Monday, January 23, 2012

Power and Provision

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Luke 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
Luke 9:4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

Jesus gave the twelve apostles, including Judas Iscariot power and authority over devils, and to cure diseases. This power was imparted to them by God, through Jesus the Son of God. They had Holy Ghost power before Pentecost, but apparently it was given and taken away. For Judas having forsaken him was taken over by Satan.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
Luk 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

This time the disciples were to take nothing for their journey, they were to go out by faith. They would be received by some of faith, and there they would stay. Others would reject them and by rejecting them they also rejected the power of God. They were to shake off the dust from their feet as a testimony against them. As we witness in the Internet chats, many oppose the power and the message that we have through Christ Jesus. Shake off the dust, remove them from our rooms; they oppose the work of God. Others come to hang out but do not receive what we say. Let them stay if they do not oppose the word of God.
What were the things that the apostles were not to take with them and not to depend upon? Luke 9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.

Staves were walking sticks or rods. They were used for walking and for protection.The root word is rhapizo, to let fall, to smite with a rod or staff. The stave could be used as offensive or defensive weapons. Staves when used by a king could be a rod of iron, as when Jesus returns to rule or it could be a royal scepter. They were to trust God for protection. A missionary friend commented," the safest place to be is in the perfect will of God."

Scrip, a wallet or sack used by shepherds to carry their provisions. Again they were to trust the LORD to provide for them in their missionary journey. They need no suit cases wallets or luggage.

Neither bread, for it would be provided by those who received them. They were to be thankful for what is provided. It is a shame to be in a restaurant or as a guest in a home and then to complain about the food or the service. If we represent the Lord, we are to be thankful.

Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

They were to take no money, from a word meaning shining, such as silver. Silver was also used in making idols. 

Act 19:24  For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; 

Act 19:25  Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. 
Act 19:26  Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: 
Act 19:27  So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. 
Act 19:28  And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 

Money can be an idol too.They were to be focused on the gifts given to them and food would be provided along the way.

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

They were not to take two coats, but one was allowed. Dress appropriately for the weather. Jesus said that we should share with others if we have extra.

Luk 3:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

We can remember Paul in a dingy prison asking for a coat or cloke. Paul also requested the parchments containing the Holy scriptures.

2Ti 4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

We are to love serving the LORD more than acquiring wealth.

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

In conclusion, we are to actively serve God and be faithful and he will see that we have opportunities to receive our needs, by work or by divine provision. This is having the true wealth of God.

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