Let’s pray: Lord I come to you humbled that that you ask me to be salt & light. Please use me as your vessel to be your Disciple reaching out to all as the light on the hill. Please clear my mind & spirit as I listen to your words & give me a new identity so that my actions become a symbol to all that I come into contact with today & in the future until I sit at the right of Jesus. Amen.
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
9 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8 others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. 9 But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.
As I read these verses, I immediately thought of our Small Group Study entitled “Not a fan” This study asked us if we were a fan of Christ sitting in the stands cheering for HIM each Sunday & then returning to our regular identity on Monday morning, knowing that we had done our thing & were good for another week.
Or were we, or did we aspire to be a follower of Christ?! GOD challenges us to get off the sidelines, get out of the stands & walk with HIM & be HIS Disciple. HE says we are equipped just as we are-keep it simple, don’t load ourselves up with a lot of tools, we are the tool!
It is easy for me to just sit back & enjoy what Christ has done in my life. But the challenge is how can I help others to enjoy Christ in their lives. In the Not a Fan series one part that resonated with me was the character acted one way at work & another way on Sunday mornings. When a co-worker asked him if he was the same person that he sat with in church every Sunday, the character responded by saying, " That is Sunday. This is the real world."
Really? Is that who GOD calls us me to be? As long as I am good on Sunday & live a Christ-filled life then I am good with GOD? Am I content with being a fan? Or is GOD calling me to be a true follower & go & disciple to all? Do I hit the snooze button on GOD’s alarm clock? Or is there something that HE is calling me to do that I keep putting off?
Jesus tells me to go & “preach the kingdom of God & to heal the sick.” I don’t need any extra equipment, HE is the tool. I may not think that I am qualified. Should I leave it to pastor or others that are more “in tune” with the Spirit? NO, Jesus gives me the power & authority that I need to “drive out all demons & cure diseases.”
I struggle with this new identity thing & following Christ. I have been on the sidelines so long. It is easy on the sidelines cheering. The hard part is getting off the bench & saying I can do this. I can change my identity & I can act differently. In fact, Sunday after church, my nephew had left a message saying he was in town & wanted to introduce my mother, Cindy & myself to his fiancé. We were in Dallas a couple of weeks ago & were supposed to meet her then, but they never came over. I was offended that he wanted to “ruin” my plans for Mother’s Day & meet with us Sunday afternoon. But after thinking about it, I decided it wasn’t about my plan, this was an opportunity. We called him back to try to get together, but he was already eating & no longer had time to get together because he had to head back home. The point is it’s not about me, or my plans, it’s about HIM & HIS plans for me.
HE has given me the power of the kingdom of GOD. It is up to me to use this GOD-given, Jesus-bought power. How do I respond? Do I keep cheering in the stands? Or do I step to the plate & hit a homerun for JESUS!
Are you a fan, or are you a follower? I would love to hear from you.
Blessings & Love,