As we look back at Mark 3 I want just to pick out two verses (maybe because when I looked back at my last post it was quite long!).
When Jesus called the twelve he called them with a threefold focus: Up, In and Out. He called them firstly to be with him. Mk 3:14 “And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him.” The first calling of the disciples was to be with Jesus and so it is with us, our first calling is to be with Jesus (Up). For the first disciples that meant they spent time walking with Jesus, talking with him, eating meals with him, listening to his teaching and watching & experiencing the miraculous with Jesus. What does it mean for you to be with Jesus? It isn't something for one day a week or for an hour on a Sunday morning in a Victorian church building. It means being with Jesus every day, it means reading his love letters to you in the Bible, it means spending time talking to him every day.
Are you spending time with Jesus, what does it look like for you?
Notice that Jesus didn't just call one disciple, he called a group of disciples, their next calling was to be with each other (In). Jesus never told people to be or to work on their own, when he sends the disciples out in Mark 6 he sends them out in pairs. He even sends two disciples to fetch a donkey in Matthew 21! We are not to be on our own, we need to be with others. Be in a small group, meet with other Christians, work with other Christians, drink coffee with other Christians, eat meals with other Christians, live life with other Christians.
Are you living life with other Christians, what does that look like for you?
The third part of the calling of the first disciples, and our calling, is to witness in words and deeds to the love and power of Jesus (Out). Mark 3:14-15 “And He appointed twelve … that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons.” Our calling is the same: to preach, proclaim or be a herald of God's love and life. So we are called to use words, and speak of Jesus to others. But not just to use words, we are called to demonstrate God's love in the power and authority he gives us as his ambassadors here on earth.
Sadly many Christians live a two dimensional life, living Up and In, but not Out. What we don't realise is that it is only as we live Out that we can truly live Up and In. I've heard Christians say they need more teaching, more nurture, they need to get to know God better before they witness to others. But that is back to front, it is only when we open our mouths and reach out our hands to those who don't know Jesus that we really grow and get to know God better.
How are you proclaiming and demonstrating God's live to those who don't know him? What does that look like in your life today?