Luke 10:8-12 – “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, `Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”

 

Any community that would recognize and support their godly mission would certainly be a welcoming town.  Food and drink would be part of the deserving wage for the rich service these messengers will provide to the place where they would stay. They are to conduct themselves as a part of the family or community that receives them and their message.  They should not be persnickety, ungrateful, snooty or arrogant regarding the food that is set before them.  Nor, should they act falsely humble if they receive extra special kindness or extravagance in the culinary they may be presented with.  Jesus does not deal with concerns about issues of food offered to idols or alcoholic beverage, simply because there is no need for it. Those who properly and graciously receive these ambassadors of God will also treat them with due reverence and hospitality as well!  They will not be purposely offensive in their provision.  So, when among such people, eat what is set before you and be thankful!

Jesus also gives them authority to demonstrate the power and mercy of God in their mission.  They are authorized to heal the sick who are in that town.  This is not only the power and mercy of God at work, it is also His affirmation of their welcoming spirit and hospitality shown to His ambassadors.  Their ministry of healing provides the opportunity for their message.  Tell them, “The kingdom of God is near you.”  The reign of God is incredibly close to those who are welcoming of His ambassadors!  It is so close, all they need to do is welcome the One who sent them in the same way as they received His representatives.

BUT – when you enter a community where you are not welcomed, if there are none that will receive you and your message, then leave!  If you are not welcomed in their HOMES, Jesus instructs them to give a warning in their STREETS.  These ambassadors of Christ are to declare, not with rage, scorn or resentment, but with compassion and concern for their eternal and perishing souls and the disastrous ruin they are bringing upon themselves, “We shake off even the dust of your town from our feet against you.”  You are accountable for rejecting God’s own message and His messengers.  They are not responsible for the impending judgment that befalls those who reject God!  They have been faithful to their charge.  These representatives of Christ must not even leave any of the town’s dust on their feet.

YET – you can be absolutely certain that this rejection does not change the fact that God’s kingdom is near!  As with Nineveh, even this town may repent and believe!  God’s kingdom is as close as that – Repent and Believe!  Change your mind, change your heart, and agree with God!  But, you can also be absolutely certain of this, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on the judgment day than for the town that rejects God and His gracious love as represented by these ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the Good News families of the week: Bonnie Bitetti (Samantha, Denny, Chris), Brandon & Sandy Burtner (Elijah, Eliana), Greg Conibear.
Saturday:Give thanks for those people in your life that welcome your testimony concerning Christ!
                                                            
Sunday: Pray that you will faithfully represent the kingdom of God that is near to those who will believe.
Monday: Pray that you would recognize when it’s time to shake the dust from your shoes against those who reject your testimony and faith in Christ!
Tuesday:Remember that, just because people reject the message and the messenger, it doesn’t mean that God’s kingdom is removed farther away, it’s still near – as near as repentance and believing!
 
Wednesday:Remember also that God will surely keep His promises of judgment and, it will be more bearable for Sodom on that day than for those who reject His gracious plan of salvation and those who bring the Good News of His kingdom!
Prayer Challenge:  Realize, like Peter did – how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.  Pray that you will make known – the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all…  — how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him…  Acts 10:34,35.  And, pray for courage to – “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15,16

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