Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Equipped For Service

Chuckle:  "College: a four-year period when parents have access to the phone."
 
Quote: "O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, May we know Thee more clearly, Love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly: For ever and ever." --Sir Richard of Chichester
 
EQUIPPED FOR SERVICE
 
   Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:21-22 NIV).
 
No doubt you have felt inadequate for the tasks our Lord has given us, e.g., Matthew 28:19-20.  These feelings are directly from Satan who desperately wants you to see yourself as a failure in serving your Lord.  He wants you to "throw in the towel" and give up.  However, if we truly have the desire to be obedient to our Lord, we will search the Scriptures prayerfully, in the power of the Spirit, to find the strength to make obedience not only possible, but the source of unspeakable peace and joy.
 
Our passage records Jesus' appearance to His disciples after His resurrection.  Once again, Jesus identified Himself with the Father who provided the authority for everything He had done.  Then an amazing and powerful commissioning ceremony occurs.  With three simple, yet amazing, statements, Jesus equips the disciples/us with everything they/we would ever need to carry out the mission given them and us.
 
First, Jesus gave them His peace. "Peace be with you!"  Here, Jesus reiterated a promise He had made previously, just prior to His crucifixion.  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you . . . do not be afraid" (John 14:27 NIV).  Paul describes this peace as a supernatural peace "which transcends all understanding and will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus"  (Philippians 4:7 NIV).  With this kind of peace all fear, doubt, and uncertainty are removed.
 
Second, Jesus gave them His purpose.  "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."  Jesus affirms that their authority in carrying out the mission given them comes directly from Him.  Jesus demonstrated how they/we are to go about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with a lost world.  He has told us what to do and showed us how to do it with love, mercy and compassion.
 
Third, Jesus gave them His power. . . he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."  Here, Jesus gave His closest disciples an early gift of the same Holy Spirit that was made available to all Christians on the day of Pentecost. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly" (Acts 4:31 NIV).  The guidance and power of the Holy Spirit are necessities in everything we try to do for our Lord.  When we try to do God's work in our own strength, we will fail at every turn.  Jesus said, "If a man (person) remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me (my Spirit) you can do nothing" (John 15:5 NIV).
 
Do you have His peace?  Have you accepted His purpose as your own?  Have you accessed the power source (Holy Spirit) to make it all possible?  I pray you have answered each of these questions with an unequivocal "YES," for the glory of God.
 

Love, Jerry & Dotse 

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