Last Wednesday evening, in our ZOOM Bible study, we looked at Luke 9:1-6 where Jesus sent out the twelve disciples on a missionary journey. We considered the fact that Jesus had spent a lot of time training them and getting them ready for this moment. And, because the training had been successful, their efforts were successful. The disciples “departed, and went through the town’s, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” (Luke 9:6).
We noticed that Jesus taught them to go and rely upon God to provide their daily needs. When we are not as concerned about our daily needs but place ourselves in the hands of God to provide for us, then we can focus on what is important. Faith demands that we trust God to provide for us. In our culture, we get paid once a week, or maybe bi-weekly, and we adjust our living accordingly. Jesus taught the disciples to live one day at a time, trusting God to take care of them and meet their needs. As they went, they did not take money, instead they relied upon the kindness of those whom they taught to feed them and give them a place to rest. The Jewish culture at that time did just that – if you were a Jew, you could go and expect to get help from other Jews. And they gave these benefactors the greater gift – the knowledge of God and His Son.
Sometimes Christians are too interested in taking care of things of this world, rather than thinking about things in the world to come. I confess that I am. Sometimes we struggle with faith and believing God’s word. Many times, we forget that this world is not our home. We do what we can to “make our nest and make our nest as comfortable as it can be.” There is nothing wrong with that – but it often gets our focus away from God and too much on this world. Could it be that Christians have been so focused on this world that we have forgotten that “this world is not my home?”
The church’s mission is to preach the gospel. Some have stated that our mission is to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). But notice that this is the job of the Son of Man – of Jesus. He came to seek the lost and encourages all of us to seek the lost, BUT ONLY HE CAN SAVE THE LOST. Our job is to introduce the lost to the only one who can save – Jesus.
We will note, as we continue our study of these “evangelistic methods,” that Jesus will send out the seventy in Luke 10. Many of the things that he stated to the twelve he also said to the seventy. As He told the twelve, he tells them to “dust off their feet against the city, if they do not accept the message.” Jesus emphasized that some will not listen. Some will not hear. Do we quit because we do not have responses? NO! We keep on teaching and preaching, remembering that “few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14).
Church, we have become self-centered. We divide over the smallest things. We threaten to leave if something does not go our way. We make church about us, our likes, dislikes, opinions and ideas. We forget that this is HIS CHURCH – HE DIED FOR IT. As in the church at Corinth, who struggled with division over everything from a denial of the resurrection to the role of women in the church; from the Lord’s supper to actual, blatant sin in the church – they had problems. But the church of Corinth was still the church of God at Corinth.” He expected better from them – and he expects better from us. LORD, PLEASE FORGIVE US OF OUR SIN, AND REMIND US IT IS ABOUT YOU, NOT US!
The key is dying to ourselves and living for God. The key is remembering that Jesus bought us with his blood. The key is remembering that this is His church, not ours. The key is for us to remember that Jesus has given us a mission – he wants us involved in telling others what they need to know to become a Christian. The mission is ours. Will we do our very best? Or is it possible that souls will be lost because we have failed in our mission. Will loved ones, friends, neighbors point their fingers at us on Judgment day and ask why we didn’t share the gospel with them?
Let us learn this week and be encouraged to do the work that the LORD wants us to be engaged in. And let us “go to work” using the knowledge we have to share the gospel with others.