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A Checklist While Serving the King

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2022 12:00 am

A Checklist While Serving the King

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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September 8, 2022 12:00 am

The Great Commission is more than just an abstract concept, it's a practical command for us to obey today. But does he idea of preaching the gospel and witnessing to others sometimes seem to be too daunting for you to do? The disciples felt the same way. After sitting under Jesus' teaching for two years, the disciples are sent out by their Lord to do the work of the kingdom, but Jesus doesn't leave them unprepared. He gives them--and us--a very practical checklist as we make disciples of all the nations.

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Don't water down the message. Don't dilute the gospel. We've got to get over this infatuation that our culture needs to appreciate us. Be comfortable with us. So we don't want to be too harsh with the gospel, so we're just going to explain the benefits.

No. How do we tell our world as we deliver the true gospel that part of it involves to reject the message of the king is to reject the king, and that invites the coming judgment of the king. Welcome to Wisdom for the Heart.

Today Stephen begins a new series from Luke 9 called Into the Spotlight. The Great Commission is more than just an abstract concept. It's a practical command for us to obey today. But does the idea of preaching the gospel and witnessing to others sometimes seem too daunting for you to do? The disciples felt the same way. After teaching them for two years, Jesus sent them out to do the work of the kingdom. But Jesus didn't leave them or us unprepared. He gave a practical checklist to use as we make disciples.

This message is called A Checklist While Serving the King. We're arriving today at a study in the gospel by Luke. It's a brand new phase in the ministry of Christ.

He begins his third year, by the way, so you can sort of date that in your mind. There is this particularly significant moment when you arrive at the ninth chapter of Luke where this new phase begins, where the disciples are given their first assignment. Now when you're turning to Luke chapter 9, Matthew's gospel adds that they were directed in this first trip to the house of Israel. This is all along, according to God's plan, that they will first of all be delivered the news that their king has arrived.

The nation will reject this legitimate offer of the king and then ultimately the commission will go to all the nations of the world. Now up to this point, the disciples have been in the classroom. They've been listening to the Lord teach. They've been in the observation room.

They've been watching the Lord minister. And now the Lord is about to send them out and he's going to send them, Mark's gospel tells us, two by two. You'll have six teams and they're going to be going on what we would call around here at our church a global impact trip.

Now this is going to be a regional trip, more than likely lasting somewhere between four to six weeks. The narrative just sort of gives you the sense that there's urgency here. So let's go and notice verse one. And he called the 12 together, doesn't seem like there's a lot of notice here, gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases and he sent them out. Now before he sends them out, I'm sure their hands are raised, they've got some questions. And so he essentially gives them what I want to sort of break down as a checklist for those who are representing the king. There are immediate implications, there are ongoing implications to you and to me as we represent our king. And I've broken the narrative down to seven points on a checklist that have immediate bearing on them and in a way on us.

The first one is this, number one on the checklist, don't forget you are helpless on your own. If you go back to verse one again, it's obvious that they're given everything they need but the sources outside themselves, it's Jesus. He grants them, you notice authority, these are his messianic credentials. You're representing the king, I'm going to give you authority to do what I ask you to do. In case somebody doesn't believe you, well I'm going to give you power as well, he says here, to command the demons, to heal the sick, essentially to reverse the curse which is a foretaste of the kingdom to come. Authority and power will validate their message, it will validate, authenticate these messengers that they are truly messengers of the king.

I want you to know that there's the implication here and I'm sure that they didn't miss it initially, I think they miss it later, we'll talk about that in a moment. But Jesus is essentially saying without me, you can do nothing. Here I'm going to delegate to you authority and power to fulfill this mission. And by the way, that's a wonderful reminder to you and to me today as we live for him. Everything you need to run your race has been given to you through Christ, your source.

Number two on the checklist would be this, don't try to be original. In other words, stick to the script. Here it is, verse two, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God. You might notice down in verse six, we're told they departed and went through the villages preaching the gospel. Proclaiming the kingdom of God was preaching the gospel.

That was the script. The king had arrived, what do you do? Surrender.

Lay down your arms. Yield to the authority of this king. And the disciples aren't really coming up with a message, are they? These original apostolic messengers were never original. In fact, the word proclaim here in verse two is a word that refers to a herald. This would take us back to even early American days, certainly to these ancient days where a herald would appear. They'd ride in to some village square and they would take that scroll and they would unroll it and they would read the message from the king.

That was their script, so to speak. So the disciples are center stage, they're in the spotlight, but don't forget for them and for us today, faithful teachers, faithful preachers, faithful Bible study leaders, faithful disciplers do not have an original message. All you're doing for a brief period of time is getting in the spotlight and reading the message of the king. Third, don't depend on what you can pack. Notice the next verse, verse three, and he said to them, take nothing for your journey. No staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money.

Do not have to tunics. I think I hear Nathaniel saying, Lord, I'm in the back of the room. I don't think I heard you quite correctly. Did you say take nothing? I'm sure you didn't mean that. Yes, take nothing for your journey.

And since nothing needs definition, the Lord breaks it down for them. Don't take a staff, an extra staff, one used as they often were for protection. Don't take a bag. The word used for bag was used by beggars for soliciting funds. You're not going to go around begging.

I'm going to take care of you. It could refer, as is translated later in Luke's Gospel, knapsack. So in a sense, you could think about, you're going to go, now don't even take a carry-on. That's the idea. He goes on to tell them, don't pack any food or bread.

Don't take any money. Don't take an extra tunic, which effectively means don't take a change of clothing. What Jesus is doing here is telling them to travel light and depend entirely upon God. You see, this four to six-week trip is going to be, then, an exercise of faith. And he wants them to learn early on this invaluable lesson that God's commission always includes God's provision.

It might come at the last moment, often it does. God will not send you and then abandon you. Now, don't misunderstand, Jesus isn't suggesting here that, you know, you're not to plan anything.

Just go out there and wing it. It's not what he's saying. In fact, later on in Luke chapter 22, he even changes the guidelines. He allows them to take a staff. He allows them to take their money back. He allows them to take money and food and even a sword for protection. But here on this initial road trip, the Lord wants to press on them this sense of urgency.

You got to go, guys. It's as if the mission can't wait. There's also this sense of dependency. He's teaching them you can't prepare ahead well enough. You can't prepare for every contingency you're going to run into, every encounter. So this time out, I just want you to go and depend entirely on me. And I think every trip beyond this one is going to get a little easier.

In fact, later on in Luke's Gospel chapter 22, the Lord refers back to this trip. And he says to them, do you remember when I sent you out without any money or knapsack or staff? Did you lack anything? And they responded, nothing, Lord. We didn't lack anything.

They never got over it, never forgot it. Now the Lord adds another item to their checklist. I'll put it this way.

Don't become a snob. Here it is in verse four. Whatever house you enter, stay there and from there depart. In other words, you're going to stay there.

You're going to be involved in the village. And when you eventually leave, leave from the same home you entered. Now Matthew's Gospel gives us a little clarification in chapter 10 of verse 11. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. The idea of someone worthy is someone who has received the message of the King. They've believed.

They're following now the Lord Jesus. If somebody then believes you're preaching or you're teaching and they believe the Gospel by faith and they invite you to stay in their home, accept their invitation. But here's the caution. There will be others who believe in that village perhaps and you're going to be tempted because somebody might have a nicer home.

You might in this first home be sleeping on the floor and they've got a guest room, maybe air conditioning, maybe a hot tub. I don't know. It's just going to be, you know, the Lord's leading me over there. Don't do that. Or the village chef gets saved.

You've been in a home or they're eating the same food every night because that's all they can afford and you're thinking, what? Praise God for that chef. I'm sensing the Lord's leading.

Don't do it. Remember the disciples weren't allowed to pack any food. So this principle here is going to be ongoing. The Lord's provision comes through the Lord's people. A principle exists today. We as a body of believers are funding the work of the Lord and through this church and certainly we're supporting other ministries along the way.

Growing up in a missionary home and I've often shared with you is a good education for me as I looked at this again because we would be visiting supporters in Iowa and Illinois and Minnesota because my father came from the north and we would pull into a driveway and I've told you before my mother would always look back at the four boys and she said, boys, remember where he leads me. I will follow what he feeds me. I will swallow.

I never liked that poem. That's the principle. Be careful. Don't use people. Don't go after perks. Don't use them as stepping stones for your own comfort.

Stay in that first house. If you leave, you're going to develop a reputation. You're just a snob.

You're just a snob. Be careful. Checklist number five.

Don't expect a standing ovation from everyone. Verse five, and wherever they do not receive you when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them. In other words, get ready for trouble.

Be prepared for trouble. You're going to arrive at a village and not one person's going to believe, not one person's going to invite you home, not one person's going to offer you any food. You're hungry.

You're tired. And they don't accept the message that the king has arrived. They want you out of there. They want you to leave. So shake the dust off your sandals. This is a formal act going back to these ancient days of separation. We don't even want the dust from your village clinging to us because you're heading for judgment.

We want nothing of that. Would we be willing to deliver that kind of terrifying message to our community? I think it's interesting the Lord doesn't say after that, now, you know, if they send you away, it may be because, you know, you maybe preached a little too hard or maybe you didn't explain all the benefits of the kingdom.

You should have done a better sales job or maybe you weren't positive enough. But Jesus is preparing them ahead of time. Some villages will invite you home to dinner. Some villages will want you to leave town. And when that happens, don't water down the message. Don't dilute the gospel. We got to get over this infatuation that our culture needs to appreciate us.

Be comfortable with us. So we don't want to be too harsh with the gospel. So we're just going to explain the benefits of the gospel. Now, how do we tell our world as we deliver the true gospel that part of it involves to reject the message of the king is to reject the king. And that invites the coming judgment of the king. When you deliver the gospel at some point, you can't expect then a standing ovation everywhere you go. J.C. Ryle adds this encouraging perspective from this text and from the Lord's direction.

He wrote this more than a hundred years ago. In his notes on the gospel of Luke, all ministers, missionaries, visitation workers, Sunday school teachers would do well to lay the Lord's instructions here to heart. Let them not be cast down if their work seems in vain. Let them remember that the very first preachers of Jesus commissioned were given a distinct warning that not all would believe. So let us work patiently and sow the seed without fainting. Duties are ours. Results are God's.

Well, what happens when the results are wonderful? He wants to prepare them for that as well. And I find this in this narrative as it relates to Herod. I want you to notice now verse 7. Now Herod, the tetrarch, heard about all that was happening. To get that, what the disciples are doing is making headlines.

The headlines have reached into that fortress where Herod is vacationing. Luke says, and he was perplexed because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. Herod said, John, I beheaded John the Baptist, but who is this about whom I hear such things? In other words, what's this about a king? And what's this I'm hearing about the representatives of the king who are supernaturally endowed?

I've got to see this. He was excited. He wanted to see a miracle. So it says, and he sought to see him, literally seeking to see him, which means he's making repeated attempts, repeated invitations. He wants the disciples to come and bring the Lord with him. He wants to arrange a meeting. He wants to see a miracle.

In fact, later on, a loose gospel. He finally has an encounter with the Lord Jesus at the trial, and he's excited. He wanted to see him because he wanted to see a miracle. And it's interesting that Jesus never said one word to Herod.

But I want to see this. He would have rolled out the red carpet for the 12. He would have loved to have had a private showing of their miraculous power.

And can you imagine just getting kicked out of a village? Now you're invited to the palace. Well, boy, is God good or what? That would have been a distraction. Not that you can't go to the palace.

That's not where the Lord was sending them. Slip into their sandals for a moment. What would it be like if God gave you the ability for six weeks to heal every sick person you came in contact with and command every demon with a word? Every demonized person is set free.

Every person you meet with cancer is immediately healed. The lame walk when you touch them. The blind see, and you're the first person they see. And how grateful they are. Can you imagine the frenzy? Can you imagine the crowd? Can you imagine the crowd? Imagine the news reports. I mean, this is heady stuff. And they're looking at you. This is dangerous stuff.

And they will fail in that regard. In a few months, they're going to be arguing among themselves, who is the greatest among us? Where did they get that from? This trip. Did you know what I did in that village? I healed three lepers in one hour.

Oh, man, it's nothing. I healed 10 before breakfast. Oh, I had thousands come and hear me preach. And I believe the number of people that believe. Oh, I healed the mayor. He gave me a key to the city.

I'm the greatest. There they go. Dangerous stuff. There is within us, one author wrote, an idol making machine. And success can be as dangerous as suffering. Jesus is preparing them for both.

Who's the greatest? They forgot. They are helpless without him. There can be nothing more dangerous and it resides in our hearts than the desire to be somebody. This final point in the checklist is vitally important in number seven. Don't forget to tell Jesus about everything. Look what happens here at the end of their first trip, verse 10. On their return, the apostles told him all they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. Here they come back, all excited.

Jesus wisely and graciously takes them aside for some rest, debriefing. Each team of disciples had no doubt experienced different things. Some had more exciting results than others. Some had more conversion stories than others. Some had more dramatic healing encounters than others.

Some had experienced more rejection than others. Some were hungry, others were fed. How kind of the Lord here. Don't forget, beloved, Jesus already knew all the details of every experience they had had. And he invites them aside so that they can tell him everything that happened. Which, by the way, gives the Lord an opportunity then to teach them to talk about responding, to encourage them, to affirm them, to correct them, to prepare them just a little bit more for next time.

So there are timeless truths bound up in this opening scene where they step out on stage and represent the king like you and I today. Don't forget you are helpless on your own. You can't do this apart from the source who is the Lord. Don't try to be original. Stick with the script of the gospel. Don't depend on what you can pack. Travel light, trust the Lord, and don't become a snob. You don't have to be bored. Don't become a snob.

People aren't objects to be used. Don't expect a standing ovation everywhere you go. Be prepared for trouble. Be prepared to be rejected, unappreciated. And don't get distracted by success. Don't let it go to your head. Remember, number one, you're helpless without him. And lastly, don't forget to tell Jesus everything.

Imagine he wants you to tell him everything. Father, thank you for the record of Scripture and this sweet Lord whom we represent, kind, gracious. Thank you for the privilege we have of representing the king. And one day, one day, you will take us aside.

Even now, you're waiting, inviting us to tell you everything. Father, I know in an audience this size, there are people who have come in here having experienced rejection, suffering of some sort, wondering if needs would be met, in the test of faith. Even arriving here this morning is a statement of faith as they continue to look at you and to you. We pray, Spirit of God, that you would encourage us as we prepare to go back on stage, as it were, into our world, some are facing bright, hot spotlights, others more in the shadows, to help us to be faithful, stewards and messengers, ambassadors and heralds of the king. And we'll thank you in Jesus name.

Amen. This message was called A Checklist While Serving the King. It's the first message in a 13-part series called Into the Spotlight.

We'll be bringing you the rest of this series in the days ahead. Stephen is the president of Shepherds Theological Seminary. Shepherds Seminary is equipping and training pastors and Christian leaders for a lifetime of service. But even if you don't feel called to full-time Christian ministry, Shepherds Theological Seminary can equip you to better understand God's Word.

You can study online right where you live. There's also a very unique one-year program where you can relocate to this area for a year. During that time you would study God's Word, experience authentic community, grow in discipleship, take a trip to Israel and do some study there, and earn your master's degree in theological studies.

You can do all of that in one year. We also have an opportunity for you to save a little bit of money because we have a discount code you can use to get a free application to Shepherds Seminary. When you apply, simply use the word WISDOM and that will give you a free application to Shepherds Seminary. If you navigate to our website and then scroll to the bottom of the page, there's a link to Shepherds Theological Seminary where you can learn more. You'll be able to access the complete library of Stephen's 36 years of Bible teaching. All of that material is free and on demand for you to listen to or you can read Stephen's sermon manuscripts. Again, that address is If we can help you personally, our number is 866-48-BIBLE and we're in the office each weekday. Join us next time for more Wisdom for the Heart. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-28 12:20:17 / 2023-02-28 12:29:50 / 10

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