Text: Luke 10:1, 17-20
A Stewardship Devotion: The Biggest Picture
Luke 10:1, 17-20
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!" He said to them, "I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
How does this passage reflect your stewardship team?
Where do you see your congregation here?
Read the passage again, and project yourself into it.
If you were one of the disciples that returned with joy, how would you or members of your congregation feel?
Take it a step farther.
What are you joyful about?
Is it that you've been sent ahead of Jesus to prepare the way?
Is it that your mission is clear?
Or is it that the demons have submitted to you when you speak to them in Jesus name? What would Jesus' tone of voice be when he says to you, Do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven's?
How would you take Jesus's guidance?
The 70 disciples seem like they almost get it right, but Jesus doesn't want to take the chance. They are joyful, but Jesus wants to make sure the joy is coming for the right reasons. You can take the long view. Don't overlook the biggest picture, Jesus reminds them. Celebrate a little of the small stuff, our Savior adds, but don't ever forget that you're going to heaven!
Jesus sent the 70 ahead of him to prepare the way. We are sent with the same mission to prepare the way for Jesus's return.
Does that say that the most important work a team or a congregation can do is done outside the church building? Why or why not?
What could your team or congregation do in between meetings that would prepare for Jesus's return?
What smaller victories could your team celebrate right now?
How is Jesus reminding you about the biggest picture?
How does your congregation send disciples into the world?
How could your congregation send more workers to the harvest?
Let us pray: Gracious God, you sent the 70 out ahead of you to prepare the way. Open our eyes to the possibilities of our sending and make us aware of every small opportunity to prepare for your return. Remind us when we need it that the greatest joy is in the biggest picture. In Jesus name, Amen.
Stewardship Resources Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 8765 West Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631. Any part of Salt Seasonings can be reproduced for local use with attribution.
Salt Writer, March 2004.
Image credit: © Ignacio García Losa (ignaciogarcialosa.com) via Flickr. Used by permission.