The King prepares His army | Matthew 10:16-42

Scripture:Matthew 10:16-42 [NLT]

Again, because of the size of this passage, I will not share it on the page but link[NKJV] to it. Please read the scripture before reading further.

Observation: (What does your mind's eye see?)

I see Jesus with a more serious look on his face than usual. He is getting ready to send His army out to battle for the first time and He wants to prepare them as much as possible. He is maybe even a little bit more animated than usual. I keep getting this image of general Patton standing in front of a big map on the wall preparing his officers for the big battle soon to come.

The disciples are listening and as they hear more they start to get a worried look on their faces. The gravity of what they are being called to do suddenly starts to sink in. Jesus seeks to reassure them with promises of power to help and lead, just as Patton would reassure his officers that they are the greatest fighting force with the best weapons at their disposal. He gives all of the instructions with hope that they may remember these things at the times they will need them.

patton
patton

The individual verses in this scripture are so often quoted and referred to individually that I thought I might try to look at them as a whole.  Jesus is teaching and instructing His disciples (army) about what they will encounter in their "war", what tactics to use, what to expect from the enemy, what weapons to use and how to use them. He tells them how much their "General" cares about them, how much help they can expect from "headquarters", what to do if you need to retreat, how to fight the enemy head on and how to fight the enemy shrewdly. He warns them that there may be casualties and that your countrymen may not continue to support them even though they are doing everything they can to help them. He warns them that they may even be betrayed by their own countrymen and brought before the courts to stand trial for trying to help them.

Everything He says here is intended to teach them (and us) and prepare them for what they will be facing; what an amazing Leader we have that He does not "sugar-coat" anything but prepares us with truth for what's to come.

Application:(How do I apply this to my life?)

The battle belongs to the Lord; but he's looking "for a few good men" (and women) to help Him in the fight. Am I one of those men? Can the General prepare me for war. I think He can if I am willing to sign up (there is no draft in God's army) listen, take instruction, and then execute those instructions. I also have the comfort of knowing that I have the backing of the greatest "fighting" force the universe has ever seen. :)

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

I am humbled by the thought that You would want me to be a part of your army. I ask now that you "pull out the big guns" and help me to become a better soldier. The big fight is at our doorstep and I want to be useful to You Lord. I ask that You take my life today and use it in some way. Thank You for Your love and interest in me.

Protect my family and friends. Be with the Wilson's and with the family of the friend that they lost in the car accident. Be with the small bible study groups that we are a part of; help them to grow under Your tutelage. Help me tonight when I try to show Your Will to another person...please please make sure that it is Your will and not my bumbling's.

I love you Jesus and I thank you for Your covering righteousness. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Remember to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Adventure! Working for Jesus | Matthew 10:1-15

Scripture: Matthew 10:1-15 [NLT] Because this is such a long section of scripture I chose not to list it and only to link to it.

Observation: (What do you see with your mind's eye when you read this scripture?)

In light of previous verses Matthew 9:36-38 I see Jesus, having gathered his 12 disciples around Him, giving them instructions on how to be good harvesters. They are huddled around Him, and He gives them the authority to do the same miracles of healing that he had just been doing in the villages. Each disciple is specifically named here. Now the instructions are given.

- Don't start with the Gentiles

Teaching them will cause some troubles because of their lack of knowledge of the scripture. We need to concentrate fully on those who should have been ready in the first place. What a special blessing the Jews received in this, and yet I think so many of them still didn't recognize their Messiah.

- Start with the Jews, the lost sheep of God.

God's special mercy for his lost children. Also this is a good starting place. Jesus is saying, "Give the Good News to those you are closest to first. Sometimes we need to work within our own churches first...there may be lost children who are just warming the pews.

- Announce the Kingdom of Heaven is near.

What is the message we are to present? The Advent message. Jesus is coming soon! Does this idea not pull on your heart when you hear it? It creates a sense of urgency to know more so that you can be prepared for His coming.

- Do miracles

By this they will know you are from me. Notice that all of the miracles are for healing and making the person well again.

- Don't take money or increase your wealth for what you do

Hmmmm...how many millionaire preachers do we have in this nation? How many that seek to grow their congregation in order for their bank accounts to grow? This is why they will say anything to keep the pews full and in the process may be leading their "sheep" to the slaughter.

- Don't prepare for the journey

If you prepare for the journey you are denying God's ability to give you everything you need and you will miss the blessing of what He can do for you.

- Accept hospitality, food, and shelter.

God providing for you. :)

- Stay with someone who is upright

Be aware of your reputation and allow nothing to taint your mission.

- Bless the home you stay in. If it turns out to be unworthy, remove the blessing.

Pay back a good reception with a blessing from God.

- If a household or town refuses to welcome you, don't let that weigh you down. Brush off the dust and move on.

Don't become useless to God by worrying when you are unable to move someone. It is not always your fault if the message is not accepted. It can be hard to accept this fact because we see the message so clearly and can't fathom why anyone would reject it; so, we will have a tendency to blame ourselves when it is rejected. The light will be rejected by many. We must brush the dust from our feet and move on, or we become unusable.

Application:(How can I apply this to my life?)

These are the instructions for the Great Commission. We are told to "go unto all the world and preach the good news", but many ask the question "How"? This is the answer. Simplicity. Start with those who are close to you. Share the Good News of the soon return of Jesus. Share Him and what He has done for you.

Next take it to others. It may grow on it's own from there. Don't get discouraged and do it for the right reasons. Do it for Jesus; to help your Friend who has lost sheep.

I want to be usable by Jesus.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for showing me how You can help me to share You with others. Thank you for affirming that starting in the church is the right place. Please be with all that I do for You and please help to keep "me" out of it. Work through me Lord, please, I want to be a help and not a stumbling block.

Thank you for being the Great Provider. Thank you for my health and my family's health. Bless our small group studies and bless this blog. I love you. In Jesus name, Amen.

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