Move Out!

July 3, 2022 The Fourteenth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C)

The tie in between today’s readings: Missions

Psalm 66:1-7;16-20 Isaiah 66:10-14Galatians 6:14-18Luke 10:1-20

Today we are taking a deeper look into the “Go” aspect of discipleship: missions. We in the pews don’t really think of ourselves as missionaries. After all, there are trained and ordained people for that. Just send money and let the professionals do it. Yes, there are special people God calls to do special things in special places and we definitely need to support them, but you are special too. Every believer has the Holy Spirit and a sphere of influence that they can affect with the message of the gospel. Stepping out infaith in order to share your faith can be a little daunting, but do it anyway! Take the challenge of being a missionary for Jesus in your own part of the “world”. It will motivate your Bible study, grow your faith, deepen your worship, and give an anticipation of adventure to your life. Walking with God is never boring!

Imagine yourself on the scene with Jesus as He sent the seventy out on their first missionary endeavor, (Luke 10:1-20). See Him standing on the side of the hill so that they all could hear Him: “Alright men, let Me have your attention! Give me two lines, here and here. Good! OK, the man opposite you will be your partner on this assignment. I’m glad to see all of you here today. I wish there were more of you. So, when you pray, ask My Father to send more laborers out into the field to be with us. We have a lot to do. Let’s get started. There are specific rules I want you to follow on this mission. Listen up! First, this is a faith exercise for you guys. DO NOT bring any money, backpack, or shoes. You go just as you are. Have faith! I don’t want any idle chit chat with people that you meet along the way. Get to your assigned towns ASAP. Keep focused! When you get there start knocking on doors and bid peace to the household. If they take you in, blessings will be upon that house. Stay there the whole time. Eat what they give you with thanksgiving. Now, very important! While you are there, you will have the power to heal the sick…and to do a few other things if needed. Don’t let it go to your heads. These signs will give you the credentials that you’ll need for the real mission: spreading the word about the kingdom of God! Look, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. If they receive you, then they receive Me. If they reject you, then they reject Me and My Father. Either way, your message must stay consistent and that message is this: the kingdom of God has come near! You don’t embellish it for the believers nor will you water it down for those who oppose you. You will notice that none of you men will be going to Chorazin, Bethsaida, or Capernaum. They had their chance. I will deal with them later. Enough said. Today, all of you are embarking on a great adventure. Amazing things are going to happen, but remember, most importantly, don’t get caught up in the excitement of doing miracles. Instead, rejoice in the reality that your names are recorded in heaven! Now, go and make me proud!”

Dangerous! Understaffed! Jesus sent those men on a bare-bones operation with uncertain outcomes. Missions haven’t changed in two thousand years. It is reach out, be daring, be clear, and overcome objections with truth and love. Whether you’re in the ministry halfway around the world or talking with a neighbor over coffee, being a missionary is putting your vulnerable self out there. It can go one of two ways. When the Gospel is accepted, you rejoice like the man in Psalm 66 and praise God for all of His wonders along with the angels in heaven. When the Good News is rejected, it’s like the Apostle Paul who bore in his body the brand-marks of Christ (Gal 6:17). Well, maybe not as bad for us as he had it, but it hurts! Either way the gospel message stays the same as Paul said, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me…” (Gal 6:14-15).

Why does the Almighty want us to spread the Word whether it’s a good time or not as stated in 2 Timothy 4:2? The gospel is the greatest message to mankind, more precious than gold. It’s the guide to eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ and a joyful citizenship in heaven as described in Isaiah 66:10-14. So be ready to give a reason for your faith (1 Peter 3:15). Be fearless and trust in Him when you do witness to others about salvation in Jesus (Matthew 10:19). It’s the calling of every Christian. Also, remember it’s not about you. You are just the messenger. Whether the Good News is accepted or rejected it’s done unto the Lord, (2Corinthians 2:16). So, study, pray, and go spread the precious seeds of the gospel personally, but don’t take the rejections personally. You are not alone. The God of the universe goes with you. Countless souls are in need of salvation’s message. The fields are white and ready for the reaping. The laborers are few. Join in the harvest and you will return rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves (Psalm 126:5-6).

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