Baggage seems to be a popular analogy pastor’s use in their sermons. It is a symbol for our possessions, what we feel means the most to us, the important things in our lives that we do not travel without.
This Sunday, Pastor Chris gave Syracuse’s Destiny Christian Center the metaphor of baggage we need vs. baggage we don’t need.
In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out his disciples to do his work for him; he tells us exactly where to go and what we need; it is not up to us to hold onto what we think we need.
What we don’t need
We need direction, and Jesus tells us exactly where to go. Metaphorically speaking, the number one thing we should be packing in our bags for our journey is Jesus. Without having Jesus, we are the lost sheep to which we are to go out and find.
We hold onto a lot of worldly possessions that become worldly obsessions. Clothing, shoes, videogames, computers, the latest technology, money. When we pack these things in our bag for the journey, we focus in on them and lose focus on Jesus’ insistent call on our lives. Jesus tells us to pack no bags, money, or clothes in our journey for him.
What we do need
Metaphorically speaking, we should pack Jesus in our travel bags. Literally speaking, we should be packing his word into our minds and our hearts. Matthew 10 says to pack no bags. That is a step of faith. So instead of bags and provisions, we pack faith instead. We cannot lean on our own hard work to provide for all our needs; God is the ultimate provider, and all we need do is trust in him and our needs will be provided for.
We must pack peace. There will be times when our message will be heard, when we can release our peace, God’s peace, to others. But there will also be other times when we will be chastised for our faith and our message will be unaccepted. During those times we must hold onto our peace and not become disheartened.
We must pack all what we have received from Jesus: love, grace, and mercy. The church has developed the label “intolerant” because we have forgotten to also give what we have received. We are to love others and show them grace and mercy no matter how far away they walk from God.
We must pack Godly character. We are to be “shrewd as snakes” and “innocent as doves.” Our charge is to be on our guard against those who would harm us (like false prophets) and to maintain our blamelessness, despite how difficult the journey may become.
All of the necessities we pack for our journey with the Lord are qualities we are to hold inside our hearts. It is from our hearts we display our character, and it is what’s inside that cannot be taken away from us. Our character is the best witness of God’s character to those we wish to see saved.
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