Shake it off

Please note: The last Growing in Discipleship daily devotion will be posted on Saturday, October 25. We have posted on our site some other places to find daily devotions online, or to have them delivered to your email. Click HERE for those recommendations

Date: Wednesday, October 22

ScriptureMatthew 10:5-15

Verse: As you go, make this announcement: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’

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Last weekend about a dozen of our youth, and their four youth leaders, spent Saturday and Sunday working for people in our congregation. It was called Mission@Home. The idea came from this year’s mission trip to New Jersey. One night, while sitting around discussing where to go next year, a conversation began about why we go so far away sometimes. The travel is expensive, and there is just as much to do right in our own backyard. We toyed with the idea of helping people in our community, and in our church. When we got back, one of our youth leaders ran with this idea and Mission@Home was born. This past weekend, our youth were out working, sharing a small piece of the kingdom of heaven with neighbors and friends.

In today’s passage Jesus is sending the disciples out ahead of him. He tells them to go to people who are in need to offer healing, life, and to meet their every need. I love today’s verse, “As you go, make this announcement: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’” There is a sense in the way Jesus says this that their mission is something that is simply to be part of their everyday living. He doesn’t give them instructions about how to build a church or even set up 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. Notice he isn’t asking them to do a bunch of programming, but rather to meet people in their needs wherever they find them. Following the way of Jesus, hearing his call, means announcing the kingdom of heaven is near, not only in what we say, but also in what we do.

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The Mission@Home reminded me of a quote I once heard from another pastor. He said, “Every day can be a mission trip.” Far too often we set aside special time to help others — a weekend in October, a week in June, a day at Tri-Lakes Cares or Marion House soup kitchen. Those are great things, but what about the other days? Jesus says we can serve him as we go — to work, to school, running errands, whatever — and announce in what we say and what we do that “The kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Prayer: Open my eyes, Lord, that I might see the needs of others, and announce your kingdom has come near through what I say and what I do. Amen.

Action: Make an effort to spend the day ahead, with your eyes focused as though you are on a mission trip.

Respond: If you have been on a mission trip, or serve people in other ways, how do you view things differently when you are serving that you do at other times?

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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