Pastor Jonathan’s Monday Reflection:
We are coming to the end of the Book of Numbers in our daily Bible reading and I can’t help contrasting the wilderness wandering of Israel and the apostolic mission we are seeing in Acts on Sundays.
Yesterday we saw the story of the church, individuals believing in Jesus, made into a family meant for mission. They carried the gospel to hostile territory and preached in seasons of success and times of great tension. Paul was even stoned and assumed dead by the hoards. Then the crew reserved course and encouraged the believers formed into family by retelling what Jesus had done, celebrating the exploits of the gospel.
We hear in this example a call to adventure with Jesus, to die to self and follow him, making him known and living for the renewal of others and all things. Brining grace to hard places, in seasons of success and tension.
This is the church, the family I hope we will be. Trusting in the Spirit’s power to guide, help and sustain us in the gospel. Not by our own scheming but supernatural strength.
But then there is the “example” of the camp of Israel waiting to move into the place that was promised for them. There are tales of giants and fear is the order of the day. The people choose to avoid the giants and for their disobedience spend a generation waiting to take what has been given to them.
In our day we might hide our fear more strategically. We are more likely to negotiate with the giants to ensure they won’t eat us. But it is a lack of trust, and fear that keeps us from this mission, from the adventure Jesus invites us on and promises to be with us for every moment.
How might we repent of our fear today? How might we set aside our own ability and intellectual vigor and instead desire to see the power of God at work? What corner of your life needs the light of the gospel?
Resolve to give up your fear. Resolve to trust in Jesus and his mission for the family that is the church. Resolve to let the gospel shape all of life from this moment on.
Where are you willing to go for the glory of Jesus? Shall we go together?