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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Flying with Thursday's Word Hard by Brenda Smith

Kamil Lehmann
Thursday's Word


DEFINED: Difficult to deal with or understand.

SCRIPTURE:  (John 6: 60-61)   On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it? Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?"

It does not matter how hard and laborious the delivery was…when a woman delivers her child; all pain ceases when she sees that precious face and holds that tiny hand. The joy of that moment is so intense and sweet that it would not dull if you stayed always.  We must then follow Jesus even though His words are hard. Grumbling is not a new response to God and his ways. After he brought them out of Egypt, the Israelites complained about the difficulties of their lives and their misfortunes. And God was displeased. Jesus recognizes the issue is the hardness of their heart, not the harshness of his words.

First, we must admit the words are hard, and yet stay with Jesus. The difficulties are no different or less today than they were when Jesus spoke. Here in John 6, Jesus makes clear that he is God’s son, fully God and yet fully man. They understood—they just did not like it. They did not like the exclusivity of Jesus’ divinity: “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Nor Jesus’ demand that they come to God through him: “No one comes to the Father except by me.”

Second, we must call people with truth. Jesus does not compromise simply because people are offended. We also must not sell out in the hopes of selling Jesus. We do the work of evangelism, keeping before us John 8.31: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Truth is the Holy Spirit’s means for breaking through hard hearts.
What they wanted, he would not give; what he offered, they would not receive.”

They wanted easy words, pandering thoughts, a message that would bolster their self-esteem. He would not give that, for he would not lie. Instead, he offered a message bring us to the end of ourselves in full dependence on God’s grace through his Holy Spirit. Do you embrace this message? Will you follow Jesus or turn back and take offense? You think about that.
Praying for you always – Always praying.

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