Fighting for one goal. Sounds good. But it is not always easy.
Last month my family visited Washington on the Brazos; the Birthplace of Texas. It was here the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. At the time Texas belonged to Mexico, but the Texians decided they could no longer live under the rule of the pompous, tyrannical, ego maniacal Antonio López de Santa Anna. So they took necessary steps to break free.
As we sat in the Texas Independence Hall and listened to the docent explain about the signing of the declaration of Texas independence, he said the signers disliked each other yet put their differences aside to fight together for a common goal. Freedom from tyranny.
Another example of men who set aside their differences and worked together to fight for one goal is Christ’s twelve disciples. Talk about a bunch of guys who didn’t particularly care for each other. Regardless of the disciples differences, they banded together to fight for one common goal; spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ. Together they stood against a tyrannical egomaniac, Satan.
Among the original twelve disciples we have Andrew, Peter, James, and John who were fishermen. Peter was the impetuous one. John, the one whom Jesus loved. James was called a Son of Thunder. Andrew brought his friend Philip to meet Jesus. Philip brought his friend Nathaniel.
Matthew was a hated tax collector for the Romans. The Jews considered Matthew a social outcast. Simon the Zealot was an enthusiastic Jewish patriot. Some might call him a far-left radical. Thomas became known as a doubter. John called Judas a greedy thief, traitor, betrayer, a devil used by Satan. (John 6:70-71)
Lesser known Thaddeus, Bartholomew, and James the son of Alphaeus round out the twelve.
After Judas hung himself, the disciples chose Matthias to replace Judas. As Saul/Paul, a leader in the Jewish religion who persecuted Christians, walked on the road to Damascus, Jesus chose him. (Acts 9).
Some disciples worked the front lines with name recognition. Some worked behind the scenes in obscurity. Some were at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Some had moments of greatness followed by moments of absolute failure. Some had failure before greatness.
Just as Jesus does with us today, he used each disciples’ abilities, strengths, frailties, and failures for his purposes. Jesus took these individuals with different personalities and temperaments, melded them together with one common goal, and used their strengths and weaknesses to form a more complete, functioning unit.
As we fight for one goal and work for Jesus, we may be the one speaking in front of the crowd. We may be the one organizing the group. We may be the one offering support and encouragement from the sidelines.
We may have a hot temper, be submissive, be politically outspoken, have a head for numbers, or be willing to work wherever we’re told. It really doesn’t matter as long as we are willing to set aside our personal agendas and preferences, unite together with other Christ followers to fight for one goal, allow God to bring us alongside the diverse group of individuals he has chosen, and work together to accomplish the work he sets before us.
Let’s not allow our differences to keep us from joining hands. Instead, let’s put aside our differences and fight together for a common goal against the tyranny of Satan that the world may know Christ the crucified Lamb of God.
Here are the names of his twelve disciples: Simon (also called Peter), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James (Zebedee’s son), John (James’s brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (Alphaeus’s son), Thaddaeus, Simon (a member of “The Zealots,” a subversive political party), Judas Iscariot (the one who betrayed him). Matthew 10:2-4 (TLB)
You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
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