Take nothing with you…

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Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9 Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food.

I’m struck this morning by verse 9. The disciples are instructed to take nothing with them on the journey. They are to be completely dependent on God for provision. It’s a level of faith and trust I find remarkable. It also reminds me of the Lord’s Prayer “Give us today our daily bread…”.

Since I’ve turned 50 I’ve been paying more attention to plans for retirement. A key question is, “Will I have enough income when I’m no longer working full time?” Many of the publications I read indicate – maybe not. People are living longer, healthcare is getting more expensive, defined benefit pensions are mostly a thing of the past. We’re on our own people! What are we going to do?

You don’t have to be middle aged to have anxiety about provision. Some of you are younger adults wondering how you’re going to get out from under a mountain of student loan debt. Or you’re a young parent wondering how you’re going to send your kids to college. Or maybe you’re already retired and watching your nest egg shrink at an alarming rate. Ahhh!!!

We may not be traveling apostles, but today’s passage has something to say to us nonetheless. Our heavenly Father will provide. We can trust that. We may not receive all we want, but we will have all we need.

Heavenly Father, give us grace to trust you with our provision. We need not fear. We need not be anxious. Change us from the inside out. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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