Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15
It seems that everyone in the world is looking for hope. People are hurting. Even if they do not realize it, they are longing for a purpose beyond themselves. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us that, as followers of Christ, we have the message of hope that the world is looking for, and we must be ready to share it.
In Matthew 10, Jesus sent out His disciples to reach other people. He called them to cast out evil spirits and to heal people of sicknesses and diseases. In other words, He sent them out in order to bring His hope to the world that "the Kingdom of Heaven is near!"
There is something very interesting about Jesus' commission to His disciples. As He sent them out, He told them not to take any money, extra clothes, extra shoes, or walking sticks with them. Does this instruction from Jesus surprise you? It surprises me! You see, I like to be prepared. If I had been one of the disciples, I would have been thinking of everything I needed to take with me as I went out to people and shared about Jesus. I would have taken money with me to buy food or anything else I might need, a few changes of clothes, at least one extra pair of shoes, and certainly a walking stick to make this journey easier. Yet Jesus told the disciples to take none of those things, even though they were very normal things to bring. Why? Because He wanted to provide for them.
Jesus taught the disciples that God would provide for them as they went out and spread His message to others. He called them to look for lodging from the kindness of strangers as they travel. He even told them that when they faced hardship and persecution for their faith, God would help them know what to say to make Himself known. In other words, God was going to provide for their needs through the kindness of strangers and the Spirit. If the disciples went to tell others about Christ with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, there would be no mistaking the fact that God was the One providing for them.
My friend, if you have placed your faith in Christ, you have been called to share your faith (Matthew 28:19-20). While it may seem daunting, remember that God will provide you with exactly what you need to be an effective messenger for Him. Will you commit to sharing your faith with those who are lost, and trust God to provide what you need as you share?
We must always be prepared to tell someone why we have hope and how they, too, can have hope (1 Peter 3:15). This week we have been focusing on our stories of how God has changed our life. Our stories consist of what our lives were like before Christ, how we became a Christian, and what our lives have been like since we began following Christ. Today, let's focus on the length of our story. You see, many people will be able to pay attention to our story best when it is not incredibly long. Two minutes is a good time length to aim for. Practice telling your story and time it. What adjustments need to be made so that it no more than two minutes long?
Read Matthew 10:1-20 (NLT)
Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. Here are the names of the twelve apostles:
first, Simon (also called Peter),then Andrew (Peter’s brother),James (son of Zebedee),John (James’s brother),Philip,Bartholomew,Thomas,Matthew (the tax collector),James (son of Alphaeus),Thaddaeus,Simon (the zealot),Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
“Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.
“Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. When you enter the home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
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