Daily Reading & Meditation

 Wednesday (September 24):  "Jesus gave them authority over all demons and diseases"

Scripture:  Luke 9:1-6  

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.

God gives power and strength to those who rely on him alone
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.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Jesus gave power and authority to his apostles, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)

"The grace bestowed upon the holy apostles is worthy of all admiration. But the bountifulness of the Giver surpasses all praise and admiration. He gives them, as I said, his own glory. They receive authority over the evil spirits. They reduce to nothing the pride of the devil that was so highly exalted and arrogant. They render ineffectual the demon's wickedness. By the might and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, burning them as if they were on fire, they make the devil come forth with groans and weeping from those whom he had possessed... He glorified his disciples, therefore, by giving them authority and power over the evil spirits and over sicknesses. Did he honor them without reason and make them famous without any logical cause? How can this be true? It was necessary, most necessary, that they should be able to work miracles, having been publicly appointed ministers of sacred proclamations. By means of their works, they then could convince men that they were the ministers of God and mediators of all beneath the heaven. The apostles then could invite them all to reconciliation and justification by faith and point out the way of salvation and of life that is this justification." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 47)


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author Don Schwager 2014 Servants of the Word

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.  

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