Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Pandemic Perspective – Part 106 Discovering Joy – Part 2

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Luke 10:1-21

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

Next in verse 10-11 Jesus confronts the dark dead-end alley of approval, “But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you.” Here Jesus reminds us that the source of joy is not found in society’s affirmation and approval. That if you have a need to be needed, you are going to be disappointed, the applause of men is a dead-end alley because joy is not found in approval ratings. By the way applause doesn’t just ruined politicians it also poisons pastors because it distracts and leaves them both disillusioned. Now Jesus turns to topple the sacred steeple of secular and spiritual success. The street of success has not only become our firm foundation it has become our faith. Today success has become more than just what we work for it’s also what we worship. Success has become both the justification for our journey and the joy that we seek. Yet Jesus said, “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide … whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you” Joy doesn’t come from your profession, a pay increase or a promotion.  You don’t derive joy from accomplishing your job or being rewarded or recognized. Jesus makes no mention of a pension plan, a pat on the back, or an expense account. The street of success is really a slippery slope, not only is its steep financially but its shallow for your family. Success just like all the others toll roads we travel costs but never cash’s in. You see there is a joy that only Jesus offers, and it’s not found in wishful words, creature comforts, approval ratings or even job success. It involves something surprisingly simple and yet powerfully profound, but until you are willing to recognize and reject the lies you will always be on the wrong road. Before we journey on together to discover the true source of joy, we need to take an inventory of the lies in our life. What dead end allies have you been driving?  Have you been driving down the one-way road of wishful but worthless words? Cruising on the highway of comfort, or trying to navigate the tight back alleys of approval? Or have you been burning your gas trying to climb the steep street of success? How many more miles and how much more misery are you willing to put on your motor? 

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