Friday, February 17, 2017

Training to Trust – Part 1 – Our Calling in Christ

This week, Michael writes that in Luke 9, Jesus sent out His twelve disciples to preach the gospel, to heal the sick, and to cast out Devils. Jesus was training His disciples to trust Him ... to learn to be men and women of faith instead of men and women of fear. He gave them the two things they needed to get the job done: power and authority. Power is the ability ... the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses unto Jesus Christ to serve Him and to bear fruit for Him that will last for eternity. In our own power we will not bear fruit that will last.  Likewise, Jesus has called each of us with His power to preach the gospel and minister from our spiritual gift. The authority and power Jesus gave His disciples over demons and illness was to authenticate the message of the gospel of the kingdom. The purpose of the gospel message was to prepare men's and women’s hearts for God's harvest ...  to "write their names in the Book of Life in heaven."

In the following chapter, Jesus sent out seventy on another faith trip to speak the gospel, to cast out demons and to heal people. He said to take nothing with them on the trip and to rely on the hospitality of those to whom they ministered. They reported back to Jesus with a joyous report of the great and mighty works that they had done in Jesus' name. However, Jesus admonished them, "Rejoice not because the devil fell from heaven like lightning, but because your names are written in heaven."

The stories in Luke 9 and 10 are about Jesus' training His disciples how to become men and women of faith. After the feeding of the 5000, Jesus met a man whose son was possessed with a demon. The disciples could not cast out the demon.  After Jesus had delivered the man's son from the demon, the disciples took Jesus aside and asked Him why they could not cast out the demon. Jesus had said to the crowd that had followed Him, "O faithless generation." The disciples had been corrupted by arguing about who was the greatest among them. They had reverted to the ways of the world and the thoughts of the flesh instead of the thoughts of the Spirit. Who is really Lord of your life?  In verse 18, Jesus had asked His disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"  The disciples answered, "Some say that you are John the Baptist or Elijah or one of the Old Testament Prophets returning from the dead." Then Jesus asked them, "But who say ye that I am?"  Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God."

One of life's greatest lessons is that God doesn't always need our help to accomplish His will and His work. Sometimes He calls us to rest in Him and to prepare for the spiritual battle. Men and women often want to be on the front lines. However, God's timing is not our timing. Our challenge is to make our will His will. Our exhortation is to die to ourselves in order to live for Him. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

John said to Jesus, "There were men casting out Devils in your name.  We rebuked them for using your name."  However Jesus said, "Forbid him not, for whoever is not against us is for us."  In Mark 9:51 Jesus had set His face to go to Jerusalem through Samaria. However the Samaritans rejected Him. Jesus said to the Samaritans, "You do not know who's spirit you are following."  He came to deliver them from the spirit of the world, but they rejected His message. Is our society today not doing the same?  In our culture the "Samaritans" will not stand up and cheer when the word of the Lord is spoken.

Let's continue Micheal's message on our calling as a Christian on the next post.
In Christ, Brian

No comments: