Luke and The Lost
When the Billy Graham association plans to come to a city for a evangelism event there is a carefully crafted plan that precedes the actual services. If you have ever been involved in one of these events then you will know. All churches in the area are contacted months in advance. They are asked to be involved in many ways but the first is to pray. Pray for the lost in their city to come to the event through their invitation.
They are also asked to pray for hearts and souls to be open to receiving and accepting the invitation of the Holy Spirit of Jesus to come and reside in them forever. Pray for volunteer believers to be trained to lead people to Christ at the event when the invitation is given. Pray for the speakers and leaders. Pastors are asked to come, be trained and bring other volunteers with them to help. Many months of advance work is done before the night of nights when Jesus shows up through the speakers and musicians with the message of salvation. Then volunteers are also trained to do follow up work after the event so those young believers will have people in church groups to help them grow in their newly found faith.
I think of this when I read how Jesus sent out seventy of his chosen followers to do “advance work” before his arrival in the surrounding towns of his ministry. I am certain that Billy Graham used Jesus’ method of preparing and sending out as his point of reference and planning, led by His Holy Spirit. It makes sense. How Jesus ministers always makes sense. Let’s look into this further…
Luke 10, The Message
Lambs in a Wolf Pack
10 1-2 Later the Master selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go. He gave them this charge:
“What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.
3 “On your way! But be careful—this is hazardous work. You’re like lambs in a wolf pack.
4 “Travel light. Comb and toothbrush and no extra luggage.
“Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.
5-6 “When you enter a home, greet the family, ‘Peace.’ If your greeting is received, then it’s a good place to stay. But if it’s not received, take it back and get out. Don’t impose yourself.
7 “Stay at one home, taking your meals there, for a worker deserves three square meals. Don’t move from house to house, looking for the best cook in town.
8-9 “When you enter a town and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’
10-12 “When you enter a town and are not received, go out in the street and say, ‘The only thing we got from you is the dirt on our feet, and we’re giving it back. Did you have any idea that God’s kingdom was right on your doorstep?’ Sodom will have it better on Judgment Day than the town that rejects you.
13-14 “Doom, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had been given half the chances given you, they’d have been on their knees long ago, repenting and crying for mercy. Tyre and Sidon will have it easy on Judgment Day compared to you.
15 “And you, Capernaum! Do you think you’re about to be promoted to heaven? Think again. You’re on a mudslide to hell.
16 “The one who listens to you, listens to me. The one who rejects you, rejects me. And rejecting me is the same as rejecting God, who sent me.”
17 The seventy came back triumphant. “Master, even the demons danced to your tune!”
18-20 Jesus said, “I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”
21 At that, Jesus rejoiced, exuberant in the Holy Spirit. “I thank you, Father, Master of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the know-it-alls and showed them to these innocent newcomers. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.
22 “I’ve been given it all by my Father! Only the Father knows who the Son is and only the Son knows who the Father is. The Son can introduce the Father to anyone he wants to.”
23-24 He then turned in a private aside to his disciples. “Fortunate the eyes that see what you’re seeing! There are plenty of prophets and kings who would have given their right arm to see what you are seeing but never got so much as a glimpse, to hear what you are hearing but never got so much as a whisper.”
What do we learn about ministry?
–Fall to our knees and pray first.
–Pray for help in ministry.
–Go out in pairs…never alone.
–Be careful. Satan does not want you to succeed. Pray continuously for discernment and his defeat.
–Travel light. Don’t let stuff get in your way.
–Practice hospitality. Go where you are wanted and received.
–Dust your feet and move along where you are not wanted.
–“The one who listens to you, listens to me”, says Jesus.
–When we follow Jesus’ lead, we succeed.
–Jesus defeats the enemy for us.
–“Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
–It pleases God to do it this way.
–It is a blessing beyond blessings to have the opportunity to serve God in His ministry to seek and to save the lost. “Fortunate the eyes that see what you’re seeing!”–joining Jesus in His work!
Dear Heavenly Father,
What a wonder You are! You are God and we are not. Jesus, you gave us the model for ministry! Help us to do what You did and follow Your lead always. In Jesus Name, Amen