Posts Tagged 'Choosing Jesus'

Jesus Creates Division


“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10: 34 – 39)


Jesus didn’t come to create peace on earth. Instead, He likens His message to a sword; a sharp instrument designed to slice the world in two; separating the faithful from the unfaithful. Everyone, without exception, must choose a side. Either Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life,” the only begotten Son of God, or He’s nothing more than an influential historical figure; or perhaps even a deceptive charlatan. Those who believe the Gospel message are called to live as Christians; shunning what is evil and embracing what is good. Although individual believers adore Jesus, the vast majority of human beings despise Him, and His disciples. They hate Him because they cannot hide their sins in the light of His presence; and so they seek to destroy the light and everyone who carries it.

As Christianity grew throughout the Roman empire, it created immense division. Seeking to preserve the worship of false Gods, many rulers sought to destroy the faith. One Emperor named Diocletian was particularly violent in his hatred of the bible and Christianity. He killed many Christians, with such outrageous cruelties, and destroyed so many bibles, that at one point he believed he had actually succeeded in his efforts. Over a burned bible he constructed a monument with an inscription that read, “Extincto nomene Christianorum,” which means, “the name Christian is extinguished.” Additionally, he fashioned a medal with the engraving, “The Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the gods is restored.”

Obviously Diocletian’s efforts to destroy the Church were unsuccessful, as the gospel is still being preached to this day. And yet the message continues to create division. Some are receptive and become believers, while many others do not. Those who call Christ their savior can expect to be shunned, hated, and even persecuted for their faith. If those who yearn to live in darkness without shame or remorse cannot flee from the light, then they will seek to destroy it. Thus, as faithful believers we will be persecuted and despised.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to carry Your truth wherever we go. As we faithfully walk through this life, we expect Your gospel to elicit division, strife, and even hatred. Please give us the courage and strength to stand firm; that we might endure the persecution and animosity of this present world; and thus through us, Your light may always shine in the darkness. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

Receiving the Message


          “I have manifested your name to the men whom you have given me out of the world.  They were Yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  Now they have known that all things which you have given me are from you.  For I have given them the words which you have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from you; and they have believed that that You sent me” (John 17: 6-8.)


          Jesus was speaking directly to God in the presence of his disciples.  He identified his task, and acknowledged that it had been completed.  His task was to make God known to all those willing to listen.  The true children of God listened to Jesus, accepted him as God’s messenger, and received his words as the very words of God.  God gave those children (the disciples), to Jesus, to teach, to love, to protect, and to nurture.  Today, God is still selecting people out of the world, to be his eternal possessions.  Anyone who accepts the message of Jesus Christ, has become a true child of God.  We believe his words are God’s words; we believe his ways are God’s ways; and we believe his followers are God’s followers.  Those who follow God are saved, but those who choose to ignore His message will perish.

          In 1912 the Titanic slipped beneath the icy evening waves of the Atlantic Ocean; nearly 1000 people joined it on its journey to the bottom of the ocean depths.  There weren’t enough lifeboats to carry all of the passengers; but no one needed to die.  Most are unaware that there was a large ship named ‘The Californian,’ less than 20 miles away that evening (close enough to have saved most of Titanic’s passengers.)  ‘The Californian’ received distress calls from the Titanic (via radio and lamps;) they also saw 8 distress flares, and crew members later testified that the Titanic appeared to be listing in the water (leaning to one side.)  No one but God knows why, but the captain of ‘The Californian’ didn’t seem to take these messages seriously; he returned to bed after hearing the reports.  During an official inquiry in to the captain’s actions, he remained elusive, continually changing his story; he even made attempts to doctor the log book and change their reported position on the evening of the tragedy.  The real circumstances of his inaction were never clear.  Many however would speculate that the Captain simply didn’t take the messages seriously.  He heard the reports, but he didn’t believe them, and for that reason 1000 people lost their lives.

          Jesus Christ, and the words that he spoke are God’s signal flares in a very dark, and very cold world.  Some see the signals, and they are drawn to him.  They see Jesus, and realize that he is God’s message, and because they believe that message, they are saved from death.  Sadly, no matter how many flares He sends up pointing to his Son, most will never take God’s message seriously; for that they will perish in darkness.  Jesus Christ is God’s message to you.  Will you respond to that message?  Those who respond follow Jesus and dedicate their lives to spreading his message to others.  The initial response is your belief?  Do you believe today that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and that by your faith in him you have eternal life?

          “Lord heavenly Father, we come before You, and we ask that You please accept our allegiance to You and to Your Son.  We desire to be Yours, and we believe Your message, and we accept Your word.  We await the life you have promised, and we ask that you strengthen us in this world to do Your work.  Give us a desire to spread Your message to others, that we would make more disciples, and bring others out of death and in to life.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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