And Jesus called the twelve to Himself and began to send them out two by two to share the only story that can bring the gifts of forgiveness of sins, cleansing of the soul, eternal life, eternal relationship with God?   Is there any greater News to proclaim?  No wonder the world’s population hungers so to hear it! And Jesus even gave those twelve power over evil spirits.

Ask yourself what does God’s Gospel Story really mean to us in the daily living of our lives – now and eternally?

All of us would usually answer that question by speaking about the strength and comfort God and The Gospel Story brought to us at some difficult or helpless time in our lives – and certainly there is a lot of truth in that response – and yet, we know and feel The Divine Presence in our good and happy times as well.

Amidst the tears and the laughter, the anger and the joy:

I love to tell (and to hear)the story

Of unseen things above,

Of Jesus and His glory,

Of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell (and to hear)the story

Because I know it’s true;

It satisfies my longings

As nothing else would do.

In LUKE 10, Jesus sent out seventy others on a mission like the twelve disciples are sent on in this morning’s text. Jesus reminded the seventy “The harvest (of souls in need) truly is great” We all know from personal experience how great the need to hear the Gospel story is. And how few the laborers are! And Jesus went on to remind us “but the laborers are few; therefore, pray The Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

When we accept The Lord’s call, we are joining Jesus in committing ourselves to that harvest. Notice how Jesus says “pray The Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way.” Pray that God will do something about a world of people needing to hear God’s story and then go offer yourself as one of the vehicles through whom that divine work is done.

But look at those first job descriptions God gave to the twelve and seventy disciples. Jesus commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bag, no bread, no copper in their money bags – but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. They were to rely solely upon God’s provision and possibly on the kindness of those they encountered.  This thought must have seemed to be quite perilous to the twelve disciples who had just witnessed the shabby treatment Jesus received in Nazareth - recorded in the previous six verses.

The basic human response to Jesus’ commission is “Lord, I’m not prepared.  I’m not good at this.”

And Jesus responds, “Well, carry no copper in your money bags – leave the cash, the checkbook, the Visa and MasterCard home. Carry no bag – forget about the basic provisions most travelers carry with them. Wear sandals and do not put on two tunics – take only the clothes on your back and feet, nothing extra.” Jesus sends the original and another seventy disciples out on an evangelistic assignment which has something of a “wilderness experience” about it. John the Baptist was that voice in the Judean wilderness. The world in which Jesus calls us to proclaim His Word is itself a wilderness without His Word.  Jesus sends His disciples into that wilderness world to rely on no human or material resources –– rely only on God.

To the seventy in LUKE 10, Jesus added, “Salute no one on the road - do not allow yourself to be sidetracked by meaningless passing of the time of day when you are on so urgent a mission as sharing The Word of God.”

I never approach this text or others like it without reminding myself and others of that time an interviewer asked the evangelist to millions Billy Graham, "Dr. Graham, how do you sleep at night -- having the responsibility for so many millions of lives... being the one with the responsi­bility of bringing them all to Christ? You must realize many of them will never accept what you preach." We should all take note of Dr. Graham’s answer - "I sleep fine. I have the responsibility to proclaim The Gospel God has given me to the very best of the ability God has given me to use in God's service. The rest is up to each individual and to The Holy Spirit Who seeks to work in both of us whenever we ourselves don't hinder Him."

The equipment for this assignment is truly basic – focus on the need everyone has for those things which only The Gospel of Jesus Christ can give – pray to God that His Message will be heard – and agree to carry and proclaim that Word with your faith totally in God to get the job done. Share that most precious gift you have – relationship with Jesus – and see God do the rest.

The disciples went and experienced doing what Jesus had sent them to do – they experienced the power of that Faith in God and in the proclaiming of His Word.  What wonderful and dramatic things those disciples saw take place in Jesus’ Name! They truly had a story to tell – and God gave them the power to tell it.

Jesus would send His disciples out again and even call them to devote their lives to sharing The Gospel of Jesus Christ – carrying The Gospel to the entire world in a single generation. Having learned that without human or material resources the disciples can and must rely totally upon God, God calls the disciples and the seventy and us to use all the human and material resources with which God has blessed us – as long as our true reliance remains upon God and our Faith rests in God.

I love to tell (and to hear)the story

…………………

Of Jesus and His glory,

Of Jesus and His love.

There is no truer story to tell – no story more capable of satisfying the deepest of human longing in this world – no other story able to carry us into eternity. What a privilege to be given the story by our Savor Who calls us to share it with the world – in our homes, in our churches, in our nation and beyond.

THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS – THE LORD AND SAVIOR WE BELIEVE IN AND PROCLAIM.

+________________________+

Seventh Sunday in the Trinity Season

July 15, 2018

 

Dr. Kurt Borows

Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio

 

Bible Verse of the Day

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