pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


Leave a comment

I Am Sending You

Reading: Matthew 10: 1-23

Verse 16: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.

Jesus is sending out the twelve to “drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease”.  In this passage today, they are being sent to fellow Jews.  Jesus calls these the “lost sheep” – tying back to why He had compassion on the crowds in Matthew 9:36.  The twelve are first to preach that “the kingdom of heaven is near” and then to heal diseases, raise the dead, and drive out demons.  The authority Jesus gives them to perform miracles will lend credence to the message they bring.

As we go out into the world, we go for the same reasons.  We go to share the good news of Jesus Christ as we work to heal a broken world.  Each of us who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior has a story to tell that will be good news for others.  Each of us can love and serve others too.  We may not be able to work miracles, but by caring for basic needs and by giving of our time and talents we do bring healing.  It is through our loving acts of service that we too gain footing to share Jesus with the lost.

Jesus warned the disciples: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves”.  There is a defenselessness that comes to mind with this statement.  It requires trust in the Shepherd.  He goes on to advise them to be on guard against men.  Jesus warns them that persecution is going to be a part of the journey.  He also tells them that the Spirit will be with them.  The Holy Spirit will give them the words to say.  And then Jesus encourages them, stating that “he who stands firm to the end will be saved”.  Keep the faith, I am with you.

We too are sometimes sent to people or places that make us feel like sheep among wolves.  We too must trust into the lead, guidance, and protection of the Holy Spirit.  In those uncomfortable or outside our comfort zone times, if we keep the faith the Spirit will give us just the right words to say as well.  May we be like the twelve, trusting He who sends, going forth to share the good news and to bring healing to our broken world.  May our light draw others in to Jesus Christ – the One who saves.


Leave a comment

Answering the Question

Most of us do not have a vision experience like Isaiah – winged creatures, smoke filling the room, trembles that shake the foundations.  For most of us, our encounters with God tend to be on the quieter side.  We do not hear an audible voice asking the question: “Whom shall I send?”  But we do often hear the question.

For many of us though, we are adept at acting like we do not hear the question.  Like a phone ringing that we choose not to answer or a text message that we choose to ignore, it can be easy to avoid responding to the question.  We certainly could not avoid the question if our call experience was like Isaiah’s.  And for some, God’s call approaches this scale.  But for most it does not.

God continues to actively call each of us.  It could be through something we see on TV or read in the paper or observe out in the world.  It could be through the words of another who encourage us or ask us to join them.  It could be through an encounter with someone that somehow strikes a passion within us.  God speaks to us in many ways.  He calls for us to minister to His people over and  over and over.

The voice never goes away.  He never ceases to ask the question.  The call never ends.  But the more we hear it, the more we have the opportunity to tune in and to hear God.  Funny thing though, saying ‘yes’ does not make the call go away.  It makes the next call clearer.  It helps us say ‘yes’ quicker next time.  When God asks “Whom shall I send?”, the answer is clear.  In each case, God already knows the answer to the question.  May we respond with the answer He longs for: “Here I am.  Send me.”  For where He leads we are to go.  And where we go, He will be there too.

Scripture reference: Isaiah 6: 1-8