Thursday, April 05, 2007

Matthew 13:54

"And coming into his own country he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?" (ASV)

Not much is known about Christ's childhood, but we can assume it was a fairly normal one. This accounts for the reaction He got upon returning to His hometown. Those who knew Him before He began His ministry were baffled at the revelation of His wisdom and knowledge of God. "Just who does He think He is?" was their response. They took offense at His works. They couldn't accept Him because He was not what they expected.

In the same way, sometimes the people who know us best can be discouraging. When they see a change in our lives, they may feel threatened by it. They are comfortable with the way things were before, so they tell us we can't change, or we're out of our depth. While it may seem easy to listen to them and go back to our old mediocre lives, God's plan for us is greatness, whether it be here on earth or later in His kingdom.

Job faced a similar situation. When he was at his lowest, three of his friends came to him and gave him advice. They told him his suffering was because of his own sin or because he refused to confess his sins. Since Job knew they were wrong, he refused to listen to them. If Job had listened to his friends, he might have been discouraged and missed out on the blessings God had stored up for his later years. Instead, he stood his ground. When the Lord finally gave answer, He rebuked those who had given Job bad advice, and told Job to pray for them.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end." (Jeremiah 29:11 ASV) If we listen to the people around us who are comfortable in their sinful lives, it's easy to miss out on God's plan for us. Who are the nay-sayers in your life who may be holding you back from all that God has in store for you? Perhaps rather than listening to their advice, you should stand your ground and pray that God would reveal His truth to them.

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