Woohoo…almost halfway! Way to stick with it.
As you continue to push on, don’t forget that acts of self-denial, like fasting, are about the condition of the heart…not the number of days. In fact, here are three things we can each do during this time to help keep our hearts right before Him:
– Start a prayer list to record and celebrate God’s responses to your intercession.
– Maintain a personal journal to document the lessons you are learning and the experience as a whole. [I know I tend to forget a lot. Just ask Beth. 😉 ]
– Reach out! Look for opportunities to build relationships of Kingdom impact and attempt to make a difference for Christ!
Day 10 [April 7]
I am glad that Jesus is the “good shepherd.” He is perfect; and as a result, He could lay down His life for us to pay a sin debt that we could not pay. However, even with that perfection and level of commitment, people still did not believe Him. In actuality, they did far more than disbelieve. They harshly rejected Him.
People called Him demon-possessed. They repeatedly tried to stone Him. He was accused of being a lawbreaker and blasphemer. Deeply religious people tried to discredit Him and ultimately kill Him. Even his own disciples quit following Him and left. [John 6:66] In this chapter, the “good shepherd” escapes a crowd that wanted to seize Him and stone Him.
It always amazes me that people would do that to anyone let alone the Son of God, but they did.
From that, I realize we should not be surprised that anyone would mistreat us. I guess that is why Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” [Luke 6:22]
People of this world may not always understand you. Religious people may criticize and condemn you, but know this…the Good Shepherd laid down His life for you, and He calls you to live a life devoted to Him so that many will believe in Jesus in this place!
Like John the Baptist, we can point people to the Messiah in this region!
“Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about [Jesus] was true.” And in that place many believed in Jesus.” [10:41-42]
Lord God Almighty – Rain down Your Holy Spirit upon me and all of the people of Heritage Church so that many more will believe in Jesus. Amen.
April 7, 2014
It’s still so hard to believe the real, deep hatred so many people around the world have for anyone and anything that is different from how they live and what they believe. People are being attacked, imprisoned, and even killed all the time, just for being Christians where the Christian faith is not popular (or, in some cases, where it is actually illegal). It’s a crazy world we live in. At least no one in this country is picking up stones to throw at us, but it sure feels a lot of the time like we’re outsiders in the larger culture – strangers in a strange land, as Moses put it. And I guess we are. We go a different direction, we follow a different path, but we know the Shepherd, and we can rely on Him to take us where we need to go. When we do that, we also can trust that we are in God’s hands. In this crazy world, that’s some pretty good news.