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From Disciple to Apostle

Daily Reading: Matthew 10

Scripture Focus: And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are... (Matthew 10.1-2a)

Devotional Thought: Relationships change. There comes a point when a person moves from being an acquaintance to being a friend or from being a fiancé to being a spouse. Our relationship with Jesus is like that. We move deeper and deeper into intimacy with him. We see that happening in Matthew 10 when Jesus called his twelve disciples to him, but sent them out as twelve apostles.

What's the big deal?

Well, a disciple is a student, a learner, or a follower. We become disciples immediately when we decide to follow Jesus. But, what is an apostle? Strong's Concordance defines apostle as "a messenger, envoy, delegate, one commissioned by another to represent him in some way." How did the disciples become apostles? That's easy to answer when we look at what happened between those two designations: Jesus "gave them authority..."

The real question for each of us is this: "Will I be content to be a disciple, or will I press on to become an apostle?" I am not talking about taking some special place of power and prestige. That is contrary to the values of the Kingdom. What I mean is this - will I make myself available to Jesus to do his work under his authority? The answer to that depends upon our surrender. In order to receive the Lord's work we must rest from our own. In order to represent the Lord's purpose, we must lay down our own purpose. Then he gives us authority. The relationship changes.

God is constantly calling us, as he called Moses: "Come up here." What is your response to him?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you have called me to be a follower, a disciple of yours. Help me to follow you - to the place of complete surrender. May your purposes become mine. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and power. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 "How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince." 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations! (Psalms 82:1-8)

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