Series: Thy Kingdom Come
Sermon – Kingdom Collaborators
Scripture Readings: Luke 9:1-6, Luke 10:1-12
Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere. (Luke 9:1-6)
Monday June 17 — Luke 4:38-44
The beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Luke’s Gospel reveals the tension between our human desire to receive and keep God’s blessings for ourselves and God’s desire that these blessings be shared with others. The crowds wanted Jesus to stay and serve them, but Jesus insisted that he “must proclaim the good news of the kingdom” (Luke 4:43) to others. Like the crowds described by Luke, we sometimes find ourselves wanting Jesus to serve us alone. How might you resist the desire to keep Jesus to yourself? How might you share the good news of the God’s Kingdom today?
• Prayer: God of Many Blessings, thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Open my heart to receive your blessings through him and then share them with others. Amen.
Tuesday June 18 — Luke 9:1-6
The mission of the twelve (in Luke 9:1-6) is an important development in the Gospel. Until this point, the ministry of sharing the good news of the Kingdom has centered on Jesus. Now, the same power and authority – and responsibility – is given to the apostles. (Don’t forget that the word “apostle” means “messenger” or “one who is sent.”) Note how their ministry included “bringing the good news and curing diseases” (Luke 9:6). In other words, the apostles’ served whole persons, body, mind, and spirit – helping them experience life as God intended for them.
• Prayer: Eternal God, grant me wisdom to understand that you not only want the best for me, but that you also want me to seek the best for others. Amen.
Wednesday June 19 — Luke 9:10-17
The account of Jesus feeding the multitude not only demonstrates that the power of God was at work in him, it also illustrates Jesus’ (and God’s) intention to provide for the daily needs of the crowds that were following him. This tells us something about God. After all, Jesus taught his disciples to ask God to “Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3). We have to believe that God will answer the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. We also believe that God will use us to answer that prayer for others. Read Luke 9:13 and think about how that verse might apply to your life.
• Prayer: God of Abundance, help me remember that you not only promise to provide for my needs, you also want to me to share what I have with others. Amen.
Thursday June 20 — Luke 10:1-12
After sending the twelve apostles on a Kingdom-mission in chapter 9, Jesus sent another, larger, group of disciples ahead of him to minister to the people and announce that, “the kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 10:9). What’s striking is that we know nothing about these disciples. They are anonymous. All we know is that Jesus “appointed them” and “sent them” (Luke 10:1). And they went. The point is that Jesus calls and sends people like them (and us) to serve his Kingdom purposes in the world. What call from God are you hearing today? How are you responding?
• Prayer: Faithful God, when I hear your call, I often make excuses and am reluctant to go where you send me. Give me the courage I need to trust you more fully today. Amen.
Friday June 21 — John 20:19-23
The primary report of how the Holy Spirit came into the lives of Jesus’ disciples is found in the Pentecost story described in Acts 2, but John’s Gospel has a different account. John 20:21-22 says that, “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” Or in other words, Jesus sent the disciples – filled with the Spirit – to continue his ministry. Do you see yourself as someone who has been sent (into the world) to continue Jesus’ ministry?
• Prayer: God of Grace, forgive me for resisting your call and not believing that you have sent me into the world to continue Jesus’ ministry. Fill me with your Spirit today. Amen.
Saturday June 22 — Acts 5:12-16
The New Testament is clear that Jesus’ Kingdom ministry did not end with his ascension to heaven after his resurrection. In fact, the New Testament describes the many ways that Jesus’ disciples, with God’s help, were able to do the same kinds of things that Jesus did: announcing the good news of the Kingdom and helping people live the life that God desires for them. We are expected to do the same. Review the past week. How have you collaborated with Jesus’ Kingdom ministry?
• Prayer: Loving God, thank you for including me in the work of your Kingdom. Thank you for filling me with your Spirit and empowering me to serve your purposes in the world. Amen.