Tag: shake the dust

Learn to depend on the Lord totally!

Scripture reading for February 17th:  Mark 6

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Mark 6: 7-11  “Calling the Twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave the authority over evil spirits.  These were His instructions:  “Take nothing for the journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.  Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.  Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.  And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”  

Jesus sent His original twelve disciples out in pairs on a mission to preach the message of repentance and to confront the domain of Satan.  They were not to take anything with them to sustain themselves–except one set of clothes, sandals and a walking stick.  They were not to take bread to eat or money to buy anything or a bedroll to sleep on. They must seek out a home in each town they visited where someone would welcome them and then accept their hospitality for food and shelter.  If no one would welcome them, then they were to shake the dust from their sandals as a witness against that town and move on to the next place of ministry.

Jesus kept it very simple!  These instructions required great humility, cooperation, and no fear of man’s rejection.  They had to walk by faith and follow instructions in each village.   They must work together.  The results were totally up to God and the people’s heart condition to accept or reject them and their message.

Observations for over-comers:  Disciples must learn to depend totally on the Lord to guide them and supply their needs.  Working in pairs, they learned to help each other stay focused.  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return on their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.   But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

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The Holy Spirit and Joy!

Scripture reading for June 21st: Acts 13:42-14:7

Even when their preaching got them expelled from the region, the missionaries left with joy knowing that the Lord was using them to bring light into the darkness!  Those who were usually behind the persecution were the religious Jews who were threatened by the message and its power to draw people.

Paul and Silas were invited back to the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch.  During the week, their message stirred up the people and the whole city was on hand to hear them again.  (Acts 13:44-45)  This made the Jews who ruled the synagogue jealous and they talked abusively about the missionaries.  “Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first.  Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.  For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”” (Acts 13:46-47)

The Gentiles who heard this word of rebuke, gladly believed and were saved.  The word of the Lord spread quickly throughout the whole region but the Jews were upset and pushed back against it.  “But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city.  They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.  So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.  And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:50-52)

The disciples had been taught by Jesus how to respond–shake the dust off as a witness against these people!  (Matthew 10:14-15)  Jesus had promised that it would be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town or people.  Jesus sent his disciples out as sheep among the wolves and they needed to be shrewd and know that not everyone would accept their message!  It would offend some.

Even as they were expelled, a fullness of joy and the Holy Spirit marked these followers.  It is a blessing to be used by God for the purpose of bringing eternal life to those who will be saved!  There is no joy quite like it!  Have you experienced this joy for yourself?  Why not ask the Lord for opportunity today?

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Multiplying ministry

Scripture reading for February 22nd: Mark 6:1-29, Psalms 39:1-13, Proverbs 10:10

“Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.  Calling the Twelve  to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” (Mark 6:6b-7)

Jesus had a plan to take the Gospel of the kingdom to the entire world.  He was not in a hurry, but had only a limited time to set this plan in place.  After preaching in His home town and seeing few results, He called the Twelve together and organized them into evangelism teams.  He knew that two would be more effective than one in this work.  Two people have power in prayer and can encourage one another.  Two people provide some protection and friendship when hostility arises.  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)  This work that they would be engaged in was like warfare against the kingdom of Satan.   Jesus gave them authority over these powers of darkness and had demonstrated how to cast them out.

Jesus sent them out two by two and told them to take nothing with them for provision except their staff.  This staff represented some protection but also the authority that He had given them.  They were to rely on finding people who would welcome them.  If no one welcomed them, they were to shake the dust from their feet as a witness against that town.  God would provide for them on their mission.(Mark 6:8-11)

“They went out and preached that people should repent.  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” (Mark 6:12-13)

The message that these disciples took was a call to repentance.  They did not tell people how much their lives would be improved by the kingdom.  They did not list benefits and try to sell a product.  They called for repentance, a change of mind and actions, from selfishness to humble confession and faith.  As they went, they used the authority given them by Jesus to deliver those bound by evil spirits and heal sick people.  The simply did what Jesus had taught them to do and God worked with them!  Jesus now had multiplied ministry through these men.  They would in turn raise up more who would follow Jesus and do the same things!  This Jesus’ amazing plan to reach the world and it is still working today!  Have you joined His team?

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