Today’s Scripture: Matthew 10
Today’s chapter, Matthew 10, is all about Jesus sending his 12 apostles (Simon who is called Peter and his brother Andrew, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot) on a mission to spread the message that “The Kingdom of heaven has come near” (v. 5). His lengthy instructions are designed to instruct them how to go about this mission and to prepare them for what they may encounter along the way.
Matthew 10:9-10 (NIV)
9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts – 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.”
Matthew 10:16-17 (NIV)
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.”
They were to travel as they were and warned to expect trouble along the way. But they were also instructed to have faith that God would take care of them on their mission.
This account made me think of what it would be like for us to go on a mission for God in modern day times. Spreading his Word is no longer an oral tradition. The Bible is easily accessible in print and online. So how do we spread the good news, if we choose that to be our ministry here on Earth?
I am very fortunate to be good friends with a wonderful artist, published author, and exceptional human being, who is also a fellow Creeker. Her name is Kathryn “Kathy” Housepian, and perhaps you have seen her amazing art in various Perrysburg locations. She is using her artistry to spread cheer to her fellow human beings by frequently hiding beautifully painted rocks around Perrysburg for people to find and keep.
She is also known for spreading his Word to others, especially non-believers, by handing out small cards with Bible verses on them. She very intentionally crafted these cards to be too pretty to be thrown away. The cards are colorful in blue, purple, and green hues with gold lettering underneath or above one of her miniaturized paintings. They almost glow, that is how pretty they are!
She will hand these cards out anywhere and to anyone whom she feels would benefit (or who is her lucky friend!). She calls this her ministry. And what an amazing and inspiring ministry it is! But she is not alone in her mission. She also gives note cards with her gorgeous artwork on the front to her friend Karen, who is also at the Perrysburg campus, and to Mark Hearndon from the Whitehouse campus to hand out, both of whom also write and hand out their own cards to bring people closer to Jesus.
Kathy will humbly tell you that this is not about her. She says that all three of them simply want to bring “Jesus into people’s lives in a practical and loving way.” Bringing people closer to God is her ministry, as she will always tell me.
But it is important to remember that we do not have to be a talented artist or gifted orator to spread Jesus’ message. The people Jesus sent as his Apostles to spread the word were a motley crew, none of which would have been an obvious choice for such a mission. Yet, they did an amazing job!
Jesus would like all of us to be on a mission for him, and he gave each of us a unique talent and spiritual gifts to spread his message of love to others. So all you have to ask yourself is how your specific gifts from God could be used to spread his Word. And however you choose to do it, make sure it is in a loving and kind way!
What are your unique talents or gifts from God? Write them down. How could you use them to reach out to others in a loving way to draw them closer to God? What could be your irresistible calling card?
Have you ever tried being on a mission for God to draw people closer to him? If not, why not? If you have not yet discovered your unique talents and gifts from God, make sure to attend the next GrowthTrack where you can take steps toward discovering your purpose.
Dear Father, thank you for wiring us all uniquely and giving us each special gifts which we are able to use to serve you. Please help me discover what my special talents are and how I can use them to bring those who need it most closer to you. Please help me to shrug off any doubt or fear that I am not talented enough and instead, let me be creative when I embark on my mission for you. Amen.
This post was written by Cordula Mora. Cordula is a neuroscientist who currently works in the Provost office at Bowling Green State University. She was born and raised in Germany, then spent many years living in New Zealand before settling in the US almost 16 years ago. She was raised in a German Protestant church but feels blessed to have been spiritually awakened when she was introduced to CedarCreek Church. She thanks God every day for all the blessings in her life, including two amazing daughters. She is currently looking for someone who would like to serve the Lord with her.
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