Believing and Doing

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  -Matthew 7:24

Jesus says that everyone who hears his words and does them is like that wise man.  Verse 26 describes the man that hears those same words but does not do them.  (Read the full story here.)  There is a obviously a difference between hearing and doing.  There is even a difference between believing and doing.  Faith is belief in action, and it is the action of the believer that makes all the difference. Continue reading

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Who Does God Call?

In the first chapter of Mark (I happen to be leading a study of Mark) Jesus begins to call his first disciples.  Jesus had many followers, but from those he called out 12 to be his “inner circle” if you will.  In verses 16-20 he calls first Simon (Peter) and Andrew, then James and John.  All 4 of these men were fishermen.  This was not the most respected vocation in first century Israel.  Fishermen worked long hours, spent a lot of time away from home and family, and they, well to be honest, stank.  Fish stink, guys that spend a lot of time with them also stink.  It was hard work, and while you could make a living at it, a fisherman would never really “be somebody.” 

In Mark chp. 2 Jesus calls Levi (Matthew).  He was a tax collector.  He may have had more education than a fisherman, and would have definitely had more money.  Most were crooked however, so he still would not have had a lot of friends.  If he did, they were also crooks and/or tax collectors.  We don’t know as much about some of the other disciples.  Luke was not one of the 12, but he was obviously hanging around.  Remember that Jesus had other followers and students besides the 12.  If Luke was not following Jesus from place to place during his ministry, we know for sure that he was very much involved in the formation of the early church.  Luke was physician.  This was a guy that was not only educated, he would have been respected in the community.  So what am I getting at?

God calls all types of people into his service.  There is not a Christian type, but he invites all types to become Christian, then uses whatever they bring with them to the table to further his kingdom and spread the gospel.  In Luke 8, we find out that many women were not only following Jesus, but supporting his ministry financially.  Luke does not neglect to list some names for us.  And just to top off the list, one of the first miracles performed by Jesus was healing Simon’s mother-in-law (Mark 1).  There’s only one way to get a mother-in-law; it’s a small detail, but we learn that Simon was married.  God calls into his service the educated and the illiterate; the single and the married; men and women; those respected by the community and those disrespected.  God is not interested in our ability, but in our availability. 

One more thing: Go back to Exodus chp 3  and see what happens when God calls someone who is not interested.  After God speaks to Moses from the burning bush, Moses’ first response is “Who am I to go before Pharaoh?”  God answers he will be with him.  In chp 4 Moses questions if the people will believe God spoke to him.  Moses complains he is not a good speaker.  He finally comes right out and asks God to please send someone else.  By this time God is angry with Moses.  We are the body of Christ; he has already done the hard stuff.  We need to be willing to respond when he calls us.  And there is no one that he cannot use, no matter how many excuses we can come up with.  Let’s be the salt and the light people.