Called In Spite of... Part 2

The disciples responded and came to Him on the mountain early in the morning. Let’s go back to the text in verse 14…

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:”
— Mark 3:14-15 NKJV

    In spite of their flaws! In spite of their inherited tendencies! In spite of their dysfunction! Jesus called them to be with Him. But not just to be with Him. He also gave them purpose. He called them to mission. His mission. You see…

Jesus Calls You to be Sent, In Spite of Yourself

    This is what the name apostle means. It means “one sent.” They were called apostles, not merely because they were with Jesus as part of His inner circle, but also because they were sent by Him to replicate His own ministry. 

    I remember when Jesus called me to be sent. He called me in spite of being raised in a broken home. He called me in spite of not having gone to Adventist schools for most of my life until seminary. Jesus called me in spite of my high school guidance counselor telling me that I was not university material and now three degrees later. He called me in spite my hypocrisy while leading a vibrate Adventist campus ministry at FIU, I was occasionally going to strips clubs in Miami as a way to cope with the fact that I was struggling with math related courses. And He called me in spite of the fact that I ran from the calling to pursue climbing the corporate ladder in Atlanta. It took me wrestling with Jesus for three years and nearly loosing my house to finally submit to the call of Jesus on my life. Once I surrendered I found peace and joy. I found that the growing is in the knowing and the going.

    Christ is calling you to share His love through the replication of His own ministry. This is discipleship. This is what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We are to behold Him in Scripture and do what He did. Jesus said the very same thing about His own ministry in John 5:19-20… “Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” John 5:19-20 NKJV

    Jesus did what He saw the Father doing. It was His Father doing the work through Him. If you look at the life and ministry of Jesus it is the same work that He called the disciples to… preaching/teaching, healing, casting out demons, even socializing. The ministry of Jesus was a wholistic ministry to the whole person, spiritually, mentally and physically. Jesus was, in essence, calling the disciples to the apostolic ministry of reproducing the same work He did. Yet here is the thing family. They didn’t have the power to do it! Isn’t that what Jesus said of Himself? “the Son can do nothing of Himself…”

During the entire earthly ministry of Jesus He relied on power from His Father to do the work. This is why the Bible says that He gave them power! It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that the apostles preached, healed and cast out demons! Some of us jump right into ministry without any power! Without having spent time with Jesus! And then we wonder why we aren’t seeing any change. Jesus said in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NKJV

    Think about this for a minute. He gave cussing Peter power! He gave doubting Thomas power! He gave hot headed James & John power! Jesus gave Judas power! If Jesus could use them in spite of themselves, then I’m just crazy enough to believe that He can send you in His power. Again, Ellen White, commenting on Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7 says…

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves." 2 Cor. 4:7, R. V. This is why the preaching of the gospel was committed to erring men rather than to the angels. It is manifest that the power which works through the weakness of humanity is the power of God; and thus we are encouraged to believe that the power which can help others as weak as ourselves can help us.” Desire of Ages p. 297

    Christ doesn’t wait for you to be perfect before He sends you. It’s in being with Him and Him empowering you through the Holy Spirit that He perfects His work in you! However He sends those who respond to the call. This week I came across this Facebook post…

“Somebody, somewhere is depending on you to do what God has called you to do.”

People are depending on your testimony, your story, your gifts, your skills, your ministry. Remember the ministry of Jesus was a wholistic ministry to the whole person. Not everyone is called to preach or teach, but He has called you to share your story. The first thing is not always giving a bible study. It may be that He is calling you to feed someone, hangout with someone or use your gifts to meet someones need. The rest will come.

    He is calling you. In spite of your flaws. He wants you. In spite of your mess. He is sending you. In spite of your feelings of inadequacy. Jesus calls you To Know His Love and Share it in spite of _________. You fill in the blank. Remember, He sends and empowers sinful, faulty people who have spent time with Him. It is out of being with Christ that you can minister to others, thus making Him known.