Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. 5 Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
- Where is Jesus inviting you to proclaim the kingdom of God in word and deed?
- What is Jesus offering you to as you carry His kingdom with you?
- What opportunities do you have to bring healing to others?
Lord Jesus, as we enter into the kingdom, give us the courage to step into the places you have called us, knowing that you are with us and will provide for us. Thank you for bringing others into our lives to share the journey of discipleship with. Help us to be faithful to your call on our lives. In Your name, Amen.
7 Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. 9 Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him.
- Where do you see God kingdom work as perplexing at times?
- How does your life reflect the work of God in a way that makes others wonder about who He is?
- What does it look like to follow Jesus in a way that reflects His kingdom amid the status quo?
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are continuing to work in, through, and among us in ways that cause others to be curious about you. As you work in our lives, help us to look to you for our daily needs and direction so that you will be glorified in all we do and say and that we might expand your kingdom. Amen.
On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
- What words are used to describe Jesus’ actions in these verses?
- When have you experienced Jesus’ loving actions toward you?
- How do you see yourself in partnership with Jesus in his kingdom work?
Jesus, thank you for the opportunity we have to be your witnesses in the world, and to find rest in you as well. Give us a sensitivity to your leading that we might know when to rest and when to step into your work as a participant in what you are doing in the world. Amen
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
We are invited to bless the Lord, amid the external chaos that we see and the internal anxiety, fear, and chaos that we feel. Living as kingdom participants means that we find our purpose, meaning, and guidance in the King, regardless of the results we experience. Living in obedience to our King, we can cultivate gratitude for God and trust in Him, regardless of our surroundings.
- Where do you see God at work around you?
- What do you have to be grateful for?
- What makes it challenging to be thankful?
Gracious God, thank you for your authority over all kingdoms, and for the kingdom that you are inviting us to participate in. Thank you that you have been faithful and good, and you will continue to shower your love, grace, and mercy on us. Give us grateful hearts every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
One of the ways that we reflect Jesus and his rule in our lives is our capacity to live beyond the anxiety of this life. During this time when anxiety seems to hang in the air, we are invited to thrive today under God’s rule and pursue his will for the world, trusting that all that we need will be provided for us.
- What would it look like today for you to strive for God’s kingdom?
- What distracts you from thriving?
- What do you hear God inviting you to in the midst of your anxiety?
Gracious God, you are worthy to be pursued each day by us. Thank you that you are our Provider, and we can trust you for all our needs. As we trust, help us to look for ways that we can share our provision with others as we pursue your kingdom in our contexts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.