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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day 121: Luke 10:1-20 & Psalm 119:81-120 - How Should We Engage in Missions?

Today's Reading: Luke 10:1-20 & Psalm 119:81-120

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How Should We Engage in Missions?

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves." - Luke 10:2-3, ESV

As believers in Jesus, we are not just in the world to mark our time, be good people and wait until we go to heaven or Jesus returns. No, we are given a mission, to go into the world with the Gospel. Some are called to go to the mission field, serving Jesus in foreign lands reaching unreached peoples. Others of us are called to a more local mission, to reach neighbors and friends, co-workers and family members. Wherever we are called to serve, we should all see ourselves as being "on mission" for Jesus.

So, how should we engage in the mission of the Gospel? Today's passage in Luke is the account of Jesus sending out 72 disciples as missionaries. This was a key training event for the life of the church, as Jesus was showing the disciples how to engage in Gospel missions outreach. Based on this passage, we can see how we are to engage in missions:

1. Prayerfully. (v. 2) Prayer is the great fuel and power source for truly effective missions. We need to pray for the Lord to send more people into the mission field and we need to pray for fruit from their labor.

2. Peacefully. (v. 3) We are not to engage in culture wars, seeking to vanquish our enemies. No, we are to love and serve, innocently and peacefully. We are sent as lambs in the midst of wolves, and though we are hated, we must not hate in return.    

3. Faithfully. (v. 4)We are to be "on mission" by faith, trusting in God to supply our every need. We should not be anxious, not should we seek to avoid all risk or rely on our own resources. Often God takes us beyond our own resources so He can supply our need. 

4. Confidently. (vv. 9-11) As Christians, we are kingdom ambassadors, representatives of the kingdom of God. We should not be anxious, worried, timid, shy or insecure. We should know who we represent and speak His words and show His compassion with confidence. If people reject us, they are not rejecting us but Him who sent us.  

5. Rejoicing in our salvation. (v. 20) These 72 disciples were given unique, powerful authority over demons and sickness, and they were amazed by the power Jesus had given them. But Jesus told them not to rejoice over power and authority, "but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” We must not lose sight of this primary cause for our joy, that we are children of God who have received eternal life in Jesus Christ. 

Where is your mission field? Who has God put in your life who needs to hear the Gospel or see the love of Jesus? Can you engage in your mission with prayer, peace, faith, confidence and joy in your salvation? As we do, we can trust that God will work His perfect will, even through imperfect people like us. 

Prayer from Psalm 119:81-120:

Kaph

 My soul longs for Your salvation;
    I hope in Your word.
 My eyes long for Your promise;
    I ask, “When will You comfort me?”
 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
    yet I have not forgotten Your statutes.
 How long must Your servant endure?
    When will You judge those who persecute me?
 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;
    they do not live according to Your law.
 All Your commandments are sure;
    they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
 They have almost made an end of me on earth,
    but I have not forsaken Your precepts.
 In Your steadfast love give me life,
    that I may keep the testimonies of Your mouth.

Lamedh

Forever, O LORD, Your word
    is firmly fixed in the heavens.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
    You have established the earth, and it stands fast.
 By Your appointment they stand this day,
    for all things are Your servants.
 If Your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my affliction.
 I will never forget Your precepts,
    for by them You have given me life.
 I am Yours; save me,
    for I have sought Your precepts.
 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
    but I consider Your testimonies.
 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
    but Your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Mem

 Oh how I love Your law!
    It is my meditation all the day.
 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
    for it is ever with me.
 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
    for Your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,[b]
    for I keep Your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
    in order to keep Your word.
I do not turn aside from Your rules,
    for You have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through Your precepts I get understanding;
    therefore I hate every false way.

Nun

Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
    to keep Your righteous rules.
I am severely afflicted;
    give me life, O LORD, according to Your word!
Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD,
    and teach me Your rules.
I hold my life in my hand continually,
    but I do not forget Your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
    but I do not stray from Your precepts.
 Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
    for they are the joy of my heart.
 I incline my heart to perform Your statutes
    forever, to the end.

Samekh

 I hate the double-minded,
    but I love Your law.
 You are my hiding place and my shield;
    I hope in Your word.
 Depart from me, You evildoers,
    that I may keep the commandments of my God.
 Uphold me according to Your promise, that I may live,
    and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
 Hold me up, that I may be safe
    and have regard for Your statutes continually!
 You spurn all who go astray from Your statutes,
    for their cunning is in vain.
 All the wicked of the earth You discard like dross,
    therefore I love Your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of You,
    and I am afraid of Your judgments.

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