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The third principle is that of priority, not pressure.  This is one which we had better keep in the forefront of our thinking today or our spiritual vitality will be crushed out.  Probably the greatest problem that can confront any campus staff at the onset of a day is how to use their time most constructively for God.  The primary difference that distinguishes people is how they use their time.  This is the common denominator of our lives; we don’t have equal gifts, but we all have equal time.

 

When Jesus Christ was on earth, He probably had less time than we do, but He had all of the time necessary to do the Father’s will.  Throughout the whole gospel narrative, we never find an occasion when Christ was in a hurry or too busy for people.  There is a sharp and bitter barrenness in busyness.  It seems that we are always in a hurry, but seldom have time to do God’s will.  When this is true, there is something fundamentally wrong with our concepts of Christian responsibility.  A few years ago in reading through the Gospels, these words leaped out, “... and Jesus went about doing good.”  Most of our lives could be summarized, “and he went about, period” -- actually without accomplishment.

 

Jesus Christ had three-and-one-half years to do the job, to launch worldwide ministry.  Was this pressure?  No, Christ was never under pressure because He operated with a priority.  He knew exactly the one pattern to follow and never got bogged down.  He was always with a small group of men.  After he was gone, this qualitative ministry would multiply.  The result was so cataclysmic that the pagan world testified of His “Core Group,” “these are they who have turned the world upside down!”

 

A fourth principle that can be discovered in Jesus Christ’s ministry is the focus on potential, no problems.  The demand of discipleship is that we meet people as individuals with a fresh personal vitality.  To form relationships of this quality with one person or ten brings us to a painful awareness of each individual’s needs and problems.  The basic issue is our perspective.  Do we relate to individuals on the basis of problems or of potential?

 

Take careful note of the men with whom Jesus chose to work.  Quite frankly, it was an unimpressive lot.  Jesus was faced with the prospect of launching a world-wide enterprise.  Peter Marshall noted that if the twelve disciples were reviewed by a church examining committee in our day, they would be abruptly turned down.  Does this not reflect a basic attitude that is carried by all of us?  Would we have picked Peter?  Here was a man who had a tremendous ability for opening his mouth and putting both feet into it.  Or how about adding Thomas to our outreach committee?  By the time someone brought up an idea, he would have twenty-seven reasons why it wouldn’t work.  The amazing fact is that after prayerful consideration, Jesus chose twelve men.

 

The purpose for this small group was that these men might be with Him to share His life so that eventually He might send them forth to minister to others (Mark 3:13-14).  Of all the multitudes that followed Him, Jesus chose twelve men, and one of them was Judas.

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