Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve[a] that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
~ Mark 3:13-19 (NIV)
“Who, me, Lord?”
“Yes, you. I’m calling you.”
“But what you’re asking of me is too difficult. I don’t have the skills or the training. I can’t possibly succeed at this!”
Does this conversation sound familiar? Many of us know the experience of being asked to take on a task that seems much too demanding for us. We’re afraid of failure. We make excuses. But by doing so, we may miss the joy of being part of something wonderful.
In The Purpose Driven Life, author Rick Warren responds to those who make excuses concerning why they cannot serve the Lord: “Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid.”
The 12 men Jesus asked to be his apostles could have offered lots of reasons why they were not fit to serve. They were common men with no special standing in the eyes of the world. Yet when Jesus called, they came: fishermen, tax collectors and even revolutionaries. History shows that their faith and obedience to Jesus Christ changed the world profoundly.
When Jesus calls us to follow him, he’s not looking for the smartest or the strongest or the most brave. He doesn’t check our resume or call our list of references. Scripture is full of stories of women and men who were used powerfully by God despite their lack of experience or expertise. How about you? Is God asking you to accept an assignment that seems far beyond your comfort zone? Are you afraid that you might fail? Are you afraid that you might succeed?
Take heart from this account of those whom Jesus chose to be his closest companions—those who would carry on his work. They changed the world not because of what they had in themselves, but because of the One who empowered them. And they were part of something wonderful.
Father, we are called to obedience to Your Word which compels us to make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. As we see evil crouching in at every level, it’s all the more reason why we must be vigilant to live pure lives so that the light of Jesus shines through our words and our actions in this darkened world. We want to pay close attention to ourselves and persevere in the truths presented in Scripture so that we will ensure salvation both for ourselves and those whom we have opportunity to influence. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.In Jesus,
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Devotion taken from NIV Women’s Devotional Bible. ©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
Scripture is full of stories of women and men who were used powerfully by God despite their lack of experience or expertise.