by Pastor Mark Jordan
“When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.” (Matthew 10:21-23, MSG)
Today’s text comes from the section where Jesus sent out the 12 disciples on a missionary journey. They were to go out and out into practice come of the things they learned from the Master. As He sent them out, though, He did so with some stark advice. He said it wouldn’t be easy, even though the message they will proclaim is one of hope and salvation. Living God’s way is hard, and the world rejects it. Still, Jesus’ exultation was, don’t quit, because it’s all worth it in the end.
Frequently the moment when we feel ready to quit is the moment God brings the breakthrough. In today’s text, we read from Jesus that the breakthrough isn’t just something from the outside that comes, at the right time, but Jesus Himself! When I think of this, I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s famous quote to “never, never, never give up.” When times are tough, the Jesus follower must get tough, too
I was listening to a faith leader the other day (and I wish I could recall who it was) that said so often people say the world needs the church. No doubt that it does, but the problem is when the Gospel is proclaimed, the world rejects it, and the church shrinks back, forgetting Jesus’ teaching. We need to persevere and be survivors, because in just the right time, Jesus will show up and breakthrough. He promised!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing up for me at just the right time. Forgive me the times I feel like giving up just before you break through. Help me find my endurance in you so I won’t quit, but keep on in your strength. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.