Richard Whitaker- Discipleship and Connections Pastor LHBC
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. (ESV) John 1:35-42
In Stephen Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” we find his often quoted success habit: “Begin with the end in mind.” Covey observed that effective people intentionally arrange their daily life rhythms in a way that makes achieving their goals possible. In other words, starting out right is crucial to finishing well.
Now, just three years prior to his crucifixion, Jesus begins with his earthly departure in mind. Instead of moving forward alone, Jesus chooses to start his world saving mission by inviting ordinary people to join him. A group with whom he could share life, equip for service, and ultimately pass on the ministry after his death and resurrection. In love, Jesus knew back then that saving us from our trespasses and sins required partnering with others to pass along his grand plan of redemption to future generations.
Do you see how Jesus first invited John the Baptist’s disciples into a relationship? Instead of merely giving them directions to where he lived, we see Jesus inviting the curious two on a little walk so they could see for themselves. When they arrived, Jesus was not hurried, but made time for them, gifting them a full day of fellowship with him.
We have a Savior who so delights in people that it’s infectious. Full of excitement, Andrew responds by finding his brother, Simon (Peter), and sharing the news that they had “found the Messiah”! The urgency and delight of finding the long awaited “Lamb of God” demanded that Andrew bring his brother to see Jesus in person.
In the same way as these first disciples, Jesus is calling us today. Jesus invites us, as ordinary people, to start by resting in his welcoming presence. He calls us to devote ourselves to life in community with others. If Jesus carried out his earthly ministry in community with others, then how much more should we?
Today, let’s begin with the end in mind by considering the joy of meeting Jesus in heaven. Imagine spending the day with him, reflecting on years of obediently living on mission – in community with others. As a Spirit-filled Christ follower, you have so much to offer your neighbors and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Move forward in your journey to meet Jesus by inviting your neighbors into your home and starting a friendship. When they come, they will see Jesus in you. For all of eternity they’ll be glad that you began, like Jesus, with the end in mind.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I’m glad that you pursued me when I was still dead in my trespasses and sins. Change my heart toward my neighbors and help me pursue friendships with them as I make changes to my life rhythms to make room for hospitality. Make my home a place of rest for the weary and may they find you when they share life with me. In Jesus name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.