Spread the Word.
Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Luke 2:34-35 NLT
Jesus leaves no middle ground. When a man comes into this world whose very birth separates our recording of time into BC and AD, when this man makes claim to be God come in the flesh and teaches many wonderful things and performs many great miracles – it leaves us in a position where we must either take Him at his word and believe Him, or we will deny Him.
Yes, His words speak to our very hearts and desires – not just what we do, but why we do it. Like a sword, this Word of God cuts deeply into us and reveals that which is infected with the disease of death, sin.
And many will fall to sin as they cling to it instead of to Him, because of the state of their hearts and their unwillingness to repent. But others will receive the message with joy and will seek to follow His teachings, to bear the burdens of others, to live and serve, and to share this gospel with the nations.
The gospel uncovers the state of people’s hearts. For those lost in sin, the Word of God to them is a light that uncovers their source of shame – and they will either be drawn into the light, or they will hide from it. Those who are prideful and are in darkness but believe that they are in light will foolishly dismiss the gospel as not applying to them, as they are blind and hardened in their hearts.
Sometimes it takes a lot of planting and tilling and watering before a seed in the ground is ready to burst forth as a sprout and grow towards the sky. Even grind that is not suitable for growing today can be worked with and prepared over time to receive a seed and grow. Even ground that has been polluted with passion can eventually be restored to a point that it can grow again.
We have the opportunity as Christ followers to participate in the labor. We have the opportunity to share this gospel openly, even with those who oppose it, even with those who are not yet ready to receive the seed. But we must be aware of what we are planting. Are we planting love and forgiveness and acceptance – offering salvation to all who seek to surrender their lives to Christ and receive His amazing grace? Or are we falling into the leaven of the Pharisees and comparing, measuring each other, judging for ourselves who we deem worthy to receive this Grace?
Let the gospel do the work in the hearts of others, friend. Manipulation by fear, by strong arm tactics and trickery, by promises of prosperity, by taking advantage of the weak and the helpless – that is not the work of God, but of man made religious practice.
Christ offers salvation and an opportunity to live new as a living sacrifice to God, crying out with our life, “Take this world and give me Jesus. Jesus, you are enough for me.” To lay down our lives and chase after Christ, to seek first the Kingdom of God, to choose to be radical, different – the salt and light in this world, set apart for His use.
Spread the Word. A child of God is born this day, in YOU, friend. Celebrate, praise, and share. Pray for more laborers. It’s almost time for the harvest.