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Sent to Serve

A devotional by InTouch Ministries for reading on April 18th

John 17:18 18 As thou didst send me into the world, even so sent I them into the world.

Too often, people fall into a wrong belief that they have no real purpose in life. They get up, go to work, come home, and zone out in front of the TV. Then it’s time to go to sleep and start all over. Where in this routine are they making time to fulfill their true purpose?

This isn’t the model Jesus set for us. When we look at the life of Christ, we can clearly see that His coming was no accident and His time was not wasted. He lived His life on target. Scripture shows without a doubt that Jesus came to accomplish a goal.

Many times in the Gospels, Jesus refers to having been sent by the Father. That word implies focus and intent. Our Savior didn’t stumble upon the earthly scene. His coming was not an accident or a happy coincidence. The idea is not that Jesus just appeared; He was sent into the world for a clear purpose.

And what was that purpose? Matthew 20:28 28 even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. reveals that Jesus came not to conquer, but to serve. His life reveals a clear mission, and everything He does in the Gospels points back to His purpose: to reveal the Father, die for sin, save the lost, and provide abundant life.

No matter where He was, who He was with, or what He was doing, the Lord was always mindful of the reason for His coming. What’s more, just as Jesus was sent by the Father, so we are sent by Christ—to carry His message of hope throughout the world. Is this purpose evident in your daily routine? Pray for clarity and focus as you serve the Lord today.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 13-14 Chapter 13 1 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of Jehovah unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2 And he cried against the altar by the word of Jehovah, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a son shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall they burn upon thee. 3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which Jehovah hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. 4 And it came to pass, when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Beth-el, that Jeroboam put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back again to him. 5 The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of Jehovah. 6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the favor of Jehovah thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God entreated Jehovah, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. 7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. 8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thy house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place; 9 for so was it charged me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Thou shalt eat no bread, nor drink water, neither return by the way that thou camest. 10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el. 11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and one of his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them also they told unto their father. 12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? Now his sons had seen what way the man of God went, that came from Judah. 13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass; and he rode thereon. 14 And he went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak; and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. 15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. 16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee; neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17 for it was said to me by the word of Jehovah, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. 18 And he said unto him, I also am a prophet as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Bring him back with thee into thy house, that he may eat bread and drink water. `But' he lied unto him. 19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. 20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of Jehovah came unto the prophet that brought him back; 21 and he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, Forasmuch as thou hast been disobedient unto the mouth of Jehovah, and hast not kept the commandment which Jehovah thy God commanded thee, 22 but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy body shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, `to wit', for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his body was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it; the lion also stood by the body. 25 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the body cast in the way, and the lion standing by the body; and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the mouth of Jehovah: therefore Jehovah hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spake unto him. 27 And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled it. 28 And he went and found his body cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the body: the lion had not eaten the body, nor torn the ass. 29 And the prophet took up the body of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back; and he came to the city of the old prophet, to mourn, and to bury him. 30 And he laid his body in his own grave; and they mourned over him, `saying', Alas, my brother! 31 And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the saying which he cried by the word of Jehovah against the altar in Beth-el, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass. 33 After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again from among all the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, that there might be priests of the high places. 34 And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth. Chapter 14 1 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. 2 And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, who spake concerning me that I should be king over this people. 3 And take with thee ten loaves, and cakes, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he will tell thee what shall become of the child. 4 And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. 5 And Jehovah said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to inquire of thee concerning her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her; for it will be, when she cometh in, that she will feign herself to be another woman. 6 And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, 8 and rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee; and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes, 9 but hast done evil above all that were before thee, and hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: 10 therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every man-child, him that is shut up and him that is left at large in Israel, and will utterly sweep away the house of Jeroboam, as a man sweepeth away dung, till it be all gone. 11 Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the birds of the heavens eat: for Jehovah hath spoken it. 12 Arise thou therefore, get thee to thy house: `and' when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him; for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14 Moreover Jehovah will raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now. 15 For Jehovah will smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; and he will root up Israel out of this good land which he gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their Asherim, provoking Jehovah to anger. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he hath sinned, and wherewith he hath made Israel to sin. 17 And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: `and' as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 And all Israel buried him, and mourned for him, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the prophet. 19 And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 20 And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead. 21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22 And Judah did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, above all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built them high places, and pillars, and Asherim, on every high hill, and under every green tree; 24 and there were also sodomites in the land: they did according to all the abominations of the nations which Jehovah drove out before the children of Israel. 25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; 26 and he took away the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 27 And king Rehoboam made in their stead shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. 28 And it was so, that, as oft as the king went into the house of Jehovah, the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard-chamber. 29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 30 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.




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