Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 7, 2019

“Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 10:1-16.

“Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.  And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;  therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.  Go;  behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.  Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes;  and greet no one on the way.  Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him;  but if not, it will return to you.  Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you;  for the laborer is worthy of his wages.  Do not keep moving from house to house.  Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you;  and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’  But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you;  yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’  I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

“Woe to you, Chorazin!  Woe to you, Bethsaida!  For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you.  And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you?  You will be brought down to Hades!

“The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me;  and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”  Luke 10:1-16.

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Today’s Scripture provides comfort and peace for missionaries, pastors in churches, and teachers.

First, Christ appoints us, empowers us, and sends us.  We are not going out in our own authority nor in our own power.

Second, we are only going to those places “where He Himself was going to come”  Christ goes before us in determining which places that we should go, Christ goes with us through His Spirit with us, and Christ goes after us to complete or perfect the work that we started.

Third, Christ provides all that we need for our mission.  “Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes …  Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you;  for the laborer is worthy of his wages.”

Fourth, the seventy were only specifically commanded to “heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”  In other words, we should not feel like our mission is overwhelming.  Let us stay within the comfort of that sweet zone and not neglect what Christ has specifically gifted us and commanded us to do.  Let us not go ahead and work on our own.  Most illustrative and comforting as to this point, Christ commanded the seventy to stay in one house.  “Do not keep moving from house to house.”

Fifth, there will be those who listen to us and who will receive peace and other blessings.  “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him”.

Sixth, when there are those who reject us, they are not “just” rejecting us which could make us personally feel like a failure;  they are rejecting Christ.  Our presentation of the gospel is not necessarily a failure just because someone does not listen to us.  “and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

Seventh, it is comforting to be reminded that our missionary efforts, our preaching, and our teaching are within the sovereign kingdom of God.  “The kingdom of God has come near to you”.

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.”  Psalm 103:19.

In summary, consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby.

Article 5.  Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.  This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends the gospel.

Article 6.  And, whereas many who are called by the gospel, do not repent, nor believe in Christ, but perish in unbelief;  this is not owing to any defect or insufficiency in the sacrifice offered by Christ upon the cross, but is wholly to be imputed to themselves.

Article 7.  But as many as truly believe, and are delivered and saved from sin and destruction through the death of Christ, are indebted for this benefit solely to the grace of God, given them in Christ from everlasting, and not to any merit of their own.

“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 2:6.

“So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up;  and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.”  Acts 9:31.


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