DN Overcoming Spiritual Inadequacies 5/3/2007
- From: Peter G. Chase <pchase@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 00:02:24 -0400
Overcoming Spiritual Inadequacies
"Having summoned His twelve disciples" (Matt. 10:1).
Most people think of the disciples as stained-glass saints who didn't
have to struggle with the faults and frailties of normal people. But
they had inadequacies just like we all do. Seeing how Jesus dealt
with them gives us hope that He can use us too.
One inadequacy common to all the disciples was their lack of
understanding. For example, Luke 18 tells us Jesus gave them details
about His future suffering, death, and resurrection, but they didn't
understand anything He said (vv. 31-34). Jesus overcame their lack of
understanding by constantly teaching them until they got it right.
Another inadequacy was their lack of humility. More than once they
argued among themselves about who would be the greatest in the
kingdom of heaven (e.g., Mark 9:33-37). Jesus dealt with their lack
of humility by His own example. He likened Himself to a servant, and
even washed their dirty feet.
In addition to their lack of understanding and humility, they also
lacked faith. Jesus often said to them, "O men of little faith." In
Mark 16:14 He rebuked them for not even believing the reports of His
They also lacked commitment. Just prior to Christ's death Judas
betrayed Him, Peter denied Him, and the others deserted Him. Jesus
dealt with their lack of commitment by praying for them (e.g., John
17:15; Luke 22:31-32).
Finally, they lacked spiritual power, which Christ overcame by giving
them the Holy Spirit.
Those are significant inadequacies, but despite all that, the book of
Acts records that the disciples turned the world upside down with
their powerful preaching and miraculous deeds. They were so much like
Christ that people started calling them Christians, which means
Jesus still transforms inadequacies into victories. He does it
through the Spirit, the Word, and prayer. Don't be victimized by your
inadequacies. Make those spiritual resources the continual focus of
Suggestions for Prayer:
Thank the Lord for your inadequacies because they help you
realize your dependence on Him. Ask for grace always to rely on
your spiritual resources rather than human abilities.
For Further Study:
Read Matthew 20:20-28.
Who spoke to Jesus on behalf of James and John? What was His
response? How did the other disciples respond? What was Jesus'
Drawing Near, Copyright 1993 John F. MacArthur, Jr.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Luke 18:31-34 (NKJV)
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are
going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the
prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.
32 "For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and
insulted and spit upon.
33 "They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will
34 But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden
from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.
33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked
them, "What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?"
34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among
themselves who would be the greatest.
35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone
desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."
36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And
when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,
37 "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name
receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He
rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not
believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but
that You should keep them from the evil one.
31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for
you, that he may sift you as wheat.
32 "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and
when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons,
kneeling down and asking something from Him.
21 And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Grant
that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the
other on the left, in Your kingdom."
22 But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are
you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized
with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are
23 So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup, and be
baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My
right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those
for whom it is prepared by My Father."
24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the
25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the
rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great
exercise authority over them.
26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become
great among you, let him be your servant.
27 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your
28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give His life a ransom for many."
These devotions are posted with permission from John MacArthur's
first (1993) devotional work, _Drawing Near_, and they are also sent
out daily for free to several folks via e-mail.
In addition, John's second (1997) devotional, _Strength for Today_,
is also available free via e-mail only. _Strength for Today_ follows
the same format as what you have seen here from _Drawing Near_, but
with different monthly themes.
If you would like to receive daily devotions via e-mail from either
of these series, just let me know (via e-mail), and I will gladly add
you to the list(s) of your choice.
You can hear John MacArthur daily via the Internet by visiting:
You may email John MacArthur in care of Grace to You at:
NOTE for those of you reading via newsgroups: If you wish to reach
me, please contact me via e-mail for quickest results.
Peter G. Chase :: Columbus, Ohio, USA
STOP! Who do you think Jesus is?
There is a living God. He has spoken in His word. He means just what he says, and will do all that He has promised. - Hudson Taylor
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