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Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered

As we go through the Gospel of Luke, we’re now starting chapter 10. Jesus’ ministry is growing as He’s attracting more and more disciples. He now has a large number of followers.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.

Luke 10:1 NIV

The Lord’s ministry team has become so large that He can no longer travel without extensive planning. There are almost a hundred people in His group. With that many people you can’t just stroll into town and find enough food and lodging for everyone.

Jesus now sets up a team of 72 to go out ahead of Him and make preparations. Remember, there’s no reservation desk to call. Everything had to be done in-person.

These men would go into a town and find those who were willing to open their homes for the Lord and His disciples to stay at. They also needed to make sure enough food could be prepared for the group.

As He was getting these men ready, Jesus gave them something else to work on. He encouraged them to pray for the souls they would come in contact with.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Luke 10:2 NIV

Jesus understood that as one person, He could only do so much. When the Lord put on flesh, He limited Himself to only being in one place at a time. He needed more workers to come alongside Him and carry out His work.

So Jesus tells the 72 that there are more people needing to hear the message than there are workers to preach it. They need to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send more workers into His fields.

This is a very interesting prayer. It’s one of those prayers that God usually answers quickly. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what happened.

Jesus answered this prayer before it ever even left the disciple’s lips.

Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Luke 10:3 NIV

“Lord, please send more workers into Your fields.”

“Go! I’m sending you.”

This exchange between the Lord and His disciples tells me some things. First of all, Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest. It’s clear because He’s the one who answered the prayer.

Next, I see that you don’t need to be anyone special to answer His call. According to Scripture, these 72 weren’t even trained until after Jesus called them to go.

Also, you don’t have to have an overwhelming drive to win the lost. Jesus said that He was sending them out like lambs among wolves. They had nothing in and of themselves to overcome the obstacles before them. They had to rely on the Holy Spirit going with them.

I believe that this same calling is on all of us. We are all called to reach a world that we’re powerless to change. That is, powerless in our own strength.

The Holy Spirit resides within us. We have all the resources of Heaven available to us. We need to simply step out and see what the Lord will do through us.

We have to pray the prayer and answer the call. “Lord, send workers into your fields. Yes! I’ll go and work for you.” Then, you’ll see the blessings of God flowing through you to the world around you.

Question: How have you answered the call of God upon your life?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2022 in Ministry, Prayer, The Gospel

 

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Sharing Like a Disciple

SharingI’m posting about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. In my last article I talked about sharing your faith with others. We sometimes get intimidated by what non-Christians say. That shouldn’t be the case.

I recently read an article called something like What Non-Christians Really Think about Christians. It was based upon a huge amount of research. It turns out that in spite of what they say as a group, many non-Christians have these attitudes:

“I would like to develop a friendship with a Christian.”

“I would like to learn about the Bible from a Christian.”

“I wish I could learn to be a better (husband, wife, father, mother) from a Christian.”

We act like they hate us and want to kill us. The fact is, how they act in a group vs. what’s going on inside are two very different things. We can’t be afraid to talk to them.

We must learn to use friendship rather than confrontation. Instead of using the “You need to get saved” approach, we need to simply tell them what we’ve found in Jesus.

But after that, you need courage to go even further. In my last post we saw a verse that told us what Andrew did with his brother, Simon.

And he brought him to Jesus.
John 1:42a

Disciples of Christ lead others to Christ. What exactly does this mean? It could take in a lot of different things.

That word brought has a few different meanings. It could mean to drive – like a herd of cows – to push forward. Or it could mean to bring by laying hold of. But it could also mean to bring by accompanying.

One thing’s for sure, it requires the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to know exactly what approach to take. Sometimes we need to be forceful, while other times gentleness is required. Sometimes you may pray with them to submit to Christ. Other times they need to be invited or taken to church.

By the way, another of the What Non-Christians Think was…

“I wish a Christian would take me to his church.”

It turns out that most non-believers want to be invited to church…privately. They wouldn’t go on their own, but are willing to be accompanied by someone who knows what happens there. We’re the only way for people to get to Jesus.

Nine times out of ten, it’s not because of Christian TV or radio that someone chooses Christ. It’s because of a friend or family member that brought them to a knowledge of the cross, and then loved them into the kingdom.

Don’t be intimidated by what’s said in a group situation. If the Holy Spirit is prompting you to share, it’s because there’s a work being prepared in that person’s heart.

Cooperate with the Spirit. Share what you’ve found in Christ. Bring someone to Jesus.

Question: How have you been a witness for Christ in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Faith, Ministry, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

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Do You Have a Disciple’s Heart

FishingI want to take a few posts to talk about what it means to truly be a disciple of Christ. I think that in this generation we have a lot of students, but very few disciples.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
John 1:40-42a

Let me introduce you to one of Jesus’ first disciples. His name was Andrew. He gives us insight onto what discipleship is all about.

The first thing I notice about him is that the name Andrew means brave.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

In practice, disciples of Christ must be courageous. After we’re saved, we’re called to leave our comfort zones for Christ.

We know some things about Andrew from the Scripture. He was Peter’s brother and therefore a fisherman by trade. He grew up by the Sea of Galilee involved in the family business.

Yet when he heard John the Baptist’s teaching he followed John out to the desert and became one of his disciples. At one point, John introduced him to the Messiah; so he left John and followed Jesus.

What we find is that change is one of the hardest things to do. But remember, Andrew was a man of courage. If we’re going to follow Christ, then we’re going to have to rely upon the Lord’s courage in us.

I’ve posted in the past about what a disciple is. Disciples and students are very different. A student wants to learn what’s being taught. A disciple wants to become what his teacher is.

The first thing that Andrew does is to go to his brother, Simon. They met together. In the course of their meeting he tells Simon that they’ve found the Messiah.

The words we use are interesting. Andrew said, “We found the Lord.” We talk the same way sometimes. The funny thing is that Jesus wasn’t lost…we were.

The truth is that Andrew was seeking something.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

In his search, Andrew first followed John the Baptist, and then he followed Jesus. As a result he’s found the answer to his need. Now he wants to tell someone about it. Andrew’s first choice was his brother Simon.

This leads us to an important truth. Disciples of Christ tell others what they found. What have you found in Christ? People say they have a hard time telling others about Christ. Just tell what you found.

Andrew spent time with Christ. He saw and heard the anointing. That’s why he could say definitively, “We found the Anointed One.”

Who do you tell? An evangelist would say, “anyone within talking distance.” There is an anointing for that, but most believers aren’t in that category.

90% of believers are Andrews. He went to his own sphere of influence. That means family, friends, and co-workers.

Take a cue from Andrew. Rely on the strength and courage of the Holy Spirit within you. The next time you feel His urging, tell what you’ve found in Christ.

Question: What’s your experience in sharing your faith with others?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2016 in Ministry, The Gospel

 

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