May the Name of Jesus Shine Through Me

We are not saved to be saved but saved to be sent

DAILY DEVOTIONS

12/2/2023

We are not saved to be saved but saved to be sent

Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

This verse highlights the universal acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord, with every being bowing before Him. The purpose is to glorify God the Father. In connection with the concept that "we are not saved to be saved but saved to be sent," this verse underscores that our salvation is not just personal; it's a call to a mission. Saved in Christ, we are sent to make His name known, fulfilling the Great Commission. Our salvation becomes a launching pad for a mission to proclaim Jesus' lordship to the world.

In Mark 6:7, we see that Jesus "called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over unclean spirits." Jesus had the choice to pick experienced and well-educated teachers or the large crowds in the cities—thousands of people. However, He chose twelve seemingly, poor, untrained, and unlikely speakers and ordinary individuals, stayed with them throughout His ministry, and sent them to speak on His behalf. This reflects the true mission of every believer, especially a follower of Christ. The main focus of today's devotional thought is to reflect on the mission we are currently engaged in.

Why did Jesus send us for Himself?

Jesus sent us for Himself because He wants everyone to know and follow Him. In the Bible, in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said to go and tell everyone about Him, baptize them, and help them follow Him. It is being messengers, telling everyone about the good news of Jesus.

Why did Jesus send us with nothing, even though we have everything in Him?

Jesus sent us with nothing to show that everything we need comes from Him. In Luke 10:4, Jesus told his friends not to take extra things when they went to tell others about Him. It is saying, "We trust Jesus to give us what we need as we go." Before the disciples shared the news, Jesus told them to take only a staff, no bread, bag, or money, and wear sandals (Mark 6:8–9). Despite having the means, Jesus intentionally made their journey difficult to keep them humble and dependent on God. Those with the incredible news and power to be lights where they live may be tempted to be proud and self-reliant. To avoid this trap, they needed to forego safety and comfort intentionally. Trusting God daily for needs, instead of relying on self, helps maintain a humble reliance on His sovereign love. Your Father loves you more than you know and can provide beyond what you could fit in a bag or possess materially (Matthew 6:33–34).

Why did Jesus send us to stay, be involved, and invest where He leads us, instead of leaving when things get tough?

Jesus sent us to stay and be part of where He puts us. In Jeremiah 29:7, God tells His people to work for the good of the place where they are. It means Jesus wants us to be part of our community, helping it be a good place for everyone, even when things are hard. Jesus told his disciples, "When you go to someone's house, stay there until you leave. If a place doesn't welcome you or listen, shake off the dust from your feet as a sign." (Mark 6:10–11). When we go out for Jesus, we will meet two kinds of people: some will welcome and listen, and others will reject us. "If they listen, stay a bit longer. Invest where God's word is welcomed. Don't rush to the next place. Make time to sit with those who want to hear God’s word. Be patient and invest where God is working. When He opens a door, walk through it." (Colossians 4:3).

Why did Jesus send us to speak the truth, even though He's the one who saves people, not us?

Jesus sent us to speak the truth about Him because that's our job. In Acts 4:12, it says that only Jesus can save people. When we speak about Him (Jesus), we are helping others know about the One who can save them. Our job is to share the good news, and Jesus does the saving. Jesus didn’t tell the disciples to stay until their audience surrendered. Rather, He said some will listen and others will not. I am not sending you to save, but to speak. I — and I alone — am the one who saves. Our commission is not to create listeners, but to find them, and then make disciples of Christ. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. . . . they will listen to my voice” (John 10:14–16).

The powerful story from the Bible that resonates with devotional thought is the calling of Isaiah found in Isaiah 6:1-8. In this profound story, Isaiah has a vision of the Lord seated on a throne, and heavenly beings worshiping around Him. Witnessing the majestic glory of God, Isaiah becomes acutely aware of his own unworthiness and the sinful state of the people around him. Isaiah experiences a deep sense of personal sinfulness in the presence of God's holiness. In Isaiah 6:5, he confesses, "Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips." Isaiah's encounter with God brings awareness of his need for salvation from sin. After acknowledging his sinfulness, an angel takes a coal from the altar and touches Isaiah's lips, symbolizing purification and forgiveness. Following this act of cleansing, God asks, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" (Isaiah 6:8). Isaiah responds with, "Here am I. Send me!" Now saved and purified, Isaiah is ready to be sent. Isaiah's calling is not about personal comfort but a mission to deliver God's message to the people. He is sent to declare God's words, even though the message includes the reality of judgment and the hope of redemption. Isaiah's mission is to be a voice for God among the people. This story illustrates that salvation goes beyond personal forgiveness; it involves a divine commissioning to be sent into the world with a purpose. Isaiah's experience teaches us that being saved by God's grace compels us to respond to His call and be actively involved in the mission of proclaiming His truth and love to others.

The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). In Him, we find salvation, redemption, and eternal life. Reflect on our current standing in relation to our mission to make Jesus known. Are we actively sharing His love and truth with those around us? The Holy Spirit empowers and guides us in fulfilling our mission.

We still have some time to finish this. How long were the disciples away? We are not sure, but it seems like it wasn't for a very long time. There were only twelve of them - just six pairs of two. That's probably a smaller group. So, we might wonder, what could they really achieve? We can see in the Bible that, "King Herod heard about it (the work of the twelve), because Jesus' name had become well-known" (Mark 6:14). They went out, six pairs of poor, ordinary, untrained, and unlikely speakers, and what God did through them caught the attention of the most important leader in their land. Through their important and amazing work, Jesus' name became known in that city. God will show His greatness even through His followers who don't have much - no bread, no bags, and no money, but are faithful. God will make the name of His Son important through us. He goes ahead of us in the hearts of the people who listen to us, then sends us to tell them the good news. All the while, He promises to go with us and give us everything we need on our journey. Finally, He will finish everything He asks us to do. Jesus' name will be known, believed, and treasured. I (Shadab) believe it happens through me.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, may Your name be known through us as we go out into the world. Grant us the courage, wisdom, and strength to fulfill the mission You have entrusted to us. May our lives be a testimony to Your love and grace. In Jesus's name, we pray. Amen.

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