squad disc

I often wonder if I was Jesus how would I choose my squad, my tribe of disciples.

I think I like the X Factor/Britian’s Got Talent/American Idol way.  The contestants would have to audition.  Hi whats your name?  Im Peter.  Whats your day job?  Im a fisherman.  What are you doing for us tonight?

Of course I’d have to have a judges panel.  Maybe with some of the angels or Moses or Jonah. Jonah would be the grumpy Simon Cowell dude.

I found some of the horrible things that Simon says when he X factor judge….

Simon: ‘You look a little odd, your dancing is terrible, the singing was horrendous, and you look like one of those creatures that live in the jungle with the massive eyes. What do they called? Bush baby.’

Simon: ‘Your facial expressions were ugly,’ he said. After the judges protested, he added: ‘You are a beautiful girl, but you’re ugly when you perform. Play it back and you’ll see what I mean.”

Simon compares him to an athlete an the Olympics: ‘Well, the two people who came on before you ran the 100 meters in 10 seconds. You ran it in five minutes. That’s the difference.”

Simon: ‘You sounded like Dolly Parton on helium.’ ‘Seriously.’ That song ‘belongs in some ghastly country fair.’

Simon: ”It was boring, your voice sounded a bit whiny, you looked terrified. And it looks as if you’ve been shut up in your bedroom for about a month, you know, you look verging on haunted, pale, you know? You need some fresh air and you need to make yourself young.
Or perhaps it would be like the Bachelor…. A series of group dates, cocktail parties, one on ones and the rose ceremony.   Judas, will you accept this rose?

Or Survivor, who loves survivor here!  Legendary!  Contestants have to compete in a series of physical challenges and outlast, outwit and outplay their fellow tribe mates in order to be chosen as a disciple.

 

Jesus didn’t use any of those methods.  He just rocked up to them and said follow me.  Now being Jesus he knew all about them but still don’t you often wonder if perhaps his disciple-radar was malfunctioning….  These are the guys that are going to be with Jesus 3 years, witness the greatest miracles, hear God’s heart, learn His teaching, be part of His inner circle and Jesus chooses THESE GUYS!

There is James and John who were known as the sons of thunder, not because they ate too many beans, but because they often threw wild temper tantrums and threatened to call down fire on a village, a whole village because the people didn’t want to follow Jesus.

Simon was a Zealot which pretty much meant he was planning to overthrow the government and commit acts of domestic terrorism.

Matthew who was a tax collector… I mean did Jesus not know that was basically just a job where they got to rip people off.

There is Peter, who never thinks before he speaks.  Who after declaring I’ll do anything for you denies even knowing him 3 times.

And Judas, bless his heart.  He betrayed Jesus.

 

These are the guys that Jesus chose and called and invested 3 years of His life into.  These were the guys that Jesus called to spread the gospel and build the church.

If we knew the people that God had worked through in the past we would be encouraged about His ability to work through us.

Think about it…

Mary was an unwed mother.  Oh the shame.

David slept with someones wife, got her pregnant and the murdered her husband.

Jonah ran away from God.

Elijah was depressed and suicidal.

Jacob was a liar and a cheat.

Paul, who wrote at least ½ of the New Testament, orchestrated the genocide of Christians in the early church.

Lazarus was dead!

In fact God doesn’t often pick the most intelligent, qualified person in the room. God often chooses the least qualified so it’s evident they’re not doing things out of their own strength but out of His.

He chooses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done God wants to use you and can use you.

But more importantly, first things first, he wants to be your friend.  It’s about friendship first with God.

OK, so God is with you … but let me show it to you from God’s Word. The Bible puts it this way:

 

God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by the violence. Psalm 46:1-3

 

How amazing is that! God is with us – all of the time. If we’re in His squad He is right here with us all of the time. But let me ask you a more difficult take on this: If God is truly in your squad, if He was truly in your Instagram pictures, or your snapchat … would it change you? I mean, think about it:

  • Would you go to THAT place if Jesus was with you?
  • Would you say THAT?

 

I’m not here to guilt you. As if… God is some parent who is looking over your shoulder reading your text messages going “tsk, tsk, tsk.” That isn’t Him at all – but I do think it would crush Him to know we say we love Him … but if you looked behind the curtain it wouldn’t be obvious that He’s truly part of your life.

 

I think if we honestly moved away from the “nice words” of God just being with us … to truly understand Him as being in our squad, it would change things. It would change how we live, what we value, what we say, it would change … everything.

 

So I do want you to hear that God is our shelter and our strength, but also that He is with us. He’s always beside us. Would that realization change how we live our lives this week.

 

Here are some ways to live like you are part of God’s squad… to live like His friend.

 

The first thing that you need to know about getting and keeping God in your squad is that you absolutely have to SPEND TIME IN HIS WORD.

 

How many of you love Lego?   One of the best things about having kids was buying Lego sets, esp now that there is girl lego!!!!

 

Lego is the best because you can create some pretty awesome things with them. Their only flaw is how painful it is when step on a Lego. One minute you’re building a tifighter and the next you’re sitting in the ER as they try to remove pieces of plastic from your foot. Now, the thing with Legos is that there is no way that you can build your own Death Star or Millennium Falcon without THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL. It provides KEY and STEP-BY-STEP information that is crucial to making the most out of your Legos. While you can create something without the manual, it will never be what it was intended to be.

 

Our lives are exactly the same way. If we do not spend time in the word, reading our Bibles and letting God speak to us, our lives will never be what they were intended to be.

 

2 Timothy 3:16 says “ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD AND IS USEFUL TO TEACH US WHAT IS TRUE AND TO MAKE US REALIZE WHAT IS WRONG IN OUR LIVES. IT CORRECTS US WHEN WE ARE WRONG AND TEACHES US TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT.”

 

Spending time in His word teaches us what is right and what is wrong because God speaks truth. It is in His nature to be truthful all the time. I think sometimes we see the Bible as a rulebook rather than God’s instructions to live a purposeful life.

 

Psalm 119:105 is a well-known verse that really sums up what the Bible is. It says “YOUR WORD IS A LAMP TO GUIDE MY FEET AND A LIGHT FOR MY PATH.” Spending time with God every day guides us towards what he wants to do with our lives. It clears the road in front of us and allows us to and directs us down that path that God has planned for us.

 

Personally, I love how the Bible is full of stories in which God has been so faithful to so many people in so many circumstances. When I hear about all these people and how God kept His promises to them, it builds my strength and confidence that I know God will be faithful in my own life. If you really want to have a strong and tight relationship with God, you must spend time in His word.

 

Some of you might be asking, how do I spend time in God’s word? If you don’t know where to start, start in the book of John.

 

John gives an account of Jesus’ life here on Earth and is very easy to understand. For those of you who are spending time regularly in the Word, don’t be afraid to ask big or troubling questions about what you’re reading. There are lots of people here that would be more than happy to spend time answering your questions. I want to challenge you to spend just five or ten minutes a day this week in the word and allow God to speak to you. Make sure to write down your thoughts and questions somewhere so you can have a record of your time with God. It won’t take long for you to see growth.

 

Next, let me give you a couple more thoughts. Friends talk to each other – so if God is with you, you’ve got to …

 

 

>> TALK TO HIM IN PRAYER

 

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 1 John 5:14

 

God is with us, He’s changing our hearts, out actions, our attitudes, and He’s always available in prayer.

 

I was talking to a friend this week and she was telling me about how she had to do this big scary thing and go and talk to a bunch of people to get something done.  She was so super nervous before she had to go in where she was meant to be and so she sat there and took a moment to pray that God would hold her hand.  Legit she felt her hand go warm and like someone was holding it.  She went and did what she had to do and it went 1000% better than she expected!  Cool eh!

 

The challenge for those of us – totally putting myself in this camp – that know all this – is that we know it.  We know the verses and we know the why and we know the stories… but for some reason we kind of drift into not doing it.

Let’s not be those people who hang on the fringe of God’s squad.  You know how I talked about the disciples earlier, well John was known as Jesus BFF.  His best friend and when some of the mega mega cool stuff happened John was right there to see it and do it.  He was the only disciple to be at the cross to see Jesus die and he was at the tomb to see it empty.  Be like John.    When you’re close you’re going to see things that blow your mind.

 

>> GO ALL IN

 

God wants all of you, not a little piece, not some, He wants all. He is here, He speaks to us in His word, we can talk to Him in prayer. He gave His all for us on the cross, so we go all in for Him. We don’t keep one foot in the world and one foot in church. No! All in, that’s it.

 

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Mark 12:30

Advertisements