Friday, December 19, 2014
To me, one of the saddest accounts in the Bible is the one found in the 6th Chapter of John, in particular verse 66 which reads: "From that time many of his disciples (Christ's) went back , and walked no more with him." Many pastors know the pain and sadness caused by members who leave the church, for whatever reason, andperhaps thats why I feel that way. Nevertheless, the more I read and analyze the chapter in question, the more I come to the conclusion that, just like in life, in the end that these so-called disciples left Jesus was the best thing that could have happened to everyone involved. It may be that one or more of you who is reading this blog today has learned this truth first-hand, just like I did. Someone you loved dearly and thought you couldn't do without, left you one day. You may have thought your dreams were shattered and that your life was over, but now you realize you're still standing and may even feel glad or relieved that he or she left you. You have come to realize like the fellow pictured in a song who is saying that he thanks God for unanswered prayers. He had prayed for a girl he thought he just could not live without and many years later he realized that the lord not answering his prayer was the best thing that could have happened to him.
One of you shared recently a saying one of your supervisors would give his workforce from time to time. It went something like this: "If your presence here hasn't made much of a difference, neither will your absence." That was the case with the disciples that abandoned Jesus that day. They had not done much for the advancement of His Kingdom when they were with Him anyway. In the account, you will also note that Jesus did not beg them to stay; He knew better. If and when it happens to us, we should not plead with them either. Paul practically gave this same advice in the 7th Chapter of Corinthians. In it, he taught about marriage and in verse 15 he wrote: "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart." In fact, when Jesus told the twelve "do you also want to leave?" in John 6:67, they probably understood that it is better for those whose heart is not in it to leave. When you think about it, why would you want someone who doesn't really love you to stick around? Would that be a good thing? I heard a wise young man once tell me that his girlfriend was debating whether to choose him or another young man she was interested in. He said it pained him to do it but he told her one day, "choose him." He realized that if she was the wavering kind, sooner or later she probably would do the same to the other fellow.
The bottom line is this: The only One we can absolutely not do without, is the Lord. You can be hard-headed, stick to your guns, cross your arms defiantly and say, "No, I won't be happy and I won't give up until so and so comes back to me." If you are in that group, all I can say is, "don't hold your breath." However, I think more highly of you and am convinced you are better than that.
Memory verse for the week: (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever will believe on Him, will not perish but have everlasting life."