“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:8
Giving is not easy for me!
And giving freely of myself is even more difficult. (Others may not hear my inner voice that often warns me that people are going to take my giving for granted, and that I am going to end up emotionally drained if I am not careful to conserve my energies, but it does exist!)
Jesus’ disciples were commissioned to do some challenging work! The list is a little overwhelming for me, I have to admit. Although I may have helped someone to recover from illness, I have never raised the dead or cleansed someone with leprosy, let alone driven out a demon. So how does this Scripture apply to me?
I believe that this verse exhorts me to freely give, based on what I have freely received. There is a reservoir of power available to me and to anyone who is a disciple of Jesus. It is encouraging for me to see that Jesus gave the power the disciples needed earlier in this chapter:
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10:1).
So why would there ever be a deficit in what I am able to freely give to others?
I have realized that what keeps me from giving freely and blocks the reservoir of power that God has made available to me is my own self-centeredness and sense of self-preservation. I confess it. God has shown me this through bringing 2 Japanese teenage boys into our home, who recently came home sick from school with fever and sore throats (sound familiar?). Out came the hand sanitizer and social distancing, with the fear that I was going to get sick, too!
Okay, so I will never be a doctor or nurse in this life, but that will never justify my being stingy with all that I have been given, or holding back in the Kingdom ministry that God has given me in the lives of these 2 boys, who, before coming to Canada, had never heard the gospel, or even the facts about the life of Jesus!
Father, I confess my selfishness and concern for self-preservation. Please forgive me, and fill me with true empathy again, that allows me to once again hug the hurting and offer healing to the sick (even to touch them, or be in the same physical space).
Think about how you have been blessed and empowered for ministry. How can you freely give to others in the way that God has freely given you all that you need for his Kingdom work?
By Karen Woodard
Used by Permission
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