Today you should read: Luke 12:49-59
The Gospel is incredible. It’s life-changing, restorative, healing, what the hungry soul desperately craves and needs. But, the Gospel is also divisive. There’s no getting around it.
We’ve all seen it – a husband who wants to follow Jesus, but the wife will have no part of it. Or a wife who is devoted to the Lord and the husband does everything he can to hold her back. Or teenagers who come back from camp committed to God only to hit the cold negativism of their parents. I’ve seen it many times. Following Jesus can divide families and friends.
That’s what Jesus says:
I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart… Father will be divided against son and son against father… (v.51-53)
This is a hard passage for us to understand. I thought Jesus was about love and restoration; putting marriages back together. He is – but the Gospel is not a neutral thing. You are either for it or against. You either receive it or reject it. This topic is emotionally explosive – so this causes division. Many of the wars in the history of the world have been fought over religious issues.
So what should I do? How should I respond?
- Be committed to the Gospel. It’s what matters most in this life (and what follows). Don’t vacillate in any way on this.
- Love people. The command to love people is not based on the opinions they hold or even what they do. Love them genuinely.
- Share the Gospel kindly. Some of the irritation has been caused by us. Know what to say – and HOW to say it.
If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16But do this in a gentle and respectful way. 1 Peter 3:15
4. Expect fallout. Expectations are important. Know what to expect. Some will embrace the Gospel – others will reject it.
- Share a story of how you’ve seen this in your life.
- Who have you shared the Gospel with this week? Share the story with us.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor
4 thoughts on “February 13, 2018”
I have a co-worker who fits this description. His wife loves the Lord, is active in missions, and does her best to raise their kids in a godly environment. He, on the other hand, lives in a very dark world – almost 180-degrees the opposite direction from his wife. When we talk about God or the gospel with him, he’s not in the least bit offended and has never pushed back against us – he’s just flatly uninterested. “That Jesus stuff is her thing, not mine. But glad it works for you guys.”
You never really know what’s going on inside a person, and sometimes a spirit of prayer and a resolve to be open about your own life is really the best you can do.
Thanks for sharing this story John. It’s exactly what I was talking about. Let’s keep praying for them. Thanks for being a faithful JumpStart reader.
Being at a new school this year has allowed me to form some new relationships. I am currently “sharing the gospel” daily with another interventionist who shares my room. She is not a believer but has recently started reaching out and asking me to pray for specific things happening in her life. Today I have the opportunity to talk to her about a specific prayer request and how the situation turned out. Pray that I could use this as an on ramp for more spiritual conversation and that I would boldly share Christ. I know God has placed me at this school to share Him with others.
WOW! Annalee that’s awesome!! I’m so proud of you and I’m praying for you! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!!