Word of the Day, June 30, 2014
" Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save. Forever, Author of salvation. He rose and conquered the grave. "
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;
17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The 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 Canaanite,
19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
I want to thank all of you that prayed for a successful trip, save travel and to keep me away from sin. There is nothing better knowing that people are praying for you. It was a long 2 weeks away from home and I missed writing the Word of the Day. It is really a blessing for me to write it each day, but hard to write on my Ipad with my big fingers.
We often talk about knowing the 12 disciples, but do we really know how these 12 men that followed Jesus and then help change the world for His kingdom? Jesus chose these 12 men to be His apostles. Jesus chose 12 just as the 12 tribes of Israel showing the continuity between the old religious system and the new message of Christ. Please read Matthew 19:28 to understand this more.
Let's have a bible study about the 12 Apostles today.
Simon Peter: He was a fisherman, impulsive and later was very bold in preaching about Christ. Jesus called him the "rock", told him he would fish for people, deny Christ, he would receive revelations from God and he would lose his life for Christ by being crucified for his faith. We can learn from Peter that at times, that we may fail or falter, but when we return to Christ, He forgives us and it strengthens our faith.
James: He too was a fisherman and later a fisherman of men. James was ambitious, short tempered, judgmental but deeply committed to Jesus. James brother John and James asked Jesus for a place of honour in heaven and even asked for fire to come down to destroy a Samaritan village and was the first disciple to be martyred for Christ's kingdom. Are we today as Christians willing to die for Christ?
John: A fisherman to and the disciple that Jesus loved. He was the third member of the core group of the disciples with Peter and James. John was judgmental and later became very loving. He went on to become a leader of the Jerusalem church and wrote the Gospel of John, 1, 2 & 3 John and finished off with the Book of Revelation. He was called along with James the Sons of Thunder. John shows me that the transforming power of Christ and His love is available to all. Want to know more about John, read the books that he wrote. You might even learn more about Jesus Christ our Lord.
Andrew: He was a fisherman also and very eager to lead people to Christ. He accepted John the Baptist testimony about Jesus, the coming Messiah. Andrew was already sharing the grace of Christ when he told Peter about Christ. We never know what will happen when we tell someone about Christ and how that person will be used for Christ's kingdom. What I learn from Andrew is to tell other people about Jesus. It starts small, one person lead Billy Graham to Christ and look what his ministry has done to increase the Kingdom of Christ.
Philip: The last of the fisherman and was always having a questioning attitude. He told Nathanael (Bartholomew) about Jesus who also became a disciple, wondered how Jesus would feed the 5000 and asked a silly question to Jesus to show his followers God the Father and Jesus asked if Philip realized that to know and see Him was to know and see the Father. God can use our questions to teach us.
Bartholomew: He was honest and straightforward. He initially rejected Jesus because He was from Nazareth but finally acknowledged Him as the Son of God and the King of Israel when they met. Jesus called him and Israelite indeed and a man in whom is no guile.
Matthew: A Tax Collector, consider a outcast because of his dishonest career. But there was a change when he started to follow Jesus, He became a new man in Christ as we all should. He wrote the first Book of the New Testament. Christ called him to be a disciple and I think he listened. Matthew teaches us that Christianity is not for those people that think they're already good, but it is for people who know they've failed and want help. Christ is the only answer and not ourselves.
Thomas: " Doubting Thomas" he was often called but also filled with courage. He suggested that the disciples go to Bethany, even if it mean their death, wanted proof of Christ's resurrection by seeing and touching Him. We all have had doubts about our faith at times, but Jesus will reach out to us to restore our faith.
James: Not much written about James, the son of Alphaeus but he was one of the 12 Apostles, meaning the sent ones. As in life, there are leaders and followers and all are needed for the spreading of God's word.
Thaddaeus: He also was not mention in the Gospels much but did ask Jesus why he would reveal himself to His followers and not to the world in John 14:22. Today go and read how Jesus answered him in verse 23-31.
Simon: The Zealot with his fierce patriotism. We can learn from Simon that if we are willing to give up our plan's and desires for our future, we can participate in Jesus' plans.
Judas Iscariot: We should all know his characteristics by betraying Jesus. Jesus called Him the devil and that told him that he would betray Christ. What can we learn from Judas? It is not enough to just know God's words, but we must also love Him, obey Him and follow His words.
Jesus' faithful disciples were just ordinary men who became extraordinary because of Jesus Christ. Despite their confusion and lack of understanding and knowledge during His lifetime, they became powerful witnesses to His resurrection and their lives were transformed by God's power.
The stories and lessons of the apostles do not just get told in the 4 gospels, but throughout the book of Acts, many of the letters written to the new churches and rest of the New Testament. Spend sometime reading the New Testament over the summers and learn the lessons that Christ taught the disciples and how we can apply them to our lives to share the love of Christ to your world.
" There's hope in front of me. There's a light I still see it. There's a hand still holding me. Even when I don't believe it. I might be down but I'm not dead. There's better days still up ahead. Even after all I've seen, there's hope in front of me."