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Thoughts Archived > Who Are YOU?

29 Apr 2012



April 29, 2012

  Who Are YOU?   

Luke 6: 12 - 16


AMBER ALERT :  Isabel Celis Age 6 MISSING from Tucson, AZ




One day soon afterward Jesus went to a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.  At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.  Here are their names:  Simon (he also called him Peter), Andrew (Peter's brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).






This reference could lead us in many directions.  Obviously it shows us the importance of focus on prayer, of being refilled....refueled, if you will.  We learn from this reference from history that praying to God can give us answers....peace (or not) about the wisdom of our choices....the importance of being alone with the one who gave us life....and truth....and so much more.  But today I want to focus on the disciples who were chosen to be apostles, leaders for the early church....and you.

First let me clarify that Matthew and Mark called Judas (son of James) Thaddeus.  So that I don't have to keep putting in the reference, I'm going to call him Thaddeus as well.  I get confused easily enough as it is!  Thanks for understanding. 

I wish to quote from the notes on this reference from the Life Application Bible (1991).  "He [Jesus] did not choose these 12 to be his associates and companions because of their faith; their faith often faltered. He didn't choose them because of their talent and ability; no one stood out with unusual ability.  The disciples represented a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences, but apparently they had no more leadership potential than those who were not chosen.  The one characteristic they all shared was their willingness to obey Jesus."

Does your faith falter?  Have you no unusual talent or ability?  Have you no extraordinary leadership potential?  Is your background and life experience fairly ordinary?  Do you have a willingness to obey Jesus?  Congratulations!  You, too, can be a leader for Jesus. 

Let's look at each of the guys above and see what we can learn about them.  Again, from the LAB (1991).  I have not checked all the references to these men; I am taking the notes as valid for this purpose.      

Simon Peter/Fisherman/Impulsive; later - bold in preaching about Jesus

James/son of Zebedee/he and his brother John called 'Sons of Thunder'/Fisherman/Ambitious, short-tempered, judgemental, deeply commited to Jesus.

John/son of Zebedee/he and his brother James called 'Sons of Thunder/Fisherman/Ambitious, judgemental, later - very loving

Andrew/Peter's brother/Fisherman/Eager to bring others to Jesus

Philip/Fisherman/Questioning attitude

Bartholomew/called also Nathanael/Occupation unknown/Honest and straight forward

Matthew/called also Levi/Tax collector/Despised outcast because of his dishonest career

Thomas/called also the Twin/Occupation unknown/Courageous and doubtful

James/son of Alphaeus/Occupation unknown/Characteristics unknown

Thaddeaeus/Judas son of James/Occupation unknown/Characteristics unknown

Simon the Zealot/Occupation unknown/Fierce patriotism

Judas Iscariot/Occupation unknown/Treacherous and greedy

The people above were not presidents, or heads of states.  They were not necessarily admired or respected.  They were folks who may have had a career or trade....or not, some of them had negative aspects to their attitude, some positive.  There is no rhyme or reason as to why these people were specifically chosen other than maybe when Jesus said to 'Come, follow me', they may have dropped everything and gone....we don't know.  We are told it was because they obeyed him.  To my recall, that doesn't seem completely valid.

The point here is that who ever you are, whatever your walk, no matter your disposition, if you choose to follow Jesus, and obey him, you, too, can be a leader for him.  In fact, you must, if he's said, 'Come, follow me'.  And, in case you haven't heard him, listen....he IS speaking to YOU.  He has said to follow him.     

Per LIB, 'We should not disqualify ourselves from service to Christ because we do not have the expected credentials.  Being a good disciple is simply a matter of following Jesus with a willing heart.'  Being a good leader requires the same and that you not just follow him with a willing heart, but obey him.  People can follow and not stay true.  People can obey him, tho' choose to not always do so, but there is less chance you will stray, once you've chosen to obey than just merely follow.  Obeying requires a 'bowing down' in honor and respect.  Following him requires you to have forward motion, however, many stop along the way.....to smell the roses, so they perhaps think, or as a result of a crises.  Obeying requires more of a relationship....longstanding.  Walking behind, is not the same as walking with. 

Per LIB, 'Jesus' faithful disciples were ordinary men who became extraordinary because of Jesus Christ.  Despite their confusion and lack of understanding during his lifetime, they became powerful witnesses to his resurrection.  Their lives were transformed by God's power.'

Let your lives be transformed.  Become extraordinary.

Jesus chose the '12 to correspond to the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28) showing the continuity between the old religious system and the new one based on Jesus' message'.  Per the LIB.

I have often told folks that because there are so many different types of people in the world, Jesus had to choose many to be able to reach out to the many.  A doctor might not listen to a fisherman.  A fisherman might not listen to a tax collector....in fact, probably not.  Little humor here.  There are a huge amount of Christian churches to reach out to many and they are not only not all full, there is room for more.  Not everyone will respond to liturgy, regular structure  in a service.  Not everyone will respond to praise, with lots of singing and raising of hands.  Not everyone will respond to kneeling and devotional worship.  Not everyone will respond to Holy Spirit led services without structure.  But all have meaning.....all have Jesus.....all have hope and promise and show the way to God and heaven through salvation from/with/as a result of the actions and love of Jesus Christ.

Are you meek?  Share Jesus' message.  Are you bold?  Share Jesus' message.  Are you poor of spirit?  Share Jesus' message.  Are you homeless, a CEO, a sales clerk, a mechanic?  Share Jesus' message.  Have you a bad attitude, yet willing to obey Jesus?  Share Jesus' message.  Are you doubtful?  Share Jesus' message.  Are you honest, ambitious, courageous?  Share Jesus' message.  Sharing is obeying.  Obey....share. 

Whatever your occupation, whatever your characteristics, you, too, can lead, by obeying Jesus and sharing his message.  His message of hope, if one only believes.  His message of promise, if one obeys.

Who are YOU?               




Let Us Pray


Dear God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, right now I pray that you will be with Isabel and her family, Lord.  Keep her safe and help her get back to her family alive.  Reach into the mind of the person who has her and help that person to do the right thing from this point forward.  Help this person understand this situation does not have to end any more worse, or badly for anyone.  Let this person run and hide if necessary, but compel this person to return the precious child, Isabel, or take her someplace safe, so someone else can help her get home.  Please be with all law enforcement, as they reach out for a miracle as well.  Lord hear my prayers....it is time for a miracle, Lord.  Please grant this family the miracle they need.  Embrace this family fully in their pain, sorrow, fear and grief.  May everyone be on alert watching out to help Isabel.  In Jesus' name I pray, to dear Heavenly Father, God, by and with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen 

God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, where do I start?  How shall I go?  What shall I say?  Who I am does not matter.  What I do does not matter.  How I carry myself.....why shouldn't that matter....if I am to be a reflection of you?  Perhaps the examples were given to show that no one is perfect, but everyone must strive.  In that, I strive and obey, in my humanness.  This does not give me an excuse, it is merely to remind you how much I need you.  More of you...always.  As I go forth answering your call to lead, be in me, surround me, walk with me.  It's a scary prospect some days.  But I am never alone because you are with me.  Thy rod and thy staff, you comfort me, God, Lord.  Help me to always hear you and realize the importance of listening to you, and, know what to filter out that is not of you.  Let me never attempt to reign above you, or even consider that I know it all.  It is not I that know anything, but you who knows through me.  Help me to be an open vessel in which you can always live, breathe and have your being.  Help me obey, lead me on.  Bowing down to you now, Lord, bowing down.  I honor and uplift you.  I love you.  Thank you for trusting me and respecting me.  Amen. 


Lord,LordJesJeJeJJjEJJJ     JJThe LORD is king!  Let the nations tremble!  T***


More love.... 



Let us hear from Paul as he prays:  

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT         




Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'.




Definition of a Christian:  Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Regardless of church name or religious affiliation. 

It is not how we worship, but that we worship....the Trinity!   








If you feel that the Church of the Holy Spirit has inspired or helped you, we'd like you to prayerfully consider tithing regularly to us or gifting us, so that we can further the work and carry out the will of the Father as proclaimed in Matthew 28:19-20 NLT


 "Go and make disciples out of all the nations

baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age."




  Our Current Cause


It is time to reach into the community and the world around you to see wherein lies the greatest need.  As you choose to focus on these areas, do so with a servant's heart.  Whether the need is for children, adults, or animals, or any cause in between that will help those in need, ask God how you can best serve his needs, what path you must take, and how long you should persevere.  Sometimes we are to be in the lives of others merely as stepping stones.  Sometimes we are to touch those lives forever.  Whatever journey you are called to take, whatever team you will be a member, know this:  God is with you always...even til the end of time.  He loves you, is grateful for you, and will help you along life's way, especially if you are helping others along theirs, persevering with a servant's heart. 

Please accept my sincerest thanks....and God's....and may God richly bless you!   




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    One last thing....


 Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'


"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.  You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people.  Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.  "The Father has given me all these things to do and say.  This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.  No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.  But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."

"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.


  Matthew 11:  25-30

  The Message


And the people said,








I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God.  Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided. 


  Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.


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