Navigating dangers while making a difference
“The Sunny Days Before the Virus”—last month small businesses were hiring and giving out raises.
So reads page A10 in the newspaper thrown on my driveway each morning. The Novel Coronavirus has changed the game of life.
Life can turn on a dime, can it not? There are very choppy waters to navigate. Still, Scriptures urge that God’s children, Jesus’ disciples, live wisely and at the same time make a difference with innocent confidence.
JESUS DEPLOYS HIS FOLLOWERS
In Matthew 10, Jesus’ objective is to get the message of the kingdom out to the nation of Israel. God’s original plan was to redeem and empower His chosen nation, which then would bless the world with the joyful message of the Messiah (cf. Genesis 12:1-3, Isaiah 42:6). The twelve were not to go to the Gentiles nor even to the Samaritans, but “rather (first) to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6).
Their ministry in the Messiah’s name was to be a blessing. “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons” (10:7). Such would be proof that the “kingdom which comes from heaven” is “at hand.” The lost sheep of Israel had the opportunity to embrace Jesus and usher in His era.
Their ministry would also be tough. “I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to the courts and flog you” (10:16-17).
And yet their ministry was to be done in fearless faith. “Have no fear of them…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…Fear not…you are of more value (to the Father) than the sparrows (He cares for)” (10:26-31).
JESUS DEPLOYS US TODAY
In threatening times, we are commissioned by the Savior for ministry to others. Especially us! We too must live wisely and trust innocently, even fearlessly. Paul reminded, “None of us lives for himself and none of us dies to himself. Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:7-8).
Each day we can be a blessing to someone. Whom might you call today and simply encourage? Why not call and pray over the phone together? Or, do you know of a physical need of someone that you could meet?
Each day we understand that ministry might be tough. The last thing our spiritual Enemy would have is us making a difference for Jesus in someone else’s life.
Each day, we can bless and help in fearless faith. We have a Father who eagerly rewards those who live and make a difference by faith (cf. Hebrews 11:6).
Live wisely. Bless freely. Your simple, prayerful encouragement can be redemptively winsome in someone’s life today.