[Jesus said,] “So don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.
All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me. But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me.
Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword…
Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.” Matthew 10:31-34, 37-39 (NCV)
I have a friend who begins each day in prayer. She intentionally asks the LORD to guide her steps for each day, that she would do what He wants her to do. I admire her because she does not get stressed when her schedule gets rearranged. She is on God’s timetable.
I was reading this chapter in Matthew’s gospel and I was pulled into this story of Jesus’ instructions as He sent the disciples out to do “the real stuff”, as John Wimber said.
Go where I tell you to go. God has spoken to me before about how large His vineyard is and that there are plenty of jobs to be done. Just this week I was asking myself “Why?” I should go to this place. I didn’t see the “Kingdom” point of it! I was wasting my time and effort! And God showed me in a “chance” encounter “the why” of the effort it took for me to go.
When adversity comes, don’t worry – I am with you. Conflicts, all kinds of battles, are going to happen, and not just in the “worldly” aspects of my life. Jesus tells me not to worry when the conflicts come – He will tell me what to say – and, I suspect, what not to say. There will be conflicts in families and inside the Church. Jesus can navigate me through those treacherous waters. Do not worry about people who even might try to kill me but be more of God who will destroy both my body and spirit if I do not remain true to Him.
I am God’s child. I do not fully grasp the HUGE-NESS of that statement. If I openly, and without hesitation, say, “Yes, I AM A CHILD OF GOD and am NOTHING without Him!” then He also says, “Yes, SHE is MINE!” From the very beginning, God has made it clear that He will not tolerate a child with divided loyalties. I am first His child. My love for my parents, spouse and children comes after God. I may know that in my head but is that how I live my life and make decisions about my time? Something to think about.
I am God’s servant. Jesus, God Himself, came not to be served – but to serve. That is my example. I know a church in West Virginia that had their power restored rather quickly after the recent storms. So they opened their doors to “whosoever would come” and provided cool a/c, water, ice, etc all week. They gave freely of what they had been blessed to receive. And when Sunday morning came, their doors were also open and those same people could come and worship God – “give even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones” (Matthew 10:42). This is the daily business that I am to be about. “How can I serve Your children today, LORD, that it may glorify You?”
When the Music Fades by Matt Redman, sung by Michael W. Smith