Matthew 10: The First Sending (7)
Pray Psalm 145.1-3.
I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
Sing Psalm 145.1-3.
(Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
I will extol You, God, my King, and ever praise Your Name!
I bless You, Lord, for everything each day, and e’er the same!
Great are You, Lord, my praise I bring; unsearchable Your fame!
Read and meditate on Matthew 10.1-42.
1. What did Jesus send His disciples to do?
2. How did He assure them of His presence and provision?
Jesus sent His disciples out to do something they had never done before. These were common men, not trained missionaries. But Jesus had come to bring near the Kingdom of God, and those who followed Him into it needed to understand that their lives would never be the same. As He had been sent to the world, so He sent them, and sends us (Jn. 20.21).
Jesus told them to expect difficulty and opposition. They would be rejected by some, challenged by others, confronted with daunting situations, and dependent on the kindness of others. They were to proclaim the Kingdom and demonstrate its reality by all manner of good works. The same is true for us.
The disciples accepted this mission because they had left all to follow Jesus. Each of us has a mission, a calling, a cross to bear. We need to receive that calling daily and live for the Kingdom of God. Following Jesus is not some niche or sideline to life. It is life. If we want the full, abundant, righteous, mercy-filled, and joyous life that Jesus provides in His Kingdom, then we must die to this life and our selfish interests, and go like Jesus, as salt, light, and leaven to the world.
The Kingdom of God comes by prayer and doing. We can’t wish it into being, and we mustn’t wait for someone else to bring it near for us. We must “endure to the end” (v. 22) in our calling, looking to Jesus and following the example of His words and works. The world won’t always like us; but the Lord is with us to provide, protect, and bless. Every day offers many next step opportunities for taking up our cross and following Jesus. What next steps are before you today?
1. How would you explain what it means to follow Jesus?
2. How does this first mission teach you to think about your own calling in the Kingdom of God?
3. What does it mean for you to lose your life for Jesus?
Why should you be willing to give up your life? Only because you love it inordinately. So for the very reason of loving it ordinately, you will scorn loving it inordinately, and so it will be to your advantage to the highest degree. You will then in the truest sense love your life. John Chrysostom (344-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 35.2
Help me to live for You and Your Kingdom today, O Lord, as I…
Pray Psalm 145.10-21.
We have been sent by the Lord as agents of His redeeming grace. Commit this day to following Jesus, taking up your calling, living out His love, and declaring His works to the people you see.
Sing Psalm 145.10-21.
Psalm 145.10-21 (Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
Your works shall thank You; all Your saints shall bless and praise You, Lord.
Your reign we bless without restraint; Your power fills our words.
Our children we shall educate in all Your splendor, Lord.
Your Kingdom evermore shall be; You reign forever, Lord!
Your works You do so faithfully, according to Your Word.
The falling You uphold and the oppressed You rescue, Lord!
The eyes of all look up to You to meet our needs each day.
Open Your hand, provide the food we need, O Lord, we pray!
Kindness and righteousness You do, O Lord, in every way!
Be near to all who call on You; all those who fear You, bless.
Preserve all those whose love is true; save us in our distress.
Our mouths will speak with praise of You; Your holy Name we’ll bless!
T. M. Moore
Worship the Lord!
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).