READ: Luke 9:1-17
THINK: Do you ever feel as if you have little or nothing to contribute to God's purposes, or that your role in ministry is less than significant? Perhaps these feelings have kept you from serving more fully in your church. But regardless of your self-perception, God intends for you to participate in His purposes. He's gifted and equipped you to do things that no one else can do quite like you. Consider the powerful ways in which He used common individuals--like His first followers. Then, surrender yourself completely to God so He can use you as He chooses.
RESPOND: What does Jesus' commissioning of the twelve reveal about His purpose for all of His followers? Why did He tell the disciples, "Take nothing for your journey" (v. 3)? On whom were they to depend? What did the preaching of God's kingdom involve? (See 9:2 note.) What does it mean to "drive out demons"? In what ways were the disciples representing Jesus? How do you think most churches measure up to this New Testament pattern? Do you think Jesus expects His followers today to be involved in the same sort of ministry as His first followers? Why or why not? Why would Jesus tell His disciples, "You give them something to eat," when referring to the massive crowd? What can you learn from Jesus' miracle of feeding over five thousand?
PRAY: Ask God to help you comprehend and fulfill His mission for you. Pray that you'll continually rely on the Holy Spirit for power and guidance. Pray that God's power will be evident through the ministries of your church.
ACT: If you're already involved in a ministry through your church, strengthen your commitment by spending time in prayer every week for that ministry, by giving your best effort and by encouraging others participants to dream and strategize about how God could use all of you in a more powerful way. If you're not currently involved in a ministry, see pages 2275-2278 of the Campus Missions Training Helps for a variety of ideas. Review the "Serving With Style" inventory on page 2278, then set up an appointment with a ministry leader to talk about the possibilities.
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