Don’t Give Up – Part 3 – March 23rd, 2014

Beloved Saints of God
At our last devotional rendezvous, we ended by starting to look at how to deal with failure in our lives. The first hurdle we ended on was ensuring that we ARE true, practicing Christians. If we are, we are easily able to be content in whatever state we are and able to work hard to achieve even greater heights.
This start of the work/school week, another hurdle for us to clear is to learn from past mistakes. Many a time, we allow those past failures to stress us out when we worry and worry and worry! That is bad. What will worry do? Some can channel worry into strength. But can you? Others among us just refuse to learn from the mistakes or failures but it shouldn’t be so as this will rather compound those past errors into yet more failures in the future. What I’m saying is that the worst thing we can do is worry about the past and many a time, satan encourages us to do so. Rather, trust the Lord and learn from it.
A third hurdle we need to know about is how to focus! If it is studies, then study. If it is sports, then train. Whatever it is, focus. The Bible says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
Finally, never give up! Jesus and His disciples were not always successful in getting people to follow Him as they traveled across the countryside. There was this one particular time where everyone following Jesus just left, deserted Him. It was so bad that He turned to the few, handful of disciples who were left and asked them, are you also going to leave? (John 6). After having worked several miracles, Jesus said John 6:26, I tell you the truth. You do not want me because you saw the big works I did, but you want me because you ate all the bread you wanted. People followed Him because of the food! Wow!
After a few more exchanges which the people considered too tough to stomach, the Bible says in John 6:66 After that, many of the followers of Jesus left Him and stopped travelling around with Him. Jesus then turned to the twelve disciples and this is how John 6:67-69 puts it: Jesus said to the twelve disciples, `Will you also leave me?’ 68 Simon Peter answered, `Lord, to whom shall we go? It is you who has told us how we may live forever. 69 We believe now, and we know it is true. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Dear reader, try and picture the scene vividly. Just try picturing it.
Let me end with this. There was this other time when Jesus and His disciples headed towards the next village where He sent out His disciples two by two. He said: if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them, Mark 6:11. Why did, or will Jesus say any such thing? Because, He went into His own country where He was well known and when He went to church, as His custom was (is going to church your custom? If not, make it YOUR custom too) He preached. Mark says that and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching (Mark 6:3).
That’s when He called and sent the disciples out two-by-two. That’s when He 8 commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9 but be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. That’s when 10 he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. I encourage you to read the chapter.
You know, in layman words, Jesus seems to be saying, “Don’t be sidetracked by your detractors. Don’t be sidetracked by your failures. Don’t allow defeat to stop you. Don’t let failure be the final word. DON’T GIVE UP!!” TBC.
Proposed prayer: “Dear Lord, thank You for the examples that You have given me, what You faced even in Your own country. Yet, You never gave up and never worried. Please help me not to worry but be persistent in trusting and loving You and NEVER to give up when You haven’t told me to. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
May your work/school week also be rich always in all ways.

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