5 January 2018

Hi it’s Mick – welcome to Friday’s Podcast. I hope are finding these Podcasts helpful as you look to live out your faith in Jesus every day. If so, why not pass on these Podcast/website details to someone you know who might find them helpful – share the blessing!

REFLECTION

Our Podcast reflections in this first week of 2018 have been focused on our relationship with God – our personal walk with Jesus. We began on Monday with Kingdom – ‘the time has come … the Kingdom is here’ – God’s new way of living has arrived. On Tuesday God’s call – “follow me,” says Jesus. Wednesday, prayer – the discipline of spending time with God. Yesterday, kindness – Jesus reaching out to Levi with simple kindness and changing his life. Today Mark 3:1-19, Disciple – the simple model of living this Jesus life. Listen to v13-15:

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

What is a disciple? The Greek word often used in the New Testament to describe a follower of Jesus is ‘mathetes’ – it means learner or more specifically ‘apprentice’. An apprentice is a practical person; someone who learns a skill from someone more experienced, puts it into practice and makes a difference. What a great way to describe our Christian journey – putting the Jesus life into practice, living it out everyday and so making a difference in our world.

How do we do this? Look again what Mark says – Jesus calls his followers, they respond and come to him and he appoints them to go out and live his life and make a difference. I am a Christian; I am a disciple, a Jesus apprentice and have been now for many years. At the beginning of every new year I still look to refocus my life on Jesus. To recommit myself to live his life, to have his values, vision and purposes in my life. To remember again, as with those followers on that hillside that he has called me and appointed me to live his life every day wherever he puts me, with his authority to speak and act in his name. To again count the cost as I follow his call. What about you?

It’s week one in 2018. I wonder if you have any plans for this year – I know some are better at this than others. It is good to make plans but I, like you, have absolutely no idea what this year might hold; family, finances, future, health, work, relationships, hopes, dreams the list goes on – top tip, get your holidays booked in early! We don’t know what this year’s holds but we do know who holds this year in his hands. Jesus was faithful to those first disciples on that hillside as he called them to follow him and sent them into the world to be heavenly channels – by their words and actions to bring heaven to earth and make a difference.

How do I keep close to Jesus this year? Here are some simple top tips – read your Bible, pray, be in church community, play your part in building community that makes a difference. Be determined to be the ‘kindness people’ in a world that is starved of kindness and hope. Be encouraged, as you listen to daily Podcasts like this, that in 2018 you are part of a Godly inspired movement of love – Jesus people are everywhere! In 2018 commit again to Christ! As we follow him this year, he WILL be faithful to me and you and those we love and our lives will make a difference!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I am your disciple. I commit myself to you again this year. As you bless me and those I love let me be your blessing to others. Amen.

READING: MARK 3:1-19

Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, ‘Stand up in front of everyone.’

Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve 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.