I remember when I joined a team at the last company I worked for. I remember the admin saying to me, “your not like that other Christian we had on the team”. I ask “what do you mean?” She told me he was going around telling people they were going to go to hell. To that I replied, “Yeah, I don’t work that way”.
Ever ran into people like that? Ever been going through a tough time and that is how people are responding? Not being supportive?! Not being helpful? Not being encouraging? Ever been that person? Are you bring a good perspective? Are you showing people you really care? Are you leading by example? Is your life shining hope and life? Just like everything else in life, we get to choose how we will live our lives.
Today’s reading begins in Job 20. Another friend comes along expressing his view and rebuking Job. He speaks to the triumph of the wicked being short and the joy of the godless being but for a moment. He speaks to pride reaching to the heavens, and his head touching the clouds, and then he perishes forever like his own dung. He is based on what he is perceiving rather than what is truly going on in the spiritual realm. The battle for Job. He speaks to the judgment of evil. He speaks to oppression and abandonment. And how hell is going to be the final destination.
Ever been in a tough spot? Ever had people just assume because of the situation that you must have done something wrong? Ever had people judge you based on your circumstances rather than for what you did or didn’t do? Have you ever been guilty of such a thing? OR are you approaching others with love and compassion? Are you sharing the hope of Jesus by the way you are living so that the soil is being tilled and seeds can be planted? So people may come to you and ask why you are like that? So people can feel comfortable enough to come to you and talk? So that you can be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within you.
Today’s reading continues into Job 21. We see Job’s response to his friends. How it isn’t helpful. How it is mocking him. Thanks to Jesus, we know today that in this world we will have troubles. We know that it rains on the good and the evil. We know that in a fallen world bad things happen to good people. And Jesus tells us to consider it pure joy when we face these trials for they will do a work in us that will leave us complete and lacking nothing! So don’t lose hope! Put your hope and trust in God and lean on Him! Lean not on your own understanding, put your trust in God!
Today’s reading continues into Luke 15, where we watch people complaining about the people Jesus allows to be around Him. They didn’t realize why He came, to save the lost! They didn’t realize why He came, that people would know God loves the! They judged Him because of their legalistic views. Jesus responds with a few parables about the lost and they go like this…
4“Which man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until he finds it?5When he has found it, he puts it on his shoulders, rejoicing.6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me, for I’ve found my sheep that was lost!’7I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one repenting sinner than over the ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”8“Or which woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search thoroughly until she finds it?9When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I’ve found the coin I had lost!’10In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”–from Luke 15
Using this next one He speaks to lost people and how much the Father desires for us all to come home…
“A certain man had two sons,12and the younger of them said to the father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that comes to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them.13“Not many days later, the younger son gathered everything and traveled to a far country, and there he squandered his inheritance on wild living.14Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine came against that country, and he began to be in need.15So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.16And he was longing to fill up on the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one was giving him any.17“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have food overflowing, but here I am dying of hunger!18I’ll get up and go to my father, and I’ll say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your presence.19I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired workers.20“And he got up and went to his own father. But while he was still far away, his father saw him and felt compassion. He ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your presence. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.23Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let’s celebrate with a feast!24For this son of mine was dead and has come back to life—he was lost and is found!’ Then they began to celebrate.25“Now his older son was out in the field. And as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.26And he called out to one of the servants and began to ask what these things could be.27“The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he got him back safe and sound.’28“But the older son was angry and didn’t want to go in. So his father came outside and pleaded with him.29But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look, so many years I’ve slaved away for you—not once did I ignore your order. Yet you’ve never given me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.30But when this son of yours came—the one who has squandered your wealth with prostitutes—for him you killed the fattened calf!”31“Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything that is mine is yours.32But it was right to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead but has come back to life! He was lost, but is found.’”–from Luke 15
Jesus came to save the lost! He sees them and has compassion for them! How about you?
What example are you setting based on the life you are living?
Consider how you will live out today. Consider what is going on around you and be willing to step up and step in to give someone hope, give someone a leg up, give someone a hand up instead of a handout and be transformational!
Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 10. We need to help people see the light! We need to point people to the hope! We need to plant seeds! We need to water them! We need to provide an environment where God can make them grow! So that all these incredible people who are around us may come to the point of a relationship with Jesus and not end up being condemned when the end of the story comes out.
We see that in Revelation today, it starts with the story about another message, but that message was to remain secret, at least for then. At this point, the end is drawing near. With the seventh angel the mystery of God is completed. That scrolls was bitter sweet. And John was told how he needed to share this with the world.