Cross Training

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, we are going to need a constant power source in our faith life. Expect power from the Holy Spirit to flow and fill you for the work God has prepared for you. Christ Jesus tells His apostles not to go to the Gentiles or Samaritans in Matthew 10:5~These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, (ESV) A Gentile is anyone who is not a Jew. While the Samaritans were Jews of mixed ancestry, who intermarried during Assyrian captivity. 2 Kings 17:24~The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. (NIV) Jesus commands the apostles to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (10:6). 

In Matthew 9:36, we witnessed Jesus being moved with compassion seeing the people as sheep without a shepherd. These were sent forth on a mission, to win the lost. How do we do that? We do that with a message of hope. We are witnessing a short-term mission trip of the disciples fulfilling God’s promise to Abe in Genesis 22:18~and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me. (NIV) Jesus tells His apostles to go and tell. Matthew 10:7~ And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (ESV) So if I asked you, have you ever done any short-term mission work? You might say, only to my neighbors, co-workers, and family. These are the opportunities of our everyday walking around lives. Some, who really take hold of the moments God affords, would say I share my faith with servers, stewards, and clerks. Obviously, we must explain what that means. So, what is the kingdom of heaven? Good question Pastor, I have an answer, but what might be a better one. Paul writes in Romans 14:17~For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (NIV)

At the command of Jesus Christ, they go, heal, raise, cleanse, and cast out. Are you all ready for a little OJT? Our heavenly Father loves to give us opportunities each day, week, month, and year to get our hands on the gospel. OJT stands for On Job Training. With God, we get a lot of blue water learning. How many of you served in the military. Thank you for your service. As a part of your service, many learned practical life and job skills that lead to a career. My dad learned dental skills, making teeth, dentures and how to put them in. I’m pretty sure you would rather see Dr. Marji, but many have gone on to have wonderful private practices. 

I would be willing to bet that as you look over your life, there have been some times, moments and seasons that just stick out as odd. You may have asked Lord, why did I go through that, or why did I need to learn that? God is always setting up our future. He sees what is coming in our lives and has planned accordingly. So, today, let’s take time to ask God about one of those crash courses we have at Life University and see how we might apply His wonderful teaching. There is probably someone who needs the encouragement of your testimony, or the happy little accidents (helpful mistakes) that we learned a life lesson from. Let God use you, today.



Are you ready?

There is nothing more exciting in life than being a disciple of Jesus Christ. As we follow Him, we can be sure He will guide and provide for all of our needs. This week, we will discover some Great Expectations. No Pip won’t be joining us for our journey, but our Lord does share some prep work that is needed in our lives.

If no one told you to expect preparation along your journey through life and faith, then let me be the first. Did you know that more than 160 million American adults, about half, are estimated to have either recently purchased survival gear or are already in possession of survival gear? Of those who report prepping, 36% spent up to $400 on survival kits in the past 12 months. Before labeling these as just people who are around-the-block enthusiasts, or those who show a little wear on life, 38% of Millennials made a purchase. Don’t worry if you are feeling the pressure, Costco has you covered with a $6000 kit. This premium kit comes fully loaded with 2000 calories per day of Nutristore Premium that lasts for a whole year and a throwing ax. You never know. 

As Jesus calls His twelve disciples to the huddle, He gives them authority. Matthew 10:1~And he called to him his twelve disciples (μαθητής mathētēs) and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. (ESV) (μαθητής mathētēs) means learners or pupils and Jesus added back in Matthew 8:21~Another of the disciples (μαθητής mathētēs) said to him, Lord, let me first go and bury my father. (ESV) In response, Christ shared that He’s changing the meaning of disciple from being just a learner to one who’s fully-committed to following. Thus a disciple has the task of passing on the teaching of their master or teacher. That’s why Christ Jesus says in John 15:8~This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV) 

Matthew lists the names of the disciples in verses 2-4. We discover a new name is given, apostles (ἀπόστολος apostolos) meaning those sent forth with a message. Our modem equivalent is missionaries. So, discipleship is prepping us to become an apostle. When learning, they are disciples. When commanded to go out and practice what they have been taught, in authority, they’re apostles. Moreover, the list of apostles always form in a particular way with some names always coming first, and others always coming last (Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:12-16) Matthew 10:2~The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; (ESV) Matthew 10:3-4~Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (ESV) 

As a disciple of the Messiah, Jesus Christ we have some Great Expectations, and one of those is Prepping for what God has in store for us today. Take time to pray and submit your life to God, as you ask Him to share His holy word with you. Take time to pray for your family and friends, covering your whole life in pray.



Harvest

If your week has been anything like mine, then I bet you need a little bit of help. We all need to remember our need for help (Matthew 9:35-38) The community of faith needs you. You were sent here to Help. Right now we have a place for you to serve, meeting people, encouraging people, preparing meals for people, teaching and enriching the lives of our students. Jesus travels through towns and villages proclaiming the Gospel and healing all kinds of diseases. When He sees the crowds. He has compassion on them because they are like sheep without a shepherd (9:35-36). Therefore, He says to His disciples in Matthew 9:37~The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; (ESV) Well Lord, what do we do about this?

This week we have been walking towards a question. Are you praying for the harvest? Are you really praying and seeking God to give you, us, our community of faith, a harvest. We need to be praying and asking if God would send the workers for the harvest. Jesus tells us that all who ask receive answers. So, ask the Lord who to share the gospel with, respond to His gentle nudging and answer His call that comes over your shoulder. Saints, we ought to be praying right now for God to use us to reach our families, friends, and colleagues. Jesus then says in Matthew 9:38~therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (ESV) As you head out into the wide world around us, know that the Lord is calling you to labor in the harvest field. And, don’t forget, guidance is just a prayer away.