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Dropping the Excess Baggage

     When the immigration official opened my suitcase, I watched his stone face carefully. Extra clothes, toiletries, medicines, sunscreen, bug spray, rain gear, walking shoes, vitamins, spices, nuts, and favorite boxes of cereal – these were my essentials for a trip to rural Southeast Asia. 

     Most of the world’s population could rightly accuse me of gross materialism, but the immigration official just quietly pointed to the counter collecting fees for excess baggage.

     If the 12 disciples of Christ had my packing practices, the world would have never heard the gospel.  The journey and the accommodations would have proven too trying.  The ninth chapter of Luke recounts Jesus’ specific packing instructions before sending out His ambassadors: “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.  Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.  If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave.”

     This account inspires me to take stock of my unfortunate reliance on material possessions. People who put complete trust in the Lord are truly free – from fear, from guilt, from anger, from worry, from all excess baggage that the world carries.  Christ calls us to pack only the essentials of faith.

     Ask yourself, “What do I truly need? What does God say I need? Am I  paying extra fees for the ’baggage’ I carry around each day. What is it costing me?”

     Consider what true “faith” essentials you can’t live without and carry only those.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Julie Strohkorb

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