Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 43

                            Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 43: Prepare Me

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 10: 9- 20

Yesterday we read, 'Jesus Sends Out the Twelve.' In sending out the twelve apostles to minister and preach the Good News, Jesus took the time to give them instructions. Yesterday we looked at the first four important things the apostles should know before going out without Jesus, and today we will look at more.

11 "Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town." (Matthew 10:11-15)
Jesus had told the apostles not to take any money or clothes or even an extra pair of shoes with them. He told them that, 'the worker is worth his keep." Here the apostles are told to rely on the towns people for their shelter and food. I love the idea of a crowd of people hearing the Good News and then a family invites the apostles back to their home. I know for my husband and I we try and have any missionaries over at our house for a good meal, but also to hear their stories. (Missionaries have the best stories). I love listening to our missionary friends speak about Jesus and how Jesus used them. I love watching my children hear and meet 'real live' missionaries! We are always blessed when missionaries come and dine with us. It is hard to believe that someone wouldn't have wanted to open their home to the apostles, but Jesus is preparing them for the hard truth. Doors may be shut in their faces and how to handle it.
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:16-20)
 We are to be as gentle and kind as sheep, and innocent as doves, but at the same time know that we are among wolves so we need to be as shrewd as snakes. That is some balancing act- to be trusting, but wise. 
Jesus next instruction must have been a tough one to hear, and is still rough even today. In verse 17, the apostles are told, "you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues." They "will be," not 'might be.' I cannot imagine the fear of hearing those words. And they will be flogged in the 'synagogues,' not out in the courts of Herod. It will happen. It did happen. And what about us today? Are we free from this persecution? Sadly, no. There are many countries that Christianity is against the law and many Christians have paid with their life for believing in Jesus. But through it all Jesus assures them that they will not be alone. They will have Holy Spirit. 
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you that you have called us to go out into the world and share the Good News of who you are and that we are not alone. Thank you that your words are true for today. Help me to go and share the Gospel, and at the same time to invite missionaries into my home. Help me to be gentle, innocent and wise. Prepare me for the day of persecution. Help me to stand strong. I give you my life. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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