was on mission from His Father, as a sacrifice for the sins of many. Nothing else could rise to the importance of His Mission.
Jesus has instructed us to continue His Works and Mission and we must be aware of the struggles and battles we must face and be be shrewd as serpents and yet innocent as doves.
During Jesus’ ministry on earth, there were two types of struggles or battles being waged in Israel.
The first battle was with the Roman occupation of Israel and the Jewish resistance.
Some Jews, in this struggle, colluded and collaborated with the Romans, such as the Jewish tax collectors or some political figures.
Some Jews simply cooperated and obeyed Roman law and occupation, to gain favor or to have the ability to continue their daily routines, to hold on to their position in Jewish society without much additional Roman interference, such as the Pharisees.
But, some Jews resisted the Roman occupation with armed conflict and sabotage. They engaged the Roman enemy to the point of death. One of these such men was the infamous Barabbas.
The second conflict being waged was spiritual. Jesus was on mission from His Father as savior of the world. His march to the cross of crucifixion was on a timescale and He could not be distracted or diverted by world affairs. Jesus was often confronted, His mission and his life threatened by the Jewish religious establishment, Roman authorities, many in Jewish society and at times, even by his own disciples. But, He remained focused, on mission and on schedule.
Today, we are on mission from Jesus. Ours is to continue and complete the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded us”. Nothing else should rise to the importance of our mission.
We, too, are faced with two types of struggles or battles.
Our first struggle is with the distractions and threats of world and local affairs, religious establishments, politics and government authorities and from the segments of society which are hostile to the Cause of Christ.
Just like during for Israel during the Roman occupation, many in our society collaborate with the godless Marxist and Socialist in our government to gain political power, position and wealth. They are a direct threat.
Some in our society simply cooperate and obey onerous U.S or state laws, to have the ability to continue their daily routines without government to much government interference. They can be an indirect threat.
Some among us are beginning to resist unfair and unjust laws and edicts. There is even talk of armed conflict as a response. Like some Jews during the Roman occupation, they are willing to engage the enemy within, even to the point of death.
Our second conflict being waged is spiritual. Our primary struggle does not originate in flesh and blood, but it originates with the powers, the world forces of darkness as spiritual forces of wickedness, in the heavenly places.(See Ephesians6:12)
And, just as God protected Jesus and His disciples until His time came, God will protect us until our time comes. As soldiers of the cross, we must be ready for anything. Just as God appointed that some disciples suffer or die in His Cause, some of us could face that same fate.
Read Peter’s exhortation:
1 Peter 1:6 “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”
How do we proceed? By following the Biblical Pattern modeled by Jesus.
You must organize yourself as the Body of Christ:
FIRST, as Pastors, Deacons – Poymane-Diakonos (poy-mane’- dee-ak-on-eh’-o) (pastor-deacon)
The prayer warriors, planners and doers of the Word, deacons and pastors. Those who don’t mind, and would prefer to be in the background, working without notice, helping.
SECONDLY as Preachers, Evangelists, Teachers – Euaggelistes- kerux- didaskalos (yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace’- kay’-roox- did-as’-kal-os) (evangelist-preacher-teacher)
The Tip of the Spear are the evangelists, teachers, preachers and front line workers. Those who don’t mind being in view and out-front, taking the heat and standing strong with the support of the faithful praying saints.
THIRDLY, as The Army of God, 1 Chronicles 12:22 – ‘Elohiym-machaneh (el-o-heem’- makh-an-eh’
These are the guards of the camp. These are ones who are mighty in the Word of God. These will defend the camp, with the Force of God, when necessary. The “Army of God” 1 Chronicles 12:22.
NOTE: DO NOT let your experiences, circumstances, education or training be an obstacle! Equip yourselves and go!
Acts 4:13 “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”
1. Realize (find) your Spiritual Gifting and apply what God has given you.
2. Submit yourself to God
3. The Holy Spirit will empower you
4. Jesus will do His Works thought you