Day 79: March 20, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Luke 8:1-3 Read Online


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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Soon afterward He was traveling from one town and village to another, preaching and telling the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary, called Magdalene (seven demons had come out of her); Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward; Susanna; and many others who were supporting them from their possessions.

—Luke 8:1-3

An Invitation to Join Him
by Mike Harland, Member of Brentwood Baptist Campus

I love to read the story of Jesus. And in this passage, we see something about the daily routine of the only man that ever lived a perfect life—the God-man, Jesus. We also see something about how He did what He did that’s a great encouragement to those who follow Him now as His disciple.

But first, let me share a story of my own.

One day, when I was four years old and visiting at my grandparent’s house, my Pappy asked me to join him in a job he was working on. My grandfather was a carpenter and had built many houses over his career. The job he invited me to join in was the replacement of the roof of the house next door that my grandparents also owned.

I was excited to climb the ladder to the top of the house and even more excited to work alongside this man I thought was the closest thing to God I’d ever seen!

After I’d spent quite a bit of time hammering away, he finally sent me down the ladder. It seemed as though all the nails hadn’t gotten to the right spot on the roof. But, nonetheless, I had the experience that day of working alongside the man I admired perhaps as much as any other man I knew. I’ll never forget it.

Many years later, I was driving through that town. Because I had some extra time, I drove down the street where my grandparents used to live. When I got to the house, my mind immediately raced back to that day when I worked alongside my grandfather.

I was surprised at how emotional I became reflecting back on it. I could still see him in his overalls with his tool belt. Perhaps the invitation to join him in that work made me feel so valued and loved by this giant man in my life—and my reflection on that day reminded me of that love.

Jesus was on a mission to tell people about His father everywhere He went—and He went everywhere. Along the way, people who had been totally changed felt inclined to go with Him as He moved on to the next town.

In this passage, we see that many of these followers were women. Of those named here, we find three women: a woman with a checkered past; a woman who was once a resident in the home of a Roman leader; and a woman we know absolutely nothing about.

Jesus touches people of all kinds, doesn’t He?

But even more amazing to me is that He calls everyone He touches to come along and be a part of His mission. You see, the truth is, Jesus didn’t need their support or their efforts. And he doesn’t need ours now—sort of like my grandfather didn’t need anything I had to contribute to replace that roof.

But just like Pappy invited me along, Jesus invited them along anyway—and He invites us now. He allows us to give, sacrifice, and serve as if somehow He couldn’t do this without us. He’s the expressed image of God and yet He invites you and I to be part of His team.

No doubt their presence back then made Jesus’ work harder at times. And today, ours does too. Jesus would rather do the hard things with us that any of it without us.

Jesus is at work in this world and in His church. Because He loves us so much, He invites us into the process. We can revel in the ways He allows us to be part of His plan and mission. There’s no greater thrill than to partner with Him. And when we look back at what we’ve done with Him, we’ll know we’ve never been more loved.

Reflection Questions

  1. Jesus had a very clear view of His mission and it drove Him everywhere He went.  How about you? What’s your mission? How does it drive you?
  2. Luke was intentional in singling out that women were a huge part of the group of followers with Jesus on His mission. Why do you think Luke emphasized that point?
  3. The followers supported them “from their possessions.” How does this relate to the ways we support the work of Jesus today?
  4. What experiences of partnering with Jesus on mission are particularly meaningful to you? Why?

About the Author

Mike Harland

Originally from Corinth, Mississippi, Mike grew up playing sports and his guitar, and writing and singing songs. After he graduated from Delta State University, where he majored in music and played baseball, Mike earned his Master of Church Music degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

For 25 years, Mike served in churches as a worship pastor across Mississippi and Texas. Along the way, songwriting became an important part of his life’s work. His songs have been recorded by Christian artists and arranged for church choirs. He has more than 200 published works that include a number of musicals and collections.

In 2005, LifeWay Christian Resources asked Mike to lead the development of music and worship materials for churches as Director of LifeWay Worship. In this role, he writes songs and articles, and he speaks about worship across the U.S. and around the world.

In 2008, Mike was the Editor of a new hymnal for Baptists. He also co-authored the book and Bible study Seven Words of Worship with Christian Music industry veteran Stan Moser. Later, in 2011, New Orleans Seminary awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mike is married to Teresa and they live in Franklin, Tennessee with their youngest son John. They’ve been members of Brentwood Baptist since 2005.