Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

Dwell in the House of the Lord Volume 2, Day 38

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MARK 6:7-13 | He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

 The Shepherd Psalm is realistic about threats to the flock, the reality of evil, and the presence of enemies. Biblical realism avoids utopian pictures of human nature and present life, insisting that we live in a world where good will be opposed, the Kingdom will suffer attack, and the Godly will be challenged.

 Jesus’ mission instructions to His disciples reveals this. Take no money, lest you be a target for robbers. Shake the dust off your feet when you are unwelcome. Go two by two for encouragement as well as safety.

 How realistic is your worldview?

 What do you make of the mission instructions?

 

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Dwell in the House of the Lord Volume 2, Day 37

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MARK 7:1-2, 5-7 | 1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.

 5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" 6 He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.'

 PSALM 23:5a | 5a You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

 Jesus dined with His opponents. Eating was a way of creating a bond of mutual loyalty and was the way to seal a covenant. (Compare Exodus 24:8-12 where the Israelite leaders eat and drink to seal a covenant with Yahweh). Jesus broke bread with those who accused and attacked Him, and ate with men and women who lived in ways that contradicted God’s law, like tax collectors or prostitutes.

 This shows us the vulnerability of God, He makes His mercy and healing and truth available even to those who don’t hear Him. Reaching out to the broken was for Jesus a measure of God’s heart, rather than a sign of moral laxity. Leaders who issued complicated rules for eating and looked down on those who did not follow them were creating obstacles, not pathways for communion to God.

  Who do you dine with?

 Are you vulnerable?

 

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