At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” 16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him. Mark 1:9-20
How can we be usable in God’s Kingdom? After all, we want our lives to matter and count for something. How can we be in the best position to see God work in our lives? I offer three points from Mark 1.
First, be obedient to God. Seek to learn His Word and obey His Word. The disciples obeyed Jesus’ command to follow. We should do no less.
Second, be willing to be tested. The beginning of Jesus’ ministry was marked by a time of severe testing. Jesus endured this testing to remind us that usability in God’s Kingdom will require us to go beyond our comfort zone and face difficult challenges. If we desire to be used by God, we must come to terms with the trials and difficulties that will accompany following Christ.
Finally, invest in the lives of others. Jesus was willing to invest in the lives of these early disciples. He taught them and gave them an example to follow each day. God’s work always happens within the context of people and relationships. Investing in people is not always easy. Making the investment pays eternal rewards.
Will you seek usability in God’s Kingdom today?