Psalm of the Day: Psalm 70
Wisdom for the Day: Ecclesiastes 8:1-17
Scripture Reading: Luke 6:12-19
Let us observe how little we are told of the worldly position of the first ministers of the Christian Church. Four of them, we know, were fishermen. One of them, at least, was a tax-collector. Most of them, probably, were Galileans. Not one of them, so far as we can see from the New Testament — was great, or rich, or noble, or highly connected. Not one was a Pharisee, or Scribe, or Priest, or Ruler, or Elder among the people. All were, apparently, "unlearned and ignorant men" (Acts 4:13). All were poor.
There is something deeply instructive in the fact which is now before us. It shows us that our Lord Jesus Christ's kingdom was entirely independent of help from this world. His Church was not built by might, or by power but by the Spirit of the living God (Zechariah 4:6.). It supplies us with an unanswerable proof of the divine origin of Christianity. A religion which turned the world upside down, while its first preachers were all poor men must needs have been from Heaven.
If the apostles had possessed money to give their hearers, or been followed by armies to compel them, then an infidel might well deny that there was anything astonishing in their success. But the poverty of our Lord's disciples cuts away such arguments from beneath the infidel's feet. With a doctrine most unpalatable to the natural heart with nothing whatever to bribe or compel obedience, a few lowly Galileans shook the world, and changed the face of the Roman empire! One thing alone can account for this. The Gospel of Christ, which these men proclaimed was the truth of God!
Let us remember these things, if we ever strive to do any work for Christ, and beware of leaning on an arm of flesh. Let us watch against the secret inclination, which is natural to all to look to money, or learning, or high patronage, or great men's support for success. If we want to do good to souls, then we must not look first to the powers of this world. We should begin, just where the Church of Christ began. We should seek pastors filled with the Holy Spirit!
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me to realize what matters in this world is doing your will in your way.
Action Plan: What things do I value that may interfere with God's plan to spread the gospel? How much value so I place upon money, possessions, fame, popularity, education, or social status over the Kingdom of God?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.