DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-08-13
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS
SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 9:1-3; 5-7;
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: 1 Jesus called together his twelve apostles and gave them complete power over all demons and diseases. 2 Then he sent them to tell about God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. 3 He told them, “Don’t take anything with you! Don’t take a walking stick or a traveling bag or food or money or even a change of clothes.
5 If people won’t welcome you, leave the town and shake the dust from your feet as a warning to them.”
6 The apostles left and went from village to village, telling the good news and healing people everywhere.
7 Herod the ruler heard about all that was happening, and he was worried….
APPLICATION: In my early years of life, I remember community-wide tent revivals; street corner evangelism; home visitation by pastors; hospital visits by pastors and church leaders, etc. As we consider what the future might look like for the church of Jesus Christ (His bride), we may add to the list I just mentioned, that we remember when folk got up, picked up family and friends they invited to attend church with them, went on to church and worshipped God in the company of other believers. Isn’t it strange how times change? I believe it is highly debatable if things have changed for the better, but we can certainly see where many things that have worked well in the past, have been phased out by the modern church. In 1987 I continued my banking career in a small town in central Florida. I was told about the good old days when the bank closed on Wednesday afternoons to allow staff time to be ready for church that evening. Furthermore, they recalled when city officials would call the churches to see if anything was planned for a given date before they would add a city-wide event to the calendar. As years went by, I remember churches having to check with the city calendar before planning a church community-wide event. Before Covid, I remember Sunday School teachers complaining about the number of parents who weren’t able to attend their class because of planned sports competitions for their kids on Sunday. Friends, this is not just a reflection on our times, but I hope that this might cause you to consider whether our town has become one that Jesus’ apostles would have shaken the dust from their feet and moved on from. Today we have young men and women who attend seminary to best prepare them for ministry in their local churches. Are they graduating to continue the work for which Jesus first called His apostles? Would they survive the orders of Jesus to leave everything at home, especially their electronic devices, so they could depend on God as they go and minister in His name to a nation of people who really need the Lord? An old, retired missionary shared the story of his call into ministry. Before going to the mission field, he sold his home and gave the proceeds to the local church, for he was convinced that the same God who called Him, would care for him while doing the Master’s work for which he was called. Did he have faith in his calling? Oh my, if any of us would dare to be that bold, perhaps the presence of God will overwhelm us and strengthen our faith to a degree that we would depend on God for everything in our time of ministry. But notice in the Scripture today that there was emphasis also placed on church members, for Jesus was sure that they would welcome His ministers into their homes and provide everything personally needed while in that town. I remember my parents and other senior members of my childhood church preparing for visiting preachers and putting them up, if needed. Today I’m afraid that it’s way too easy to place a visiting preacher into a hotel and let them fend for themselves. What has changed? Do we compartmentalize the space where we will permit Jesus also? Do you suppose that the world really sees any difference in God’s people anymore? Do we truly stand firm on the Word of God and earn the respect of our City Council; our State officials; our senators and our President? Do you suppose that Jesus is proud to present us to our unsaved world and His children, who represent Him perfectly? It’s not too late for us to ask for God’s guidance, strength and boldness in doing this!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: In humility, boldness and with a willing heart, follow the commands of Jesus and be confident in knowing that God will provide for our every need.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, just as You ordered Your apostles to step out in faith knowing that You will supply their every need, through the waits that would accommodate them, I believe that You are still encouraging us today to also take a step of faith. People need the Lord, and many of them will never know about Your love unless we tell them and show them. Use us as Your instruments Lord, so that our people may know about You and believe. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!