When I was sixteen, about to leave school and join the workforce, I wasn’t sure what line of work to pursue. Someone suggested I could become an electrician and that seemed like a great idea to me. But how would I find a good job like that? It just so happened that my Uncle Jim knew a friend who could help, the owner of an electrical business. My uncle put in a good word and arranged an interview for me. That went well and I began my electrical apprenticeship. It proved the old adage, It is not what you know, but who you know. As Christians we have friends in high places. There is no higher place than heaven and no closer friend than Jesus. If it is not what you know, but who you know, then I know the King of Kings who puts in a good word for me to God my heavenly Father.
Before my father passed away, my family were able to spend precious time with him. We talked together about so many things, and he told us he loved us. His last words to us were very important. When people die they leave behind their "will", their last message to their loved ones. In the same way, before Jesus ascended into heaven, he left his disciples with his last message and his will for them.
FBI negotiator Chris Voss has written an interesting book, Never Split The Difference in which he describes negotiations with bank robbers, gangs, and international terrorists. He identified a pattern with one group of kidnappers who generally kidnapped people at the beginning of the week and released them towards the end of the week. The FBI concluded these kidnappers wanted the ransom money to party at the weekends. Kidnapping was a weekday job for them. When a kidnapping happens law enforcement agencies like the FBI want “proof of life” before paying a ransom. Typically, they would ask questions only the person would know the answer to, like what was the name of their first dog? But the best proof of life was to have the kidnapper put the hostage on the phone so their voice could be heard and recognised.
How can we become a true disciple of Jesus Christ? Since Jesus often used the word disciple in his ministry, if we are to be true Christians, we need to take time to understand the real meaning of disciple when he uses this word, and to learn from him.
How do you find hope, when everything seems hopeless? Do you tend to become downcast, depressed, and feeling like darkness has descended on you? Do you bottle it inside while trying to appear unmoved? Do you just look on the sunny side and pretend nothing is wrong?