Daily Devotion - January 7 - Jesus Sets a Model for Discipleship and Evangelism

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – January 7, 2020
Reading:
Luke 1, 3, 17-24
Weekly Theme: The Son of God
Today: Jesus – the Model of Discipleship and Evangelism

Considering yesterday’s events on Capitol Hill, let us begin our devotion today with prayer, instead of ending in prayer. Would you humble yourself with me in prayer? Dear God, we come to you with broken hearts about the division and strife in our country. Help us as the Church to emerge with more determination than ever to go forth offering the peace and love and hope that can only come from a relationship with God. May we have more focus on Your mission for the Church to go forth and make disciples of all the nations for the transformation of the world. May we be models of peace, love and hope and may our nation be healed from its brokenness. In the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Christianity remains the largest religion in the world and our timeless mission remains unchanged... we are to make disciples for the transformation of the world. As Christians, we have a responsibility to make new disciples and to baptize them and teach them as the church. All of this is God directed. In a world as broken as ours right now, we must take this role seriously. How do we proceed?

Today’s passage from Luke 1 provides an ultimate model of how Jesus discipled new disciples. From other passages we know that Jesus taught his disciples through parables by simplifying complex theology into stories of ordinary and relatable experiences. In today’s passage, Jesus, after teaching his disciples, sends out 70 disciples (depending upon which version you read) in pairs of two. In verse 17, these disciples return and report their experiences back to Jesus and their focus and rejoicing is on how the demons submitted to them. Jesus acknowledges the importance of their authority, given by him, to tramp out Satan but reminds them that this should not be the focus of their joy. The source of joy comes from names being written in heaven through discipleship. Then Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and praised God for his intimate relationship with God, acknowledging his role to reveal God to anyone he desires and because Jesus came to save the world, that is everyone (John 3:16-17). He tells his disciples how blessed they are to bear witness to the “things” they have seen and heard reminds them that prophets and kings wanted to see and hear these “things” but did not live to see and hear them. These actions taken by Jesus are a model of both discipleship and evangelism for us: being taught and sent forth; in pairs of two; returning and sharing their experiences; being reminded that the main objective of discipleship and evangelism is to bring others into relationship with God through the Holy Spirit and by inviting others to share the joy they have experienced because of Christ.

During these exceedingly difficult and divisive times, may we be more determined than ever to go forth and do that which Jesus taught his disciples to do---  make disciples so that others might experience all the blessings of hope, peace and love that come from being in a relationship with Christ... Amen and Amen.

 
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