16 Luke 6.12-16
v RQ: What are some of the big decisions you have made in your life?
Ø Buy house
Ø Job change
Ø Where to move
Ø Who to marry
Ø How many children to have
Ø Whether to have one more
Ø When to retire
Ø Where to retire
v RQ: What goes into making those decisions?
Ø Own desires
Ø Desire of others
Ø Talk to friends, parents, spouse
Ø Signs from God
Ø Perhaps it is the little things,,,
§ Illustration regarding Salting food
RQ: How do you make big decisions?
v READ 6:12-16
v In our text today, one of the biggest decisions in all of history is made…
Ø The choosing of the 12 Apostles
v Why was this such a big decision?
Ø After all, aren’t we all apostles of Jesus?
v Well, as with all great theological questions the answer is yes and no
Ø There are two ways in which the NT uses the Greek word “apostolos”
Apostle with a small “a”
v In the literal sense of the word which means “messenger, sent one”
Ø That is how it is used in Rom 16:7
§ Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was
Ø In this sense, yes, we are all apostles
§ The Greek word means “sent ones” or “messenger”
· If you are sitting here today and call yourself a Christian, then…
¨ You have not only felt the call of God on our lives, but…
¨ You have heard the commission Christ gives to you
Ø Mark 16:15
§ Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation
· One thing we must remember it is our duty…
¨ As apostles of Christ
¨ As “sent one”
¨ As “messengers”
Ø To share the good news of Jesus Christ with others
The best evangelistic center in the greater Boston area is not a church. It is a filling station in Arlington. It is owned and operated by a man named Bob who caught the vision early in his life that his vocation and his calling were to be welded together. As time passed, his station became known as the place to go for gas, new tires, or other car service. I have seen a half-dozen cars lined up bumper to bumper near two pumps in front of that little station just waiting to be served by that man. He has no banners out, no "Jesus Saves" flags, no signs, no "ichthuses;' nothing plastered all over the station or in the windows, no sign, "Bring your car to Bob and take your soul to Jesus." He simply did his job! He did it well and people knew he was in partnership with the Lord. He led dozens of people to faith in Jesus Christ.
v That is how we are to be as apostles
Ø Sent to share Christ
Ø Messengers of the Gospel
v As you may know…
Ø One of our focuses here at SWHCC over the next 5 years is…
§ To become a church that shares Christ with SWH
§ To become a church fulfilling our apostleship!
Apostle with a capital “A”
v However, there is another stricter use of “Apostolos” in the NT
Ø Used to describe the 12 mentioned here plus Matthias and Paul
§ You may ask…
· RQ: What makes these apostles different from the rest?
Ø The difference is…
§ These men were hand picked by Jesus for a very specific task…
· To lay the foundation of the church!
¨ Eph 2:19-20
Ø Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone
§ There are no more apostles like these!
v You see…
Ø To these apostles Christ gave special promises
§ To these men Christ gave special promises
· John 14:26
§ To these men Christ gave special responsibility
· to write the New Testament
§ To these men Christ gave special Responsibility
· Matt 19:28 ~ Will sit on thrones
¨ To them is given the authority to judge 12 tribes Israel when Christ comes again
§ To these men Christ gave special Position
· Rev 21:14 ~ Jerusalem down out of heaven
¨ Their names written on 12 foundation of the new Jerusalem
Decision Making and Prayer
v So when it came time to choose 12 out of the 100’s of disciples Jesus had
Ø Was this a big decision?
§ You bet it was!
v The first thing
v And look at the first thing that Jesus does…
§ That should be our “knee-jerk” reaction to most of life…
· But certainly in decision making
¨ If the Son of God needed to…how much each one of us!
Ø But many of us go about making decisions in many other ways
§ Base decisions on intuition
· Female intuition
§ Base decisions on logic
· But sometimes God is not logical
¨ Gideon story (30K – 10K – 300 Lapping)
Ø Isa 55:9
§ As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
§ Signs from God
A middle-aged farmer who had been desiring for years to be an evangelist was out working in the field one day when he decided to rest under a tree. As he looked into the sky he saw that the clouds seemed to form into the letters P and C. Immediately he hopped up, sold his farm, and went out to P-reach C-hrist, which he felt was God's leading. Unfortunately, he was a horrible preacher. After one of his sermons a neighbor came forward and asked him, "Are you sure God wasn't just trying to tell you to P-lant C-orn?"
Ø The problem with basing decisions on signs from God is two-fold:
§ You can interpret them any way you want
§ Your desires get in the way
v RQ: So how do we make decisions
v F. B. Meyer was sailing many years ago to England from northern Ireland. He told the story of how it was night and, as the ship entered the harbor, nothing was to be seen but a confusing array of lights. Dr. Meyer wondered how the captain could hope to navigate into the harbor safely at night in such a confusing jumble of lights, and so he asked him. The captain took him up to the bridge and said, "You see, sir, it's really very simple. I'll show you how. Do you see that big light over to the left? And do you see that other big light over there to the right of it? And now, do you see that outstanding light farther still this way? Well now, keep your eyes on those three lights and see what happens." As Dr. Meyer watched, the big outer light on the left gradually moved in until it coincided with the middle one. Then, as the ship turned, the light gradually merged into the third. "There now/' said the captain, "all I have to do is to see that those three big lights become one; then I go straight forward."
v The point is that the believer also has three lights to guide him into the will of God. When Scripture and conscience are lined up with outward circumstances so that the three become one, we need have no fear. We may go straight ahead. God's will is clear.
v God has given us three things to help us navigate through our decisions
v And how did Jesus make this decision?
Ø He did not make it as we do…
§ Based on intuition?
§ Based on performance?
§ Based on Intelligence?
§ Based on education?
· The Apprentice illustration
v The Humble Thing
Ø I would like to put forth a definition of prayer for you to think about
§ Going before God and seeking his will for any given situation
v Now, there are other types of prayer that have different purposes
v But when it comes to asking God for something…(decision making)
Ø When there is a fork in the road and you are standing at the intersection…
§ It is all about seeking his will for any given situation
v I think that this requires a paradigm in the way we approach prayer
We all love staying in fine hotels, don’t we? All you have to do is pick up the phone and somebody is ready and waiting to bring you breakfast, lunch, dinner, a chocolate milkshake, whatever your heart desires and your stomach will tolerate. Or by another languid motion of the wrist, you can telephone for someone who will get a soiled shirt quickly transformed into a clean one or a rumpled suit into a pressed one. That's the concept that some of us have of prayer.
We have created God in the image of a divine bellhop. Prayer, for us, is the ultimate in room service, and we have a direct dial! Furthermore, no tipping, and everything is charged to that great credit card in the sky. Now prayer is many things, but I'm pretty sure this is not one of the things it is.
v Robert Law
Ø Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man’s will done in heaven, but for getting God’s will done on earth
§ It is not getting what we want from God
· It is getting what God wants for us
¨ And what He wants is simply the best!!
v The Best Thing
Ø That is when we must realize when we stand at the crossroads and we want to go one way and the Lord points another
§ The Lord’s will is always best for us
· Because he wants the best for us
¨ Even though we may not be able to see it at the time
v Terrified passengers lined the railing of a Mississippi River steamer, as it sped through a dense fog. A committee, sent to remonstrate with the captain, for going too fast, discovered that it was clear on the bridge. The fog was dense for about twenty feet above the water so that the passengers, on their level, could see nothing, but the captain could see everything.
v The next time you are in a fog remember that God is not and never has been in a fog. He knows all things and is in complete command. Nothing can ever touch you until it has passed through His will.
Ø It may not look like it at the time
Ø It may not feel like it
Ø Friends and family may not see it
Ø Even though you may follow his will with fear and tredipation
§ Know that the Lord sees all and always wants the best for you
· That is what we must trust!
Ø A.B. Simpson Poem
God has his best things for the few
That dare to stand the test.
He has his second choice for those
Who will not have his best.
It is not always open ill
That risks the promised rest.
The better often is the foe
That keeps us from the best.
Give me, O Lord, thy highest choice;
Let others take the rest.
Their good things have no charm for me
For I have got thy best.
v The test that Simpson writes about is…
Ø Bending your will to the will of the Father
§ Will you stand the test and receive God’s best for you?
v You have that “ambassador” status that comes from being an apostle of Christ
Ø We are ambassadors
Ø Represent Christ wherever you are
§ Heavy load we must take seriously
· Illustration about representing Christ
Ø I’d like us to notice three things about the text we just read together
v Jesus’ Dependence on Prayer
Ø All night
Ø Before big decisions
§ How much more should we be dependent!
v Jesus’ Authority to Choose
Ø He chose apostles
Ø Gives us the ability to respond to the call