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Apprenticed — 5 Comments

  1. Lilliane, thank you so much for reminding us that just going to church and "studying" is not where it's at.

    For those of us who feel unprepared, the example of the demoniacs out of whom Jesus cast a legion of demons is encouraging:

    "...the restored demoniacs... desired the company of their deliverer. In His presence they felt secure from the demons that had tormented their lives and wasted their manhood. As Jesus was about to enter the boat, they kept close to His side, knelt at His feet, and begged Him to keep them near Him, where they might ever listen to His words. But Jesus bade them go home and tell what great things the Lord had done for them.

    Here was a work for them to do,--to go to a heathen home, and tell of the blessing they had received from Jesus. It was hard for them to be separated from the Saviour. Great difficulties were sure to beset them in association with their heathen countrymen. And their long isolation from society seemed to have disqualified them for the work He had indicated. But as soon as Jesus pointed out their duty they were ready to obey. Not only did they tell their own households and neighbors about Jesus, but they went throughout Decapolis, everywhere declaring His power to save, and describing how He had freed them from the demons. In doing this work they could receive a greater blessing than if, merely for benefit to themselves, they had remained in His presence. It is in working to spread the good news of salvation that we are brought near to the Saviour.

    The two restored demoniacs were the first missionaries whom Christ sent to preach the gospel in the region of Decapolis. For a few moments only these men had been privileged to hear the teachings of Christ. Not one sermon from His lips had ever fallen upon their ears. They could not instruct the people as the disciples who had been daily with Christ were able to do. But they bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God.

    From Desire of Ages, pp. 339, 340. The whole chapter is great reading. (Clicking on the link will get you there.)

    When we realize that what Jesus wants most from us is to share what He has done for us, it isn't so hard. We need to get rid of the idea that we have to tell people to quit smoking or to go to church on Saturday, etc. None of that means anything until they know Jesus and His love. And those are best taught by example and our sharing what Jesus means to us and what He has done for us. Before anyone can understand the love of Jesus, they need to see love "with skin on it" in the person of one of His disciples.

    • Lillianne and Inge, thank you for actually telling us what we are supposed to do! I think the most needed thing is our willingness to accept Jesus that through the power of Holy Spirit we will be able to WALK AND WORK with HIM.

      People want to see how do we walk & work with the One we preach about. That is how the gospel we are preaching has changed/impacted our lives!

  2. Thank you for sharing your perspective Lillianne. It is good to be a disciple, an apprentice, a life long learner and follower of JESUS!

    You are a great writer. One lesson I have learned as a servant leader is to keep my eyes on Jesus, keep my focus in God's Word and remember there will be hardships (criticism, negativity and rejection) but all is worth it as we prepare for God's Kingdom. Come soon Jesus, may your laborers be faithful to your reaping of the harvest!

  3. Wow, what a powerful lesson. Their is so much to back this up in scripture and in life. I was a licensed Barber, when I started there were no books I new of that I could learn from to teach me to cut hair, for years I said I would learn to cut hair, but fear of messing up kept me on the sidelines. One day an old friend, may He rest in peace, said watch me and the rest of the Barbers in his shop for a week and give it a try. Well I tried just that, then I tried it on my own. I must admit, there where a few disappointed men that left the shop, but the more practice the better I got, and it couldn't have been a year later I had my own shop, which is another great testimony all its own, and I became one of the city's greats, and a lot of those disappointed customers from the shop where I began became some of my best customers. I went through the same thing in Ministry. I started well then I got knocked down and couldn't get up for a while, But praise God I got up again, a couple of years ago, and this lesson has just encouraged me in my fisher of men apprenticeship... God bless...

    • Al, thank you for your testimony and experience in life. I wish our church would stop thinking that we know everything and take some simple lessons from everyday life and apply them.

      When I was in my twenties I tried sales work probably because my dad was a salesman. I was never successful as one so I tried a lot of companies hoping to find one that I could do, mostly door to door sales, you know, Fuller brush, vacuum cleaner sales, encyclopedia sales, etc.

      Every single one of them would spend time in a classroom sort of setting and go over the canned presentation and told me to memorize it. Next they sent me out with a successful salesman and for a whole day all I would do is observe how he did it. Then, for several days after he would go with me and help me when I stumbled and after each visit he would give me pointers on what to do and not do.

      That is what is called training and it is very successful in the world of business which of course is what our church has basically decided not to do. Jesus also sent His disciples out by two's which for some reason we feel isn't good enough for us because we know better. . . I sure wish we would wake up instead of numbly looking at the total lack of success and wondering why things are the way they are.

      Sure, there are people out there that are natural to doing what we are commanded to do but most of us are not and those that try are, in many cases, not supported which becomes so depressing that most of them simply give up.

      In all of my some 35 years as an Adventist only one person ever took the initiative to ask me to go along with him in order to teach me how to give a bible study. Unfortunately, he didn't know how to do it properly himself so my only training ended up being zero.

      It doesn't just stop with the lay people either. Not too many years ago in a sister church in the same pastoral district of the church I was attending had an evangelistic series. The evangelist took our pastor along and showed him how to do visitation. That pastor told me that he was so grateful for that and that he learned some very useful things that he was unaware of. What shocked me most was that he, like most pastors in North America, had a master degree from Andrews in one of ministerial programs required by the conference at the time.

      On the other hand my church had an evangelistic meeting several years later and the evangelist (a different one) absolutely refused to take our pastor along because in his mind pastors didn't know how to do soul winning. Furthermore, he was very vocal about all the bad experiences he had with other pastors. But it gets worse; the first evangelist was visiting some of the people that were obviously not ready for the series of meetings so he decided to take the time to lay some solid ground work for a future series (seed planting). Unfortunately, again, the conference that employed him didn't like his track record for baptisms and fired him as an evangelist.

      Now, while that happened to him the second evangelist had whole lot of baptisms at the end of his series for which he was highly praised, however, the candidates were never told they were being baptized into the church, further; they were all attached to him rather than to Christ so as soon as he left they did also. I wonder who actually did the will of Him who is in Heaven. I also wonder why our church can't seem to learn from Christ's ministry on earth and from Paul who also trained the people who were with him.


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