February 17

Yesterday we discussed the 12 Disciples whom Jesus called:

First Group of Disciples:

  • Peter, James, John, and Andrew:
    • Peter, James & John being the inner-circle.

Second Group of Disciples:

  • Matthew (Levi), the tax collector.
  • Bartholomew (Nathanael).
  • Thomas (called Didymus meaning “twin”).
  • Philip (he seemed to have an inquisitive spirit).

Third Group of Disciples:

  • Simon the Zealot.
  • James the son of Alphaeus.
  • Thaddaeus (AKA Judas the son of James, AKA Lebbeus).
  • Judas Iscariot (the only non-Galilean as he would be Judean).

A bunch of nobodies whose lives would have passed on into obscurity like most of earth’s civilization. You would not have had any notable leaders, teachers, government officials, military captains, or anything. Just 12 men. Except for Judas who betrayed Jesus, these were the men who turned the world upside down, spreading His Gospel, and making more disciples!

Recommended Book: Twelve Ordinary Menby John MacArthur, explores these men and shows how normal people, sent by God, led by His Spirit, can change the world.

We also discussed that this is Jesus’ church, that He is the Leader. Our relationship with Him is based on His rules. As disciples, we are not in charge, and our opinions don’t count. He never asked us how we would do things, but instead told us what He wants done and how. We just say, “Yes, sir” and go wherever He leads us.

American martial arts is a lot different than Asian in that we think a blackbelt is an expert (probably due to Hollywood’s image of martial arts, but we won’t dive into that here). In Asia, however, a blackbelt is finally a pupil! He has learned the basics and is now ready to learn how to be a master. Recently I was speaking to one of the blackbelts who teaches the Waikoloa Brazilian Jiu Jitsu here in the Village. He’s been doing it for 11 years and he said he still learns new things. That is what being a disciple is—we are always growing and learning about our Lord!

  1. Have you arrived, or are you still learning in your walk with Christ? _______________________________________________________
  • Corinthians 9:25-27 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Now, the context Paul is talking about is with regards to moral, righteous learning. But the example he gives is that of training for Greek-type games. He disciplines himself, he beats his body into submission, he ensures that he is prepared.

  1. What spiritual disciplines do you have in place to ensure you become more Christ-like? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There are fanatics in all sorts of sectors of society, following bizarre beliefs and leaders, and are fully devoted to their causes. Jesus holds the church accountable to a high set of standards and devotion, and yet we far too often think we can say, “I love Jesus” and we’ll be fine. We should be sold out for Him, realizing He didn’t die so that we could live for ourselves.

  1. Commit today to follow Jesus as He has called each of us. You and I are not special, but He is. We don’t follow Him for our own personal notoriety or fame, but for His. Yet, the call to follow Him as disciples means He has a phenomenal plan for us to reach the world and glorify Him. Will you follow Him today?