Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 7, Day 1 Devotional

The Story of Us: Acts Chapter 13-14 (July 8-July 14)
Day One:
This week I want to share with you one of my biggest struggles. It is extremely difficult living with the burden of having close family members and friends who choose not to follow Christ.  Satan reminds me of this fact every day.  As a result, I am often filled with worry for them and try relentlessly to turn them to Christ.  I am what some would call a “people fixer” (I blame my mother). 
Now you might ask, what is so wrong with caring for someone this deeply?  The problem is, this type of “caring” is really a form of idolatry.  Before you passionately object please hear me out. I’m NOT telling you to stop demonstrating Christ in your everyday behavior with your non-Christian loved ones.  I beg you, do all things in the name of the Lord.  However, if you only concern yourself with a select few people you are missing out on entire world of people who need your help!  After all, Matthew 28:19 says to make disciples of all nations not just your family and friends.
In chapter 13 of Acts we learn from Paul and Barnabas how we as Christians are supposed to respond when people reject the gospel.  Verse 51 says that after they got chased out of Antioch, “they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium”.  That is what we must do.  We must shake off the dust and move on to the next person who desperately needs the Lord Jesus Christ.
To further remove any pressure, I want you to know that you are not ultimately responsible for leading your loved ones to Christ. To confirm this, I’d like to share something I recently read out of Ezekiel. When Ezekiel received a vision from God telling him what to say to the Jews in exile, God said, “‘this is the Message of God, the Master.’ Speak your piece, whether they listen or not”(Ezekiel 3:11 MSG).  The important thing is not converting others, although there is unspeakable joy when this happens, but rather, it is being obedient to God’s voice.  Go with God and be at peace.

-Kyle Bogner

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