January 2
The twelve disciples
Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9-12; 10:1-4

KEY VERSE: "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

A key leader in my church said to me recently, "Pastor, we have many activities going on at our church but I wonder sometimes if we are putting enough of our energy into the one thing that matters the most making disciples."

He expressed a feeling that I have had many times. We can get busy, turning a lot of wheels, but neglect our primary mission of winning people to Christ. The church can be like a fine, powerful car stuck in the mud.

We can race the engine, causing the tires to turn and creating a lot of noise, but the car remains stuck. All we are doing is wasting energy while the car sinks deeper into the mud. A church like that car is a pitiful sight.

What can get the church moving again is to reflect upon the work to which Jesus called the twelve disciples. He did not call them to take a stroll with him and consider being his disciples in their spare time. He called them to drop what they were doing and begin a new life totally committed to him.

His call required a radical change in their attitudes and lifestyles. He did not promise them a bed of roses or an easy journey. He did not offer them an attractive package of perks and benefits. He called them to the tough demands of a life wholly devoted to the Kingdom of God.

The disciples Jesus chose were ordinary people, not the VIPs of society. In no way did Jesus make it easy for the disciples to follow him. To become His disciples, they were required to leave their nets, follow Him, obey Him, and learn to "fish" for men who could put the kingdom first in their lives.

If we are not doing that today, as individuals and as churches, then we need to examine our hearts and our "programs." The call of Jesus has not changed, and only changed men and women can faithfully fulfill His mission in today's world.

As a disciple, are you stuck in the mud of pseudo-discipleship? Is your church busy with many things but neglecting to make disciples?

As long as you have breath, there is time to leave your nets and begin sharing the vision of Jesus as a genuine disciple! Go for it!