Following Jesus is meant to lead to action….

Over the Summer (we are in the UK!) I have been thinking about those days of change at the end of the Gospel accounts and the start of Acts……..

Jesus had been doing the work – healing people, showing compassion on people, feeding multitudes and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Then Jesus departs and at the start of the book of Acts the first disciples pretty much pick up where Jesus left off. They went out and demonstrated the Kingdom to people and showed compassion to people and healed people. What happened during that time of change?

Well an obvious answer is that they gave themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14) Surely devoting yourself to prayer as they did looked very different to going to a prayer meeting like we do….

Surely there was something major going on in this group of guys that moved them beyond being spectators of Jesus to becoming co-workers with Him?

Another obvious answer is that The Holy Spirit came (Acts 2). But we can even turn that into a “God waved His magic wand” idea. Yes the Holy Spirit did come but it involved people responding to Him and forsaking their lives to follow His leading. This resulted in persecution.

Tonight I was thinking about this again.

I was reading two stories. The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 and the story of the last supper in John 13.

In both of these stories we see something of God’s heart demonstrated through Jesus’ actions. In the first story we see the son squandering his inheritance through sinful and wreckless living. He then returns to His Father in repentance and seeks a job as a servant. Jesus says that, “while he was still far off, His Father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him….” (Luke 15:20) We see the love of God in the actions and attitude of the Father. We see our own sin and wrecklessness in the prodigal son. And I know I see my own religiousness and pride in the response of the elder brother! But tonight I was struck with something else…..

Then in the second story I read again about how Jesus modeled the actions of a servant to His disciples as He washed their feet. With His hour at hand He gave His disciples a new commandment..”that you love one another..Just as I have loved you…” (John 13:34)

As I thought about those two stories , I thought about how the disciples went from spectators to co-workers and I began to see something. I began to see that what Jesus wants is for people who have been received as prodigal sons to begin receiving others. The Father wants to give the compassion that we see in Him to us! He wants us to move beyond being spectators and to become co-workers with Him. Maturity and discipleship is about beginning to welcome others and love others as God has loved us. Maturity is NOT gathering information about Jesus and being an expert spectator and pundit about what He has and is doing. We are called to join Jesus in His work. Jesus came to fish for men. We are called to follow Him and also fish for men. (Matthew 4:19) Then at the ‘last supper Jesus clearly explains to his friends that He is giving them an example to go and do! What Jesus did for them – they must go and do to each other and others.

So…..

Brothers and sisters let’s move onto maturity! Let’s begin to share our lives and welcome others like the Father has welcomed us. Let’s begin to share and live out the Father’s heart for others and not just satisfy ourselves with it! Let’s begin to wash the feet of others and not just be happy for Jesus to bless our own little world…..

In a nutshell this is what Jesus wants for us. To go and share with others what He has done for us.

Let’s stop being spectators of Jesus and become co-workers together with Him…


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marcel August 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

Message like a smash with the hammer bro!XX

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