44 He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”
While writing this devotion, I am acutely aware that pressing issues—whether they are political, financial, or medical—bombard us from every direction every day. This truth reminds me of a story written by Steven J. Cole about a young boy who asked his mother and grandmother to play with him in his new sandbox. He provided a pail and shovel for both, and they promptly joined him in scooping sand. As the two women engaged in conversation, they began to notice that people passing by seemed very interested in what they were doing. Regaining their focus, they realized they were so involved in talking with each other, they did not notice the little boy left them. He was playing in the back yard, leaving two grown women to play in the sand alone.
As we experience the highs and lows of life, I believe it is easy for us to lose our focus like this mother and grandmother. We can easily be caught “playing in the sand,” forgetting our true purpose. This is where we find the disciples in today’s focal passage. Having been through the trauma of seeing Jesus crucified and then trying to cope with the evidence of His resurrection, they forgot everything He taught them. Confused and confronted with the reality of their particular current events, they lost focus of their mission. Hiding in fear and doubt, Jesus entered the room where they were and opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (vs. 45). In other words, Jesus refocused the disciples and reminded them of who He is.
Verse 47 in today’s passage is Luke’s version of the Great Commission. That verse applies to believers in today’s world as much as in Luke’s time. We cannot afford to allow the troubling nature of current events to distract us from the mission Jesus imparted to us. He implores us to remember who He is and to carry on His mission. Reaching out to the lost through gospel conversations whenever and wherever opportunity provides must be of highest personal priority and is worthy of undistracted devotion.
Yes, life is hard, and we have many pressures tugging at our emotions daily. However, as believers, we also claim to know the Lord who is always in control, always tending to His children, always seeking those who are lost, and always providing the power required to be bold witnesses through His unshakable Spirit. Let’s stay focused and stay on mission, making disciples while there is still time.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Have you allowed current events to take your focus off Jesus? Are you more concerned about the world’s state of affairs than the lost in the world?
- Are you ready to put your focus back on Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to trust the One who has the whole world in His hands?
- Are you ready to allow the hope and peace that only comes through knowing Jesus emanate from your life, making you a witness to the lost world around you while there is still time?
Only a tiny portion of prayer and financial resources that go to missions worldwide are used to reach Unreached People Groups. Choose an unreached people to pray for today from the Joshua Project.