Traveling on an airplane comes with suitcase weight restrictions that some find difficult to manage. In fact, I have never seen more overweight baggage than on a church mission trip. We feel compelled to pack everything we might need in addition to the few true essentials. For some, having something extra makes them feel secure in strange places and in the midst of unpredictable circumstances.
- What are the things in your life that you could truly call essential?
- What things in life make you feel secure?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 9:1-9 (ESV)
9:1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. 9 Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What did Jesus instruct his disciples not to take with them on their mission trip?
- What is the effect of not having anything extra on a journey like this? How would having extra provisions affect them practically, emotionally, in their relationships with people, and in their relationship with God?
- What is it that Jesus gave to his disciples for their mission of preaching and healing? In what way was that the only thing they really needed to take with them?
- What resources has God given to you so that you are equipped to fulfill his purposes in the world—caring for the poor and proclaiming God’s love and forgiveness to all the people in your life?
RESPOND TO GOD
The Bible tells us that all authority in heaven and on earth is given to Jesus. He is the creator of all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1). If we put our faith in him, his Spirit lives in us and we have all authority to do God’s work in the world. Sadly, an abundance of resources often gets in the way. We hoard the gifts of God, thinking they keep us safe, or we act like money or stuff is the thing that makes the difference. Jesus would have us put our trust in him instead of our things, even in the face of an uncertain world.
- Talk to God about the things in your life that you are tempted to depend on rather than trust in Jesus.
- Ask God to show you the people and places he wants you to visit to share the love of God and the good news of forgiveness in Christ.