10.30.23 Followers, Disciples, Apostles

Oct 30, 2023

Jesus calls us to follow Him just as He called the disciples at the beginning of His ministry. We are to follow, to accompany Him wherever He would lead us. We would be His students, doing all that He asks of us, learning all we can from the Master Teacher as to how we are to live this life in God. As we reach the depths of who we are and are launched into the purpose of our lives, we become apostles—His representatives, His messengers, His envoys.[1] This is quite a journey for us to go from being wholly in the world, a captive of all it thinks that we should be and strive for, to giving all attachments up except to the One we follow. And then we are finding and living out our purpose that God designed to fulfill us, and the story about who we are is no longer about me but about who I am helping (all people are made in the image of God—Genesis 1:26-27).


This is what it means to go from being world-centered to being God-centered. There is nothing richer or more fulfilling in our lives than to live out our purpose. So often, our purpose turns out to be helping other people gain hold of who they were created to be. These people are suffering the same challenge(s) that we faced and shed with God’s help. And so, He calls us to help others as we have been healed from the difficulties, the challenges, the grieving, the anger, and fear that our lives in the world were. And then we experience fulfillment unlike anything else we have ever felt.


Ponder these synonyms of fulfillment: realization, accomplishment, success, achievement, attainment, consummation, actualization, fruition.[2] We are talking about the fulfillment of our lives through accomplishing God’s purpose for each of us on this earth. I believe that we are each born into a certain place and at a certain time in order to help God accomplish His desires for us and for the world at that time. A sense of completion. Joy. And a sense of contribution to God and the whole human race. What more could we desire in our lives?


From Jesus’s disciples who later became apostles, true messengers of His life to unbelievers, to Paul who was hostile to and even killed some of Jesus’s followers, but was transformed by meeting Jesus face-to-face, to the Desert Mothers and Fathers who supported so many converts, to the saints of the church over centuries, to those who follow Jesus today:


these dedicated souls who followed Jesus wherever He took them and did whatever He asked of them are the inspiration for our own journey. No matter what they suffered or confronted, the Lord was at their side through it all. To hear Paul speak from jail in Ephesus or Rome is to know that God changed his heart and mind and soul to be carriers of His wisdom and love and forgiveness so that he could operate out of the fruit of the Spirit,[3] no longer captivated by his own egos and by the world. He was a true messenger of God. Wouldn’t you like to join him and the other followers of Jesus through the ages in living this fulfilling life where their suffering didn’t matter to them, they were doing the Lord’s work in His presence, in love, peace, joy, patience, goodness and all the other fruit of the Spirit and that made all the difference!


Questions to ponder over the week: Am I a follower of Jesus or do I only believe in Him, the Son of God? What would it take for me to accept God’s invitation to follow His Son on the path to wholeness of me as I was created to be?  If I am a follower of Jesus, what is the next issue that I need to lift up to God in prayer? And when will I do that?


Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who follow His Son to the fulfillment of our lives. May we seek to live in His kingdom here on this earth.


Check out my two websites: patsaidadams.com and deepeningyourfaith.com.


Two Announcements

  1. I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at patsadams@gmail.com and I will email it to you, free of charge.
  2. My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.


[1] Edward W. Goodrick &  John R. Kohlenberger III, Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance, 2nd edition, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999

[2] https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/fulfillment

[3] Love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and humility. Galatians 5:22-23

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