Sunday, March 10, 2013

John 15:20-21 Knowing Who God Is

John 15:20-21 (KJV)  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

There are only two options in verse 20.  When we follow Christ, we either meet some level of opposition or we fellowship in obedience.  The next verse says it’s because of our relationship with Christ.  But have you ever wondered how that happens?

Think of the beginning of Matthew 21:44, which reads, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken:”.  We think of Jesus as the Rock or the Chief Cornerstone.  But not everyone may take this verse that way or that there’s a good meaning to the word “broken”.

Awhile back I wrote several posts about our thinking.  I was, at the time, talking about the political climate in our nation’s capital.  There were two related points that bear repeating, here.  One is that we start with a premise.  We believe something is true.  Because of that, we’re directed to certain conclusions.  Our premise negates the possibility of there being other valid conclusions.  It doesn’t matter whether the premise is right or wrong, it still will point us toward specific conclusions.  The other point is that we use words in certain ways, based on what we’ve been taught and what we’re used to. 

My train of thought and my way of using words has me saying a statement that has a certain meaning.  Someone else might start with a different premise, have a different train of thought and defines some of the terms in that statement differently.  To the uninitiated, since both statements are worded alike, it sounds like both people are saying the same thing.  Both parties may think they’re in agreement and have open communication, when the reality is that neither is understanding the other.  Or both parties may be close to total agreement, but not realize it because of differences in premise and how each defines words.

When verse 21 says, “they know not him that sent me.”, that speaks volumes.  We have millennia that Satan has been roaming the earth, teaching deceptive doctrine.  So, the Trinity gets misrepresented as self oriented, and power and glory hungry.  And the term “broken” is thought of as smashed to smithereens, instead of the Christian idea of getting rid of a useless outer shell so that a God enhanced inner core can shine forth.  Submission is thought of as slavery instead of voluntarily allowing the most capable being (God) to direct how things go to get the best result, including our own extra blessing from letting God be at the helm.

What we end up with is a world that is totally self focused.  Man has lost trust in God because God has been misrepresented.  God is seen as vindictive and submitting to Him is seen as removal of freedom, instead of a decision to step toward greater blessing.  Add to that the obvious fact that other people are imperfect and often unlikely to do things because they benefit me.  Those are pretty fundamental premises.  The only conclusion possible is that we can only trust ourselves. 

What happens when we share the Gospel?  The above becomes obvious.  People aren’t thinking about what blessings get added to them.  They’re concerned about what will get taken away by allying themselves with God.  So, when we’re on outreach, we may be spending more time getting rid of misconceptions about God, His motives, and what it’s like being a believer than we do explaining the benefits of being a child of God.  Is it any wonder that the world doesn’t jump at the opportunity?

Fortunately, there’s us.  God has loved us and given us that love to share with others, to “pay it forward”, if you will.  That gives us faith, patience, and timing.  As Rob Hill, Sr. recently said, “Faith is necessary. Patience is key. Timing is everything.”  Understanding the love God gave us gives us faith.  That faith gives us trust.  Trust instills patience.  And patience lets us  live in God’s timing.  We know that no one is promised more than the present moment, but we also know that God’s timing is perfect.  We do what we can in sharing the Gospel and trust God for the result.  Being His is never a task, it’s a joy.  Have you caught onto God’s joy, today?  And have you passed it on?

2 comments:

  1. thanks for this post, 2 statements you made hit me with absolute truth concerning unbelievers or those are "faking" their way through Chritianity... "'When we follow Christ, we either meet some level of opposition or we fellowship in obedience. AND People aren't thinking about what blessings get added to them. They’re concerned about what will get taken away by allying themselves with God.'"

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  2. Good to see you, here, Katie.

    One of the reasons I love blogging so much is seeing the things God gives me or how He puts several things together so that I get a new insight. There's an old saying about preachers that the message that gets put together is first for them, then the congregation. That's true for bloggers and writers, too.

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