Missing the mark

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Did you know that Jesus had more that 12 disciples? The 12 we refer to as "the disciples" were actually Jesus' inner circle. There were crowds who followed Him, and of those crowds we see a group of 70 Jesus commissioned to go and work for Him. Within that group was the 12, and even within that group was an inner inner circle of 3 - Peter, James, and John. They were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and a few other extra special times. Oh, to be in THAT group!

But what do we witness about these most blessed of men, the 12 and the 3? They argued among themselves as to who would be the greatest. They asked Jesus whether fire should be called down upon villages. Even after being present on the Mount of Transfiguration and in Gethsemane Peter was drawing a sword, hacking off the High Priest's servant's ear (probably aiming for his head). What does this show?

It shows that even after all Jesus had taught them even His inner inner circle was still thinking of Him as a King David type of Messaiah. They were thinking of their position and of revolution. That's what the crowds were looking for, and surprisingly, that's what the 12 and the 3 were looking for. As much as they'd learned, even as part of Jesus' inner circle, they still didn't understand some key parts of the ministry of Jesus.

I've been in a wide variety of churches, and of course I prefer my own. As I've visited I see things that I know God must be displeased with, and yet it appears the people think they're right on the cutting edge with God. I find myself thinking, "if they only knew how they're missing some key points of doctrine and ministry."

Likewise, I see many calling themselves Christian who are missing the mark in what I think are some very elementary points. The sad part is they think they're right with God.

Then the Lord shines the spotlight on me, and I hear those words, "Take heed lest ye fall." If even Peter, James, and John were missing the mark, isn't it possible that I also am missing the mark in some very key, elementary areas? Is it possible that my wonderful church still has a long way to go before it becomes one of the Lord's truly great churches?

At our cell group last night one of our church Elders (a man named James, ha ha) was sharing how the Lord was showing him things that were seriously wrong in his life, and how he was resolved to correct these areas. I couldn't imagine what things the Lord was dealing with him about, because James is one of the most spiritual men I've ever met. He is a role model for me, and a mentor. The Lord has also shown me some things though, and the one thing the Spirit has stressed to me is that these problem areas are SERIOUS. They are not to be lightly excused. I've been missing it, and now it's time to deal with it.

So I'm getting a hard Word from the Lord, and James is too. I know that the 12 and the 3 certainly got some hard Words as well. What it shows is that no matter how far we've gone with Jesus, we're never fully there in this life. The same goes for our churches.

Is the Lord dealing with you hard about some subjects? Don't take it lightly because it's a serious matter. Deal with it quickly! And then the Lord will deal with you and your church on something else. At times it may seem exhausting and frustrating, but take comfort in knowing that you're in good company with the rest of Christ's Body. Now if you think you or your church has arrived, beware. That's blindness similar to what the Laodiceans experienced, and it's very dangerous because you don't know the peril you're in. You'll stop striving and seeking, and even listening because you'll think you're finished.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002


How timely this message is for me. As I was preparing for tonight's Bible study, I was led back to a sermon I preached recently regarding "mourning and praising". In it we were mourning the death of common sense (wisdom) and praising the resurrection of the same.

Yes, I had to take a close look at my own loss of common sense about matters that I could've handled and didn't. That message like this one, brother, was and is an eye-opener for me. God is dealing with the hard matters in my life and the life of my church and he wants us to know that we have not arrived. We have to get to the point of realizing that we have not reached the goal, but must keep pressing on toward the mark of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. Praise God!

Thanks, brother for this thought-provoking word. I rushed right over to Psalm 139.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

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