We all have purpose as followers of Christ. This is not just a motivational statement to be used as an encouragement in times of difficulty or depression. It is really a fact of life. God has created each of us uniquely, individually, singularly and with purpose. Our personalities, our spiritual gifts and our heart led passions are all part of what God has done in creating us for purpose (Jeremiah 1:5). Because of this we find value in ourselves, and self-worth as we seek to discover what God is up to in our lives, around our lives and through our lives.
In Mark 3:13-15 we discover the story of the disciples’ calling, this is the moment when Mark tells us they are appointed by Jesus for the purpose of serving the Kingdom. This is an important point in the life of the 12 men who would be called, it also is an important lesson in our own search to use what God has given and created us to be for His Kingdom growth. No matter what our personality, passion or spiritual gift is they are all to be used for the purpose of His Glory, to serve Him by essentially telling others about the Good News found in Jesus. We all have specific parts of that and they are unique and individual in what God has created each of us to be and do, but all fall under the ultimate charge of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-ff)
Let’s look at this passage for what it tells us of how we should be motivated to go and tell as an aspect of what God has created to be our purpose.
Mark 3:13-15 (NASB) And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons.
We are all called but we must accept
In this passage, we see the disciples are called out, that Jesus wanted them to go with Him, not only is this important to the truth that God has called each of us to follow Him. It also shows that they had to choose to come “and they came to him” v.13. In other words, God calls us, we must choose to follow. The process only begins with the knowledge that we are called, it continues with the part where we come to Him. What are we called to? Well as we said before we are called to tell others about the Good News of the Gospel. But we must decide daily to follow after what He has given us to do. We as Jesus says, in Matthew 16:24 we should take up our cross daily. It is a choice that we make each day.
We are called to be with Him
In v. 14 we learn they we’re called to be with Him. When we accept Christ as Savior we also make Him Lord of our lives. We enter a relationship with Him, it is a personal and growing relationship. As we have already established God has created us for serving His Kingdom, but all of this is based on the simple words Jesus uses in this verse, we are to be with Him. When we are truly with Him we are being transformed into what He has ordained us to be, to be like Christ (1 John 2:6). This we understand, is only to happen by being or as we might say spending time with Him and this then results in the transformation. We cannot serve and fulfill our purpose without knowing Him and growing in a deeper and closer relationship with Him. It is in this that we serve Him, as an outflow of the heart.
We are sent in accordance to His desire
Another important part of this calling is that the disciples were sent out, and while we don’t necessarily see the direct statement to this effect it can be safely assumed, because of who God is, that it is always per His desire. God sends us per His perfect and divine Will. We may not always agree with it or understand it but God has had a plan in place since the beginning and you are an important part of it. We must let Him fulfill that in and through us and learn to rest in the bounds of that perfect plan. Learning to let Him be God!
We are given His Authority
In the final aspect, we learn that the disciples were to have the authority of God, they would go under His name as they went to tell others. We too are under the authority and name of God as we go to serve Him, by doing what He has created us to be and what He has called us to do in spreading the Good News of the Jesus. This should give and provide us with confidence in what we do, knowing that we carry His authority to do His will. Not being timid or fearful but embolden and confident servants.
As we complete this quick study of Mark 3:13-15 the question remains for each of us to ponder, do we know He has called each of us, uniquely and individually and are we fulfilling that call in our daily lives?