Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gentle conversation

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Matthew 10:12-14 (The Message) “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way.”

In this life, there will be people who are friendly to you and those who will oppose you. Jesus wants to steer you clear of those people who are against you so that you don’t get frustrated or try to convert hearts that aren’t ready. He wants to make life easier for you. He even tells us to “shrug your shoulders” and leave. Another words, don’t worry about things you can’t control.

Jesus knows that there will be opposition to the message we carry about salvation. He knows some people will be open and others will be against it. He doesn’t want us wasting time preaching to people whose ears are closed. Instead, focus on the lost who are seeking and have open ears. Spend time with them, don’t be in a hurry and be there to meet their needs. God has been working on their hearts, and they are responding. So he puts them in your path to minister to them. Don’t be in a hurry to move on. Jesus is always about building relationships.

Jesus knows how frustrating it is to try and convert those whose hearts are closed, so he tells us to just move on. Those with closed hearts love to badger you and tell you everything that is wrong with Christianity. You see it today in society with the gay and lesbian faction, the pornography issue, abortion and every kind of addiction. People are just looking for excuses not to follow Jesus. Some people are so angry at their circumstances that they don’t have room in their hearts for the love of Jesus. It’s easier to blame someone else, so they blame Jesus and every one of his followers.

Don’t fight a fight that isn’t meant to be yours. Leave that fight to God. Ministering to people with broken hearts is difficult enough. It takes a strong believer to constantly overcome the struggles of that kind of ministry. He must be wise enough to stop and rest when tired, because healing ministry is draining. Someone who walks in to our churches is seeking. He just needs someone to reach out to him and share the love of God. Don’t be afraid; take a deep breath and take that first step toward him. Be gentle in your conversation. No attacking or impugning his motives. Just listen, then pray for him. Building a relationship takes time. Bringing salvation to the lost rarely happens on the first meeting. Take your time. Jesus is never in a hurry.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to see those you put in front of me. Help me to be gentle in conversation and caring. Help me to lead them to you. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 75

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/www.oneyearbibleonline.com/june.asp?version=51

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