Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reasons

Yes, it has been awhile since I posted to "The Pastor's Study." Reason: I was on vacation, but now that is over and I am getting ready to enter back into the "Pulpit," even though we don't officially have a pulpit anymore.

Just because I was away does not mean that things were not happening or that God was at work, in fact, while I was away two young men made that greatest of all decisions, the decision was to respond positively to the grace of God offered through the Person of Jesus Christ. These two men made that choice to say I want to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Of all the news I heard while on my vacation that was some of the best! We give God praise and glory!

There are lots of reasons that people finally respond to God's gift of grace, and sadly there are many reasons why people do not, or if they do, seem to hide it away from public view.

Our sermon text for this week is John 12:37-50, where we see Jesus coming to the end of His earthly public ministry. Things are at once both winding down and winding up. The public miracles and preaching will be finished and the public attacks, ridicule and His very public crucifixion are beginning to come to the fore. In the midst of this Jesus once again makes it clear that some will choose to reject Him and some will choose to receive Him, and the reasons why are as varied as the people who seek Him out.

What is evident is that the choice of how we respond to Jesus is highly personal. A crowd can witness a miracle, or hear His stories, and within that crowd some will believe and some will not. Some will stand boldly to declare their new faith in Jesus, the Messiah, and others may hide in the shadows afraid of what people might say and do.

It is important to note that Jesus reminded His listeners that their choice not only affected their relationship with Him, but also with God the Father. To reject one is to reject the other. To receive one, is to receive the other. The choice we make is truly a BIG one.

I am so glad that those two young men made that BIG choice, and made it correctly. For that we can all truly rejoice!

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