Friday, January 11, 2013


Matthew 10:7  And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  (ESV)

The mission of the twelve is virtually identical with the mission of Jesus. He is training them to do as He does. He is preparing them to continue the mission after His departure. They proclaim the same message, do the same miracles (v. 8), endure similar persecution (v. 18-23), receive the same reception (v. 40).

We are His ambassadors (v. 14-15). Our mission is to continue to do the same works as Jesus (both spiritual and physical). Our reception will be very similar: some will welcome our message others will hate it. Our speech should be Spirit-led (v. 20). We needn't worry much about those who are uninterested (v. 23). Just go, proclaim, do. The mission is urgent. Our goal is to be like Jesus (v. 25). That's why we're called followers!

I am Your mouthpiece. I am unqualified. A simple working-man. But I am sent. Teach me, Lord Jesus, to fear not (v. 31). Teach me to depend on the Spirit. Teach me to accept the same pay as You (v. 8). Teach me to find fulfillment in self denial (v. 39). Teach me to proclaim. Teach me about authority (v. 1). I am Yours: body & soul, mind & strength, spirit. I worship you Jesus as King and present myself as a living sacrifice.

In Your name - Amen,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Call - Urgent & Irresistible

Matthew 4:19-20  And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed him.  (ESV)

Jesus could not have picked two more ordinary men for His first disciples - Peter and Andrew. Two brothers, on a presumably ordinary day. Hard working guys "casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen" (v. 18). Had God been working in their hearts, preparing them for this day, this call? Probably, for we know that Messianic expectations were high, what with John the Baptist and all. And along comes this Rabbi. They left their nets and followed Him. James and John left their father (v. 22). Elsewhere, it says 'they forsook all and followed Him.'

When you have a genuine encounter with Jesus, the call is irresistible. The urgency is immediate (v. 20, 22). He will train them. They will hear Him speak many times (ch. 5-9) and they will see many wonders before He sends them out (10:5f.), but the call to follow Jesus is now! Is He calling you today? I know He is calling me. The draw is strong, almost irresistible (save my stubborn will). The need is urgent, immediate: "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

I will follow. Teach me. Show me. I am Yours. I don't know. That's why I'm the student and You are the teacher. I am the disciple. You are the Rabbi. Come Holy Spirit and fill me with the Spirit of Jesus as I follow. I want to be a diligent learner. Fill me with Your wisdom and discernment to recognize the scripture twisting deceptions of the devil: 'If you were really a Christian...' (cf. v. 6). Empower me Holy Spirit to minister to others. I am Yours. Teach me wisdom, Lord Jesus, I am Yours. I will follow.

In Jesus' name - Amen

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Transforming and Purifying Fire

Matthew 3:11  I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  (ESV)

John's mission was one of preparation, his message one of repentance in anticipation of the coming Messiah. To be sure, repentance is still of central importance in Jesus, but His is a baptism of transformation and a purifying fire. You will never be the same.

Once you encounter Jesus, the old you cannot stand. The Holy Spirit does a powerful work of sanctification: setting apart, purifying. As Pastor Christina said back in October: the Holy Spirit transforms us by truth, conviction, and power. He has made us spotless. There is no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus. You will never be the same, once you have a genuine encounter with Jesus. He will baptize (immerse) you in the Spirit and fire!

Come Holy Spirit, fill me. Not only fill me but immerse me, in You. That I know nothing else but Christ and Him crucified. Let Your truth convict me and Your power transform me. Come Lord Jesus, I am Yours. Let Your kingdom come - purify me with fire, consuming fire. Set me apart, for Your glory.

In Jesus' name - Amen,