5 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Leviticus 6:1-7:27
Mark 3:7-30
Psalm 37:1-11
Proverbs 10:3-4

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Mark 3:13-14 (NLT): “Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles…”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In this morning’s reading, we came across a couple of verses that seemed to have little to reflect upon. We are told that Jesus went up on a mountain and chose His twelve apostles.

This was the occasion on which Jesus selected the twelve men that He would teach and train for three full years. Some of those men would write books that would be received as Scripture. Some of them would take leadership roles in the early church. Others are never heard from again in the book of Acts, but we assume they were used mightily by God.

Jesus dare not get this wrong. When He chose the twelve, He needed to choose wisely.

So, what did Jesus do as He prepared to make His selections? This is an important question because we, too, need to make big decisions from time-to-time. We can learn from Jesus as we seek to make wise decisions.

While many biblical principles enable us to make wise decisions, here are two:

1. He went to a place to think and reflect.

Mark 3:13 tells us that He “went upon on a mountain.” Jesus often went to secluded places (desert, mountain, Garden of Gethsemane, etc.) so that He could be alone and reflect. 

There is much to be said about the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude. There is a reason for the 4th Commandment where we are encouraged to have one day a week where we do as little work as possible and quiet things down around us. I wonder if the stress levels that so many people struggle with couldn’t be significantly diminished by taking time to get away each week. Our brains would undoubtedly be clearer so that we could make better decisions.

2. He spent time in prayer.

While Mark’s account doesn’t mention prayer, Luke’s does:

Luke 6:12-13 (NLT): “One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles…”

Even Jesus, God with skin on, felt the need to spend all night in prayer before a major decision. If He did this, how much more should we spend time in prayer before making a decision?

From Jesus’ example, we observe at least two activities we need to engage in before making big decisions: 1) find the time and place to reflect and 2) pray.

For further reading:

A book that helps reveal how Christians should make decisions is “Decision Making by the Book” by Haddon Robinson. It’s an easy, short read and is definitely worth your time.`

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash