Do Not Rejoice In...

Do Not Rejoice In...
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
February 14th, 2016
Image courtesy of kongsky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Do Not Rejoice… IN…

Have you ever watched a football game, where one team is losing pretty badly and a player from the losing team scores a touchdown but then begins to dance and celebrate as though they just won the game.  I always find myself yelling at the screen “You’re still losing!!!  What are you celebrating for?”

It seems to me that in these situations, these players are more focused on their individual accomplishments than they are focused on the game as a whole. It doesn’t seem as though they are team players.

Our scripture today is Luke 10:1-20.  In last week’s post, we looked at the last 5 verses in Chapter 9 which told us about excuses people tend to give Jesus when gives them a call.

This week, we look at some instructions He gave 70 people who didn’t give Him any excuses and answered his call. This is also the same set of instructions that He gave the 12 disciples earlier in chapter 9.

Luke 10:1-20
After this, the Lord appointed 70 others, and He sent them ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 He told them: “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. 3 Now go; I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t carry a money-bag, traveling bag, or sandals; don’t greet anyone along the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ 6 If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they offer, for the worker is worthy of his wages. Don’t be moving from house to house. 8 When you enter any town, and they welcome you, eat the things set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there, and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’ 10 When you enter any town, and they don’t welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘We are wiping off as a witness against you even the dust of your town that clings to our feet. Know this for certain: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.

13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes! 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades! 16 Whoever listens to you listens to Me. Whoever rejects you rejects Me. And whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

17 The Seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”

18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash. 19 Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you. 20 However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

So here we have 70 people who Jesus is about to send out ahead of Him and He gives them sort of a pep talk.   Actually it wasn’t really a pep talk, because who would start out a pep talk by saying “I am sending you out as sheep among wolves.”  (Jesus never sugar coated the cost of following Him!).  Instead He was giving them instructions.

1. Pray that God will call more people and that they will accept His call. (vs. 2).

In verse 2 “He told them: ‘The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’”

I think we often pray for many people and many things.  For instance, we pray for people who we know are unsaved, we pray for our friends who are sick, but I think we spend less time praying that God will call more Christians and that they will answer his call and not give excuses.

Our prayer should be for one another…Perhaps for more people to volunteer at church or pray more people will become pastors, teachers or missionaries.

We need to pray not only for our friends and neighbors who need Jesus but also that people will accept his call to serve.

2. Be prepared as you answer His call on your life, using what resources He has given us (vss. 3-4)

Now go; I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t carry a money-bag, traveling bag, or sandals; don’t greet anyone along the road.

Now at first glance, this looks like I am telling you to do just the opposite of what Jesus is saying here, but to get the full picture we need to skip to Luke 22

Luke 22:35-36
35 He also said to them, “When I sent you out without money-bag, traveling bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Not a thing,” they said.
36 Then He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money-bag should take it, and also a traveling bag. And whoever doesn’t have a sword should sell his robe and buy one.

This verse is actually referring to chapter 9 when He told the Disciples the very same thing, but we can apply it here as well.

Scripture doesn’t say this specifically, but what I believe the sentiment is here, is that Jesus is saying, before I was with you (physically speaking) and was providing everything you needed as you needed it, but now that you are out there on your own, take what you have and go prepared.

I believe this is what we should do ourselves.   We should go into our calls prepared, including even physical protection.  This is not to say that Jesus no longer provides for us, but I think there is a bit of a difference from when He was here physically vs being with us spiritually.

The point is, use the resources that God has given you to be prepared and secure in the call He has given you.

3. Be content and satisfied with your call and get to work. (vss. 7-9)

In other words, don’t always be looking for something better or for that perfect situation.

7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they offer, for the worker is worthy of his wages. Don’t be moving from house to house. 8 When you enter any town, and they welcome you, eat the things set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there, and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’

Essentially, what Jesus is saying is, when you are welcomed into a house, be content there and get to work.

The temptation here would have been for them to continue to look for something better, perhaps a bigger house, or a home that had influential people in it. Or perhaps to find the home with the spiritual leaders of the area and stay with them.  But Jesus was saying, stay at the first place that welcomes you and begin doing what you are called to do.

What I think this looks like for us is that when God give us a call it might be something as small as volunteering at church.  But the call He gives us, doesn’t fit into our concept of what we think His call on our life should look like.  So we keep looking for a better call.  Or perhaps the circumstances of the call are not perfect, and so we wait for better circumstances (i.e. the perfect opportunity to share Christ with someone as opposed to the first opportunity).

But Jesus tells us to be content in His call, and to take the opportunities to work when He gives them to us!

4. Remember, when you are met with rejection, move on. (vss. 10-11)

When you enter any town, and they don’t welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘We are wiping off as a witness against you even the dust of your town that clings to our feet.

We have talked about this point in previous posts and it is pretty self-explanatory so we will go ahead and move to point 5.

Point number 5 comes from the last few verses.

17 The Seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”

18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash. 19 Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you. 20 However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Remember our football player from before?  The one who celebrated the touchdown even though his team was losing?  The one who seemed more focused on individual accomplishments than being a part of the team?

Well, I believe that this this is the message Jesus was giving the 70 that returned.  Don’t get me wrong, we are not on a losing team.  But here Jesus is basically saying, don’t rejoice in the wrong things.

5. Don’ rejoice in the wrong things, but rejoice that you are a part of the body of Christ! (vss. 17-20)

We don’t have to mourn these small victories, either,  but instead of celebrating them as individual successes, we celebrate that we are a part of the team. We must remember there is still a lot of game left to go and there is still a lot of work left to be done.

Furthermore, we can’t take credit for these victories anyway. When awesome things happen in our lives or in our church, it’s not that we did anything great, instead God did something great through us.

So, when you are tempted to celebrate, remember, there is a lot of work still ahead of us and we need to see ourselves as part of team (body of Christ) not as individuals.

Our celebrations should come from the fact that we are loved by God and are saved rather than from the victories we have in this life.

So these are the instructions that Jesus gives us as He prepares us for His call.
1. Pray that God will call more people and that they will accept His call. (vs. 2)..This is my prayer for us and for our communities…
2. Be prepared as you answer His call on your life, using what resources He has given us (vss. 3-4)
3. Be content and satisfied with your call and get to work. (vss. 7-9)…don’t always be looking for something better or that perfect situation.
4. Remember, when you are met with rejection, move on. (vss. 10-11) Don’t spend any more time there than you need to.
5. Don’ rejoice in the wrong things, but rejoice that you are a part of the body of Christ! (vss. 17-20)

Are You Ready to Answer His call?


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