ODJ: grace alone

March 7, 2014 

READ: Mark 6:7-12 

He called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits (v.7).

Imagine going on a missions trip without your luggage. No change of clothing! Oh and no money or credit card either. So, you can forget about buying the basic necessities you might need while you’re away.

That’s exactly what Jesus told His twelve disciples to do when He sent them out on their very first missions trip (Mark 6:8-9). And to top it off, He mentioned He wouldn’t be travelling with them. Sounds scary, right?

Thankfully, this isn’t the modus operandi for missions work today. For later on, in Luke 22:36, Jesus told His disciples, “Take your money and a traveller’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!”

So, what’s the lesson here? Trust. It remains the fundamental focus for anyone who desires to serve God. Will we trust God to supply our needs? When it comes to a bread and butter issue, how real is our faith?

The disciples had not lacked anything in their first missions venture (Luke 22:35). In that trip they learned to receive everything God gave with grace and gratitude and not to allow money to become a ministry emphasis. Additionally, they experienced that God was able to supply them with the power to do His work (Mark 6:7).

The lyrics of the song “Grace Alone” by Kristina Hamilton might just contain some of their ministry perspectives: “Every soul we long to reach; Every heart we hope to teach; Everywhere we share His peace is only by His grace; Every loving word we say; Every tear we wipe away; Every sorrow turned to praise is only by His grace. Grace alone which God supplies; Strength unknown, He will provide; Christ in us, our cornerstone; we will go forth in grace alone.”

—Poh Fang Chia

Judges 4:4-24 ‹365-day plan

Read 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 and Philippians 4:11-19 to learn of the apostle Paul’s personal experience with God’s gracious provision.  
Recall a time when you experienced God’s provision. How will it encourage you as you face the difficulties and challenges of life and ministry today?