For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this cause I also suffer these things. Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day. Â Â Â Â 2 Timothy 1:11-12 (WEB)
And so after spending the week studying the disciples of Jesus and meditating on what their examples and Jesusâ€™ words mean in my life, I have come to treasure some truths in my heart.
â€“ All were out of their â€œcomfort zoneâ€. Fishermen like Peter found themselves speaking to educated church leaders. Elite church leaders, like Paul, were speaking to common people, non-Jews (Gentiles). I didnâ€™t find any who had family and friends who listened to them or went out of their way to support them. Strangers did that! Jesus said that those who were doing Godâ€™s will were His family. (Matthew 12:48-50) and that no prophet was welcome at home. (Luke 4:24)
â€“ Out of their comfort zones, disciples learned to be totally dependent upon God for their needs, whether that was food, their health and safety, helpers in ministry, even where to spread His Good News. Paul said he had learned to â€œbe content in all thingsâ€ (Philippians 4:11) and yet his many words tell me that he believed and spoke in faith what he wanted to walk in his life.
â€“ Making a mistake, even a whopper, does not mean Jesus will cross you off the assignment list. Peter gives his lifeâ€™s testimony when he denied Jesus x 3 then is reinstated x 3 (â€œDo you love me?â€). (John 21:15-23) Jesus did not pick perfect people but sinners. He wanted sinners to share with sinners that there is hope in Him.
â€“ Some of us are â€œMarthaâ€™sâ€, ready to do any task we see that needs doing! Some of us are â€œMaryâ€™sâ€ soaking up the words of God, worshiping at His feet, and receiving His unearned love and forgiveness. We are comfortable in those roles. Jesus wants me to be balanced in both and leads me into different seasons so I can grow in both. If I do not learn in both season â€“ I may find myself stuck, locked in, or otherwise detained until I learn what Jesus desires me to have.
Being a disciple is about mountaintop experiences (Mark 9) and crucifixions. (Luke 9:23) Paul said it most eloquently and truly in our verses today. I am not ashamed to be a disciple nor of the news that He has given me to share. All that I am, all that I do, I give it to Jesus for Him to sift, keeping what is good in His eyes and forgiving what is not â€“ until we meet face to face: King of Kings and disciple.