Posts Tagged ‘rejection’

  

“John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.'” ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭9:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

On May 29, 2015, Tavin Terrell Price was fatally shot in front of his mother as they were headed to a beach near Los Angeles. According to KTLA 5 News, LAPD arrested 3 men and a woman as suspects in the murder. Their reasoning for the brutal slaying of the 19-year-old mentally challenged man? Because he wore red shoes, the apparent sign of a rival gang. Red shoes…

It’s never an enjoyable experience to be treated badly because you’re not a part of a certain crowd or believe like some group. Even Jesus had to correct His disciples for falling into the trap of excluding people. Jesus, however, was the opposite, desiring for all to come to the Master’s Table and belong. 

Take time today to make sure you aren’t prejudiced in your own thinking. While we may pride ourselves for being color blind, we often fail because we withhold our friendship because someone is from another denomination or religion. Let God’s love help you to build bridges, not burn them all down! There’s room at the table! You are loved today! 

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A third time Jesus asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time.” (John‬ ‭21‬:‭17‬ NLT)

Man, was I guilty. I work hard to be a good Pastor, but perfection has always alluded me. And as the individual on the other side of the phone confronted me, the minor infraction might as well have been a major one for how bad I felt. Even though it didn’t feel good to know I was wrong, I appreciated the grace used to confront me and our resulting relationship was even greater.

Peter may not have enjoyed having his love questioned by the Lord three times, but only a short while earlier, he had denied even knowing Jesus the same number of times. Jesus never confronts us out of anger or condemnation. When He confronts us, it’s always with the desire of drawing us closer by eliminating any failures on our part. By confronting, He shows the greatest of loves by keeping our actions honest and replied to with complete grace.

Have you misbehaved lately? Don’t get upset when God confronts you. Left to ourselves, we won’t repent and may never change. His questioning comes from a love that longs to protect the long-term relationship over our immediate dainty emotions! You are loved today! Make it right!

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For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ.” (Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭20‬ NLT)

When someone broached the subject in an online Q&A site regarding how to live without fear of being ridiculed for your faith, Christian apologist Dr. William Craig responded this way:

When believers in China and various Islamic countries are being imprisoned, tortured, and even killed for their faith in Christ, it is nothing short of scandalous that we in the West should shrink from enduring so much as even verbal abuse or embarrassment for Christ’s sake! How could we dare to look our brothers and sisters in the face when our commitment is so paltry, so weak, compared to theirs?”

While I agree with Dr. Craig, the greater question to me is, what is it that we are truly afraid of? I believe we are afraid of people making us feel lesser for what we believe and how we live, that we are somehow abnormal. We fear public criticism and people avoiding us as if we have a plague. We are by nature very social creatures, so to imagine not fitting in and being accepted makes us cringe and hide, saving the ostracizers from having to work!

As you start your weekend, you REALLY need to ponder the question of what keeps you from being proud and public of knowing God and making Him known around you. Often what we fear will never happen, we simply believe they will. Never fear the rejection of others, not when you have a Savior and church family that stands by your side! You are loved today! Be strong!

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