Ambitious James?

As with the previous chapters so far, I’m certainly picking up on a few tidbits of information that I didn’t necessarily see the first time reading our book, “Twelve Ordinary Men”.  This week is another prime example.

Our reading this week covers chapter 4, James: The Apostle of Passion.  Admittedly, I skimmed most of the chapter for this week’s preparation but my mind focused in about mid-way through when our author describes the ambition of both James and John (and their mother, Salome).  More specifically, it seems like the brothers felt as part of Jesus’ inner circle that they were well-deserving of sitting on the kingdom’s throne alongside Jesus.  In fact, Salome is described as a willing participant in the notion of directly asking our Savior for those seats.

Jesus, however, replies, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with…” (MacArthur, p. 91)

So….if that’s not the ultimate “can you walk the walk or just talk the talk” then I don’t know what is!

David Parker leads us this week as we go over the story of James.  Great reading well beyond the sample story I mentioned above.

Join us this week, beginning at 7:30 am at the Cornwell Center for fellowship.  David will start our lesson promptly at 7:45 am.


Living in his brother’s shadow??

Happy Thursday….!

Our reading this week takes us to Andrew, brother of (Simon) Peter.  Read Chapter 3: Andrew–the Apostle of Small Things.

Some of you, like me, grew up with a sibling, perhaps a brother or two.  The Bible is not clear about who is older, Simon (Peter) or Andrew, but all indications seem to point that Peter was the elder of the two.  He’s more polished, shows more leadership, and quickly becomes Jesus’ right hand man.

As we’ll learn this week, however, it’s Andrew who makes the initial introduction of Jesus to his brother, Peter.  Andrew hears about Jesus from John the Baptist, and then has a period of following Jesus, and then alerts Peter that “we have found the Messiah”.

It’s almost as if Andrew wants to lay claim to finding Jesus….first.

“Look at me….look at me,” is maybe what Andrew runs telling his brother.

But we know how the story unfolds, right.

Poor Andrew…...

Ironically, as our author points out, Andrew (just like Peter) was perfectly suited for his calling:

“….Andrew may be a better model for most church leaders (today) than Peter, because most who enter the ministry will labor in relative obscurity, like Andrew, as opposed to being renowned and prominent, like Peter…”

Chapter 3, p. 64, “Twelve Ordinary Men”

Much more on Andrew on Friday!

Gather beginning at 7:30 am.  Jason Schubert will kick off the lesson at 7:45 am.

See you then!

The Two-Named Leader of the Disciples

This week, our study picks up on the man few would argue against as the leader of the twelve: Simon Peter….or simply, Peter.

I picked up on something new while reading Chapter 2 of our study (this week’s assignment).  Our author talks about the two names for Christ’s “Rock”.  Simon and Peter.  Throughout the gospels, Peter is sometimes referred to as “Simon”; other times as “Peter”; and even fewer times as “Simon Peter”.

John 1:43 describes Jesus’ first face-to-face meeting with Simon Peter:

“Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon, the son of Jonah.  You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).”

So, “Simon” refers to the old ways; the brash, vacillating, and undependable fisherman.

And, “Peter” refers to the person Jesus wanted him to be.

MacArthur writes:

“He wanted the nickname to be a perpetual reminder to him about who he should be.  And from that point on, whatever Jesus called him sent a subtle message.  If He called him Simon, He was signaling him that he was acting like his old self.  If He called him Rock, He was commending him for acting the way he ought to be acting.”

Maybe more of us should go through life with two names; one that describes when we’re acting less than our potential; and the other when we’re leaning towards greatness.

What would your two names be?

Rob Miller leads us this week as we dig more into Peter from the Chapter 2 reading.  Fellowship begins at 7:30 am.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am.  Cornwell Center.

I’ll see you then!

12 No-bodies who became Some-bodies!

Lots of excitement among our group this week as we kick off (or re-kick-off) a new series, Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur.  For some of the group’s veterans, this is a re-do, of sorts.  For others, it’s a great study that remains a favorite by most of our men.

Selfishly, I looked up the introduction from this study I posted in January, 2018 and pasted it below.  The instructions then are still relevant this week:

This week, our homework is to read the Introduction and Chapter 1 (“Common Men, Uncommon Calling”).

As you read this week’s assignment, think about a few things:

  • First, Jesus chooses the twelve not because they were famous, smart, powerful or even wealthy.  Why do you think this was the case?
  • Next, read 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and write down the qualities that Paul says are prerequisites for being a leader in the local church.  Think about which of those qualities would not have been present in the disciples when Jesus first chose them.
  • Finally, how can we balance out the understanding that God delights in choosing ordinary nobodies (like us) but yet has high expectations for us at the same time?

Lots to cover this week and it’s a long reading.  Remember to break it apart, if you must, and save time to go ponder the three questions above.

Finally, with new study comes the opportunity to invite someone to join us.  I’d encourage you to extend the invitation today!

See you this Friday, SEP 6th at The Cornwell Center.  Gather starting at 7:30 am.  We’ll launch into this week’s lesson at 7:45 am.