Shake off the dust ...

And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

I love the mission that the disciples were given: a simple message of repentance blended with a powerful response of deliverance and healing. What do you think of when you hear the word repent? Perhaps images of religious meetings and activities come to mind? I think of a heart that says a simple yes and turns to the Lord. Such repentance is beautiful and powerful because it comes not from a changed mind but from a soft heart. 

And yet to those who refuse to repent.. those who will not receive the words of God's messengers.. the Lord's instruction is not to tarry with such people but to shake the dust off and leave. This can sometimes be a very difficult thing to do because of our human desire to debate with such people and try to win them with intellectual arguments. Such debate is rarely successful because repentance is not about the head but about the heart.

Help me Lord to understand that repentance is an issue of the heart.

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