Friday, 21 October 2022
“But he who endures to the end will be saved.” -Matthew 10:22
As we read through this today’s scripture, we can hear the words of our Savior addressing the disciples. Interestingly, the very same words resonate with each of us, His disciples listening to Him today. He begins with the mandate for them to go out on His behalf into the world (Matt.10:7, 16). Later in Matt 28:19& 20 the mandate was given out to all of us.
So what are the qualities we need to possess to keep on till the end in our daily lives and in His mission? He first tells us the kind of nature we need to have in this crooked world – “harmless as sheep and wise as serpents.” Wise and gentle disciples!
Jesus then instructs us with 4 Do NOTs, for our everyday missionary life that would help us live in His freedom until we reach the eternal shores.
Instruction1- DO NOT WORRY (V19) – As human beings all of us would never go down without a fight and we are well prepared with the answers for our defense. But here Jesus prepares the disciples not to worry as to how they would defend the truth or themselves as they face authorities. The Spirit of God would speak through them! We read the testimony of this in Acts 4:13 “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” If you have been hesitant because of your inability to speak, may this word encourage you to step out in faith-He will speak through you.
Instruction 2-DO NOT FEAR (Vs 26,28,31) – As sheep among wolves, the disciples were sure to face some very dangerous, shameful and life-threatening situations. But Jesus gives us the antidote to fear.
What are the situations that will cause us to fear? It can be FEAR OF:-
· being maligned vs 25
Antidote - Remember that a servant is not above his master. Jesus Himself was called all sorts of names, would they then spare His disciples? Rejoice you are in the household of God so continue to proclaim the gospel boldly. (V. 26)
· physical death vs 28
Antidote – i) Fear God who is able to give you eternal life. (John 5:24)
ii) Remember that you are more valuable than sparrows and that God knows and cares about every detail of your lives (Vs 30&31)
Instruction 3 –DO NOT LOVE (V.37)- Here Jesus is challenging our first love. Jesus in Matthew 22:37&38 declares the greatest is commandment is to “Love the Lord with all of our heart, mind and soul.” And here, He is calling us to love Him more than all other earthly relationships. Why would He demand this from us? “Because He first loved us and gave us His all.” The story Jesus tells in Luke 7 sums it clearly – “he who is forgiven more will love more.” Paul declared his love for Jesus through this statement- “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3:8).
Instruction 4 –Does not take up (V.38) – Here is a call for us to take up our cross daily. Taking up the cross is not a one-time act but a daily action. So we live with this conscious awareness as Paul writes in Gal. 2:20 “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
As we continue to persevere in our Christian walk adhering to the Master’s voice, to the onlookers we may seem to be losing our lives in this world, but Jesus surely promises us that in Him we will find life. (V.39)
Quote for the day – “The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.” -Jonathan Edwards
Listen: 'Keep on Keeping on'