Morning Devotional

Choosing the Apostles

When day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles.

[Luke 6:13]

After Jesus prayed all night, “He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles” (Luke 6:13). What is the difference between a disciple and an apostle? A disciple is a follower of a rabbi. A disciple seeks to imitate not only his leader’s words but also his example. To be a disciple of Jesus means to model your attitudes, actions, and affections after Jesus. It means to love what Jesus loved, to act like Jesus acted, and to think like Jesus thought. Then out of Jesus’s disciples came twelve apostles. An apostle is one who is sent forth. The twelve apostles were a unique group chosen to proclaim the message of Jesus.

I observe three things about the list of apostles in Luke 6:14-16, as well as in the similar lists in Matthew 10:2-4 and Mark 3:16-19.

First, the lists begin with Peter. Peter was the leader of the apostles, but do you know what’s interesting? Peter was the greatest failure of all the apostles. He denied Jesus three times. He was a major screw-up as an apostle. Yet Jesus chose Peter to be the leader. Doesn’t that give you hope? It doesn’t matter how much you have failed or what is in your past. God can take your mistakes, forgive them, and redeem them.

Second, the lists end with Judas Iscariot. Judas is the one whose betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver led to Jesus’s crucifixion. You may think, “Why did Jesus choose Judas? Did He make a mistake?” No, it was part of God’s plan. Jesus chose Judas because He knew God could use the evil in Judas’s own heart to accomplish His purpose. God can take evil people and evil circumstances, and He can use them for your good and for His eternal purpose.

Finally, the lists are comprised of young men. When we think about the apostles we tend to think about old guys. However, most Bible scholars believe these men were probably in their late teenage years, early twenties at the most when Jesus chose them to be apostles.

Luke 6:20 tells us that when Jesus began to teach, He turned His gaze toward His disciples. We need to remember that the Sermon on the Mount is a message for Jesus’s followers, not for the unsaved. There is nothing in this passage that tells you how to go heaven when you die. There is nothing about God’s forgiveness through Jesus, the cross, or the blood of Christ. This was a message for Jesus’s disciples. Interestingly, Jesus was in the midst of relentless criticism from the Pharisees, but He did not spend his time answering the criticism of the Pharisees. Instead, He focused on investing His time with His followers.

~ Dr. Robert Jeffress ~

Evening Prayer

WORKING FOR THE LORD

[Colossians 3:23-24]

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Tonight

I pray that as you work, you will work with all your heart as if serving the Lord. May you work diligently and be steadfast, even when no one is looking. I pray that you will not be satisfied with mediocre performances, but that you will strive to show excellence worthy of the name of Christ. May you understand that your reward comes from Him, and that His reward is greater than any earthly reward for your work. May God place His seal of approval on you today.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Evening Devotional

Solace, Security, Satisfaction

My dynasty is approved by God, for he has made a perpetual covenant with me, arranged in all its particulars and secured. He always delivers me, and brings all I desire to fruition.

[2 Sam 23:5]

This is not so much one promise as an aggregate of promises — a box of pearls. The covenant is the ark which contains all things.

These are the last words of David, but they may be mine today. Here is a sigh: things are not with me and mine as I could wish; there are trials, cares, and sins. These make the pillow hard.

Here is a solace — “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” Jehovah has pledged Himself to me, and sealed the compact with the blood of Jesus. I am bound to my God and my God to me.

This brings into prominence a security, since this covenant is everlasting, well ordered, and sure. There is nothing to fear from the lapse of time, the failure of some forgotten point, or the natural uncertainty of things. The covenant is a rocky foundation to build on for life or for death.

David feels satisfaction: he wants no more for salvation or delectation. He is delivered, and he is delighted. The covenant is all a man can desire.

O my soul, turn thou this day to thy Lord Jesus, whom the great Lord has given to be a covenant to the people. Take Him to be thine all in all.

~ Charles Spurgeon ~