Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Kingdom is Near 6-22-06

Good morning, Lord Jesus. As I submit and entrust my life to You, let there be more of You and less of me, more of Your nature and less of my nature -- morning by morning and day by day. ... You sent out seventy disciples -- not just twelve -- into Your harvest of souls, saying, "Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves" (Luke 10:1-3). But even though You warned them You were sending them to "the wolves," You told them to begin their ministry to the people by speaking words of peace rather than judgment, first giving people the chance to welcome Your disciples and Your message of hope and life through faith. "Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you" (verse 10:5-6). The peace of Your presence is within us, as Your disciples. As we go to the places You send us, we are not offering people ourselves, we are offering them You. But at the same time, we offer them You through us -- through the peace of Your presence living in us and flowing through us by Your Holy Spirit. As we abide in You and allow You to abide in us, our nature becomes more like Your nature, our words become more like Your words, and then the peace we offer is Your peace You are offering through us. It's all about You -- but amazingly, You offer Yourself through us -- those You have called and discipled and sent to proclaim with authority and to demonstrate with power that "The kingdom of God has come near to you" (verse 10:8-9). By the grace and the mystery of Your Spirit living in us, You said, "Whoever listens to you listens to Me, and whoever rejects you rejects Me, and whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me" (verse 10:16). And there are consequences for our choices -- the choices we make to go where You send us and to do what You command us, as well as the choices they make to welcome us or reject us, to share in Your peace or not. There will come a day of Your "judgment" for each of us, based upon the choices we make in the light of Your grace (verse 10:14). Lord, give me grace to choose well -- first in welcoming and receiving those You send to bring Your peace, and then in going out into Your harvest to share the peace of Your presence I have welcomed into my soul with others -- even to "the wolves" You warned me I would encounter along the way. Keep me close to You, starting each day and continuing each day in You, so that it is more and more Your true nature and Your true message that others have a chance to welcome or reject. Let it be Your kingdom and not my kingdom that "has come near" (verse 10:9 and 10:11). In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe or to order my teaching and prayer dvd's and cd's for spiritual transformation, write to me at Messiah Ministries -- "Preparing the Way of the Lord." 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, Kentucky 40502: Come to The Fountain the 3rd Friday night of every month at 7 pm for our citywide gathering for prayer, praise, and healing worship. Daily archives of my devotional: