Daily D – Luke 10:16
Luke 10:16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.” (NLT)
Our youth group attended a rather irritatingly strict camp. There were rules against everything. Mostly, the rules were directed toward our group because the team of youth pastors responsible for the programming and such did not care for our new youth pastor. His only crime was that he was not our previous youth pastor, whose employment we had to terminate.
To punish our church for terminating their friend, we got the worst of everything. We were treated with disrespect at just about every turn.
In light of this, I organized a sneak-out and a major violation of the rules on the last evening of camp. We were told all week long at every meeting, “Don’t ring the bell.” You see where this is going.
I planned the mission. I gathered the students. I appointed several for special tasks. Once everyone was clear on our objective, we met in the main room of our condemned and soon-to-be torn-down cabin and said, “If you get caught . . .”
One of our students interrupted and said, “We know, you had nothing to do with this.”
“No,” I replied. “Bring them to me.”
We rang the bell.
Youth workers too out of shape to chase the perpetrators pursued them in their golf carts. When two of our team were caught and brought to me I said, “Get in the cabin. Now!”
The huffing, puffing youth pastors smugly rode off in their golf carts saying, “Your pastor’s got you now. You’re in Big Trouble!”
We gathered in the same room where we had previously discussed our plans. I quieted everyone and looked each one of them in the eye.
“Students, we rang the bell.”
A raucous celebration began.
We never went back to that camp.
Let’s not attempt to create a one-to-one correspondence between this story and what Jesus said. He was perfectly righteous. I was a tad too rebellious. It is amazing, isn’t it, what seventy-two people were willing to do because they knew they had Jesus’ commission, authority, and power? It’s amazing, isn’t it how Jesus celebrated those Sent Ones upon their return and reports? (See verses 17-24.)
Jesus’ famous last words after his resurrection and before his ascension were words of commission similar to those in 9:1-5 and 10:1-12. Jesus is with us and for us as he was with them. He celebrates with us. He thanks and praises our Father in heaven for us.
Today, and every day, we step into his pathway for us with the calm assurance that he is with us and for us. He empowers us for his purpose. He provides what we need. He celebrates when we live lives that honor him and bless others.
Let’s give Jesus a reason to praise and thank our Father in heaven today.
I will live the kind of life that delights the heart of Jesus.
Our Father, empower us to live in the fullness of your purpose. Use us to bless those we encounter along the way. May all of heaven celebrate lives well lived today. Amen.
I enjoy discovering new tools that help me better know and experience God. An acquaintance of mine recently shared a resource I have come to treasure. Lectio 365 is an app with Bible readings and prayers helping us prepare for the day morning by morning, and prepare for sleep evening by evening. You can find out everything you want to know about the app, the spiritual practices, and the people them at this web address: https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
The British accents and soothing music enhance the listenability. The simple instructions on how to relax in God’s presence are helpful.
Give it a shot. Try out some of the 24-7 Prayer group’s other resources.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.