S (Scripture): John 17:1 Jesus…looked upward to heaven and said, “Father…15 I am not asking you to take [my disciples] out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. 19 And I set myself apart on their behalf, so that they too may be truly set apart.”
O (Observation): Jesus praying for the disciples! How cool is that! To be able to overhear this prayer is such a privilege and an honor.
Jesus’ prayer shows that mission is the key to being a disciple. The mission – to go and help others to believe in Jesus Christ – moves from Jesus to the disciples. Jesus knows the road is tough. Yet he doesn’t ask that the disciples be removed from the world. Rather, he prays that God would guide them in their earthly mission, and protect them from the evil one. Don’t take them out of the world, but do protect them!
Jesus was sent. Now he sends the disciples. That is a great view for our call to mission and ministry.
A (Application): How do we respond to the call to serve God? What is our starting point? Jesus says that he has been sent and that he now sends the disciples, which includes you and me – that’s our start!
When the rubber meets the road, though, how do we respond?
When someone comes to you for help, how do you respond? What if you know the person? What if you don’t? Why if they look like you? What if they don’t? What if they believe in your view of God? What if they don’t?
Do we help people? At what point do we pass on the work of helping folks to an agency? What does that mean for us as God’s people? How do we serve?
Part of the reason for the delay in posting my blog today is that I met with a gentleman who has money but terrible credit and is having trouble getting into a rental situation. He didn’t ask for anything but a prayer, but I’m going to follow up with some of my friends to see if there are other stories like this here in Murfreesboro, TN.
This fellow is a hard-working man, with what I believe is a true story. And if his story is true, then we may have an institutional or structural problem with housing here. What is my role in that?
Please keep me in your prayers as I work on helping to find a solution for this gentleman. Let us pray that all such folks receive the mercy and attention they need.
P (Prayer): Lord, you know our concerns and struggles. Help us all to find a place to lay down our heads at night…off of the streets, in a safe place. Amen.