Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 21, 2018

“I was sent for this purpose.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 4:38-44.

“Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home.  Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her.  And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her;  and she immediately got up and waited on them.

While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him;  and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them.  Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!”  But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.

When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place;  and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them.  But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”

So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”  Luke 4:38-44.

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Jesus did heal, and the crowds loved it and wanted to keep Him for themselves, but Jesus stayed focus on His purpose and resisted their agenda for Him.

In considering Jesus’ statement in verse 43 (“I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”), we remember the purpose from the following verses in the same chapter.

“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”  Luke 4:18-19.

There is a lot of different good things that we can do.  But, we must not let those good things prevent us from accomplishing our purpose as a church and also as individual Christians. 

As a church, social ministries can be good, but too often we see social ministries take over a church, and thereby, the focus and emphasis on preaching and teaching is crowded out and diminished.

As a Christian, we can be flattered as the crowd flattered Jesus.  As a Christian, we can see genuine needs as Jesus saw the genuine needs for healing.  But, we must remember our purpose and resist hijacking by others of the God-given agenda for us.

God has given us specific spiritual gifts to accomplish His specific purpose to do certain works.  And, we also do not have unlimited time and unlimited energy.  We need to stay focused and accomplish God’s purpose for us. 

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  …

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;  until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:7 and 11-13.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.


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