This started with a thought about Jesus and how he selected His 12 disciples. I looked it up in the Bible and was emotional thinking about how amazing Jesus is. He really is an excellent role model of how we ought to live each day. We walk around like we are so wise and capable all on our own, but Jesus always understood the importance of putting God First in all He did.
We need to understand that without God at the core of our lives, we are really just grasping at straws.
You may argue, well a lot of non-Christians are successful. Are they really though? What do you really know about them, other than the “things” they show on the outside. For me success is not measured by simply counting money, wealth or things.
See Luke 6:12-16
Jesus was about to choose His 12 apostles (teachers) and before He did this, He spent a few hours the night before praying to God. Wow! I don’t know about you, but I know reading this I questioned my current prayer life.
“Now at this time Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came, He called His disciples and selected twelve of them, whom He also named apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives)”
LUKE 6:12-13 AMP
He understood the significance of the decision He was about to make the next day and not taking it lightly, He chose to spend some time in the presence of His Holy Father. He truly understood the importance of being connected with the Almighty.
He understood His Source of power, wisdom, clarity, vision.
Another thing that jumps out in this passage is the importance of who we surround ourselves with. Though it is clear that He had many others who were following Him, Jesus needed to identify a specific 12 – these men would stay closest to Him and would learn from Him in order to continue His works after His resurrection. In my own words, these were to be His “Clique”
This speaks to the importance of having God in every decision we make and how essential it is that we don’t take lightly the people we surround ourselves with. If your core crew are not inspiring you? If they are not encouraging you? If they are not helping you keep your eyes focused on Jesus, then you need to reassess your surroundings and consider an exit strategy.
And when you find your “clique” be sure that you are not using this as an elitist mechanism to exclude others or act/feel superior to anyone. Remember:
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
For those on the outside looking in, you can admire, but be careful not to covetously desire to being “in”/accepted or included within.
Every group or “clique” could serve Kingdom purposes and each is equipped with unique sets of gifts and talents that are helpful for building up the Church and Kingdom of God.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Ultimately the most important part of all this is keeping Jesus at the center of it all. When we surrender to Him, He flows through us, so that we can effectively pour out into others who need it and help others come to God. Thereby expanding the Church/Kingdom.
Remember if Christ is not at the core, then how can this be any different from the kinds of “cliques” out in today’s world. Never forget we are called to live Christ-like not just by words alone, but in our actions too.
Because with Jesus we have love, kindness, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, honesty and self-control.
Yes, we aren’t perfect – we can’t be. Yes we are only human. Yes we have Grace. But none of it should be an excuse to choose a mediocre existence. We should always keep our eyes on Jesus who is the Ultimate, Most Beautiful, Most Precious Prize.
The most striking part of this Luke chapter 6 happened soon after Jesus had selected His 12 apostles. I had never made that connection before.
“All the people were trying to touch Him, because [healing] power was coming from Him and healing them all.”
LUKE 6:19 AMP
Jesus left his prayer time powerfully charged (This is where I wished I had emoticons! How powerful!!!!)
I know that God loves us and He wants us to connect with Him deeply and consistently. It is for our good and not for our harm.
The key points I identified
1. To put God first in all my life’s decisions – even the littlest things. Eyes only on Jesus.
2. Make prayer a primary part of my daily life;
3. As with 2, understand that in picking core friendships I want to let God lead me;
4. Never strive to be accepted or acknowledged by anyone/”clique” because I know that I serve a unique purpose designated by God, instead I keep my focus on reflecting the Love of God equally to everyone I encounter. I do want to be a part of the right “clique”/Kingdom crew, but I understand that in time I’ll find it, a group where we are focused on Jesus who fuels us and where we sharpen each other for the Glory of God #irononiron
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” Prov 27:17 (NLT)
Will you choose today to put God first in all you do?
Will you try to make prayer a part of your daily life?
Next time you see a “clique” will you remember that it’s okay because they serve a unique purpose. Will you remember that you shouldn’t envy or strive for acceptance within.
Will you choose to always focus on sharing the Love of God with others?
Will you focus on understanding your unique gifts from God and pray to identify those who are the ideal friendships for your purpose?
Will you remember to only keep your eyes on Jesus?
“Let your search be for the Lord and for His Strength; let your hearts ever be turned to Him”
1 Chronicles 16:11