Lenten Reader | Day 15

I Must Press On

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

- Luke 13:31-33
The Pharisees warned Jesus. They tried to convince him to flee and not continue in what he was doing.  He responds by telling them he will stay, drive out demons, and heal people today, tomorrow, the third day, and will finish his work. Both casting out demons and healing others were part of his ministry in establishing God’s kingdom. His life, ministry, and death were not defined by the Pharisees or Herod. They were planned by God, and his mission would unfold in God’s time and according to God’s plan.  Even in this last stage of his earthly journey, he refuses to be distracted from his mission.

We have a role in continuing the mission of Jesus today. How many times have we felt we should do something and talked ourselves out of it? Have you ever felt the nudge to do something, and you dismissed it because you felt like you didn’t know enough or were afraid of someone’s reaction? What stops us? Fear, self-doubt, pride?

Follow that nudge and do not let the world or the voices of others discourage you. Don’t let discomfort or insecurity keep the Lord from using you to reach out to others.

Eight years ago, we were out of town in a coffee shop. We were content with our coffee in the comfy chairs. And then there was a nudge to pray for the barista. This would be uncomfortable for my family, and I was a little uneasy. It was a small space, and who knew if she would be receptive. We soon learned she was raising money to return to Africa for mission work. We stood in the middle of the shop, holding hands in our circle, and prayed. We prayed for her faith to be strengthened, for encouragement, and for her mission. We are still friends and she remembers this day each year and shares the impact it had – how stepping out of our comfort zone blessed and encouraged her more than we could imagine. Today, she and her husband are doing ministry in Texas and continue mission work in Thailand.  

Press on and continue in the mission God has called us to do. Do not allow any distractions keep you from following the Holy Spirit’s nudge for you to show His love and truth to others.

- Gwen Thomas
Father, just as Jesus refused to be distracted from His mission, help me to refuse to be distracted from carrying on His mission. Even in the face of difficult circumstances and without fear.