Keep Your Throne! John 6:15

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Then Jesus, because he knew they were going to
come and seize him by force to make him king,
withdrew again up the mountainside alone.
John 6:15

As your gift peaks its head above the surface, many of us are confronted with offers designed to delay and or destroy our destiny.  Here we find Jesus, walking in His purpose, being admired by those watching.  They are so impressed with His gift and or ability, that they want to make Him their King.

Of course the irony being, He is their King!  He is the King of Kings! The Lord of Lords!  He has a Kingdom, and He has a throne, but those watching and following have seen enough and want to anoint Him to be their King.

First, it is interesting that they scripture says they were going to “seize him by force.”  Though this seems impossible, many have found themselves seized and forced to do something that is against their will and better judgement.  How does this happen?  It occurs when one lacks a sound understanding of their purpose and calling.

Every Throne offered to you is not from the Lord!

Understanding His purpose allowed Him to flee the plans of man that would have taken Him from the course and purpose that God has willed for His life! I wondered to myself as reading, how many of us are sitting in “King’s Chairs” not willed for our life? In our quest for significance, could we be so determined to find a chair, that we are vulnerable to the custom made chair of the adversary, designed to make you comfortable and to keep you from your purpose?  If we are not careful, people will assign and reassign our gifts to suit their purpose.

Why do you Want to make Me King?

Jesus wasn’t just looking at “What”, but was asking “Why?”  He knew their purpose for Him as King, was one of personal interest, not love and respect. We like Christ must take a step back to gander a fuller perspective of the situation.  We must maintain awareness that people will cross our paths that do not love nor respect us, but see purpose and potential in the gift and power that is with us. Their attempt to place us in the Kings chair is not to follow us, but to harness what has been given to us in a way that allows them to benefit from what has been entrusted to us.  It’s hard to see a Throne as a place of harness, but when we are outside of God’s will, earthly Thrones will limit what we are capable of doing in God.

Man Made Thrones are Not a Promotion!

Jesus understood that the earthly promotion was actually a demotion that would keep Him from exaltation. See, God places people in power, and assign to each person a desired path and perfect will for their life. Oddly enough, sometimes that path ends in death, that leads to life, and personal sacrifice. Too many of us are eager for promotion, and seek it in such a way, that the adversary is able to use our ambition and desires against us.   Our goal of reaching the top can cause us to make mistakes along the way from a blurry set of lenses.  In that, our ambition can cause us to take the short cut to the top, as opposed to walking the prescribed path to significance.  There are no shortcuts!  Our commitment to God’s will must be such that we are willing to walk away and wait on the Lord to bring us into our promise.  We must fight the lion and the bear, slay Goliath, and spare Saul while waiting on our promise, trusting that the oil poured on us stems from the hands of one who will keep His covenant.

Flee from the Throne to the Throne Room!

kingschair2Before they could spring their plan into motion, Jesus headed for the mountains.  He wouldn’t allow the offer of Kingship to occur.  He wouldn’t bask in the moment, or bathe himself in the pageantry.  He wouldn’t allow it to get to a vote.  He wouldn’t allow Himself to have to say No!  He wouldn’t allow His ego to be stroked or stimulated.  He walked away from the crowds alone. 

What about you?  Would at least heard the offer?  Entertain the discussion?  Allow your egos to be massaged a bit, just a wee tiny bit?  Maybe negotiate the package?  Try on the clothes?  Sit in the chair?  Jesus would not!

He retreated to a quiet place to allow the moment to pass, and focused on the journey ahead.  He sought the Father and verified His course, determined to sit only on the Throne reserved for Him.  His benefit to the crowd was not remaining on earth, but returning to heaven.

What is our purpose?  Do you know who you are?  Are you sitting on a Man Made Throne?  Are you looking for Shortcuts?  Has Ambition caused your Vision to become Blurry?  Has Ego Taken control?

Sadly, alone is the best company on the journey towards purpose.  Following the path from God while Fighting the plans from others can lead to earthly success and heavenly failure.  Too many of us have neglected the plan God has for our life, chasing money and things, rewarding ourselves with prominence and misusing our gifts and talents to gain influence and positions.  Not Jesus!  He knew along the way, even His disciples would attempt to reroute Him.  But He remained on course!

Will you?  It might be a lonely journey, but fulfilling your purpose will being about peace and satisfaction that will surpass any earthly award offered. Close your ears to the crowd.  Listen to the Lord.   Stay in purpose. Walk in your calling.  Fulfill your destiny.

#PastorJDO3

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Twelve Ordinary Men; Ch. 2

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Twelve Ordinary Men
Chapter 2 “Peter- The Apostle with the Foot-Shaped Mouth”
John MacArthur

Simons’ full name is Simon Bar-Jonah (His father’s name is Jonah). Simon was named “Peter” by the Lord. Peter Means “Rock”. Sometimes, however, the Lord continued to refer to him as Simon anyway. When you see that in Scripture, it is often a signal that Peter has done something that needs rebuke or correction. Pg. 34
MacArthur list 3 Raw Leadership Materials Paul contained:
1. Inquisitiveness (Matthew 15:15)
2. Initiative (Matthew 16:13)
3. Involvement (Matthew 14:26)

J.R. Miller: “The only thing that walks back from the tomb with the mourners and refuses to be buried is the character of a man. What a man is survives him. It can never be buried.”

“Peter is a strong argument for the belief that leaders are born with certain innate gifts, but must also be properly shaped and made into a true leader.” Pg. 39

There are 6 character qualities covered gained from Jesus shaping and molding Peter:
1. Submission (Matthew 17:24-27)
2. Restraint (1 Peter 2:21-23)
3. Humility (Luke 22:33)
4. Love (Mark 9:35)
5. Compassion (Luke 22:31-32)
6. Courage (Acts 4:18-20)

Acts of Peter:
1. Luke 22:54-62
2. Acts 2:14-16, 36-40
3. Galatians 2:11-14

Clement says, “…before Peter was crucified he was forced to watch the crucifixion of his own wife….When it was Peters turn to die, he pleaded to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t worthy to die as his Lord had died. And thus he was nailed to a cross head-downward. Pg. 60

Behind Closed Doors (John 20:19-23)

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On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,
the disciples had gathered together and locked the
doors of the place for fear of the Jewish authorities.
Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”  When He had said this, He showed
them his Hands and His side.
John 20:19-20

In life, we face challenges from every hand.  Our brothers find themselves struggling after witnessing the crucifixion and burial of their leader, The Messiah.  They watched as He suffered at the hands of the Jews, and must have felt their power and influence to be unstoppable.  For this, they locked themselves in a room to protect themselves from the fears they had.

Though the room doors were closed and locked, I believe the first doors closed and locked were in the disciples minds.   They had the promise of the Lord that the would do greater things than He, that the church itself would be established on one of them, and would flourish at their hands.  They had miracle working power, as well as the Messiah interceding on their behalf, and because of what they had witnessed, they were unable to carry our the full breath of their ability discouraged by what seemed to be inability.lockeddoor

Oddly enough, we like the disciples often mislabel inability or confuse restraint for powerless.  In stead of being in awe of the power and restraint Jesus showed by enduring and being committed to completing His Fathers will, they were discouraged by the crucifixion.    Thus Jesus comes to them, and showed them the Resurrection.  In times of despair, we must choose to look at the victory over the grave, not the pain and suffering of the cross.  Jesus had to show them that there was victory of the grave, and a power greater than any earthly power that could be displayed.

I was encouraged not only by His appearance to them, but the fact that He was willing to stand with them in the midst of their fear.  It is encouraging to know that we have a Savior who will appear and stand.  He comes to us in the hour of our greatest need, even when we have failed Him.  It is just like God to remind us of who He is and who we are in the midst of falling apart. Thank God for a Savior who is there for us, despite our abandoning of Him when He needs us most!

Though I wanted Him to tell the disciples, I have dealt with the Jews, or they wont bother you, I was disappointed that He simply said, “Peace be with you.”  He doesn’t promise them there problems will disappear.  He doesn’t promise them that they won’t be punished or crucified.  He simply speaks Peace to them!  In other words, you will have storms, trials, tribulations, and for most of them, the cross, but while enduring, you will have “peace”!  

He then gives them good news and bad news!  The good news, “Peace be with you”  the bad “Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.”  We praise God because their bad news is our good news.  They were armed with the Gospel, the Name of Jesus, and the soon, the Power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all that was ascribed to them.  Jesus knew the commitment they were being asked to make.  They were building a Kingdom and would be considered royalty, but their lives would not be filled with comforts and convenience.   They were being called to Martyrdom.  They wouldn’t be asked to make the same sacrifice, but a similar one.

Their lives were now to be lived for the Lord, a living sacrifice for others.  From now on, their lives would be on the line, and the responsibility of showing people to the Father would rest upon their shoulders.

They; true to form were panicked!  They knew that this would be impossible to do without Him; and they were right.  Without Him, they were sunk!  Who would calm the seas?  Who would raise the dead?  Who would cast out demons?  Who would give sight to the blind?  Who?  They had already displayed the sum of their power and ability!  Jesus thus “breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit…”  (V. 22)

The power they needed to do would now match the peace they needed to be.  And we too have all we need to take this world by storm.  Thus we are asked to “Go ye therefore” and are challenged to live our lives considering the lives of others as important as ours and the will of the Father first in our lives.  God does not stop “life” from happening, so he has equipped us with the power and peace to overcome the world just as He did!  Thus, let us not stay behind closed doors.  Let’s us advance and accomplish His will!

Twelve Ordinary Men Chapter 1

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Twelve Ordinary Men
“The Master Who Called Them”
John MacArthur

 

Wednesday, started the 12 Ordinary Men Bible Study at First Met; The Place Where You Belong!   Book Summary: “Jesus chose ordinary men – fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots – and turned their weakness into strength, producing greatness from utter uselessness. MacArthur draws principles from Christ’s careful, hands-on training of the original twelve disciples for today’s modern disciple – you.”  Amazon.com

When Jesus chose the Twelve to be His official representatives- preacher of the gospel who would carry both His message and His authority-He didn’t choose a single rabbi…scribe…Pharisee…Sadducee…Priest.  Not one of the men He chose came from the religious establishment.  The choosing of the twelve apostles was a judgment against institutionalized Judaism.   MacArthur Page 7. twelveordinarymenphoto

Question 1
The Twelve were personally selected by Christ.  What observations about Jesus occur to you based on the way He chose His apostles?       Scriptures:  John 1:47, John 6:70 & John 13:21-27

 

Question 2
Matthew 17:1-9 is one of the passages MacArthur refers to in explaining the contrast between the ordinariness of the apostles and the e extraordinary opportunities they were given.  How does this passage illustrate the degree to which Jesus revealed Himself to His apostles?

 

Question 3.  MacArthur gives us 4 phases to explain the different calling passages in the Gospel (Luke 5:3-11, Luke 6:12-16, John 1:35-51).  What are the 4 Phases of Calling?
They are:

  1. Calling to Conversion. Disciples are called first to Salvation.
  2. Calling to Ministry. Jesus instructs the Disciples to Follow Him
  3. Calling to Apostleship. An intense internship in which the disciples are Prepared to be Sent.
  4. Calling to Martyrdom. Each Gave their Life for the sake of the Gospel.

Question 4.
What is MacArthurs’ explanation of the meaning of “Continued all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12)?  (Page 15)

Concluding Thought:

Shaliah is the Aramaic word for Apostle used during Jesus time.
The Shaliah was the official representative of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council.  “He spoke for them, and when he spoke, he spoke with their authority.  He was owed the same respect and deference as the council itself.  But he never delivered his own message; his task was to deliver the message of the group he represented.