Sitting with Jesus
For me, devotional time with Jesus is a constant, even flowing prayer. I can't remember how old I was when I received my first diary or learned to journal. I can remember that whenever I was eight years old, I had my first real encounter with God and I learned that reading the Bible was like spending time with Jesus. I wanted to study the Bible so badly but the only way I could fully retain it, was if i wrote down my thoughts on each verse. From there, my thoughts turned into prayers and now I pray these verses over myself and all of those He leads me to pray over.
There are so many stories in the Bible that help us know how to walk with Jesus. As I read Matthew 10:1-42, I am reminded of how God calls us to live by the examples Jesus gives the disciples. I pray that as you read through these same truths, you will receive strength to live it out as well. As I read through this, I am going to pray over these truths. Please feel free to read my prayers and/or replace them with your own.
The Twelve Harvest Hands; Matthew 10:1-42 (The Message)
These verses start after Jesus tells the disciples to pray for harvest hands. I recognize that as soon as they prayed for more hands for the harvest, the workers came. This teaches us that we have to be aware of what is in need in front of us and then ask God to help. If we are unaware, we miss this opportunity. If we don’t pray and ask God to help us, we try to do it on our own strength, which won’t last and ultimately won’t work. What in your life do you need to be aware of? Have you asked God for help?
Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
Lord, give us the strength and courage to go to our neighbors or our family members with Your truth, in love. Help us to make our community a mission field. Give us new ideas to help those in need. Break us free from any desire to keep our hands closed when we give. Help us give freely and wisely. Whether that is our time, our energy, our finances, our homes–whatever that may look like.
“Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.
Lord, we pray over our hearts in the authority given to us from You and we tell fear to leave. We are fully capable and worthy ONLY because YOU make us worthy and fully equipped. Thank You for this truth. Help us stand firm on this foundation of truth.
11 “When you enter a town or village, don’t insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.
12-15 “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.
Lord, thank You for giving me contentment in the small things so that when we have the opportunity to live in the big things, I can feel the blessing of You. I ask that You help me be courteous and gentle, even whenever sharing Your truth so that I may be a good representation of who You truly are.
16 “Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as shrewd as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.
17-20 “Don’t be naive. Some people will question your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.
Lord, help us keep our eyes on You. You are our motivation and our helpmate. The moment we try to do it our way, we will lose our focus, get offended by comments from others and allow our emotions to drive us. I pray we stay alert in Your love and tied to Your Holy Spirit. Guide us so we may take advantage of every opportunity to share Your truth and not be distracted by what the world wants us to see.
21-23 “When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.
24-25 “A student doesn’t get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn’t make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, ‘Dungface,’ what can the workers expect?
Lord, help us wear Your truth on our hearts so it may never fade from us. Help us put on Your armor every morning so we are ready for anything. Help us be motivated simply by desiring to live for You and not by the amount of people we help lead to You. Keep our hearts pure so that we may measure our survival by how close our words are to Your word. We praise our LIVING GOD who offers more than a temporary fix, rather a lifestyle of courage, freedom, hope and love. We pray that You forgive those that won’t accept Your truth, and we release that burden and leave it at Your feet. We desire to be like You, so we will accept and count it all joy, like it says in Your word, whenever we are challenged or chastised for living like You. Thank You for being our comfort whenever those moments come. We love You.
26-27 “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.
28 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.
Forget About Yourself
29-31 “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
32-33 “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?
Lord, help me stand firm on Your love and Your promises. I ask You to go before me and prepare me with strength for those that have knives as words ready to throw my way or threats to try to shake me from my purpose. I pray over the many callings that You have placed over our congregation, our family, that we will shout Your praise and stand on the ferocious love You have for us. Thank You for holding tight to our hearts and souls–this I will stand on whenever I feel that my foundation is shaken. You steady me. You hold me. Thank You for the gift of Your authority that lives in and through me–I will speak it when the time comes.
34-37 “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies.
If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.
Lord, shape a Genesis week out of the chaos of my life, as Your word says. Prune the pieces of my life that keep me from You. Thank You for reminding me that I am living to please You, not man. I will hold tight to the promise that any current hard times in front of me won't last, but what I can’t see will last forever.
38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.
40-42 “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”
Remind me over and over, that as I seek You, I will find myself and You. Keep my eyes on You so that I may see things the way You do. Holy Spirit, guide me so I may live spiritually more than physically. Help me to continue putting the things I think are important aside and learning what truly is–Your voice guiding me. Thank You for speaking louder than my own thoughts. Keep us all on high alert so that we don’t miss when You move. Don’t let us over complicate Your love. Give us each other, united in Your truth and love, as teammates for this life. Thank You for the community around me that loves You and lives for You as I desire to. Inspire us, Holy Spirit, to serve this world even in the tiniest ways.
I’m thankful to share devotional time with you, whoever may be reading this. Whether this is the first time you have read this passage, or the millionth– I pray you felt the presence of our God with you. I pray that your prayers will echo and radiate from you onto those around you. Reflecting and digesting the Bible is one of the best ways to spend time with Jesus. It’s like we're sitting with our coffees in hand and He is telling us about his time with the twelve disciples. What a gift, today, we sit and spend time with Him all together.
I want to encourage you to ask God to search your heart and help make you aware of what you need help with from His perspective. Ask Him to show you and then prepare your heart to receive His help.
-Pastor Alyssa Aguilar