Alright church, good morning. As you can tell, we’re back in the book of luke after taking a hiatus and going through an advent series in the book of luke and decided to come back into luke. Some people are, if you’ve heard of the red letter christians only and I think that’s so where we’ve decided to become luke Luke Christians only. Um at some point we might get back into another book. I’m sure we will uh well we’re gonna jump into Luke. Chapter 10 versus one through 20 is where we’re kicking back back into this series. So I’m gonna read that and pray and we’ll get going here. So Luke. Chapter 10 verse one says after this the Lord appointed 72 others and sent them on ahead of him to buy two into every town and place where he himself was about to go and he said to them the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out his laborers into his harvest. Go your way Behold I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves carry no money bag, no knapsack, no sandals and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter first say peace, be to this house and if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not it will return to you and remain in the same house eating and drinking what they provide for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house whenever you enter a town and they receive you eat what is set before you heal the sick in it and say to them, the kingdom of God has come near to you. But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive, you go into its streets and say even the dust of your of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this that the kingdom of God has come near. I tell you it will be more bearable on that day for sodom than for that town. We’re gonna stop there for now. Let’s pray father. We we love you, we thank you for your word, thank you for your gospel that has impacted our lives and the people you’ve sent into our lives and we thank you, you’ve called us to be a part of your word. God opened our eyes to the power and the truth of your word. And I pray father that you would give us your heart for your people, for the nations that you would help us to become more like you in jesus name. We pray Amen Amen. So one of the stories that I love to, to share with people is how I got connected with uh church in Kansas, went to the University of Kansas. My software, how I got connected them and that’s where God really impacted my life transformed my life was through this college ministry of this church. Uh there’s people there and it’s actually through my great uncle. Less, so less is uh just an amazing man of God that anybody who gets to know him meet him is truly blessed. And because less is a man who is, he’s generous, so generous with all that. He has a soft hearted man. It’s it’s hard to spend time with him without him welling up over people and what God is doing in the lives of people. Uh and it’s just just totally committed to what God is doing in his life and through his life. And so less his story is that he grew up in a roman catholic family are our family is a roman catholic family and and got into a time of heavy drinking and just waywardness and God rescued him, took him out of the pit and and totally transformed his life and his marriage and and to see the life that he has today is truly a testimony to God’s power. Several years later after his conversion story, God put it on less. His heart gave him a conviction to bring the gospel to his family, to reach out, go back to his family and to share the good news of christ with him. So him and his wife would travel an hour every sunday to lead a bible study for my grandparents were there, my parents were there several of my aunts and uncles would would join other extended family members, all would come to our place sunday nights for this bible study and and it played a major impact on my parents conversion to faith uh Their faith in general other people in our family. I know we’re very impacted by them going and and sharing the word with my family also during this time as they’re coming to my family I ended up transferring to the university of Kansas where they were supporting a missionary dan and his family and their college ministry there. So less and Sandy his wife that they’re supporting this missionary, they hear that I’m transferring to K. U. So they called Danna, they called me up I was like oh you guys gotta get connected that first week of classes and and dan likes to share how he’s like yeah there’s I get lots of these calls it’s probably never gonna happen but I was looking for a group to be a part of and I wasn’t following the Lord truly but I was interested and I connected and and God totally transformed my life that semester got saved and began walking as a disciple And it was all because of less and Sandy saying yes to what God was putting on their heart, the conviction, the desire to to bring the word of God to bring the gospel to those around them And also for for dan and Laurie to say yes to the call to be an ambassador on the campus and to bring the gospel to bring the good news of christ to those around them. And I’m sure many of us have similar stories of God working through the people around us through loved ones through maybe even strangers who were ambassadors of christ who came with the life of christ with the message of the good news of christ to love on us to share with us the hope that is in christ and has led to our salvation. Uh and this is really the way that God loves to work. God loves to work through his people bringing the life and the love of christ to one another. In fact, jesus’s plan is for the kingdom of God and its blessings to spread his plan for for his kingdom to spread is through ambassadors, his ambassadors carrying his piece his life, his message to those around them nearby cities and as mike mentioned with I. M. B. Two and beyond to the nations that that the people would know the truth, that they would know the one true God, that they would know his way of finding life and in salvation. And then to us, he says therefore go, that’s what we see in this passage, that’s what we see in the great commission, right? This is what he calls us to as christians. This is a core part of the work that God is doing in the world. A core part of the work he’s doing is is he’s calling us to to answer the call to live life before him as his ambassadors. I love um even in this past month, hearing a number of stories from, for many of you, sharing opportunities of sharing the gospel with uh neighbors, friends, family, coworkers. And it’s encouraging for me, it’s inspiring for me and my own faith, but I also know that being an ambassador of christ is not an easy thing, right? Being an ambassador, someone who is carrying the gospel to those around them is something that is not easy. And it’s also, it is easy to let it fall to the wayside, right? We can get into our daily routines, are our lives, our families, our our work, even our community groups and church, a lot of really good things. But this this call to be an ambassador can fall to the wayside. So this, this time of year after christmas before the new year, jumping, jumping into New Year’s is a great time for reflection on this past year on where we’re at. It’s a great time for considering where are we going and and redirecting in ways and and I want us to consider one area this morning and that is as our passages leading us to this call to be an ambassador of christ, How are we doing in that, How can we grow in that? So let’s turn to our passage in Luke chapter 10, right verse one, this is uh so the context here, Jesus is heading to Jerusalem for his final trip to Jerusalem where he accomplishes his work of the cross and the resurrection and and he’s sending out his disciples verse one, it says he appoints 72 other disciples to be his ambassadors to go and to go into all the towns that he’s about to go himself to buy two carrying the message of of christ and of the gospel of the kingdom to them. He did this with the 12 disciples before this, not long before this and he’s doing it again with 72 other disciples. Again, this is this is his modus operandi, this is his way of going about his work and then he gives a pre game speech and he tells them that the harvest is plentiful, the harvest is plentiful. There are people out there, there are many people out there who I have called to be my own who are ready to walk with me and in fact there are so many that you won’t even be able to scratch the surface. The harvest is plentiful and this is important because he’s saying as you go, don’t become prideful when things go really well and you see God work in amazing ways because again you’re not even gonna be able to scratch the surface and you have to pray, we’re gonna pray for more laborers, but also if things don’t go as you desire and I’m sure for many of us there are people that we want to know christ whether it’s family members, neighbors, friends and it’s like God what why why is it taking so long? Why are you not answering our prayers in this way? And and I think jesus is saying to his disciples and to us, don’t give up hope harvest is plentiful, pray earnestly for more laborers that would go out and and carry the good news of christ to those in need. He also in verse three and 4 here he’s wanting to teach his disciples and to help them learn trust and dependence upon him. As they go and carry this message, he says uh he that I’m sending you out as as lambs in the midst of wolves that there’s gonna be opposition that you face. There’s gonna be a persecution that you face. But I want you to learn trust. I want you to learn dependence upon me in the in the difficulties that you face as you go about this work and also that you’re not gonna have everything that you need up front that I’m gonna provide all that you need along the way that you’re not to carry a knapsack a moneybag sandals because I’m going to provide all that you need as you go to each house and they provide the food, the clothing and whatever is needed for you. So he’s teaching them that that I want you to learn to trust me and to depend upon me as you go about your life, as you go about this, this work that he’s called you to and then when they get to the town there to say as they into the house, peace be upon this house and if they were received as they’re carrying the peace, the message of peace, as an ambassador of christ, so if they were to be received and welcomed with the hospitality that they were receiving christ and his message in that way and they were to say the Kingdom of God has come near to you, there to heal the sick uh and to bring the blessings of the kingdom upon them. But if they were rejected, they were still to say the Kingdom of God has come near to you, but in the form of judgment and not so in the form of of blessing. So as I read through this passage, one question one of the first questions that come to my mind is what was jesus purpose here, what was his goal in sending out the disciples? What, and I think in this mission, but also even more broadly, and I think this gives us a sense of even his broader mission and purpose of, of what he’s doing and sending out his ambassadors and 33 things come to mind that I see in this passage, the first is pretty obvious that he wants to win more souls to himself, jesus sending out disciples and really wants to send us out to win more souls to himself. The harvest field is plentiful, the crops, the fruits are ready to be taken in, there are lives and souls ready to come to christ to find the well of living water eternal life. And I think about what an incredible joy it is to drink of the living water of christ. I mean the if you remember that, if you continue to to drink of this living water of christ, the joy that is found in the forgiveness of of God and the great debt that we had towards our creator, the guilt and the shame that the weight is down, that he washed white as snow, an incredible act of forgiveness. And many of you spent time with, with family and friends uh this last few days and or will and and you’re well aware of, I’m sure if you’re like me, if you’re breathing the need for forgiveness or the need for others to forgive you and how a lot of the times that isn’t there. So I think we’re well aware of, of the power that is found in forgiveness and what God has forgiven us. I also think of the reality of being given a new heart that God gives us a new heart and he breaks the chains of the power of sin in our lives, the sin that that held us down, that that we were walking in darkness and God set us free and the freedom of christ that he gives us. That is in no comparison to the freedom that the world offers us. And even just the joy of being reconciled with our God to know him to walk with him to be his his child, his son or his daughter. Like this is the joy that we’ve experienced. This is the reality of winning souls to christ uh and his man that God would bring more and more people to the amazing grace of God and the redemption of God. Amen. He wants to win more souls to himself. # two, he also he wants to equip laborers. He wants to equip us as disciples to go as ambassadors. We see this In Romans 10 a familiar passage uh says for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But then it says how then will they call on him and whom they have not believed and how are they to believe in him, in whom they have never heard? How are they to hear without someone preaching and how are they to preach unless they are sent as it is written. How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news again, I think of the story I knew I started with how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news to us and brought us that salvation jesus carries out his plan through equipping and sending us his people with our various gifting with our various callings into the harvest field to the people around us. And he also, he also just loves to work with his Children. When you think about how if you have Children, just the the the beauty, the power of working with your Children, God wants to work with us, his Children, he wants to carry out his plans not just on his own, but he wants to equip us. He wants to work with us in bringing about the beauty of salvation and and reconciling all the world To himself. # three here, what is his purpose? What is Jesus goal and sending out disciples is he wants to win more souls to himself. He wants to uh work with us, send out disciple makers and he wants to awaken people to the reality and the nearness of the long awaited kingdom of God. Just as we went through the advent season, the Israelites, the people of God awaiting the christ, awaiting the Kingdom of God. And he’s saying, go and tell the people the Kingdom of God is near and the christ, the king of the kingdom is here, it is, it is near to you turn and and submit your life to this King, submit your life to this jesus of Nazareth and receive the blessings of the kingdom. I see this here in in verse uh in the verse where it talks about bringing peace, he’s jesus says when you go into a house, say peace be upon this house, that jesus is wanting to bring peace, which is blessings it’s wellness of God, it’s the prosperity of God. He’s wanting to bring peace upon the house upon the families upon these people, the kingdom ways of his peace. He also says to heal the sick. And then later we’re gonna see the disciples coming back and saying we were even able to see demons delivered from these people. So jesus is wanting to bring the blessings of the kingdom of God to his people in us knowing God and being saved, but also that the people would receive the blessings of his ways that the joy of life following and submitted to christ? This is this is the goal that I see him working out and and really the goal that is for us, Because I think that’s an important question, because it gives us a sense of what jesus was doing and it’s really his work is the plumb line. His work is the reference for the work that we are to be about for our lives and what we are to be about. Which leads me to the question are we aligning our lives and our gospel work with his as we consider, how, how is this last year been? How do I want to go forward? What are the resolutions or or things that I wanna do differently in this next year? How am I? How are we aligning our lives and our gospel work with his when we see the the Brokenness and our families, when we see the the challenging circumstances situations that coworkers, neighbors are facing, when we see the injustices in the world taking place in the world, do we think of the state of the souls? Of our neighbors? Do we think of the state of the souls of the people that are bringing about the fruit that we see in the Brokenness around us? Do we see the connection between the fruit or the fruit and the root? The root being? The state of the soul and the fruit being the Brokenness uh in our lives? Because often the fruit of Brokenness and unhealthy relationships is the result of the soul of the root of where the soul is. If the unhealthy relationships often are rooted in a soul that is walking in darkness and in bondage to the sin that that God sets us free from and amongst other things that is needed to bring health and and change in these situations at the core is an ambassador of christ to bring the message of good news of deliverance of freedom of life with christ and as the years take by for me and I really I realized more and more how right Solomon was in the book of Ecclesiastes right. If you remember the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about how all of life is vanity. Life is full of vanity and it’s full of opportunities for us to get off track, you know, we are we aligning our lives with what God is doing well, it’s there’s so many opportunities for us to get off of track and I want to give my life to things that matter. I know you do as well, I want to give my life to things that are eternal and yet I know that there are so many opportunities and ways for me to get off of track and to give my my time, my energy to things that really matter little. And the vision that I’ve tried to put before myself before my wife before my family is that I want to get to things right, some other things there, right? But I want to get two main things right, I want to get our family right, and I want to get our church right. I want to get our family to where there is a a love for God and and healthy relationships, but that they would know God and that they would pass on the faith to their Children and to their Children, if I can get that right man, that would make me a happy man at the end of my days. And then the second thing is I want to be a part of a healthy faithful church that reaches people and makes disciples of christ If we can get those two things right, like man that would be sweet and amazing, but when I think of that second part, the church being a part of a faithful church, one element of that is something I think we do well and is helping each other, helping, helping each other become faithful and flourish as disciples of christ living before him loving one another, serving that way. Uh but I think another part of the healthy church, I think we do well, but I think we can grow in is reaching the lost and multiplying and this thing is somewhere we’re pressing into more and and like I said, I’ve been encouraged by and I think it’s been happening and it’s something even in my own life that I’m wanting to to grow in, I mean as I’m ministering to people and leading a community group and and teaching and preaching occasionally and and disciple in people, it’s like these are great ways for us to build up the body of christ, but I know for myself that I need to grow in going to the lost, being an ambassador of christ to the people around me that that need to know christ. So I’m thinking about who are the people around me that I’m interacting with and how can I be more intentional of pointing them to christ or developing a relationship with them, what are some settings that I can put myself in, that I can meet people and point people to christ uh those are some things that I’ve I’ve been trying to to think about and and pursue growth in this area. And then at some point here in the future uh near future mid future at some point we’re gonna be planting a church and I’m gonna be being a part of that. And and that’s gonna be another part of us going as ambassadors of christ of this church, uh planting a church in this Lincoln region where we can plant the gospel, the word of God in areas in communities that need the gospel that need to know who christ is. And we’re gonna ask some of you to join us in this going so be ready for that, We’re gonna be, we’re gonna be going. So uh so for you, where are you at with the going part of life before God of being an ambassador of christ? How how have you been doing this with being an ambassador of christ to your kids, to your coworkers, to your neighbors, to your family? And what’s one thing that you can do to take a step in this direction? What’s one thing you can do to to take a step in this direction? How can we grow uh in in honoring christ or obeying his command to bring his his gospel to those in need? Alright. So that’s that’s my first point of four, the last three are going to be much quicker uh this the so we’re we’re called to go and we see this in this passage, jesus says go as ambassadors. But another part of being an ambassador and I’ve seen this passage is that he calls us to receive that were to receive the ambassadors of christ uh in our life. So as we saw here, he sends them out and he says you’re gonna go bring peace as an ambassador and then they’re either going to receive you and welcome, welcome you and and then they’re welcome you, welcome me or they’re gonna reject you and then they’re rejecting you. They’re gonna reject me. Now for many of us this receiving of initial ambassadors is is something that we’ve already done. We’ve we’ve received the initial ambassador, we’ve received the gospel, we’ve been saved, we are a child of God and were in many ways good there. But sometimes it can be different with the ongoing ambassadors that christ sends into our lives. God loves to bring about our growth through other people coming into our lives, speaking into our lives and calling us to uh to love to spurring us on to love and good deeds. Uh and we are not exempt from being able to reject these ambassadors from christ that this is something that we can we can fall into just like the people who rejected the ambassadors coming to them and it can be pride that keeps us from allowing other people to speak into our lives. It can be rebellion. It could even just be a love for the world that that leads us to not want to listen, not want to change various areas in our lives. And so if you want to continue to grow in your faith to grow in in serving christ and it is of utmost importance that we kill the flesh that you kill the flesh when opportunities arise when community group leaders come and and want to be able to speak into your lives or when people want to uh speak and help you grow in your faith that we receive them and receive them as christ sending his ambassadors into our lives. But also know that those opportunities won’t always, they’re not always gonna be coming knocking down your door that sometimes we have to reach out to other men and women that we respect our brothers and sisters in christ that we respect that are that are walking alongside of us to say, hey, help me come like uh speaking to my life and and hear about what’s going on and help me grow and walk out this faith that we are to to seek this out because of how important it is for others ambassadors to come and to help us grow in our faith. Alright, let’s read the rest of this passage and finish out here. So 13 through 20 says Woe to you, cores in Woe to you, Bethsaida for if the mighty works done and you had been done in tire and Sidon on, they would have repented long ago sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for tire and Sidon on. And uh it will be more bearable in the judgment for tire and Sidon than for you. And you Keiper nam, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. The one who hears you hears me and the one who rejects you rejects me and the one who rejects me rejects him, who sent me. And then this the 72 returned with joy saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name. And he said to them, I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. So this third point is that ambassadors have authority that they are to walk in, Jesus gives authority to his disciples and then he gives us, he gives us authority as well. We see this with Ambassadors of the United States, that ambassadors are given authority from the President, from the people of the United States to speak the will and the words of the message of us, the people that that they represent and the same goes for us as christ that, that we are not mere merely speaking our words as we are interacting with the people around us as we’re going to our family as we’re going to people. We’re not speaking merely our words, but we when we speak in the in the words of God and the spirit of God working through us that we’re speaking the Will and the message of the King of the earth that we are his ambassadors and he gives us authority again when we pray in his name according to his will. When we walk in the power and the spirit within us. And this is important because we face opposition right? There’s not not everybody that we are gonna go to. It’s just gonna be yes, this is amazing. I love this. Come and tell me everything you know right? We’re gonna face opposition and we’re also gonna face our own fear, our own doubt and our own sense of wanting to to shrink back and not go forward and the authority that christ has for us. So it’s important that we hear and receive and walk in the authority that that christ has given us and some of this has to do with our words as well. And we see this with jesus saying his woes upon these different cities uh these cities that saw his great power and saw some of his teachings saw some of his mercy uh and great grace given to them. And he gives these woes, which is like a mixture of, of cursing and judgment and even of of of great sorrow. So our words have power. Words have authority and we are to walk and the authority that christ gives us. Lastly here, Jesus encourages the disciples and us to rejoice not in our own authority, not in our own success, but to rejoice first and foremost in the position as sons and daughters of God. That we are to rejoice in our position as sons and daughters of God. You may be a successful ambassador. You may be a failure which even a failure as a success if you’re, if you’re obeying christ stepping out and if someone doesn’t receive you, that’s really not as much on you as it is upon them. So whether whether it goes really well or it doesn’t go as well that we should not base our identity, our value on the success of our ministry, but on our position as sons and daughters of God. One of the things that has been of utmost importance in my life of my life before God is this aspect right here remembering that I am a son of God and reminding myself of that in my time with the Lord in my prayer. Uh, there’s a frequent reminding myself of who I am and what he has done. One of the things that I’ve embraces is a passage of scripture that says that basically all that I am and all that I have is because of God’s grace. And that’s such a refreshing. Uh, just word for my soul. God thank you. That’s all that I am and all that I have is because of your grace. It’s not because of how great I am or how bad I am. I am your son. I am loved by you because of your grace and because of your love and that that is where God calls us to to rest in. That’s where he calls us to to stay consistently daily is in the position as a son and daughter of God. So as we close here, the harvest is plentiful. Harvest is plentiful. Go and carry the gospel of the kingdom to those around you. How how is God calling you to take a step of faith in this direction? How can you begin being intentional with the people around you, praying for more laborers uh, to set the captives free and then not only going but receiving well the ambassadors God sends into your life as God sent people into your life. Do you need to reach out to some people uh, to help them walk, help you walk through what god’s calling you to. And then third walking with authority and all that christ gives you and the mission, the work he’s called you to that we would walk and the authority he’s given us and that we would rest in this position of adoption as sons and daughters of God. That you are a son. You are a daughter of God. Rest in that. And let’s go and see more stories like my great uncle Les And and his salvation and him going, let’s see more stories like my my life, your life. Let’s see God pile up more and more stories that bring praise and glory to his name in 2022. Amen Amen. Let’s pray, jesus. Thank you for your salvation. Thank you for the mission that you have called us on. We pray that you would bless us with the authority that you’ve given us and that we would see your power, your love bring transformation and the people around us through this church. God, we want to see your your name. Exalted people worshiping you and walking in your ways in jesus name. Amen.