It’s Go Time

By Pastor Eric

“These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.’

During my time in the military, I experienced and sat through many pre-combat briefings. In these briefings we would receive our “Operational Orders” for combat missions. These orders would include information such as: our objective, special directives on dealing with locals, equipment we should take with us, the enemy we would encounter during the mission, friendly forces participating, and a clear reason for the operation. This is done before every combat operation and is vital to the soldiers’ understanding of their purpose, objective, and direction. The briefings are meant to provide confidence and a rally point, but sometimes the information is overwhelming, and produces only fear. The mission can seem impossible. 

In Matthew 10, we see that Jesus is giving his “Operational Orders” to the 12 disciples, sending them out 2 by 2 to deliver the message of the Kingdom. I can only imagine the anxiety this caused in the disciples or what they must have been thinking as Jesus gave them their orders…. “You want us to go where and do what?” “How can we heal the sick?” “You want us to cast out demons, how is that possible?” “We will starve without food and die without shelter!” “We are going to be arrested, beaten, and possibly killed?” The disciples may have even started to rethink what they were doing and who they were following! 

But these orders are not only for the disciples of Matthew 10, they are for you and I as well. Does Jesus even understand what he is asking? HE DOES. And Jesus is about his Father’s Kingdom! 

The mission of sharing the good news of the Kingdom is a calling each of us carries. We see this in Matthew 10, Acts 1, Matthew 27, and so many other places in scripture. Our mission is clear, the cost is real, and the need to trust God is the only way! Jesus never sugarcoats the cost of following him or the cost of carrying out his mission but his promise of eternal life and our heavenly reward is trustworthy! 

It’s easy to claim your ‘label” as a Christian but are you ready for the mission of the Kingdom that comes with that label? Are you ready to do hard things, trusting God to lead you, provide for your every need, speak for you when you cannot, and to be empowered through the work of the Holy Spirit? 

It’s Go Time brothers and sisters!! 

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39

 

 

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