stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

Jakob made me proud this week.  He asked me if he could have 26 Easter invite cards from church.  I asked why he wanted to many, and he said he wanted to invite everyone in his class, including his teacher, to be at church Sunday.  Tuesday night, he spent time writing names on the cards and making sure to put “from Jakob” on all of them, and then he put them in his backpack.  On the way to school yesterday, I told him he needed to ask his teacher when the most appropriate time would be to give them out instead of being disruptive to her schedule, so he did.  I also told him that he needed to understand that not everyone would want to come, because some have their own churches, and some just don’t go to church, so he shouldn’t get upset if some people didn’t want them.  He said he was okay with whatever they said.  After school, Sarah was waiting for him to come home.  We live across the street from his school, so if his brother is napping, Sarah waits for him in our driveway as he walks himself home.  He was running late, though. When he finally showed up ten minutes late, he told Sarah that he was late, because he was handing out his invites to all of his classmates.

I was proud of him for making that choice.  It was his idea, not ours, and he went through with it.  He didn’t get nervous and back out, as I would be tempted to do.  I asked him if he was nervous at all, and he said that he was not, because it was important and needed to be done.  He’s very pragmatic.  I admit that I was a little jealous of his boldness.  I don’t know the last time I shared the Gospel or invited someone to church without feeling nervous.  I can talk myself out of opportunities to invite and share. I know it’s because I don’t like rejection. What if they say no to me?

The reality is that some will turn you down, and some will even be rude in the process.  Jesus knew people would not accept His message when He sent out His disciples, so He gave them encouragement in this regard.  In Luke 10, Jesus sent out His disciples to share the truth about Him into the surrounding towns.  He tells them how to handle being accepted, and He also tells them how to handle being rejected, because Jesus knew some would reject them.  But He assured them it wasn’t them the people were rejecting. Jesus told them, “Hey, when people reject you, it’s not you; it’s Me they’re rejecting.”

Don’t get discouraged when people do not accept the truth of God when you share it.  It’s not you that they are rejecting; it’s God.  As Christians, we are simply responsible for telling them the truth.  We are not responsible for making people believe, because we can’t make them believe.    What people do with the truth that we share with them is between them and God.  We are the messengers.  We have the most important message.  I encourage you to share it this week, invite people to hear it this week at church, and remember that it’s not you, It’s Jesus they’re rejecting if it comes down to that.

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