Prepared to Suffer

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Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish my personal notes on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

John 16:1–4 (ESV)

1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

The Harvest Is Plentiful

Luke 102 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Luke 10:1–12 (ESV)

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Jesus sent out seventy-two of his disciples to preach concerning the kingdom of God. He gave his disciples instructions about how they were supposed to minister. They took a message of peace for all who would receive it, but for those who would not, it would be “more bearable on that day for Sodom” than for those who rejected the disciples’ message.

One of the things that Jesus told his disciples was that the harvest was plentiful, but the laborers were few. The message of the kingdom needed to go to the world, but Jesus was only sending our thirty-six teams of two! How was the message going to reach all who needed to hear it? Jesus urged his disciples to pray for more workers.

We live in a world where there are still many people ready and in need of the gospel message, but there simply are not enough Christians going to them with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We often neglect our responsibility to reach our neighbors and we may also fail to respond to God’s call on us to go to another land as missionaries. There are many reasons why we have many in need of hearing about Jesus, but so few going into the world with the gospel. Whatever the reason, we need to ask if we are doing our part and then we need to commit ourselves to prayer. Pray that God would send more workers into the fields because the harvest is still plentiful.

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Supporting Fellow Workers

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Reading the Word

3 John 5–8 (ESV)

5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

Understanding the Word

In these verses, John commends the church for supporting fellow Christians who were faithfully proclaiming the true gospel message. It is a good thing for believers to support other believers and share in the work of spreading the truth.

Applying the Word

In a world that values autonomy, the church is a constant reminder that we are called to community. First, we are called to be a part of a local church where we can learn and grow while also using our God-given gifts and abilities to serve others.

Second, we are called not only to be a part of a local church, but also to realize that all true churches are joined together in the same task: the ministry of the gospel. As part of a world-wide fellowship made up of believers from every nation, we all have a vested interest in the spread of the gospel in all places. This is why it is so important for churches and individuals that have an excess to support other believers who have a need. When we do, we become fellow workers for the truth.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!