Links Daily Devotional

The Ultimate Apprenticeship: What’s in the Bag?

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.” (Matthew 10:9-10, NIV)

There is a great fascination among avid golfers to know what equipment the professional players are using. Often they want to know what shafts they play, what ball they use, what model driver they have, and so on. This has become so much of an interest that Golf Channel does a weekly insider report featuring various touring pros called “What’s in the Bag?” so that the fans at home can potentially play with the same equipment as their favorite players.

I’m still waiting to see a professional show up with a golf ball retriever in his bag like some of you. So, what’s in your bag?

When we are dependent on Jesus, we keep our eyes on him.No, I’m not asking if you carry around a ball retriever nor am I really even interested in your golf bag at all. I’m more interested in your faith bag. What are you carrying around in it?

During the apprenticeship of the twelve disciples, Jesus at one point sent his young students throughout the region in pairs as he was preparing them for the even greater ministry they would have after his death and resurrection. His instructions were to “Go and announce… that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” (Matthew 10:7b-8, NLT) Then he said what is quoted in today’s verses; he did not want them to take a bag or any other resource with them.

That would be like me signing you up for a golf tournament and sending you without your golf clubs. That seems strange at first glance, but what lesson might Jesus have been intentionally teaching them?

Dependence! Jesus wanted them to learn to trust in God and believe in him for all things as they did his work. Jesus said in John 6:29, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (NIV).

In his efforts to make us like him, Jesus wants to create a similar kind of dependency as he did with his chosen twelve and countless other men and women of the Bible. When we are dependent on him, we keep our eyes on him; but when we are dependent on our worldly possessions and capabilities, we keep our eyes on the world. We may be claiming to do good works and even ministry; however, the work God is preparing you for that bears eternal fruit requires that you cling to him only. There is a reason why Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount begins with “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Experiencing God’s Kingdom requires our dependency on him.

So, I’ll ask you again, “What’s in the bag?”

I hope you might eventually say, “Nothing [but faith].”

Josh Nelson
June 27, 2016
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