John 7:1-13

John 7:1-13

John 7:13Vintage message from our 2002-2003 radio program called “Perspective” aired February 2, 2003.

Part of what I see as a problem within my life, as well as the lives of many other believers, we don’t struggle with faith. You know what? There’s a lot of things I can believe, but there’s a lot of things I do not want to accept. There’s a lot of things that I know that God’s Word says it, but you know what? I don’t particularly care to do it. And many of the issues that Jesus deals with in our lives are hard teachings. They are things that we have to struggle with inside ourselves: issues of sin, issues of faith, issues of just being trustworthy to God. And I admit that there are things in my life that I like to do, there are practices in my life that I’ve had since childhood that have become part of me, and then I study God’s Word, and God’s Word sometimes indicates that I may need to see a change in my life…

The first step in growing in the Lord is being able to admit openly, before God and man, what it is you’re willing to accept and what you’re not willing to accept… There are things in my life and things in your life that you will not change, not because you can’t, not because God’s Word doesn’t address it, and not because His Spirit isn’t strong enough, powerful enough, to cause you to change, but the bottomline is, you just don’t accept it. You don’t want to do it… But yet when it boils down to it, what are we willing to do to fulfill God’s Word in our life? That’s a whole different question. I know a lot of people who are willing to serve God as long as they don’t have to change too much, as long as they don’t have to give too much up, as long as they don’t have to leave too much behind… “That’s too hard for me, God! It’s hard to accept it. It’s a hard teaching. Me, having to give up of myself! Me, having to submit to You! Me, having to give up me to allow You in! It’s a hard teaching, Lord. I don’t accept it. I don’t want anything to do with it. Oh, but God, I’m more than happy to show up on Sunday morning… But Lord, don’t ask me to give up the lifestyle that I’ve chosen to live…”

You know, one of the reasons, I find, that people do not give their lives to the Lord, why they do not come to know Jesus, is because of fear of what their peers are going to think, fear that their friends at high school might tease them, fear that their friends at work might put them down, fear that an employer might even fire them. When you look at how screwed up our world is today, anything is possible, but let me tell you something. The employers of the world, the schools of the world, the people in the world, are already talking about Jesus. They already know that there is a difference between Christians and themselves. We just need to take Jesus’s example. Walk the way He did. Open our mouth when He says to open our mouth. Share when He says to share. Go where He says to go. And you know what? People, then, are going to be ripe and ready. If we try to force ourselves on people, if we try to cram the Bible down people’s throats, they’re going to reject…

Jesus knows where He’s taking us. Jesus knows what He’s doing and how He’s doing it. We just need to be sensitive and pay attention to what He’s doing, and don’t worry about the other people. But again, part of the problem is, you and I have to decide what is it that we believe about Jesus. Are we going to live our lives to bring change, to accept what He teaches?

Pastor Dave Elkins

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