Devotion – August 25, 2015 – Tough Times for Ministry

john6_66From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
—John 6:66

There are a lot of difficult teachings in the Scriptures.  In this passage, Jesus had just taught that He is the bread of life and that “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” and also He taught that “no one can come to [Hiim] unless the Father has enabled them.”  A lot of people wanted to follow Jesus when He taught about the meek inheriting the earth or that love is patient and kind, but many couldn’t or wouldn’t follow Jesus when He started teaching more difficult and controversial things.  They walked away.

We face the same thing in our ministry today.  Do we try to please the people by keeping the message light and fluffy and skirting the truth, saying things like, “Jesus loves you and wants you to be happy,” and “God wants to bless you with with great wealth and prosperity” or are we willing to speak the truth even when people don’t like it and even if that means people walk away from our church.  God doesn’t call us to amass people in a big building, God calls to boldly proclaim His Word.  It’s the Word of God that changes people and brings life.  It is the truth that sets people free.  And so we are called to proclaim God’s Word to the world in gentleness and love even if many reject it, hoping and praying that some will have ears to hear it and will receive it.

Heavenly Father,

You are the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to Father except by You.  Forgive us for the times we back down or even change Your message for fear of rejection.  Help us to be bold to speak Your truth and to do so with love and gentleness.  May many hear and believe.

Amen

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