The Lord’s Prayer & The Laborer’s Prayer: You Might Be the Answer to Your Own Prayer(s)

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today, passage is found in the first twenty-seven verses of the ninth chapter of this New Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the third account and narrative of Jesus calling the disciples unto Himself as He would ordain and appoint them as ambassadors of and for the kingdom. It is absolutely necessary that we pay close and careful attention to the words which are found here within this portion of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus calling the disciples unto Himself as He appointed them as His ambassadors and envoys of the kingdom of God unto and among men. What makes this all the more intriguing is when you think about and consider the tremendous reality that prior to the public revealing and manifestation of Jesus the Christ we find a prophet which was ordained and appointed by the living and eternal God—one who would go before the face of the Messiah and who would prepare the way for Him. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found within this portion and passage of Scripture and not see the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the narrative that prior to the manifestation of the Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah and Christ there was one who would serve as the initial representative and ambassador of the kingdom of heaven. Before the encounter and experience at the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist we find that this son of Zacharias and Elizabeth would emerge from the wilderness with a powerful message directly from the throne of God in heaven—and not only with a powerful message from heaven, but also with an invitation to repentance and fruits of repentance, as well as an outward and external demonstration of that repentance. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth surrounding this initial ambassador and envoy which was sent directly from the throne of heaven to prepare the way before the face of the Messiah.

            When we think and speak about the kingdom of heaven and the ministry of the Messiah and the Christ we must needs realize and understand that Jesus was indeed the ultimate representative from heaven, for Jesus was not only the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us, and Jesus was not only the Word which was in the beginning with God and was in the beginning God, but Jesus was also the image of the invisible God and heavenly Father. In fact, it would be Jesus Himself who would emphatically and unreservedly declare that if any man saw and beheld Him they had seen the Father. With Jesus being sent into the world there was an awesome and powerful representation of the living and eternal God and Father in the midst of the earth, as Jesus would come to reveal, manifest and make known the eternal Father unto all those who came before Him. With this being said, however, it’s interesting that whereas Jesus came to make the Father known unto all those to whom He would preach and teach, it would be John the Baptist who would come to make the Son known unto all those who would come unto His baptism, unto all those who would hear and listen to the words which he would teach and speak, and unto all those who would come inquiring what they must do and how they must respond in light of his teaching and preaching. It is absolutely incredible to think about and consider the fact that John the Baptist was the initial ambassador and emissary of and for the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth, for John the Baptist would be ordained and appointed by the eternal and living God to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. From the times of the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah through the time of the ancient Hebrew prophet Malachi, and even unto the time the angel Gabriel appeared unto Zacharias beside the altar in the Temple of the LORD it was ordained and appointed that John the Baptist would indeed and would in fact help to make known unto men and women that One who was to come who would baptize them with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

            If there is one thing I can’t help but think about and consider as I sit here thinking about the calling, the ordaining and the appointing of the twelve apostles, I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that before Jesus was even publicly manifested as the Christ and as the Son of the living God in whom He was well pleased, there was one sent from God whose name was John who did in fact, and who would in fact come to bear witness to that Light. In fact, much of the first half of the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is dedicated to this incredibly awesome and powerful witness surrounding this witness of John the Baptist and how he was the original emissary and ambassador of the kingdom of heaven—one who would indeed and one who would in fact make known unto men the Messiah’s presence within the earth. It is actually quite powerful and beautiful to think about and consider the words which are found surrounding the life and ministry of John the Baptist, for the words which we find concerning this New Testament prophet of the Messiah were designed and intended to call and draw men and women unto the person of the Messiah and Christ—this despite the fact that He had not yet been revealed or manifested. Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding the message and ministry of John the Baptist is when you think about and consider the fact that he was ordained as a voice of one crying out in the wilderness to prepare the way before the face of the Messiah, and yet there would be a tremendous part of his ministry where he would not even know of whom he was preaching and speaking. Scripture does indeed and does in fact reveal how it was made known unto John the Baptist that He whom he would see the Spirit lighting upon would be the Messiah, however, I would love to know how long John the Baptist actually preached and baptized before Jesus would indeed and would in fact come unto him there at the Jordan River requesting to be baptized that He might fulfill all righteousness.

            It is worth thinking about and considering the fact that John the Baptist would be ordained, raised up, chosen and appointed by the living and eternal God and Father to prepare a people—not only for the kingdom of heaven through repentance and baptism, but also preparing a people for the coming of the Messiah. I do not believe for one moment John the Baptist knew at what precise moment the Messiah and Christ would be manifested, and I can only imagine what it was like when Jesus showed up at the waters of the Jordan River requesting to be baptized of John the Baptist. One thing that is worth noting about this particular encounter and experience between Jesus and John the Baptist was that when Jesus came unto him requesting to be baptized of him John would initially balk at the request. Moreover, John the Baptist would declare unto Jesus that he had need of being baptized of Him rather than the other way around. In response to the words which John the Baptist had spoken Jesus would emphatically declare that it must for so that all righteousness might be fulfilled. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for there is a part of me that can’t help but believe that John the Baptist knew something about Jesus at this particular time, which is what caused him to declare unto Jesus that he had need of being baptized by Him. Why would John state and declare unto Jesus that He would have need of being baptized of Him if there wasn’t something inside him—perhaps an internal witness and perhaps an internal testimony concerning Jesus that caused him to think and consider how there was something much more to this man from Nazareth to whom he was cousin? We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth that John the Baptist was ordained and appointed by the Father on behalf of Jesus the Christ to make ready and prepare the way for men and women for the kingdom, as well as for the person and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            In order to truly understand the significance of the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist which he walked in for an undisclosed and undefined period of time it is absolutely necessary that we call and draw our attention to the words which are found in the first three chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John. What’s more, is I am convinced that we cannot truly understand Jesus’ appointment of the twelve disciples as apostles and ambassadors of the kingdom and of the Christ and the Messiah without first understanding the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist which he walked in prior to the manifestation of the Christ and Messiah in the midst of the earth. If we are to truly understand the apostolic ministry of the twelve disciples who were ordained and appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ we must first understand the significance of the ministry of John the Baptist who was first ordained and appointed by the eternal and living God. In all reality it is quite interesting to think about and consider the fact that it was the living and eternal God who ordained and appointed John the Baptist before the Christ and Messiah would indeed and would in fact be manifested in the midst of the earth, and it would be Jesus the Christ who would ordain and appoint twelve men to be apostles and ambassadors in the midst of the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for what would in fact begin with a single messenger and forerunner who would go before the face of the Messiah would eventually and ultimately transition and shift into the place where the Messiah would Himself engage in ministry for three and a half years. It would be during those three and a half years Jesus would ordain, appoint and choose twelve men whom He would ordain and appoint and send out as ambassadors and apostles before His face in the cities, towns and villages He would enter that they might be prepared and made ready for. In fact, if you read the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke—not only will you find and read of Jesus ordaining and appointing twelve whom He would send out as ambassadors and apostles before His face, but He would also ordain, appoint and send out another seventy who would go before His face and prepare the way before Him in the same cities, towns and villages He would enter teaching, preaching and manifesting the kingdom of heaven.

            I firmly believe and am absolutely convinced that if we are to truly understand the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture we must needs think about and consider the narrative surrounding John the Baptist, for it would be John the Baptist who would be ordained and appointed by the living and eternal God to go before the Messiah and Christ in the midst of the earth to make ready and prepare the way for His coming. What’s more, is that this witness and testimony of John the Baptist is one that is quite astonishing and remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider it, for it is one where he would emphatically declare and proclaim the truth concerning the Messiah—and not only concerning the Messiah, but also concerning this Jesus of Nazareth who would be the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. We have a great need to understand the opening three chapters found within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John, for the words and language which is found within these chapters brings us face to face with the tremendous and awesome ministry which was ordained and appointed by the living and eternal God for John the Baptist. It would be John the Baptist who would be ordained and appointed by the living and eternal God to prepare the way and make ready a people for the coming and manifestation of the Messiah and the Christ, and there were incredible words and there was incredible language surrounding the Messiah which John the Baptist would indeed and would in fact preach and proclaim unto the hearing of those who would come unto his baptism and who would listen to and hear his preaching. If you wish to understand the words and language which is found in the ninth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke concerning the appointing of the twelve you must look back to the witness and testimony of one—that one who was ordained and appointed to prepare and make ready a people for the coming of the Messiah and Christ:

            “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 any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. THERE WAS A MAN SENT FROM GOD, WHOSE NAME WAS JOHN. THE SAME CAME FOR A WITNESS, TO BEAR WITNESS OF THE ILGHT, THAT ALL MEN THROUGH HIM MIGHT BELIEVE. HE WAS NOT THAT LIGHT, BUT WAS SENT TO BEAR WITNESS OF THAT LIGHT. That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. JOHN BARE WITNESS OF HIM, AND CRIED, SAYING, THIS WAS HE OF WHOM I SPAKE, HE THAT COMETH AFTER ME IS PREFERRED BEFORE ME: FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME. AND OF HIS FULNESS HAVE ALL WE RECEIVED, AND GRACE FOR GRACE. FOR THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES, BUT GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST. NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME; THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHICH IS IN THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER, HE HATH DECLARED HIM” (John 1:1-18).

            “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? AND HE CONFESSED, AND DENIED NOT; BUT CONFESSED, I AM NOT THE CHRIST. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, no. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? That we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? HE SAID, I AM THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD, AS SAID THE PROPHET ESAIAS. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizes thou then, if thou be not that Christ, not Elias, neither that prophet? JOHN ANSWERED THEM, SAYING, I BAPTIZED WITH WATER: BUT THERE STANDETH ONE AMONG YOU, WHOM YE KNOW NOT; HE IT IS WHO COMING AFTER ME IS PREFERRED BEFORE ME, WHOSE SHOE’S LATCHET I AM NOT WORTHY TO UNLOOSE. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing” (John 1:19-28).

            “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD. THIS IS HE OF WHOM I SAID, AFTER ME COMETH A MAN WHICH IS PREFERRED BEFORE ME: FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME. AND I KNEW HIM NOT: BUT THAT HE SHOULD BE MADE MANIFEST TO ISRAEL, THEREFORE AM I COME BAPTIZING WITH WATER. AND JOHN BARE RECORD, SAYING, I SAW THE SPIRIT DESCENDING FROM HEAVEN LIKE A DOVE, AND IT ABODE UPON HIM. AND I KNEW HIM NOT: BUT HE THAT SENT ME TO BAPTIZE WITH WATER, THE SAME SAID UNTO ME, UPON WHOM THOU SHALT SEE THE SPIRIT DESCENDING, AND REMAINING ON HIM, THE SAME IS HE WHICH BAPTIZETH WITH THE HOLY GHOST. AND I SAW, AND BARE RECORD THAT THIS IS THE SON OF GOD” (John 1:29-34).

            “Again the next day after John stood, and two of His disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus” (John 1:35-41).

            “After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:22-36).

            With the words which are found within the first and third chapter of the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist. You cannot read the words written and recorded within these two chapters and not encounter and come face to face with the absolutely incredible truth surrounding John the Baptist, and how this was a man sent from God who would bear witness and testify concerning Jesus as the Christ and as the Messiah. It is truly something worth recognizing and understanding concerning John the Baptist that he was raised up and sent directly from God into the earth unto all those in Judaea, Galilee and Jerusalem to testify and speak concerning the Messiah. It would be incredibly easy to think that John the Baptist simply preached repentance unto the remission of sins, baptized men and women in the waters of the Jordan River, and even rebuked the Pharisees and religious system of that day, however, we must needs understand concerning John the Baptist that he was also ordained and appointed to bear witness concerning the Messiah and Christ who was greater than he. You cannot read the words which are found in this portion and passage of Scripture and not come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding John the Baptist and how he was indeed the first ambassador of the kingdom—and not only the first ambassador of the kingdom, but was also that one who was ordained and appointed to go before the face of the Messiah to prepare the way for His coming and appearing. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for when you read the four gospel narratives and accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you must needs recognize and acknowledge the awesome and wonderful truth surrounding John the Baptist and how he was indeed and was in fact a powerful witness and testimony concerning the Light which was come into the world. What’s more, is that not only would John emphatically declare that he was not the Christ, but John the Baptist would also point men and women unto that One who would come after him who was indeed the Christ and the Messiah.

            Building upon the words which are found in the first and third chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John concerning John the Baptist it is absolutely necessary that we think about and consider the awesome and incredible truth surrounding this man sent from God who would be a prophetic voice and witness for the Messiah and for the Christ. What makes this all the more interesting when you take the time to think about it is when you read the first and opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John you will find John boldly declaring that he was not the Christ, but rather that he came bearing witness of that Light and bearing witness of the Messiah and the Christ. John the Baptist knew there was one among them who was greater than he was, and it was his divine assignment ordained and appointed by the living God to prepare and make ready a people to receive that One who was to come. Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if John the Baptist didn’t initially preach concerning the Messiah and Christ although he had absolutely no idea who the Messiah truly was. I can’t help but wonder if John the Baptist didn’t preach concerning the Messiah and the Christ and yet for a certain period of time wonder who it was whom he was preaching. We know for a fact that when you read the gospel narratives written by the gospel authors that it was revealed unto John that the One upon whom the Spirit descended and rested upon would be the Messiah and Christ—the One who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. In all reality, I am absolutely and completely convinced that this is one of the greatest manifestations at the Jordan River, for there is not a doubt in my mind that John the Baptist saw the heavens opened unto Jesus, saw the Spirit descending and resting upon Jesus of Nazareth, and even heard the voice of the Father declare that this was His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. It is possible that from that moment on John the Baptist knew of whom he preached and knew of whom he believed. What’s more, is I would dare say that the preaching of John the Baptist took on an entirely different degree, level and measure after seeing Jesus emerge from the waters of the Jordan, seeing the heavens opened before and unto Him, seeing the Spirit descend upon Jesus in the bodily form of a dove, and hearing the voice of the Father proclaiming this was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the language surrounding the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist and how John the Baptist was ordained and appointed before the manifestation of the Messiah to prepare and make ready a people for the Messiah. John the Baptist emphatically declared that he was not the Christ, nor that he was Elijah, nor even that he was that prophet, but rather that he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah and for the coming of the Christ. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and bring our attention to this one who was ordained and appointed before the face of the Messiah and Christ to prepare and make ready a people for His coming and His appearing. What’s more, is that John the Baptist would not only baptize men and women with water unto repentance for the remission of sins, but John the Baptist would also speak of both One who was coming who was greater than him, as well as One who was coming who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. It is something worth thinking about and considering how John the Baptist would baptize in water and would at the same time preach and speak of a secondary baptism that was to come—a baptism that was not of water, but one that was of the Holy Ghost and with fire. John the Baptist would baptize men and women in water unto repentance for the remission of sins while also speaking of a secondary baptism which would be of the Holy Ghost and with fire, and John the Baptist would emphatically declare and proclaim that he was not the Christ while preparing men and women for the manifestation of the Christ.

            I find it truly astonishing and remarkable to read and consider the words and language surrounding John the Baptist, for the language surrounding this prophet of the Messiah and Christ would indeed and would in fact be one who would be ordained and appointed by the living and eternal God to baptize in water while preparing men and women for a baptism of fire. What’s more, is this messenger sent from God would declare that He was not the Messiah, nor the Christ, and would prepare men and women for the appearing and manifestation of the Christ. Pause and consider just how absolutely incredible and tremendous the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist truly is, for the ministry of this man who was sent from God is one that would baptize one way while preparing men and women to experience a secondary baptism—one that would be entirely and altogether different from that one which he had baptized them with. John the Baptist would indeed baptize men and women with water and would baptize them in water unto repentance for the remission of sins, however, he knew that there was coming a second baptism which would not be of water, but would be of fire. John the Baptist knew that while he was ordained and appointed to baptize with water there was coming one who would baptize with something greater than water—one who would baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost. Oh that we would recognize and understand this, for there is not a doubt in my mind that the baptism which John baptized with was an initial baptism in water which would be the initial and beginning work for a secondary baptism which would be of the Holy Ghost and fire. John the Baptist would baptize with water unto repentance, while the Messiah and Christ would baptize with fire [and with the Holy Ghost] unto sanctification, holiness and righteousness. Even more than this we must needs realize and understand that when speaking unto Nicodemus Jesus would declare that unless a man was born of water and of the spirit they would not see or enter into the kingdom of heaven. There is not a doubt in my mind that there is a great and powerful need within our hearts and our lives to experience the initial baptism in water, while also experiencing the second baptism of fire.

            The words which we find in these passages of Scripture are entirely and altogether wonderful and beautiful when we take the time to think about and consider them, for they bring us face to face with the witness and testimony of John the Baptist. What’s more, is that it would be this witness of John the Baptist who would prepare and make ready a people for the coming of the Messiah and the Christ—and not only for the coming of the Christ, but also for the coming of a secondary baptism which was to come. If we are to truly understand the narrative surrounding John the Baptist we must needs recognize and understand that John the Baptist prepared men and women for the manifestation and appearance of the Messiah and Christ, while also preparing men and women for the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. We cannot miss the words which are found in the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by John the apostle, for within this chapter we find it written how there was a man sent from God whose name was John, and how this man sent from God came to bear witness of the Light which comes into the world. Not only this, but on two different occasions we find John the Baptist emphatically declaring and proclaiming concerning Jesus the Christ that He was indeed the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Even more than this, I am absolutely and completely convinced that the words and language which is found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John brings us face to face with John the Baptist’s understanding of himself—and not only his understanding of himself, but also his understanding of the Christ and the Messiah. There is not a doubt in my mind that there would eventually come a point in time when John the Baptist would know and understand who Jesus was and that his preaching would take on an entirely different mode, meaning and measure. I am absolutely and completely convinced that eventually there came a point in time when John the Baptist would see Jesus for who He truly was and that his preaching would be entirely and altogether changed and transformed.

            With all of this being said I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we now shift and direct our attention to the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke, for the words which are found here are an incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding the appointment of twelve other ambassadors and messengers for Jesus the Christ. By this time Jesus had already been baptized in the waters of the Jordan River where the heavens were opened, the Spirit descended upon Him in the bodily form of a dove, and the voice of the Father spoke from heaven declaring and proclaiming that this was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. By this time Jesus had already been led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He was tempted of the devil over a forty day period of time before the devil would finally depart from Him having found no way to overcome and defeat Him. At this time Jesus had already stood up in the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth and declared that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him and had anointed Him to preach and proclaim the good news and acceptable year of the Lord. At this time Jesus was already and was still filled with the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. What we find in this particular portion and section of Scripture is an absolutely wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the appointment of these twelve apostles who were chosen by Jesus the Christ. These twelve disciples and apostles would be sent out before His face into the cities, towns and villages preaching and teaching the gospel concerning the kingdom of heaven. What’s more, is these twelve apostles were given power and authority to cast out unclean and evil spirits, and were given power and authority to heal the sick. The words found here are an incredibly and powerful assignment given unto these twelve disciples who were called and invited to partner together with Jesus in the mission and assignment ordained and appointed unto Him.

            The more I think about and consider the words which are found in this passage and portion of Scripture the more I can’t help but be drawn into the awesome and wonderful truth concerning these twelve disciples and apostles and how they were invited to partner together in and with the divine ministry and assignment Jesus Himself was sent into the earth to accomplish and fulfill. These twelve men were ordained and appointed by Jesus Himself—and not only were they ordained, called, chosen and appointed, but they were also given power and authority over unclean spirits, as well as power to heal the sick and to preach the gospel concerning the kingdom of heaven. It is truly something worth thinking about when reading these words, for these words call and draw our attention to the amazing and wonderful truth that although Jesus was indeed One who was sent from God—“there was another sent from God”—He would not carry out and complete the mission and assignment ordained and appointed unto Him alone and by Himself. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus called and invited these twelve men to walk with Him in fellowship with Himself, as well as fellowship with one another. With this being said, I am also convinced that these twelve men were indeed called and invited by Jesus the Christ to partner together with Him in the divine work and ministry of the kingdom of heaven. I am absolutely convinced that these twelve men were called, chosen, ordained and appointed for fellowship with Jesus, however, they were also called and chosen for more than simply fellowship with Christ. Oh that we would truly recognize and understand this, for there would be those among us who would like to think that we have been called and chosen simply for fellowship. There are those among us who think and believe that we have been called to walk with and follow Jesus the Christ in fellowship and relationship, and that there is not also a wonderful and powerful invitation to walk with Him in ministry.

            WALKING WITH CHRIST IN FELLOWSHIP! WALKING WITH CHRIST IN MINISTRY! There is something truly wonderful about the words which are found in the gospel narratives concerning these twelve men, for although there would be the initial invitation given unto them to follow Jesus, there would be a secondary invitation given unto them to not only walk with and follow Him, but there would also be an invitation to partner together with Him in ministry. How incredibly powerful it is to think and consider the fact that Jesus wasn’t sent into the earth to carry out and fulfill the work of the kingdom of God alone and by Himself, and that He would ordain and appoint twelve men who would join and partner together with Him to help carry out this divine mission and assignment within and upon the earth. With this being said we must needs understand and recognize that there is the call to fellowship, but there is also a call to discipleship. There is a call to relationship, but there is also a call to transformation within our hearts and within our lives. We must needs recognize and understand this when reading the four gospel narratives, for within the four gospel narratives we are brought face to face with the fact that Jesus did more than simply call and invite these twelve men to walk with and follow Him in fellowship and relationship. As you continue progressing within and throughout the gospel narratives you will find the awesome and powerful truth that Jesus the living and eternal Christ would invite these twelve men to walk together with Him in ministry—and not only ministry, but ministry of and for the kingdom of heaven. These twelve men would be appointed and ordained by Jesus the Christ whereas John the Baptist would be ordained and appointed by the living God. These twelve men would be ordained and appointed by Jesus the Christ after He had been publicly manifested at the Jordan River, and after the Spirit descended upon Him, and after the voice of the Father had spoken out of heaven declaring and proclaiming that this was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased.

            It is with all of this being said I am absolutely convinced that while we must needs understand the prophetic ministry, mission and assignment of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus the Christ to prepare the way for Him in Judaea, in Galilee, in Jerusalem, and in the surrounding regions, we must also recognize and understand that there were those who were called ordained and appointed by the person of Jesus the Christ to be ambassadors and apostles for the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth. I am absolutely convinced that these twelve men were called and invited to step into something so much bigger and something so much greater than themselves. I am absolutely convinced these twelve men were invited to step and enter into something that was essentially a byproduct of walking in fellowship with the person of Jesus the Christ. These twelve men were invited to be fellow and co-laborers together with Christ in the midst of the earth, as these men were invited to participate in the work of the ministry of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth. What’s more, is that with this being said we must needs recognize that we cannot separate fellowship from discipleship, nor can we separate ministry from discipleship. I am absolutely and completely convinced that discipleship is at the very heart, core, center and foundation of fellowship and ministry within the kingdom of heaven and with the person of Jesus Christ. Even more than this, I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs turn and direct our attention to the final words found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, as well as the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the same New Testament gospel. I am absolutely convinced the words which are found within these two chapters found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew call and draw our attention to the undeniable truth that our partnership together with the Lord Jesus Christ in fellowship and in discipleship not only touches the realm of relationship, but it also touches the realm of something so much greater than we could even ask or think. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the ninth and tenth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew:

            “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto His disciples, The harvest is truly plenteous, but the labourers are few; PRAY YE THEREFORE THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THAT HE WILL SEND FORTH LABOURERS INTO HIS HARVEST” (Matthew 9:35-38).

            “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease…These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, GO not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city” (Matthew 10:1-15).

            “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be  known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:16-33).

            It is at this juncture where I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to something that is truly astonishing and remarkable upon reading these words. As I sit here today thinking about and reading these words I can’t help but be drawn into the words which Jesus spoke just before calling unto Himself the twelve disciples whom He would ordain and appoint as apostles and ambassadors for the kingdom of heaven in the earth. If you read the words which are found in the ninth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative written by Matthew you will find Jesus not only declaring that the laborers were few, but you will also find Jesus instructing the disciples to pray therefore the Lord of the harvest that He might send forth laborers into the harvest. Within the final portion of this passage of Scripture we find Jesus the Christ declaring that the harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers were few, and then we find Jesus instructing and inviting the disciples to pray therefore unto the Lord of the harvest that He might send forth laborers into the harvest. It is this reality of praying unto the Lord of the harvest that He might send forth laborers into the harvest and Jesus’ words which were spoken unto the disciples that give me a tremendous amount of insight and truth. I am sitting here right now thinking about and considering the fact that Jesus instructed His disciples to pray unto the Lord of the harvest that He send forth laborers into the harvest, and yet in the very next passage we find Jesus inviting the disciples to be the answer to the very thing He just instructed them to pray. It is with this in mind I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that there are times within our lives when we might pray for something specific to be done in the earth, or something specific to be done in the midst of the church, or something to be done in the midst of our place of employment, and what we must needs realize and understand is that we might very well be the answer to our own prayer—even that which we were instructed to pray before and unto the living God. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that you yourself might be the answer to that prayer which you found yourself praying, and you might not have even realized or recognized it.

            DID YOU EVER STOP TO THINK THAT YOU MIGHT BE THE ANSWER TO THE PRAYER YOU’RE PRAYING? HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED TO THINK THAT YOU ARE THE ANSWER TO WHAT YOU ARE PRAYING FOR? I firmly believe within my heart and soul that there are men and women among us who are praying for the Lord to do something very specific within the earth during this generation, and yet they are entirely and altogether unaware of the fact that they themselves are the answer to that for which they are praying. Jesus instructed the disciples to pray unto the Lord of the harvest that He might send forth laborers into the harvest, and immediately after that we find Jesus inviting them to be those laborers which they would pray for. INSTRUCTED TO PRAY, INVITED TO PARTICIPATE! Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that you have not only been instructed to pray before and unto the Father, but you are being and have been invited to participate in that very thing you were instructed to pray for? Jesus taught us to pray asking the Father for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and yet I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that we are being and we have been invited to be the direct answer and fulfillment to that request. Have you ever stopped to think about and consider the fact that you yourself might be the conduit and vessel ordained and appointed by the living and eternal Father to manifest His kingdom and His will in the midst of the earth? Have you ever stopped to think about and consider the tremendous truth surrounding the narrative found within the Lord’s prayer—and not only the Lord’s prayer, but also “the laborer’s prayer”—and how you have indeed and have in fact been called to be the direct fulfillment and answer to those prayers. Oh there are far too many among us who spend a considerable amount of time praying “the Lord’s prayer” and praying “the laborer’s prayer” and yet they don’t even realize, recognize and understand that they themselves might very well be the answer to those prayers.

            THE LORD’S PRAYER! THE LABORER’S PRAYER! I am absolutely and completely convinced that when we read the New Testament gospel narratives written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ we encounter and are brought face to face with “The Lord’s Prayer,” which we are all familiar with. With this being said, however, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that there is a secondary prayer which we must needs realize and understand is found within the gospel narratives—namely, that prayer which I would like to call and refer to as “The Laborer’s Prayer,” or perhaps even “The Prayer of the Lord of the Harvest.” We have spend a considerable amount of time teaching ourselves how to pray “The Lord’s Prayer,” and even seeking to gain an understanding of this prayer, and yet we never stopped to take the time to think and consider that we have been invited to be the answer to that prayer which we are praying. I firmly believe and am absolutely convinced we as the saints of God and disciples of Christ have indeed and have in fact been called to be the direct fulfillment of the Lord’s Prayer—and not only the Lord’s Prayer, but also the Laborer’s Prayer. Lest you think that I am somehow off base and off kilter when I speak and suggest such words I would like to call and direct your attention to the words which were spoken unto Simon called Peter in the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, as well as the words which are found in the eighteenth chapter of the same New Testament gospel. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these two passages of Scripture and how we have been called and invited to be the answer to and the fulfillment of the Lord’s prayer:

            “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:17-19).

            “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two of three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:15-20).

            The words which we find here in these two portions of Scripture are absolutely incredible when you take the time to truly read and consider them, for the call and draw our attention to the awesome and wonderful truth that we as the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ have indeed been instructed to pray both “the Lord’s Prayer,” as well as “the Laborer’s Prayer,” and with that being said, we have also been invited to be the answer to those prayers. There is not a doubt in my mind that we as the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ might very well be the answer to the very prayer we have been praying, and we have not even taken the time to think about and consider it. I would dare contend and suggest to you who might be reading these words that we have indeed and have in fact been called and invited to be the answer to the prayers we have been praying—perhaps even the prayers we have been praying for quite some time. Is it possible that we might very well have been praying prayers before and unto the living and eternal God and we have been wondering why and how they have not been answered—all the while not even realizing, recognizing and understanding that we have been called to be the answer and fulfillment of that prayer. There are countless men and women among us who have even grown angry and offended with the living and eternal God because He somehow hasn’t answered the prayers they have been praying, and yet they haven’t even realized, nor have they understood that they themselves have been called and invited to be the answer to the very prayers which they have been praying. What’s more, is there are men and women who are feeling and thinking within their hearts and minds that Jesus isn’t answering the prayers they are praying, and yet what we must needs recognize and understand is that Jesus has been and is waiting for us to step up and realize that we are the answer(s) to the prayers we have been praying. We have been praying for the Lord to arise, to awake and to act, and yet we haven’t thought or considered the fact that we have indeed and have in fact been called to be the answer and the fulfillment of that for which we have been praying in our secret closets and in our personal and private times of devotion.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I firmly believe with everything in me that Jesus’ words which are recorded in the ninth and tenth chapters of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, as well as the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke serve as a powerful call and invitation—not only to pray “the Laborer’s Prayer,” which we ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the harvest, but also to realize and recognize that we have been invited to be the answer and the fulfillment of those prayers. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading these words how Jesus instructed the disciples to pray unto the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers into the harvest, and yet immediately after that He invites them to step into the role of answering the prayer He just instructed them to pray. Jesus saw the multitude as fainting and being scattered sheep, and He declared unto the disciples that there was a need for laborers to be sent and raised up into the harvest, and immediately after that He invited them to step and enter into that place where they would be those laborers. Jesus recognized that the laborers were few and that the harvest was plenteous, and He immediately tasked, invited, ordained and appointed His disciples to be those laborers who would move and minister among the hurting, the wounded, the broken, the depressed, the discouraged, the sick, the oppressed, the possessed, the bound, and all those who were in desperate need during those days and at that time. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will find that this ministry extended beyond just healing the sick, casting out unclean spirits, cleansing the lepers and raising the dead, but also taking that which Jesus has blessed, broken and multiplied and feeding the hurting and the hungry. This is something we must needs understand and pay close attention to, for we must needs realize that we have been called to more than simply casting out unclean spirits, more than just healing the sick, more than cleansing lepers, and raising the dead, for we have been called to labor among those who are tired, those who are hurting, those who are bound, those who are hungry, those who are thirsty, those who are naked, and those who are in a great need of personal ministry.

            It is with all of this in mind that I not only leave you with the words which are found in the sixty-first chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, and not only the words found in the fifty-eighth chapter of the same prophetic book, but also the words which are found in the twenty-fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, as well as the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written by James. Consider if you will the following words and understand what you have been called into as you have been invited to enter into a place where you not only participate in the work of the kingdom, but are also the answer(s) to the very prayer(s) you have been praying. Allow the following words to truly sink down deep into the very depths of your heart and soul and allow them to completely and utterly transform you and your view of what you have been called and invited to in response to “The Lord’s Prayer,” as well as “The Laborer’s Prayer”

            “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? IS not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; Thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am” (Isaiah 58:3-9).

            “The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

            “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all his holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thisty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? OR when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous unto life eternal” (Matthew 25:31-46).

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by which ye are called? If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know. O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:1-20).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s