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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

May 23, 2012 - Disciples-in-Training

By William E. Richardson

After a night of prayer, Jesus walked down the mountainside. A small crowd awaited Him. Passing through the group, He called the names of 12 men.

Jesus selected the dozen, not just to be disciples or learners, but to become apostles, teachers (Luke 6:13). Let’s compare the lists of names given in Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; and Luke 6:14-16. Each offers insight.

The first disciple on all three lists is Peter. They recall his birth name was Simon. Mark and Luke add that Jesus renamed him Peter, meaning a rock. Why, then, didn’t Peter act more like a rock?

Granted, he was the only disciple to walk on the Sea of Galilee. Later, he led the others in declaring Jesus was the Son of God. Yet, he was the rock who sank during his walk on the sea. He often spoke up to his own embarrassment. Peter cut off a man’s ear in Gethsemane and verbally denied Jesus three times during our Lord’s trial.

Jesus had a plan. Simon Peter stands out as the poster child for how He picked the disciples-to-be-apostles. No saints. Rather, men willing to give their all while learning along the way.

We find Jesus’ nickname for James and John. Absent from the lists in Matthew and Luke, Mark says Jesus called them “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). A phrase often applied to their readiness to call fire down on the Samaritans who rejected Jesus (Luke 9:54). Our Lord quickly rebuked the two brothers. He also kept training them.

What about Matthew? His list alone jogs our memories that he was once a tax collector (Matthew 10:3). His former service to the Romans allowed him to cheat his own people. Jesus saw other potential in Matthew. The disciple traded his selfish ways for a lifestyle of selflessly giving to others.

Another Simon among the Twelve is identified by what he used to be, a Zealot (Luke 3:15). Like Matthew’s unethical tax-collecting job, Simon left his political revolutionary ways to follow Jesus.

Let the added comments from those lists encourage you today. Like the Twelve, Jesus doesn’t call you because you are perfect. He calls you if you are willing to let Him keep improving you while you serve Him.

All Jesus’ followers are disciples and apostles He is constantly molding.

— William E. Richardson is senior pastor of Afton (Iowa) Assembly of God and blogs at



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