by Ramona Cook
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Jesus had twelve Disciples whose names we know. However, there were many persons who followed Jesus everywhere he went, both men and women, who remain nameless to us. I don't know about you but I like that, because I see how they were also commissioned by Jesus even as the twelve were, and I can identify as one of them.
In Luke Chapter 10 we are told that Jesus chose 70 of those nameless disciples and sent them as His forerunners in groups of two; that would be 35 groups of two. He told them to go into certain villages and towns ahead of Him, into which He would be coming later.
In His commissioning of them He made a statement which is one that we must also consider today: "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Pray you therefore, the Lord of the Harvest that He will send out workers into the fields."
Jesus then gave some departure information to them as He sent them out; "I am sending you out as lambs among wolves." (That certainly sounds inviting Lord.) He told them also that they were to take nothing for their needs, no money, no change of clothing, no extra shoes.
So did they go? Yes they did. They went with a single vision and that was to do exactly as Jesus told them to do and also to tell the people that, "The Kingdom of God has come close to you."
How could Jesus validate to send them out in this manner? Did He not know what provisions were needed in the travel mission? Jesus often tells us to do things that don't look like good judgment to us; but what does He know that we don't know? Remember that Martha thought He had made a mistake in taking too long to come heal her brother Lazarus, who had died while they had waited. But Jesus knew something Martha did not know.
The First Testament records that the Israelites wore their clothing and shoes for many years in their travels and those clothing items did not wear out. We tend to see things from our own limitations, and God knows nothing about limitations.
Jesus once told His Disciples to, "Take no thought about tomorrow; what you will eat or drink or wear, because your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of those things."
Some complain and doubt and turn away because they say it does not work that way. They have tried it and it did not work. But we often do not consider or understand that God has offered contracts with us regarding many issues of our lives; contracts called Covenants. Often God says, "IF you will THEN I will; and IF you won't THEN I won't."
Perhaps those who turn away do not understand that there is a position that must be taken in order to benefit of all the promises.
God wants a relationship with each one of us; He wants us to obey His voice and to walk in the directions of good and right, because that is where we will be safe: He can shower blessings on those paths. What father rewards his child for wrong doing and for disobedience?
In truth however, God does give blessings to the just and the unjust as He gives life and breath and sun and rain. None of us could live or breathe a breath except that God graciously gives it. But God has more, and greater, things for us than the rudimentary elements for living . We, however, must be in the position that is to Him acceptable; and that position is as close to Him as we can get. That means that we divest ourselves of ourselves and make Him the first and the soul conquest of our life and energy.
To our thinking, before we have tried this position, it seems radical and it seems that we would have no time for life's work and duties to family and friends. That is not what happens. What does happen is that with God close and with us constantly, we are better and more successful in all that we do.
We have the imagination that we would need to project ourselves into the highest heaven and live with our heads in the clouds and do strange things, if we would be close to God. No. God is everywhere. God is here! He walks with us where ever we walk. The difference is that when we acknowledge Him, when we are aware of Him, and when we talk to Him, and read His Word, and order our lives according to His commands, (that is what He wants of us,) He will energize us, and we will be more productive and more peacefully content in the doing of our chores and exploits.
Jesus gave the 70 disciples instructions about how they were to conduct themselves on their evangelism mission; He told them to stay in the homes where their peace rested on the house, and to eat and drink whatever was set before them. They were to heal the sick, and to say to the people that, "The Kingdom of God has come close to you."
Jesus told them that if the people of the City into which they had gone would not receive them that they were to shake the dust of that City off their feet as a testimony against the City, and that the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah would be less severe in the Day of Judgment than for that City. Why? Because there had been no miracles done before the peoples of Sodom and Gomorrah and the good news of the Kingdom of God had not been preached to them.
When you or I have heard the message and rejected it, we have then put ourselves in a dangerous position.
How did the evangelism trip go for the 70? Do we think they had a rough time and came back in fatigue? They did not. They returned rejoicing telling Jesus that, "Even the devils are subject to us IN YOUR NAME."
Jesus responded to them, "I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
We must ask for interpretation about what He said. I wonder if His response was based in the fact that He had seen the ruling principalities of the devil, those that were ruling over those Cities, fall? Spiritual wars do occur in the atmospheres above us, the Bible attests to that fact. It is our prayers and holy living, our agreement with God that gives God's angels victory to break through to the earth and change the wrongs to rights and often to bring assistance to us who are alive in God.
Whether this is the correct interpretation I do not know, but it could be applicable because the next thing Jesus says to the 70 is, "Look, I have given you power to walk upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means harm you; however, do not rejoice about that fact, rather, you rejoice that your names are written in Heaven."
I assume that Jesus is referring to the Lamb's Book of Life" spoken of in The Revelation of Jesus Christ. We must all ask ourselves, "Is my name written in the Book in Heaven?
When a baby is born in a hospital there is a record made that gives the hour and the minute, the day and the year of the birth; there is at the least a mother's name, and most often a father and mothers name recorded. The baby will also be named by either family members or the attending medical persons will write something like, Baby Girl Doe or Baby Boy Doe. A document is made and it is a legal document.
Nicodemus was an old man who approached Jesus to talk to Jesus about the subject of being "Born Again." Nicodemus wondered if an old man could enter again into his mother's womb and be born again? Jesus explained to Him that what is born of the flesh, as he was when his mother gave him birth, was a birth in the flesh, but when one is born from above it is a brand new birth of the spirit. Even though we are born in our flesh, our spirit is not yet made alive until we ask Jesus to take away our guilt of the sin nature, which is born into us from our flesh birth, and also to ask Him to live in our heart.
Adam and Eve were created with a living sprit/soul, but when they chose to eat of the forbidden fruit, they died in the soul/spirit that very day, just as God had told them they would; they have bequeathed that death of the spirit/soul ever since then to all of their offspring. That is why Jesus came to redeem us, to buy us back, to give us life again. The penalty for sin is death. Jesus died in our place and offers us to be born again.
When we do ask Jesus to give to us forgiveness, and He seals us with His Holy Spirit, we have then been born to God and are then citizens of Heaven, and our name is written in The Book of Life. We are then altogether alive. This process is known as, "The NEW Birth, or being Born Again."
You can have new birth right this moment if you will ask Jesus to take away your sin, to forgive you of your sin and to come into your heart and life. You won't need to speak loudly, He is right there with you now, waiting for you to speak to Him. You will know then that your name is written in Heaven, and that as you read the Scriptures and learn about what God wants of His people, you will find that God has many marvelous gifts and experiences for you, and safety for you from the enemy of your life and soul.
Do it. Do it right now, and then tell someone you did it.
The Kingdom of God has come near, receive it now as your own and live life alive, totally alive!
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