2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. — Luke 9:2, 3 NLT
If Jesus told us to go on a mission taking no money, food or clothes, what would our reaction be? Do we really trust God to completely supply our every need? Do we trust Him to protect us from every harm that comes our way? If not, we must ask ourselves, why not? Has He ever failed on a promise? Is our salvation not secure? If He was able to do this for the disciples, is He not able to do this for us? Every disciple came back safe and sound. God had provided their every need. We think “Oh, but society is different now, we wouldn’t be safe and people now are not as generous as they were back then.” Again, we are guilty of wrong thinking and allowing ourselves to be deceived by satan. The right question is “Isn’t God still God, can He not do today what He did then”? And the right answer is “Yes He is and yes, He can.” If the people won’t feed us, then God can use another method, just as He did when the ravens brought meat to Elijah. Either we believe that God can and will or we don’t believe that He can and will. In a war zone, there is no neutral ground and we are living in a war zone. There is a war going on around us right now. We may not see the spiritual warriors fighting the battles, but we see the results of those battles around us every day. We see people who are deceived and refuse to believe the truth. They have eyes to see but they don’t see. They have ears to hear but they don’t hear.
27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.
Under the Old Testament law, the priests were required to make specific sacrifices at specific dates throughout the year. One of the sacrificial rites was for the forgiveness of their sins, both intentional and unintentional. The high priest would slay a bull to atone for his sins. Then he would sacrifice a goat for the sins of the people. The blood of both the bull and the goat would be sprinkled on the atonement cover and the horns of the altar. He would then lay both hands on the head of a live goat and confess all the sins of Israel. The goat was then taken outside the camp and released into the wilderness. This was done year after year, over and over again. But, thank God, we have a better covenant, a better Priest and a better Sacrifice. Jesus died once for all of our sins making the way to salvation very simple for us. But we still need to examine ourselves daily and ask God to forgive us of our sins, intentional and unintentional. Yes, we are saved and our salvation is secure without any further blood sacrifice. We just need to keep the Temple clean by admitting our failures and we can only do that if we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.— 1 John 1:-10 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
We are to be in the world, but “not of this world”. While it is true that we need to be cognizant of the things going on around us everyday, we should not allow those things to weight us down. With all the bad news we are subjected to everyday, how do we avoid negative thinking? We do what Peter suggested here, we refresh our memories of all of God’s promises and how He has never failed or gone back on His word. When satan tempted Jesus, Jesus rebuked him with the Word of God. We must be so grounded in the Word, that we do the same thing. We must remember that even Jesus said He did not know when the end would come.
32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!—Mark 13:32,33 (NLT)
Yes, there are those that mock and say “Oh, I have heard that for years and Jesus still hasn’t come back.” While that statement is true today, it may not be true tomorrow. We do not need to waste our time trying to figure out when Jesus will come back. We have plenty to do while we wait. We must be on guard against the wiles of the devil and we must stay alert! Do not be deceived, Jesus will come back at the appointed time. We just need to stay ready.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
In our modern society, we have access to so much information that contains all kinds of doctrines and teachings. We must be aware of deception in every area of our lives. Every message we hear, every word that we read must be crosschecked against Scripture to be sure of its authenticity. Any person teaching the truth will not be offended if you question them on their stance. True Godliness will stand up to any test that man can devise. Every lie has just enough truth in it to make it believable. Every religion offers doctrines and rewards that appeal to the flesh. But Christianity (which is a relationship, not a religion) is the only belief system that claims to have a living God and Savior, Jesus Christ. If anyone preaches any message that offers a different way to get to heaven than through the blood of Jesus Christ, that person is deceived. We preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified as the only way to heaven
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” – John 14:6 -7 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Considering all that is going on in this country and around the world, this is a very timely message. Every day we see the wasteful results of those that choose to express their anger with violence and illegal acts. God gave us our emotions and one of those is anger. There is an anger that comes from righteous indignation when we see the evil being done to others in our cities across the world. But that anger must be controlled and pointed in the right direction. Our response must be to hate the sin and love the sinner. Unless we are expressing our feelings about sin and evil actions, we should never use the word “hate”. Jesus has set the standard. We are not allowed to pick what we will love or hate, He has already shown us the right way. We are all guilty of allowing our anger to control us at times, so we need to learn to pray before we react to any situation.
We must pray for those that have been deceived into thinking that violence is a solution to their issues. Each of us needs to set aside a few minutes of each day to pray about this issue and for praying especially for the cities that we call home.
1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, — Titus 3:1-5 NIV
When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we experienced a new birth, not physically, but spiritually. At that time, we are or were new babies in Christ. Just as physical babies have to learn to crawl, stand, and walk before they can run, so we must do that spiritually. For a baby to grow and mature, the baby needs a proper diet along with proper care and training. We need the same things as new babies in Christ. The process of growing up spiritually is called renewal. We are being renewed daily as we are led by the Holy Spirit. The more we seek God’s wisdom and the more we allow the Holy Spirit to influence our lives, the faster we will grow. The physical baby grows physically and in time becomes an adult. At some point, our physical growth will reach its limit, whether it be at four feet, five feet, six feet or more. The spiritual baby grows spiritually and matures. That growth is limited only by our willingness to be obedient and exercise spiritually every day. We will never be totally perfected here on earth. So, we must never think that there is not more to learn. If we reach that point, it is pride not perfection. When we become judgmental of others, we need to be reminded that we used to be like that and to some extent, we are still like that and always will be. Any difference in us and the world is because of God’s great love and mercy, not because of any goodness in us. We need to show that same love to others. To do less is to limit what God can do for us and through us.
40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40, 41 NKJV
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! 38 If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) 40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “This man surely is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? —John 7:37-41 (NLT)
Jesus tells the crowd the same thing He had told the Samaritan woman at the well. There is water which we can drink and never be thirsty again. This water is the living water which is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The One that takes up His abode in us, so that we are always being filled and refilled, so that we could never be thirsty. Just as the woman at the well had accepted this message, so did some of the crowd here in Jerusalem. They said “this man surely is the prophet”. But others said He can’t be, the Messiah will not come from Galilee. There will always be people who refuse to believe regardless of the signs or the situation. But, instead of being puzzled as to why they don’t believe, we should remember our own history before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit—Titus 3:3-5 (NLT)
Because we have been redeemed by God’s grace and mercy, we should remember to always be thankful and pray that others will accept this free gift of God’s mercy and grace. That is the work that God has given us to do as laborers in His harvest.