Words from the Heart for Monday July 6th, 2020
I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.
1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV)
Marks of an Apostle
According the State of Church Planting in Canada report, released in 2016, there is a difference in the growth trajectory between a church that is started in Canada and one in the USA. In the United States, the average weekly worship attendance goes from 51 in the first year, to 74 in the second, and 95 in the third. Compare that to Canada, where it’s 41 in the first year, 51 in the second, and 61 in the third.
The original group of apostles were so called because they knew Jesus, walked with Him and were taught by Him. When Judas betrayed the Lord, the other eleven drew lots and a man named Matthias was chosen to replace him. We don’t hear anything else about him after that. We do know, from Acts 9, that Jesus chose Paul and in Ephesians 3:8 we learn that Jesus appointed him to preach to the Gentiles. But gaining acceptance among the other apostles was not easy. He was present and giving his blessing at the stoning of Stephen, known to the believers as one of the great persecutors of the followers of Jesus. He was as far from being considered by the others as an apostle of Jesus Christ as you could get. But it was obvious that God had called him to be an apostle, and Paul gives the proof in 1 Corinthians 12:12: “I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.” Jesus was working through Paul and the Holy Spirit was evident through his life and ministry. He ought to be through ours as well. When others meet you, how can they tell you are a follower of Jesus?
These have been words from the heart.