Thursday, September 3, 2020

Don't give up...

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that 
I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; 
but I will teach you the good and the right way.

1 Samuel 12:23

It can be tempting at times to give up on God's people ! They are so imperfect and can be so sinful, yet they are His people. Samuel had thoroughly warned the Israelites of the dangers in appointing a king over Israel. Yet they wanted to be like the nations around them, insisting that they were willing to pay any price. Almost as soon as the people were granted their desire, they recognized their sin. But it was too late. What was Samuel to do? They had ignored his warnings. Now they wanted him to continue to minister to them. It would seem appropriate for Samuel to abandon them and allow them to suffer the consequences of their actions.

Samuel knew, as Jesus knew, that God sends His servants to the sick, not the healthy (Matt. 9:12). Samuel did not take the people's response as a rejection of him but as an indication of their walk with God. Samuel was serving God, not the Israelites. When God commanded him to minister to them, he could do nothing else, despite their resistance to his message.
At times people will not respond as they should to the message God speaks through you. Don’t become discouraged; it is a reflection of their relationship with God. You are God's servant; if Jesus spent His time with the spiritually needy, you can expect Him to ask you to do the same. Don’t lose your patience with God's people. Keep in mind that God loves them as much as He loves you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's probably the most difficult thing when you point someone in the right direction and they go some other way.  When you have poured out your heart and it appears to have made no difference. It hurts! If we are honest, it hurts! 

Guess what? You just read what God feels like when we don't go or do as He has said.  

We often step in and assert our own opinions into what God is doing.  When in fact what He wants is our obedience. 

People we know, that we care about, that concern us are all people we should be praying about and for.  It matters not how they treated us.  But, you say, they really hurt me!  You don't understand!  Guess what?  You're right, I don't, but God does, and His command - not His suggestion - is to still love them enough to at least pray for them. Love them!?!  Yes, isn't that what Jesus said to do?  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and Spirit. What's the next one? Love your neighbor as yourself.  Even the ones who have treated me wrong?  Excuse me, did you see anything in that passage about any exceptions? No. So there are no exceptions.  

You may have been hurt by other people but you also may be the only one who keeps them before the Throne of God. 
Regardless of what people have done, Jesus died for them too.  In light of such atrocities that have been recorded in the world, Scripture says that Jesus died once for all. Including them.  

We do not know who the last person who is to be saved prior to the Rapture is going to be.  But I would be remiss in saying the truth in that whomever it is, prayer is what will be the game changer.  Prayer for whomever it is will be why they came to Christ.  My personal thoughts are that this individual will be a bookend to the thief on the cross. They too will not go to seminary or teach in a Church.  

But giving up on praying for someone isn't an option.  As King David had said, when he hadn't given up praying for the son he lost from his affair with Bathsheba, who knows if God would change His mind?  

Scripture says also that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  You could be the game changer in someone's life. 

I pray for people who have no idea that they are before God's Throne.  They have no idea why their lives have been getting changed.  But I do.  

As odd as where I found this quote, it's insanely true: "Turns out that bitterness is corrosive."  When you are bitter towards others, Satan and your sin nature want nothing more than for you to give up on someone before God. Bitterness indeed is an acid you drink hoping it affects the person you are bitter against. 

And you know what? You are entirely correct that I don't know your pain in regards to who hurt you.  Same goes with you don't know what I have been through.  

What matters is Jesus knows full well the depths of our pain.  He was a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief.  Read it. 

But Jesus still prayed for those who would betray Him anyway.  

He says to take up your cross and follow Him.  Means what He showed us to do we are to do.  Matters not how we feel. 

The only way Satan can prohibit your prayers is if he convinces you not to offer them.  

Read that again.  The only way Satan can prohibit your prayers is if he convinces you not to offer them. 

Our prayers are a direct line to God's Throne.  Only we can be the ones who don't pray.  Jesus is still offering prayers on our behalf. 

Consider how you can begin to pray today for those who you know and for those who have hurt you.  Christ died for them as well as you.  As long as there is a breath of life in them there's hope for their souls.  Yes that is in Scripture too.  The eternal decision of where to spend eternity is final at the moment of physical death. 

Don't give up!

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