[CF Devotionals] 2020-08-21 God's Team

Originally Published 2014-04-04

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We worship the God who heals and saves and we serve. We serve on a team – God’s team.

Mark 3:13-19 (NASB)
And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons. 16 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

There are a few things I want you to notice here.

First, according to verse 13, these men were united in call. Jesus summoned the ones he wanted. Jesus chooses us. He summoned (or called) the ones he wanted.. And they came to him.

In verses fourteen and fifteen, they were also united in their commission, that is to say their job. They would all be with him and then they would all go preach and cast out demons. That's discipleship, evangelism, and ministry.

Next in verse sixteen to nineteen, we see that they weren’t identical. They may have been united in call and commission, they were divided in composition. Peter James John and Andrew all knew one another as fellow fisherman. Matthew was a geeky pocket protector accountant tax collector guy. Simon the Zealot, or the rebel, was the one who made trouble for authority. HE was the outsider. Thomas strikes me as a mopey gloomy emo kind of guy. Bottom line it was a pretty diverse bunch. Since Judas got put in charge of the groups affairs he was the outstanding well respected one that every seemed to hit it off with. In some places he seems to have been a bit of a voice for all the disciples like in the grumbling over the wasted perfume for Jesus’ feet washing.

Lastly, surveying these same verses, we see they were also divided in their capabilities. Matthew and Judas were good with numbers. James and John were hot-tempered. Their capabilities varied on many levels. I imagine Andrew had the normal “little brother living in the shadow of big brother” kind of thing because Peter is very much in the spot light throughout scripture and Andrew not so much.

How did this group do it? How did they stay together? They had so many reasons to not get along and yet they did and they devoted their lives to a singular cause. Why? Why did this group do it?

Colossians 3:13-14 (NASB)
bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

John 17:23 (KJV)
“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

Let me simplify this first verse. Put up with dumb little stuff, and forgive the big stuff, just like Jesus forgives you. Treat each other with love. “The perfect bond of unity” means love is the glue that holds us together.. The how is love. God loves each of us. We are to be like God, so we are to love everyone else. God's love should just ooze out of us, and get stuck all over everyone else.

And that leaves the why. The second verse tells that it is simply so that the world can see him thru us. Nobody thinks twice when the head cheerleader and quarterback date, but if you take some preppy kid and some Goth kid, the heads will turn, and people will wonder. Look at the popular sit-com, “The Big Bang Theory.” The super-nerdy, Jewish engineer Howard Wolowitz is with attractive, well-dressed Bernadette.

Why? Because of love. So if we, the church, look more like our mismatched arrangement of chairs to the world, than our little cliques that we normally sit in, then the world asks. "How is this possible? Why are you together?" Then, you get to say because of love - more importantly, because of Jesus’ love - and then, the world will know.


[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted.

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