Sunday (July 15): Scripture: Mark 6:7-13
7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.
Meditation: What kind of authority and power does the Lord Jesus want you to exercise on his behalf? Jesus gave his apostles both the power and the authority to speak and to act in his name. He commanded them to do the works which he did – to heal, to free people from the power of the evil one, and to speak the word of God – the good news of the gospel which they received from Jesus. When Jesus spoke of power and authority he did something unheard of. He wedded power and authority with love and humility. The “world” and the “flesh” seek power for selfish gain. Jesus teaches us to use it for the good of our neighbor. The Lord Jesus commissions all the members of his body the church to be his ambassadors and missionaries – to bring the good news of the gospel to all peoples, lands, and nations. He freely pours out his Holy Spirit upon each one of us so that we may have the confidence and boldness to speak and act in his name wherever he places and sends us.
Why does Jesus tell the apostles to “travel light” with little or no provision? “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. He wills to work through and in each one of us for his glory. Are you ready to handle the power and authority which God wishes you to exercise on his behalf? The Lord entrusts us with his gifts and talents. Are you eager to place yourself at his service, to do whatever he bids you, and to witness his truth and saving power to whomever he sends you?
“Lord Jesus, make me a channel of your grace and healing love that others may find life and freedom in you. Free me from all other attachments that I may joyfully pursue the things of heaven. May I witness the joy of the gospel both in word and deed.”
8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way.