Today's Devotions

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  • Suffering: A Case Study by RC Sproul +

    Sproul discusses: The purpose of suffering Whether suffering is from Satan (no) Erroneous views on suffering (God doesn't have anything Read More
  • A conversation on pain and suffering-Dallas Willard and John Ortberg +

    In November 2011, Dallas Willard visited John Ortberg's church, Menlo Park Presbyterian, for a discussion on pain and suffering. I've Read More
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Don  CarsonGenesis 11;

Matthew 10Ezra 10Acts 10

MOVED BY COMPASSION when the crowds remind him of sheep

without a shepherd, Jesus instructs his disciples, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matt. 9:38) — and then he organizes a trainee mission for the twelve who constitute his inner circle (Matt. 10).

There are many wonderful things to learn from this chapter, which, judging by the language (e.g., 10:18), Jesus takes to be a kind of forerunner of a lifelong mission. Here I must focus on just one element.

Anyone with the slightest familiarity with history knows how frequently and chillingly these prophecies have been fulfilled. The fact that many in the West have for so long been largely exempt from the worst features of such persecution has let us lower our guard — even Christians may think that a hassle-free life is something that society owes us. But as the Judeo-Christian heritage of the West weakens, we may one day be caught up in realities that missions specialists know but that the rest of us sometimes ignore: the last century and a half have seen more converts, and more martyrs, than the first eighteen centuries combined.

What will stabilize us in such times? This chapter mentions several precious supports: the recognition that Jesus our Master was hated before us (10:24-25); assurance that in the end justice will be done and will be seen to be done (10:26-27); recognition that a proper fear of God reduces fear of human beings (10:28); quiet confidence in the sovereignty of God, even in these circumstances (10:29 -31); encouraging recognition that those who do receive us receive Christ, and therefore receive God (10:40); Christ’s own promise that the rewards of eternity cannot fail (10:41-42).

In any case, a fundamental principle is at stake: This is the way Christians view things; indeed, it is bound up with being a Christian. “Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (10:38-39).

Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Total Forgiveness, RT Kendall +

    This was a valuable resource for me in a time of hurt from a brother in Christ. I could not Read More
  • Never Forsaken by Emily Williams +

    Easter is a celebration of certainties for Christians. We know that the resurrection of Jesus provides evidence that he can Read More
  • Letting Go of Old Hurts +

    One of the hardest things in life is to let go of old hurts. We often say, or at least Read More
  • A Searcher: Hurt by Johnny Cash +

    The struggles of living apart from Christ--searching, and breaking. I wear this crown of thorns Upon my liar's chair Full Read More
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  • Just a Little Talk with Jesus, Cleavant Derricks +

    Now let us have a little talk with Jesus. Let us tell Him all about our troubles. He will hear Read More
  • True Value +

    The ultimate good in life is to treat things according to their true value. - Jonathan Edwards Thankfully, perhaps the most Read More
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire +

    It is doubtful if, in 1972, those attending one of Jim Cymbala's worship services in a run-down Brooklyn church imagined Read More
  • Salvation Altogether (Spurgeon) +

    Salvation Altogether by Grace by C. H. Spurgeon “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not Read More
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