Caleb Club – A ministry for Senior Saints

Caleb Club Cover Wrap

The Caleb Club is a spiritual and benevolent club for seniors who are dedicated to returning America back to her Christian roots.

The Caleb club is a for people of retirement age who are dedicated to undergirding the ministry of their local church through prayer, fasting, mentoring, witnessing and giving.

How it works:
There are four success principles upon which the Caleb club rests.  Each principle works to build a successful church by using one of the churches most under-utilized resources, senior citizens.

  • Recruit to a great cause
  • Train in Christian ministry
  • Equip with good tools
  • Hold to a high standard of accountability


The Book

 

The Caleb club will show how anyone can begin this personal ministry of enlisting senior citizens.Caleb cried, “give me this mountain.” Our cry, “give us back our nation.”God promised that if his people would repent and turn from their selfish and self-centered ways, He would heal their land.We seniors allowed our nation to slip away from God! It is our responsibility to lead our nation back to God.Get started today by joining the Caleb Club.You will learn the principles of fasting
  • You will learn what the principles of fasting are
  • You will be challenged to commit to fasting one meal
  • You will be challenged to commit to fast for one day each week or longer

You will lean to pray more effectively

  • Set an exact time or times each day to pray
  • Become part of a prayer support team
  • Become part of the pastoral intercessory prayer team

You will learn to become an effective witness

  • You will learn the Biblical method of witnessing
  • You will learn to overcome your awkwardness in witnessing and share your faith with confidence
  • You will learn the importance of being a prayer worker while others are out witnessing

You will learn how to give effectively

  • Giving of your time is just as important as giving financially
  • Giving financially to God will produce blessings
  • Those who can give and those who go will share alike in the reward
The Caleb Club
$5.95

POINTERS ON SERVING GOD

Serve-God-Faithfully-Web

Introduction: It is the author’s firm conviction after observing and working with church members over the past 65 years that many of God’s children have never learned their spiritual phonics and do not understand who they are and how to serve God acceptably.  The biggest problem with this writing is to keep it short and simple.  The Bible is man’s life manual and he is commanded to study it continually, II Timothy 2:15.  The Bible promises to completely furnish man with wisdom in every realm of his life, II Timothy 3:16-17.

This lesson is just a few pointers to the child of God and will enable him to understand the basic steps of getting started in the main things of being a good, obedient Christian.

          1. You are the steward over your life and not the owner or boss, I Corinthians 6:19-20.  Paul seemed surprised that the Corinthian Christians didn’t realize that they had become servants and not the lord or boss in their lives when he wrote, “WHAT? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2. You were created to serve God and give Him pleasure.  God gave you life and allows you to live on His earth and wants you to be happy.  John 10:10 reveals this principle: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Serve-the-Lord

But in order for you to obtain this happiness you must strive to please God and give Him pleasure, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were 

Paul gives the Corinthian Christians a simple rule to follow which will give God pleasure and bring them happiness in I Corinthians 10:31.created.

Since you are not your own then judge everything you do in the light of whether or not it is pleasing to God.  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

3. You were sent into the world for a distinct reason or purpose.  Many times a person thinks he was saved so he would not go to Hell and begins to enjoy the benefits and fellowship of God’s people.  He gets saved and then begins to put his job and personal desires before his service to God.  Apostle Peter was thrilled with his new Christian life and wanted to return to his old job of being a commercial fisherman.  Jesus, in essence, said, “No, Peter, I saved you for a purpose.”

In fact, Paul tells Timothy that God has sent every one of us into the world for a particular job or purpose in II Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

4. You are saved to walk in His ways.  God finds a person who is condemned, lost in sin, and who will spend eternity suffering in Hell and saves him totally by grace.  Then God offers him grace and wisdom to walk in the ways of peace and purpose.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

5. To live this Christian life successfully it will require the following:successful-living

 a. Commitment on the part of the Believer.  Joshua made a strong commitment to service when he said, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 We must make the same commitment if we are going to please God.

b. Surrender to the Lord Jesus.  The Apostle Paul knew how determined people were to do their own thing instead of surrendering to do God’s will when he pled with the Romans in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

c. Dying to self and to one’s desires.  God has a good, perfect and acceptable plan for your life.  It will cause you to have the abundant life and be fulfilled and happy.  But in order to obtain that good, perfect and acceptable life one must die to self.  Paul revealed this truth when he said, “I die daily.” I Corinthians 15:31b

God described the occasion in His servant David’s life when David gave up his will and totally surrendered his life to God.  The Bible describes this moment as precious, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:15

6. You were saved to learn to walk by faith and serve God.  Man has a tendency to look at things around him which causes him to draw back in unbelief.  God wants man to learn His Word, and by faith obey it.  The statement, the just [saved] are to walk by faith, is found many times in God’s Word.  In fact, the Bible declares that, without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], Hebrews 11:6.  The Apostle John stated that faith is the victory which overcomes the world, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4

7. You will have to stand all by yourself at the Judgment Seat and give an account of how you lived to God.

a. God inspired Solomon to give his life as an experiment and find out why man is on the earth and how man should live in the book of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon gives the conclusion of why man is on the earth in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

b. Jesus could come at any time to judge and reward His people.  In I Corinthians 3:8 Paul states that every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor, “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”  Those who showed no mercy by trying to win the lost or help the poor, unfortunate people will have no mercy at the Judgment Seat, but severe punishment, “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” James 2:13

c. God longs to say, well done thou good and faithful servant to every child of God when He comes.  But in order for Him to say thou good and faithful servant, one must first be a good and faithful servant.

d. The Bible teaches that how you live on this earth for 1000 years during the millennium will be determined by how you serve God in your Christian life today.  Some will live in a big house with servants and a place of distinction, while others will live in regret in a lowly position of servitude.  This is the reason God admonishes every child of God to work out his salvation with fear and trembling, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12

By following these simple pointers God has allowed me to live a fruitful and happy life the past 65 years.  These principles from the Bible worked for me and they will work for you.  God is not a respecter of persons.

Hallowed Be Thy Name – Almighty God is the Believers’s Father

The following is chapter Three of the Book – Grandpa Teach Me to Pray

Grandpa Teach Me To Pray

Grandpa Teach Me to Pray

Grandpa, Teach Me to Pray
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LESSON THREE

 

HALLOWED BE THY NAME

ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE BELIEVER’S FATHER

 

“Hello, Timmy boy, who’s your little friend?”

“Oh, Grandpa,” answered Sarah, Tim’s younger sister. “Tim came home so enthused and excited about what he learned that I decided that he wasn’t going to have all the fun. And besides, I learned the memory verse before he did.” And with that she repeated Ephesians 3:20, only when she got to the word him, she inserted (my heavenly father.)

“Now unto my heavenly father that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (+)

Grandpa applauded her effort and said, “Welcome, the more the merrier.”

Tim burst into the conversation by saying, “Grandpa, when we began to read the model prayer we started a verse or two above where the model prayer began.  And you know what?”

 

“What?” Grandpa answered.

 

“From the beginning of chapter 6 verse one through the 18 verses Jesus referred to God as “Father” TEN TIMES.” (+)

“and..,” Sarah interrupted her brother, “he would always put a personal pronoun in front of Father, ‘Thy Father’ or ‘Your Father.’ Which means that Jesus really wants us to view or picture the Almighty God of heaven, not as some far off distant God who is busy running the universe, but he wants us to approach him as our father who loves us.”(+) “Hello, Timmy boy, who’s your little friend?”

“Oh, Grandpa,” answered Sarah, Tim’s younger sister. “Tim came home so enthused and excited about what he learned that I decided that he wasn’t going to have all the fun. And besides, I learned the memory verse before he did.” And with that she repeated Ephesians 3:20, only when she got to the word him, she inserted (my heavenly father.)

“Now unto my heavenly father that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (+)

Grandpa applauded her effort and said, “Welcome, the more the merrier.”

Tim burst into the conversation by saying, “Grandpa, when we began to read the model prayer we started a verse or two above where the model prayer began.  And you know what?”

“What?” Grandpa answered.

“From the beginning of chapter 6 verse one through the 18 verses Jesus referred to God as “Father” TEN TIMES.” (+)

“and..,” Sarah interrupted her brother, “he would always put a personal pronoun in front of Father, ‘Thy Father’ or ‘Your Father.’ Which means that Jesus really wants us to view or picture the Almighty God of heaven, not as some far off distant God who is busy running the universe, but he wants us to approach him as our father who loves us.”(+)

 

“Kids,” Grandpa interrupted, “Let me add a little fuel to your excitement, Sarah, I see that you have your Bible with you. Turn to Romans 8:15 and read it

“For we have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear,” read Sarah, “but we have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, father.”

Both young peoples eyes were focused on their Grandfather’s face waiting for his explanation. He began by saying, “This verse teaches the Spirit of prayer. Notice, whereby we cry, Abba which is the dearest term for father. Abba is not the formal term, Father, but the endearing term “Daddy.” (+)  It is used like a little child looking up into her father’s face and pleading, ‘daddy please’.”

“Grandpa, that’s great.” Commented Tim.

“No, that is awesome, to think that God, our father really wants us to come to him in prayer,” injected Sarah. “And he wants us to begin our prayer one remembering that we are talking to our daddy.” (+)

 

FATHER IS USED 146 TIMES

            “Kids, since we are discussing coming to God in prayer as our father may I ask you to use your computer.”

“Use our computer, Grandpa?” came Tim’s surprised inquiry.

“Why,” ask Sarah.

 

“Get your Bible program that your mom and dad used to check scriptural facts and to compare Scriptures.”

“And do what,” ask Sarah a little impatiently.

 

“Check on how many times the word of a derivative of the word ‘Father’ is used by Jesus.”

“Remember that in the Gospel of John Jesus is referred to as the Word.”  (+)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.  John 1:1-3.” quoted Sarah.

 

“Grandpa, I never understood why they called Jesus, The Word.”  said Tim.

“Words are used to express the thoughts and feelings of a person.  Jesus was called the Word because he came to express the love and nature of God through his teaching and life. (+)  He came to show the world what God was like through his daily life and teaching.”

“But back to my question,” said Grandpa. “How many times do you think Jesus referred to or called God his Father?”

“20,” came Sarah’s guess.

“More than that,” answered Grandpa.

“50,” said Tim.

“Double that number,” Grandpa said.

“100?” replied Sarah.

 

“I still want you to look it up for yourself but in order to illustrate and emphasize God as your Father, I will tell you now.  Jesus referred to God as his Father either directly or indirectly a total of 146 times in the Gospel of John. (+)  The reason I want you to look it up yourself is to see that figure is accurate and to see the different ways and times that Jesus referred to God as His Father.

“No doubt he was emphasizing what he taught the apostles in the model prayer in order to get that fact into their minds.  They would think of God as their Father

instead of thinking of him JUST as God.” (+)

“Another reason, no doubt, God is seeking fellowship with his children as is attempting to get them to look up to him and rely on him as children rely upon their dad.” (+)

“146 times, that is almost unbelievable,” commented Tim in wonderment.

“Jesus is really working to get His point across and teach us to learn and accept that God is our Father,” remarked Sarah. (+)


COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF GRACE

            “Tim, you were going to say something your mother taught you, “ reminded Grandpa.

“Oh yes, mom pointed out a Scripture that states that God wants us to come boldly unto the throne of grace…,” stated Timmy.(+)

“Throne of grace is where God hears our prayers,” explained grandpa to Sarah who had a puzzled look on her face. “In fact, the rest of the verse explains why we are to come to the throne of grace-that we may attain help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)  Our father wants to hear from us and help us.” (+)

HELP IN TIME OF NEED

 

“Sarah,” said Grandpa, “I’m sorry, but what does it mean?  We may attain help in time of need?”

“It probably means that God is always there to help – in every situation and problem,” offered Tim.  “I read a scripture where Jesus said that men ought always to pray and faint not.”

Sarah answered, “I believe that God answers prayer, but that statement sounds like God somehow or another helps people especially when they are praying.  Is that right?”            “That’s exactly right Sarah.  Sometimes a Christian just doesn’t know which way God wants him to go, or he gets into a trial and is really hurting.  He doesn’t know what or who to believe.  It is here that God, your Father, gives someone to help you in time of need.”  (+)

“Someone like you, Grandpa?  I know you really have helped me — many times,” said Tim.

“God may use me or your parents or someone else, take your pastor or a friend, to help you.  But God offers greater help than humans can give.”

“Really Grandpa, who?” ask Sarah.

“The Holy Spirit,” answered Grandpa.  “You see, no human can see the innermost thoughts of a person.  They cannot see the hurt or the fear or pain a person may be experiencing; But God can.”

Many times we don’t know what to pray for or we don’t have the words to express our inner feelings.  But your Heavenly Father sees your thoughts, your

indecision, yes and even your confusion and he dispatches someone to help. (+)

“I believe what you are saying and I believe it,” commented Tim.  “But is there a clear Scripture which states that?”

“Good boy, Tim,” congratulated Grandpa.  “Always turn to the Bible for the foundation of truth or doctrine.  Sarah, turn to Rom. 8:26-27.”

Sarah read, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

After Sarah finished reading, Tim stated, “Wow! Grandpa.  Everything you stated are right there in those two verses.”

“Helpeth our infirmities,” quoted Sarah.

“We don’t know what to pray for – but the Holy Spirit makes intercession (pray for us) according to the will of God (+) (gives direction in the will or to the will of God),” explains Grandpa.  He continues by saying, “With groanings which cannot be uttered means the Holy Spirit takes our inner hurts, tears and problems as if they were really his – and presents them to our Father – WE OBTAIN HELP IN TIME OF NEED.”

“Grandpa, what a lesson!  God wants us to approach him by calling him Father – -.”

“Daddy,” injected Sarah. “And then when we really need help He sends the Holy Spirit to help us.”

“Especially in our prayers,” added Sarah.

“Especially in our prayers!” explained Grandpa.

“I’m going to memorize these two verses,” stated Tim.

“Me too,” echoed Sarah.

 

“That brings us to what our lesson is about today.  It concerns our attitude when we approach God in prayer. (+) What should be one’s attitude in coming before God at the throne of grace in prayer?” inquired Sarah.

 

THE PROPER ATTITUDE

 

“Kids notice the statement, ‘our father which art in     heaven.’  What is the next statement?”

Both Sarah and Tim answered in unison, “Hallowed be thy name.”

“What do you think that means, ‘Hallowed be thy name?’” Grandpa pauses and allows his question to sink in.

In a split second both of the young people hands shot up.

“Does that mean the attitude that one should have when they approach God in prayer?” inquired Sarah. (+)

 

“Earlier in the chapter Jesus told of his disciples that when they prayed that they should enter into a private place and shut the door. Isn’t that a commandment to make prayer special by getting alone with God and showing reverence to Him?” asked Tim. (+)      “Grandpa, isn’t that kind of like Moses when he met God at the burning bush and God told him to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground?” offered Sarah.

 

Grandpa answered, “Who is the teacher in this class? Both of your questions are very good.  Hollowed be thy name is dealing with the attitude that a person should have when he approaches God in prayer. Hallowed be Thy name, or may your name be revered, or may your name be held holy or honored.” (+)

 

Grandpa, Teach Me to Pray
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IT SHOWS HONOR TO GOD

 

Hallowed be thy name shows honor to the superhuman ruler of the universe. (+) It is more than a subject of a kingdom coming in to the throne room of his human king. Hallowed be thy name is acknowledging the absolute supremacy of God who is holy and over all. (+)

 

IT ACKNOWLEDGES THE GREATNESS OF GOD

“When Jesus tells us to address the supreme God of heaven as our “father” or “daddy” and then comments, Hallowed be thy name that is and expression of love, praise and submission.”


THY NAME

 

            “Kids, let’s stress, ‘Thy Name’ from a different view point.  We found that John stressed Father a total of how many times in the Gospel of John?”

 

Both young people spoke enthusiastically at about the same time, “146 times.”

“Now, lets give a few names or titles of Jesus, which are found in the Bible. (+) I will illustrate by giving the first.”

“Jesus is called, ‘The Word’.”

Quickly Tim stated, “He is ‘Saviour’.”

“Good,” complimented Grandpa.

“The Rose of Sharon?”  Sarah ventured.

“Good,” echoed Grandpa.

“He is the Alpha and Omega.”

“The Lilly of the Valley.”

“The Author and Finisher of our Faith.”

“He is the Bright and Morning Star,” stated Sarah.

“The Chief Shepherd,” was Tim’s next title

“The Bridegroom,” said Sarah.

“OK kids, you get the point.  There are countless titles or names for Jesus.”

“But Grandpa, we just got started,” Sarah protested.  “He is the Friend of Sinners,” she concluded.

 

“You’re absolutely right.  There are many, many different titles or names to describe Jesus.  But how many names in the New Testament are there for God?” (+)  Grandpa just sat there while the children thought.

 

“He is called Jehovah,” said Sarah.

“But that is in the Old Testament,” added Tim.

“Hallowed be THY Name,” quoted Grandpa.  “Kids, it seems to me that God is striving to get his children to center in on one name. ‘Father’.” (+)

“He is trying to help us to believe in God more than just in a Theological sense.  He is attempting, by the absence of other titles, to get His children to focus on the fact that He is our Father.”

“Grandpa, do you mean that now we believe in God, the Father – as the title instead of a person?” inquired Sarah.

“Yes, Sarah, that is exactly what I believe God is trying to emphasize and get into His children’s hearts – ‘I am not just a Title – I am your Heavenly Father’.”  (+)

 

IT SHOWS HUMILITY

 

“To me, the expression, ‘Hallowed be thy name’ shows the attitude one should manifest as he comes to his father in prayer, he should come humbly,” instructed Grandpa.

Tim added, “Grandpa that is what the pastor preached on last Sunday. He said, ‘God gives grace to the humble’.” (I Peter 5:5-6)

“But he resisteth the Proud,” added Sarah.

 Grandpa began to close the lesson by saying, “we have dealt with some very important principles concerning the Model Prayer which God gave to his disciples to follow…”

“They were given to us to follow also, weren’t they, Grandpa?” interrupted Tim.

“But in our next lesson we will come to the heart of the Model Prayer.”

“Is that, ‘Thy kingdom come’?” asked Sarah.

 

“That is your homework assignment in preparation for our nest lesson, but let me close this lesson by saying you will never get your prayers answered unless one learns to come in a humble way into the presence of your Heavenly Father.  (+) But there is nothing that reveals the praise, reverence and love as the simple approach Jesus give….” Our Father which are in Heaven… “HALLOWED BE THY NAME.”

 

 

Grandpa, Teach Me to Pray
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A VIVID EXAMPLE OF THAT NEED – GOD’S BRILLIANT PLAN TO REACH FALLEN MAN

God's Brilliant Plan to Reach Fallen Man

God's Brilliant Plan to Reach Fallen Man
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A VIVID EXAMPLE OF THAT NEED

Jesus gave a vivid example of the need of Holy Spirit in the Apostles lives. Please consider this vivid lesson of the need for God’s divine power as illustrated by Jesus surprising command. The Apostles had been part of all the lab sessions where Jesus demonstrated the principles of training soul-winners and disciplers; BUT AFTER ALL OF THAT TRAINING JESUS WOULD NOT LET THE APOSTLES GO.

 

After all the great teaching message’s on the Beatitudes, The Sermon on the Mount, The Parables, and the coming future kingdom; JESUS WOULDN’T LET THEM GO INTO ALL THE WORLD.

 

After all the pressurized moments of standing before hostile crowds and religious leaders and demonstrating to young apostles how to face hostilities with calmness and faith; HE WOULD NOT LET THEM GO.  He said, “TARRY.”

 

The apostles had the Bible college training behind them.  They were graduates BUT JESUS WOULDN’T LET THEM GO!  (+)

 

Thousands were dying each day with many of them going to hell; BUT HE WOULDN’T LET THEM GO. (+)

 

WHY?

 

WHY WOULDN’T JESUS LET THE APOSTLES GO? THE ANSWER: THE DISCIPLES WERE NOT FULLY EQUIPPED YET.

Jesus knew that with all their Bible knowledge, with all their training in the mechanics and materials of disciple-making, and with the goal of preaching the gospel to every creature that they were not equipped to go yet – they needed two more principles to be embedded into their minds and souls before they were equipped to go. (+)

 

TARRY IN JERUSALEM UNTIL YOU ARE ENDUED WITH POWER

Luke first records this command for the disciples to tarry or wait for the empowering of the Holy Spirit in Luke 24:49 and again in Acts 1:4. (+)  Jesus knew it would take the divine power of God to make the divine plan of God successful.  THE WAITING ALSO EMPHASIZES THAT THEY COULD DO NOTHING WITHOUT THE ENERGIZING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BUT IN CHRIST THEY COULD DO ALL THINGS.

 

ANOTHER COMFORTER

In John 16:7, Jesus said it was necessary for him to go away (back to heaven) but if I depart I will send Him to you.”  Jesus in the body of man could only be in one place at a time.(+)  He needed to be with every disciple all of the time.

  • Jesus promised never to forsake or leave a person.
  • Jesus promised to give wisdom to any who ask.
  • Jesus promised to give grace for every occasion.
  • Jesus promised to illuminate the minds of believers.
  • Jesus promised to give supernatural power for service and soul winning (to every believer at the very same time in multiple places).

 

As a man he couldn’t do it, but through the Holy Spirit He was able to minister and help any believer, in any place, in any way the believer needed help.

 

That is the reason that Jesus said He had to go away but He would not leave them comfortless (orphaned) but the comforter (Holy Spirit) would abide with them always.  John 14:16-18.  Again in John 14:26.

JESUS HAD TO TRANSFORM THE APOSTLES IN AT LEAST FOUR AREAS

FIRST, the apostles were fearful followers that must be transformed INTO FEARLESS LEADERS. (+)  Often times these young preachers were afraid.  They were scared to death as they fought hopelessly against the severe winds and high waves.  Jesus combated their fears and calmed the sea by saying. “Peace be still.”

 

Toward the end of his ministry when word was sent that officials were planning to kill Jesus, as Jesus prepared to go to the graveside of Lazarus, the Apostles were scared but Thomas said, “Let us go and die with him.”

 

The apostles fled like timid men when the mob came to arrest Jesus and hovered like scared rabbits behind locked doors during his entombment.  There were other occasions where it was obvious that the apostles were fearful followers.  THEY MUST BE TRANSFORMED INTO FEARLESS LEADERS.  Therefore, the command,  “TARRY…UNTIL YOU ARE ENDUED WITH POWER.”

 

After fasting and praying for ten days and nights, the apostles emptied themselves of selfish ambitions and their self-centeredness and became empty vessels which the Holy Spirit could fill and control. (+)  NOW THE FEARFUL FOLLOWERS BECAME FEARLESS LEADERS.  They were threatened and whipped as they fearlessly risked their lives in preaching the Gospel and training their converts.  They had been transformed so well that they could inject the same boldness and confidence into their followers.

 

SECOND, the apostles must be transformed from powerless followers into powerful men of strength and ability as leaders.  Again the command, “Tarry, until you are endued with power.”  These powerless preachers who could not cast a demon out of a young boy (Matthew 17:20) were now transformed into men of boldness (Acts 4:31) and of “great power gave the apostles witness.” (Acts 4:33).  They were later referred to as men who had “turned the world upside down” as they lead the assault against the gates of hell to “set the captives free.”  THEY BECAME FEARLESS LEADERS.

 

THIRD, they had to be transformed from men who were overwhelmed by the huge task (to every creature in all the world) to men who looked to the sky, expecting His coming. In the final service that Jesus conducted before His crucifixion, He comforted His disciples with words which they would rehearse over and over again.  He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” John 14:1-3.  No doubt the words, “I WILL COME AGAIN…that where I am, there ye may be also” rung in their ears for the rest of their lives.

 

The day came when Jesus was taken from them and He ascended back into heaven.  They stood motionless and stared aimlessly up into heaven.  Suddenly, two angels spoke words which would cause the apostles to always keep their eyes focused toward heaven.  They said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

 

In Acts 1:3 the wording of “being seen of them forty days” seemed to indicate that Jesus would suddenly appear in their midst with a start and after a period of time disappear just as quickly.  He seemed to appear and then disappear on several occasions during the 40 days.  No doubt he helped them focus their eyes toward heaven by saying, I’m going away but one of these days just like the past 40 days you men will be working for me and suddenly – I will materialize in a physical body just as I have during the past few days.  They were transformed from men whose focus was on the events of this world to men whose focus was upward to the skies – WATCHING FOR THE IMMINENT SECOND COMING OF THEIR LORD.

 

FOURTH, They must be transformed from men who walked by sight to men who would walk by faith.  They had heard all his great teachings and “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God,” but they still walked by sight.  They were used to seeing Jesus with them.

 

They had seen all of his miracles and deeds and had great confidence in his power and ability, but now he was gone and they still had a tendency to walk by sight.

 

They had been taught that although Jesus wouldn’t be with them in bodily form any longer but he would be there in the invisible form of the Holy Spirit.  His bodily absence made them feel shaky and uncertain in their walk for Christ.

 

THEN JESUS GAVE THEM ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING IN LEARNING TO TRUST HIM BY FAITH. (+)  They were taught and convinced that the promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” was true.

 

How were they taught?  How were they transformed from men who walked by sight (fear and trembling) into men of faith and power?

 

Again, the wording in Acts 1:3 “BEING SEEN OF HIM FORTY DAYS” indicates that Jesus would suddenly burst into the sight of the apostles and teach them things about the coming kingdom and then just as suddenly disappear.  He would appear at various times, reinforce the principle about the millennial reign and then vanish.  He was there bodily, then he wasn’t there bodily but he reassured them that he was with them all the time whether in the body or in the Spirit he was there – this happened until they comprehended – JESUS IS ALWAYS WITH US, whether we are together or separated by miles of distance  He is with us.(+) Just as we depended on Him to lead us for 3 ½ years we can depend upon Him now.  The only difference, we could see him bodily then; but now we cannot see Him bodily but He is with us now just as much as He was with us then. (+)

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A STORY THAT ILLUSTRATES THEIR FAITH

It is one thing to believe something theologically but it is quite another to believe it in trusting faith with one’s life hanging in the balance. (+)

 

A man would demonstrate his skill and balance by pushing a wheelbarrow several hundred feet across a dangerous gorge while the unpredictable winds were blowing.  The man would often do tricks while he was pushing the wheelbarrow across the gorge.

 

Huge crowds would cheer as he did so.  He would ask the crowds if they thought he could push the wheelbarrow across the wide chasm again?

 

The crowd would cheer and chant “yes, yesss!”

 

Then he would silence them by asking if anyone believed he could do it enough to become his passenger in the wheelbarrow(+).  HE HAD NO TAKERS.

 

It was one thing to believe the man could push the wheelbarrow across but it was an entirely different matter to trust him with their lives.

 

WHAT WAS THE SECRET TO THE GREAT BOLDNESS AND POWER OF THE APOSTLES faith in the invisible Christ?  Their faith grew to where they would get into the wheelbarrow and let Jesus push them across even though he was no longer visible to the human eye. (+)

 

They learned this great principle and were transformed from men who walked and lived by sight into fearless men. WHO CONQUERED BY FAITH.  THEY WERE EMBOLDENED AND MOTIVATED BY THE ENERGIZING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. (+)

 

These apostles learned this lesson so well that they taught and wrote in the Bible how that Jesus was still on the earth, NOT IN A LIMITED FORM OF A HUMAN BODY BUT IN THE UNLIMITED PRESENCE OF THE BLESSED HOLY SPIRIT.  Now, to live within and to give grace and strength to every believer in all places of the earth AT THE SAME TIME.

 

What a difference the presence of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, makes!  Dear friend, accept this important fact and live your life in the light that he is literally with you and will never leave or forsake you.  He will empower you just as much as your faith will trust him to empower you.

 

Please memorize the last phase of the great commission found in Matthew 28:19-20.  Jesus states; (a literal translation) “I will be with you perpetually, on every occasion until the very close and consummation of the age.” (+)

 

That is Jesus’ lingering promise to every believer!

BELIEVE IT!

 

ACT UPON IT AND LET HIM DO GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS THROUGH YOU!!

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