The Kitchen Sink

God’s Word: Matthew 10:5-10

Can I ask you a question? What’s in your rucksack? Do you really need what’s in there? I’m sure there are some things you can do without. This is the best advice I can give you: travel light. Don’t carry with you any more than you have to. Don’t weigh yourself down with things you could have left behind. We tend to overpack, stuffing a disgusting amount into our suitcases, even including the kitchen sink. We do this as we journey through life.

When you carry the Gospel you should know that all God needs is you. If you were the only thing in the suitcase that would be enough. God doesn’t need to use anything else, honestly. One willing volunteer is enough for Him to work with. We don’t need to put a toolkit together, God has it covered. All He needs is for us to trust Him and to be dependent on Him. We are in His care and under His eye. We have to have confidence that He’s looking out for us. God doesn’t ask for anything more or less than this. So you can forget about those time-saving gadgets and those ‘gizmo’s’ that promise to make your life easier and your travels faster. These extras aren’t needed.

The Good News is open to all, we know that. We know The Gospel of the Risen King is free for all. On His command we’re to tell the world that Jesus lives, knowing that He can use us to carry His Message. What we have is His authority. His authority is ours and it’s indispensable. Why is this? Jesus not only sends us out (verse 15) but He goes with us too. We’re never out on our own; Jesus will never leave our side. We don’t need to bring anything extra with us because God is with us. We have all we need by our side. Everything else is disposable. He is the only thing that’s indispensable to this mission, so we can forget about the kitchen sink.

When Jesus gave the commandment to go He was talking to people who struggled to make it from one day to the next. More than that, Jesus was talking from experience. Not all religious teachers were wealthy men. Some were born into, and brought up in poor families, just like Jesus. Jesus had no home to call His own or bank account in His name. All He had was the clothes on His back and a prayer in His heart. He wasn’t born in a palace, but in a shack. His parents weren’t royalty but took the shape of a carpenter and a teenage mother. Jesus was dependent on charity and the generosity of the Church. Today is no different as Jesus is dependent on us. We’re His eyes and ears that have to respond to the needy. We’re His hands and feet that have to reach out to whoever we come into contact with. If we don’t meet people’s needs in sharing the Message, no one will.

Who are we to hold back? God has given us more than we can imagine and He never expected us to pay the price-tag. He never asked us to work towards paying it off for the rest of eternity. His Grace is free; there’s no cost attached to it because it’s priceless. You can’t put a price-tag on eternity, and God knows we couldn’t even afford it if we worked for all of that time. In response to this we should give all we have, without measure, without counting the cost. We should do this knowing that we can give something in return: ourselves.

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Compassion is an Art

God’s Word: Matthew 9:35-38

The art of compassion starts with the heart. If you don’t have a heart for those in need, do something about it. Just look at Jesus, learn from His life and His love. He was “moved with compassion” (Matthew 9:36) when He saw the crowds. Jesus made meeting their needs His mission, both in His life and His death. Jesus’ call resounds. We’re meant to share in His mission, placing the needs of others before ourselves. Jesus broke His heart for His people. We’re meant to be moved with compassion and we’re meant to make serving others our life work, instead of our past-time. We shouldn’t serve out of leisure but out of love.

Compassion and prayer are both action words and they’re both human emotions. Jesus felt compassionate ‘pity’ for the hungry who gathered around Him. The word ‘pity’ reveals God’s heart; His mercy is there for all to see. God cares, and He cries, for those He loves. In response to this our compassionate prayers should be alive and kicking. They should go beyond ourselves- reaching out to those who need it the most.

So often our prayers rebound because we aren’t willing to take them further. Worse still- they don’t even leave our heads or our hearts. We sit on them for weeks, months, or years with no intention to do anything with them. If a prayer only ever enters your head but doesn’t take hold of your heart or lead you out the door and into the world, then your faith died a long time ago.

In response to the needs we see with our eyes and ache with our hearts, we should do something. We should be praying hands and praying feet. We’re called to love with our eyes, give with our hands, and go with our feet. We’re called to be, and do. We have to be ready to answer our own prayers, being mobilised into action. We can’t ask God to burden people to reach out to those in need without first being ready and willing to carry the burden for ourselves.

Compassion is contagious, so let’s make it viral! Compassion breeds compassion when you add fuel to the flame. The more we do for Jesus the more we become like Him- the more we model compassion. This is what compassion looks like in practice; in Person: Jesus. So we should model our life on what we see in this story.

In Israel’s history its leaders were seen as being shepherds, guiding and protecting the people. But in this story the people are like lost sheep, in need of rescuing. The people wandered through life like sheep lost in the wilderness unable to find their road home. Sometimes Israel’s leaders didn’t live up to His Name when they should have been shepherding His people. But Jesus didn’t leave them without a Shepherd; He had compassion on them and cared for them. We should do likewise; we should make compassion our mission, whether this takes the shape of giving hugs, boiling the kettle, crossing the road, visiting our neighbours, or putting our name to a petition. While we do this we should understand that compassion is an art, it’s something to be worked on.

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Don’t Do-It-Yourself

God’s Word: Matthew 7:21-23

“I never knew you.” These are the last words you could ever want to hear from Jesus. Without a doubt I would never wish them on anyone. These words seal your fate, for all of eternity. The question isn’t, do you claim to know Him, but does Jesus know you? Is there any depth to your relationship, or is He an ‘imaginary friend’ who you think you know but have actually never met? Jesus does exist, but are you lying to yourself when you say you know Him. You may claim to be a Christian but if Jesus’ response to this is any different, then what He says goes. You can’t argue with that.

When you see Jesus on the Day of Judgement, will it be for the first time? When you’re standing before the Throne, if Jesus says He’s never met you before, He isn’t lying. So don’t lie to yourself; it won’t do you any favours. Jesus knows who belongs to His family, and He knows who doesn’t. Jesus knows if you belong to Him, He doesn’t forget a name or a face. If you know Him He’ll never forget you. His family portrait hangs in the corridors of Heaven, and your picture is hidden in His family album and stuck to His fridge. Get to know Him, before it’s too late. You don’t want to regret it for all of eternity.

How can you have the assurance that you belong to Jesus? Do what He says. There’s no other way. Either you listen to what Jesus tells you to do, and you do it, or you don’t. This is what it comes down to. This is what tells the testimony of whether or not you’re lying to yourself. You either live for yourself, or you live for God. And if you’re trying to worm your way into His family without first accepting His Son, you’re in for a shock. If you try to fool Him He won’t fall for it. If you’re trying to do things your own way it won’t work. Faith DIY-style doesn’t go down well with God. You can’t bridge the gap by yourself; you shouldn’t have confidence in yourself because you fall short of what God’s looking for. God’s looking for authenticity.

God’s looking for those who have authentic relationships with Jesus, not those who lack integrity and don’t live up to the Name. If you say you know Jesus but it’s found out that you don’t, you’ve wasted your breath on empty words. ‘Faith’ that doesn’t follow through on what it says can’t be called faith, only a fake. What you say you believe in, can’t be separated from your being and doing. If you say you know and love Jesus, live like it. Count on it. Jesus will expose imposters on that Day. He’ll strip off the mask to reveal who you are underneath. In front of all of Heaven and Earth the real you will be exposed. There will be no running or hiding from it. Jesus will show up the real you, warts and all, if you pretend to be someone you’re not.

If your confidence is in your ‘good works’ instead of in God, your ‘faith’ is hollow and void. It’s true that authentic faith produces good works in response to the ‘outworking’ of this relationship but if it’s a substitute for it, you don’t have a guarantee that you know God. The reality is that ‘good works’ aren’t a guarantee that you’ll get through the Gates of Heaven. But, if Jesus gives you a nod with the words “welcome, friend” the doors will swing wide open and the angels will stand aside. It’s not so much about what you do in this life, but Who you know and what you do in response to this relationship. Knowing Jesus is the key. Knowing Jesus opens the door.

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In Disguise

God’s Word: Matthew 7:15-20

Watch out: fakes can be dressed as authentic. Some ‘Christians’ are chameleons as they can change their appearance in no time. Fakes who are disguised as the real thing can change shape at the drop of a hat. They have split-personalities and more than one mask to hide their two faces. They hide behind a fake smile, and a disguise. Beware, fakes are deceivers. They pretend to be holy men and women of God. They put on a good show; and have play acting down to an art. The worst thing is, they’ve become so good at lying they’re unaware that they’re lying to themselves.

Remember, not everyone who claims the name of Jesus as their own belongs to Him. No matter what the world tells us, appearance isn’t everything. If someone is different behind closed doors when compared to who they are ‘on stage’ then they’re a pretender. Wolves trying to pass as sheep are best to be avoided. Here’s a word of warning. In the Old Testament if someone was discovered as a false prophet or a pretender they paid a high price for living a lie. They were put to death. Their lives were taken from them the day they were exposed as being frauds. This should be a lesson to us. If we are living a lie it’ll be the death of our spiritual lives.

This is why we have to pray for discernment and do some detective work. Get your spyglass at the ready and see what to look out for… Here’s how to test whether a ‘Christian’ lives up to their name. Ask yourselves these questions before you start pointing the finger in someone else’s direction. Do they produce fruit? We all know good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit. If someone isn’t fruitful in their Christian walk they have to get to the root of the problem: spiritual barrenness. Or, if their words and their ‘witness’ don’t match up their walk with God is unsteady, and they’re in danger of falling.

If someone has a split personality and leads two different lives they’re heading for trouble. If they appear to be a Christian on the surface but they’re in fact masking their true selves underneath, then they haven’t passed the test. The fruit you produce is evidence of the quality of your faith. Jesus left us with a warning: we have to separate the good apples from the bad. But how can we tell the difference between the real deal and the disguised?

We need to give ourselves a regular health check. Ask yourself these questions: are your roots grounded in the Word of God? If not, meditating on the Word means nothing to you and you drift through life with little direction. Are you connected to the Vine? If not, you’re disjointed, lacking a clear picture of your purpose in life. Are you responsive to the Light? If it’s a ‘no’ you’re in the dark, unaware and unable to navigate your way. Are you maturing and developing? If you aren’t, you aren’t producing fruit, unable to become fully grown. Is your dead wood being pruned? Otherwise there won’t be room for new life to grow. This is pain and sufferings purpose. If your answers to these questions is anything less than a ‘yes’ then you need to make a change, and you need to do it now.

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Worry Robs you of Today

God’s Word: Matthew 6:25-34

We can’t escape from worry; it comes to all of us. It’s universal; we all share in it. It comes in many different shapes and sizes; we have to understand this in order to overcome it. ‘Worry’ in Greek means anxiety that divides the mind and distracts a person, drawing them in different directions. If you focus on your worries they’ll eat away at the peace you should be holding onto. Worry can be translated as a lack of trust in God as you fail to believe that He’ll care for your needs.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus wasn’t just speaking to the poor and the hungry who were in need of food and clothing. He was also talking to the rich who worried about money just as much, if not more. Jesus was speaking to men and women who struggled to exist, living hand to mouth, as well as to those who had money under the mattress and in the bank, who worried all the same. He understood that no matter how much we have we will all be plagued with worry at some time. What Jesus had to say was for everyone’s ears, including yours…

“Do not worry” resounds (Matthew 6:25). It may be easy to say, but Jesus knows it’s harder to live out. Jesus’ teaching about anxieties was born out of His own life experiences. He had no home, no bed, no paid work, no steady stream of support, yet He wasn’t paralysed or immobilised by worry. Why? He chose not to. It’s a choice that each of us has to make. Jesus was confident that his Father could, and would, meet His every need. Jesus knew that He could leave His worries in His Father’s care. He didn’t allow His worries to rob Him of the joys of that day, choosing not to lose that day in the worries and cares of the next. Just think, in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was anxious and fearful, even to the point of sweating drops of blood. But He refused to allow Himself to be robbed of that day, sharing in a last meal with His disciples.

Jesus reminds us that we can’t afford to waste time. We can’t afford to get caught up in the material, as it makes us forget what’s eternally important. Verse 25 makes it clear that life outlasts earthly ‘treasures’. There’s more to life than the material. Substituting the eternal with the temporal is a move you’ll regret. Worry is a contagious disease. When it takes hold it can overpower you. Don’t allow worry to get a foothold; don’t let stress dominate your life.

Jesus’ message was to stop bringing tomorrow’s worries forward into today as we can face them with Jesus. Tomorrow is in the future and the future belongs to Jesus, we don’t need to worry about something that’s in His hands. Today isn’t made to carry tomorrow’s worries. Strength to cope is appointed day by day. When we take our eyes off today it runs away on us and we worry our life away. When Jesus promised us that with Him we could live life to the full, I imagine this is full of joy and free from worry. Being alive in the moment and trusting God for today, allows us to hold onto each day’s joy. When we don’t become wrapped up in worries, that may or may not materialise, we don’t lose sight in the joys of today or become burdened with the worries of tomorrow.

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Double Vision

God’s Word: Matthew 6:19-21

You can’t pay your way into Heaven. You can’t buy a boarding pass or bribe God to let you in. Even multi-millionaires and billionaires can’t turn up at the Gates and turn out their pockets, hoping that their money and fame will open the door. Even if all they’ve ever had to do on Earth is flash their card and a smile the angels of Heaven won’t make an exception. Money has no value; even if we put a price-tag on it it’s not worth a penny in His eyes.

This is why we shouldn’t waste our lives building an empire for ourselves here on earth. If we build our own heaven on earth, making our homes our heaven, it will fall in around us. Our world will collapse the day that we die. We shouldn’t be attached to the temporal as our ‘treasures’ can pass their ‘sell by’ date before we know it. Time burgles us of our treasures; our wealth rots away before our eyes, and we can do nothing to stop it. Before we know it we’ve been burgled. Understand that money only ever gives a false sense of security; it’s no guarantee to eternal life.

What we treasure grips us so tight it controls us. It raps a noose around our neck and strangles our life away so slowly we don’t even realise what’s happening. When we’re tied up in the temporal we lose sight of the eternal, we more and more short-sighted as time goes on. When we die and stand before Jesus, the rich will be bankrupt. They’ll have nothing to their name, apart from what they did for Jesus. We should make ‘investments’ while we can, and we should bank on it. All we have to our name is what we do in His Name. When the angels ask us at the Gates who we are, instead of answering with our name, we should say we belong to the Name of Jesus.

In Judaism wealth was seen as being a double blessing from God, and a reward of obedience. So I can understand why the rich young man struggled when Jesus asked him to share his wealth. Jesus was asking him to let go of a precious gift. But he said ‘no’, walking away when he was within reach of the Truth. The Greek word ‘diplous’ used in Matthew 19 means ‘double’. What Jesus was saying was that if we set our eyes on earthly things we end up seeing double. Our eyes should be fixed on Jesus, instead of moving from one thing to another. Our perception of what truly matters in life will be wrong. We’ll be blinded to the Truth as the temporal competes for our attention. We should be listening to the Voice that tells us to look His way.

God calls for undivided loyalty. We can’t focus on two things at once: God and greed. One will always take priority over the other, which one will it be? Hold this in mind; second place doesn’t give God priority. If He isn’t Number One in your life He’s nothing to you. Sadly, in this story, greed became the young man’s god. We should learn from his mistake and not let anything come between ourselves and our God. Money isn’t such a bad thing, but our dependence on it is. If we become dependent on earthly ‘riches’ we’re blinded to the fact that we’re spiritually bankrupt.

The test isn’t so much if you’ll give all of your possessions to the poor but will you give God full permission to use you and ‘yours’? It’s more about obedience than offerings. We don’t own anything in our possession so everything should come under His obedience. People who give out of their poverty can give so much more than those who give out of their abundance. Giving has to cost us something. When millionaires throw a few thousands into the offering plate if they don’t notice that their bank balance has ‘blinked’ then it doesn’t amount to very much.

It isn’t so much about how much it eats into your pocket; it’s more about how much it consumes your life. If someone humbly offers a few pennies and goes home knowing that the fridge is empty and their wardrobes are naked, God values their giving more than the millionaire’s. We should be prepared to give of ourselves. We should always be on the lookout, eyeing opportunities to share. We should be living in amber, ready to give.

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Performing for an Audience

God’s Word: Matthew 6:5-8

Who are you when no-one else is looking? When no-one’s eyes are on you who are you? Whatever you are, this is the real you. You can’t hide from the fact that you are, who you are, behind closed doors.

When Jesus tells us to pray in private He was warning us that we can become distracted and have our prayers interrupted. We have to shut everything else out when we’re in prayer, including everyone else. This is why it’s so dangerous to write and rewrite your ‘prayers’ in your head before you pray out loud in public. If you have a hidden motive in mind, as soon as the words leave your mouth they fall to the ground. They don’t make it as far as His Throne because they were never authentic prayers in the first place. Rhyming off carefully chosen words may sound beautiful to the ear but if your heart isn’t in it, God knows your prayer formulas fall short.

He is the only ‘audience’ you should pay any attention to. If you’re looking for applause you’ll soon discover that God isn’t cheering you on. It only matters what One in the room thinks. If you have a shallow prayer life that is ‘lived out’ for an audience, this is as deep as your relationship with God goes. This isn’t good enough. You shouldn’t pray to be heard in public. God is the only one in the ‘audience’ whose opinion of you counts. Trying to impress people with flowery language doesn’t cut it.

This passage comes with a warning. Prayer shouldn’t be an ‘act of publicity’, or else your ‘prayer’ loses its weight, becoming empty. Prayer isn’t about hollow and empty rituals. Just talk to your Father.

Back in Bible times Jews prayed publicly morning, noon, and night. Jews stopped whatever they were doing to pray. This could be done discreetly, or on display. The Pharisees performed their prayers so that they could be noticed. They ‘staged’ their prayers, calling attention to themselves so as to impress everyone within earshot. ‘Hypocrite’ is a Greek word for ‘actor’, finding its origins in theatre. It describes a character who wore a mask. If you pretend to be someone you aren’t, in prayer, you carry this label. Play-acting camouflages the real you from your audience, but God can see right through it. He won’t fall for your act. The essence of prayer is about talking to God. It’s nothing more or nothing less than this. We shouldn’t try to dress it up. If you climb onto a stage and shout your prayers into a loudspeaker God isn’t fooled for a second.

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Saltshakers and Lightbulbs

God’s Word: Mathew 5:13-16

We’re called to live differently; we’re called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. If we want to make a difference we have to live differently. If people can’t tell that you march to a different beat, sing to a different tune, and dance to a different rhythm then you need to change your lifestyle, it needs to be in line with your purpose.

Both salt and sunshine are vital for life. Without them life would die before our eyes. Long before fridges and freezers were invented salt was used to stop food from rotting. If it wasn’t for this preservative people wouldn’t have been able to survive through the long winter months or the dry season, as their food source would have decayed. Likewise, we’re meant to preserve life. Salt also has a very distinctive taste, adding flavour to tasteless food. We’re meant to be agents of change, ‘seasoning’ the environment we find ourselves in. We’re meant to be catalysts of change, transforming the lives of those we come in contact with.

The purpose of light isn’t just to shine; it’s to light up the way for others to follow. We can’t forget this. When we fail to light up The Way for others to follow, we’ve failed to fulfill our purpose. In the first century when people elevated a lamp on a stand it gave light to everyone in the house. Covering the light source with a bowl extinguished the light, leaving the house in darkness. This doesn’t just leave you in the dark; it leaves everyone around you stumbling along, looking for the light switch as well.

As Christians we can’t shut ourselves off from the world. We should shine brightly for all to see. Being a Christian is a bit like being a lighthouse on a hill; the light stands out from the darkness. If we don’t light up the way, people will drown in their own sins with no Hope to rescue them. The call on the Christian is to be a visual representation of God, demonstrating who He is and what He stands for. We can be confident that when we shine like the Son we reflect His glory.

The only way for pure salt to lose its flavour is to mix it with other chemicals. In the Dead Sea the salt is contaminated with gypsum as well as other minerals, giving it a flat taste and making it lose its purpose as a preservative. This is a warning sign; we can’t mix the Truth with other elements. When we dilute our faith or add to it in any way it takes away from it. We become useless and ineffective in our witness. Salt that has lost its flavour is only good for one thing: walking into the ground. This may be harsh but it’s true; if you tamper with your faith or try to hide your light your faith will be of no value. These are the words of Jesus, “YOU are the salt of the earth… YOU are the light of the world”. If we aren’t fit for our purpose as salt and light can we really call ourselves Christians?

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I AM is Here

God’s Word: Matthew 14:22-32

It’s no exaggeration to say that Jesus’ disciples were in danger of drowning. Death wasn’t too far away on that night-watch on the Lake of Galilee. The storm was overpowering and in danger of taking their lives from them. Even though the disciples left at dusk and only had a few short miles to cross, they didn’t reach the other shore until 3 o’clock in the morning.

We know the story, after Jesus fed 5000 in one sitting He climbed a mountain to pray while His disciples set off across the Sea in a fishing boat. But what we normally bypass, is that because He was standing over the Sea of Galilee He could have seen the storm approaching and known that the disciples were fighting for their lives. Jesus stayed where He was, in prayer. He was in no hurry to come to their rescue even though the disciples were caught in a storm that they couldn’t escape from. But, when the time was right, Jesus set off on His rescue mission.

When Jesus came into view He spoke encouraging and kind words, “take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” The literal translation for “I am here” is “I AM is here”. The hidden message in this was that ‘The Great I AM’ was with them in the storm. The voice of Yahweh spoke words of comfort and encouragement; He spoke peace into their souls and stillness over the sea. The disciples didn’t need to doubt that Jesus was their Lifeguard. He was watching over them, ready to throw them a lifeline. The Son of God was in control of the storm, even though it looked like the storm was calling the shots. God the Father controls Mother Nature, no matter what it looks like from the beginning. He can bring everything into submission. One word from Jesus and the wind and waves are powerless.

When Peter was walking to meet Jesus he began to sink because He lost sight of Him. When we take our eyes off Jesus, even for so much as a second, we’re in over our heads. When all we can see is the storm, our vision becomes clouded and we struggle to focus our eyes on Jesus. We should look to Jesus at all times, refusing to let distractions steal our attention and cause us to doubt. When Jesus called Peter to “come” this one word empowered him. Jesus had faith in Peter and had confidence that he could walk on water. We have to realise that our faith is reliant on God’s power and authority. We shouldn’t let fear creep in; as once it secures a foothold it can be hard to ‘shake off’. Fear and faith are incompatible; they can’t live in harmony. One always overpowers the other. In your life, which one will it be?

In Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus calms a storm. Jesus was in the boat with the disciples and He responded immediately when they called out for help. The wind and waves quietened when they heard the voice of the Master. In Matthew 14 Jesus does the same, He calms a storm. But at first glance it looks like Jesus isn’t anywhere to be seen, He isn’t in the boat. But Jesus is just as present with His disciples, even though He isn’t there in Person. The storm continued even though it couldn’t drown out the voice of Jesus when He walked to the disciples on the water. Instead of quietening the storm immediately Jesus called for Peter to walk on the water towards Him before lifting him out of his struggle. These are two stories that share similarities and differences. But these stories have the same ending. I’m going to leave you with this: I AM is with you, always.

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A Resounding ‘Yes’

God’s Word: Matthew 4:18-22

Jesus liked to do things differently. He liked to turn things on their head, rebelling against the norm. In Israel the done thing was for a disciple to approach a Rabbi and ask if he could be his student. The student did the asking, and the teacher gave the answer. In this teacher-student relationship the Rabbi invested in the life of his disciple. But Jesus didn’t obey this unwritten rule. Jesus didn’t wait to be asked. He approached the disciples and made the first move. It was Jesus who called the disciples into a relationship with Him rather than the other way around. This must have caught the disciples off guard; they wouldn’t have known what to think when Jesus asked for them to “come follow”.

Jesus offered an ‘apprenticeship’ to His disciples, giving them the chance and the tools to learn from Him. Jesus was the ‘Master Craftsman’ and the disciples were His students who picked up His Trade. A Rabbi’s disciple quite literally lived with his teacher, following him through life. They slept under the same roof, ate at the same table, and walked the same roads. Everywhere the teacher went his disciple followed him. For the three years that Jesus ministered on earth the disciples weren’t far behind Him. They shared in life together. The disciples followed His every move, paying close attention to the way He lived and walked. When Jesus went to work casting out demons, healing the sick, and performing miracles the disciples were there; watching, learning, doing.

We’re called to be disciples. And when we sign up to be a disciple it’s a lifelong commitment. We should hold ourselves to this. The disciples didn’t take Jesus up on His offer of an apprenticeship scheme to fill their summer holidays or weekends with something to do. Discipleship is a journey that lasts as long as our time on earth. The days, weeks, months and years we have, should be spent in discipleship. When we learn from Jesus and work in ‘the trade’ we have to understand that the trademark of a Christian is a changed life. We can’t stop and start, picking up the tools whenever we feel like it. We have to be consistent in our walk, and work. Jesus is counting on us to make a difference.

Take a closer look. A question was hidden in Jesus command, “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 NLT). What will your response be? Will you answer the call to follow? Or will you become so blinkered that you block out Jesus, closing your eyes and ears to His call? The disciples’ response was on the spot, “immediately they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:20 NLT). Right there and then they dropped what they were doing. They left their fishing nets and their friends. They waved goodbye to their family. They turned their back on their old life and began anew.

There’s urgency in this. We’re called to respond, at once. But we’re not called to respond just the once. We’re called to respond again and again, and again… His call resounds to this day and to this generation. So, what will your answer be? Is it a resounding ‘yes’? It shouldn’t be anything less than this.

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