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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Two by Two (Mark 6:7)

"Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits."

An Ndebele proverb uses the hands to describes the need for one another, "Hands wash each other." Just try washing your hand without using the other hand! Jesus commissioned His disciples in teams of two.

Solomon records the strength found in pairs: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him" (Eccl. 4:9-12a). Team ministry provides:
  • Companionship
  • Encouragement
  • Accountability
  • Practical assistance
  • Prayer support
  • Protection
Just as hands don't compete with one another in hand washing so competition with another in ministry is counterproductive. God's goal in teamwork is completion not competition. Just as Jesus initiated and modeled team ministry so we too need to partner up with someone else in ministry either in presence, prayer, or participation (financial). No one can minister effectively alone.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:

John 5:16-47
  • Why do the Pharisees have a problem with Jesus?
  • What explanation does Jesus give for why the Pharisees don't recognize His identity?
  • What is the Pharisees' relationship with the Scriptures?
  • What hinders faith or provokes unbelief? (Romans 10:17)
Mark 6:6b-11; Matthew 9:35-10:42
  • How does Jesus describe the crowds?
  • What response does Jesus tell the disciples they will have as they minister in His name?
  • How will truth impact families?
  • What promise or words of comfort does Jesus offer the disciples as He commissions them?
  • How does Jesus address the disciples' fears?
  • What will it cost those who follow Christ?
Turning truth into prayer

Do you compete with others in ministry or do you see your ministry gifts as competitive with or or complementary to others? Ask the Lord to help you become a team builder to complement the ministry of others. Pray for those with whom you minister by name and seek God's blessing upon their ministry.