When Jesus sent his apostles out to begin their own personal ministry, he empowered them with the ability to heal the sick and drive out demons. He also spent some time offering them clear instructions on what to expect along the way. Some of these instructions are important lessons that apply to our own relationship with Jesus and to our efforts to share the gospel.
If you are a Christian, much of the world is hostile to your point of view. The devil is in control of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and he is doing everything in his power to challenge those who follow Jesus Christ.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 (NIV)
As followers of Jesus, we have to be on our guard. Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit with us to guide the way. As long as we maintain our connection to Jesus, we will be protected and acknowledged before God.
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV)
As harsh as it may seem, our family ties can be infiltrated by the devil. Jesus makes it clear that our family relationships are not as important as our relationship with Him. Our love for Jesus is equal to our love for God and this should be the foundation of our affections.
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37 (NIV)
Finally, when we venture out to share the gospel with anyone we are traveling with Jesus. And if we are traveling with Jesus, we are doing God’s work.
“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” Matthew 10:40 (NIV)
Our relationship with Jesus Christ is paramount. There is nothing more important. Our eternal existence depends on our connection to Jesus. This is why we should be diligent about sharing that connection with others. Those closest to us should be first on our list. This is not about banging anyone over the head with the Bible. This is about letting your light shine in such a way that those around you will want to know the source of your joy. When that question comes, it is the duty of every Christian to be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15). Praise God for empowering all believers with the Holy Spirit. Praise Jesus for walking with us every step of the way. Like the apostles, we also are called to serve God by serving others.
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