Scripture: Luke 9:1-6 (alternate reading: Matthew 9:9-13)
1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them." 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
Meditation: What kind of power and authority does God want you to exercise in your personal life and service? God's word has power to change and transform our lives. Jesus gave his apostles both power and authority to speak and to act in his name – to cast out evil spirits, to heal, and to speak the word of God. 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.
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 in and through each 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 to others the joy of the gospel both in word and deed."
Psalm 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163
29 Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me thy law!
72 The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep thy word.
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love thy law.