Thursday, April 20, 2017

APRIL 20 "NO LOVE LOSS FOR JESUS"

     THE group of Pharisees hated Jesus, there was no love loss between the Pharisees and Jesus. There were other groups who loved Jesus and were open to what he had to say and with them he sat down and talked.....nicely!  Jesus is no respecter of persons and neither should we, but you cannot deny that Jesus had various methods for reaching various groups of individuals. Jesus knew who is target audience was and that affected how he responded. It is written in scripture "do not cast your pearls to the swine", but yet we see Christians do this everyday.  No doubt, we will be persecuted, that will come naturally but do we really have to subjugate ourselves to it?!
     We cannot discern whom God is leading to himself and who He isn't (although sometimes it is quite obvious) but we can discern the mocker vs. the serious seeker.  We cannot discern who will be saved and will not, it could be the mocker who one day gets powerfully converted and the serious seeker goes on to seriously seek in another faith. The point is not to try to discern who is going to get saved and who isn't, the point is that we should have various methods for various audiences. Should we respond to the mocker the same way we would the open and broken down sinner, Jesus didn't!  What are your methods if any? We really do want to "just love them to Jesus", it is far less confrontational, but is it really the method to reach all? The love 'em to Jesus was a complete failure with me. I needed a harsh word, I needed to hear the truth about my sin and where it was taking me. When told that Jesus died for my sins, my response was, "to bad, I never asked him to".  Jesus was gracious with the woman at the well, but he was unashamedly to the point about the fact that she had been with five other men and the man she was now living with was not her husband.  Towards Mary Magdalene, his method was compassion and mercy, towards the Pharisees he was very harsh and straightforward, even to Nicodemus who came seeking him out in the middle of the night, he rebuked him by saying, 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?  Jesus is not being rude, but He is being blunt.  To be an effective witness you have to have more in your arsenal than just "love 'em to Jesus", you have to be able to discern your target audience, are they sincere or are they only there to mock? Then change your method of reaching them, don't cast your pearls to the swine, save that for the broken and contrite heart. Jesus does win over Nicodemus, but loving him to himself was not enough, he would have to bluntly expose this man's hypocrisy. If you will take the time to study the life of Jesus and you will find a man that loved all humanity but yet used different methods to reach different groups and this is how He was most effective and it will be how we are most effective in our witness and effectiveness for him, follow the way of The Master!