Go Forth

Go Forth

 

Matthew 10:5-15 (ESV) ~ These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

 

Just a few thoughts on this passage of scriptures:

  • A person is sent forth by Jesus; he does not choose to go forth. If he does, he goes forth in his own strength and power. He cannot expect the power of Christ.
  • The ministry is not a profession; it is a commission. Christ calls and commissions. The man who chooses to be a minister without a true call and commissioning of the Lord experiences four things:
    • He finds himself ministering primarily in his own strength.
    • He often finds his heart void and feels the constant pressure of having to come up with human ideas and human programs. He has difficulty maintaining a sense of meaning and purpose for both himself and his people.
    • He senses a real void and shortcoming in proclaiming the gospel and in doing the work of the ministry.
    • He often wonders what good is really being done. He just lacks the sense of a real call within; therefore, there is no outside godly connection to comfort and assure him that he is in God’s will. He is left to seek comfort and assurance only from himself or from some other human source. There is no supernatural Spirit or power to encourage him.
  • Why just to the “house of Israel” in the beginning?
    • He is to demonstrate love for his own family and friends first. If he does not love those of his own household, how can he love those whom he does not know?
    • He is to learn how to bear witness with those who are more likely to respond instead of react. Such knowledge better prepares him to face the world and its negative responses.
  • Next, we need to understand what we are to do when we go…PREACH
    • Preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Note the message is a given message, given by the Lord Himself. The disciples were not to proclaim their own ideas nor the ideas of others. They were to preach the message given by the Lord. No matter the generation, the message needs to be repeated and repeated.
      • It is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
      • It was the message of Christ (Matthew 4:17, 23).
      • It was the message of John (Matthew 3:2).
      • It was the message of the apostles and ministers of Christ.
    • Romans 14:17 (ESV) ~ For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
  • As we minister, we must share freely.
    • Their power was a given power. It came from the Lord Himself. God gives His servant the gifts and power to preach and minister as He has called him (1 Cor. 12:28f; Ephes. 4:11-13). The gifts and power are of God, not of the man himself. The gifts and the power of a man come freely from God; therefore, he is freely to give all he has. All the energy and all the toil necessary are to be poured into preaching the gospel and into ministering to people.
    • Their power was to confirm that God does love and care for the world and that the message being preached was actually from God.
      • God loves and cares for people.
      • The minister is a minister of love and care.
  • Several other things as ministers we must do. Will look at those at a later time, but I wanted to get to the last thought. Not everyone will receive.
 
Pastor Andy Lambert

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