God wants to use you to be a light for Him in the dark world around you.
John 11: 45-48 MSG
That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.
As I read this passage, I realize that fear and jealousy were at the core of every action the Jewish leaders took that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. They had much influence over the people, and were greatly admired by them. They were looked to for guidance, they sat at the head of the table at a banquet, they were looked at with admiration as they walked down the street, and they were listened to with respect as they taught in the Temple. So the Jewish leaders felt they had much to lose – in fact their whole way of life was at stake.
Now I know that the death and resurrection of Jesus was prophesied hundreds of years before it happened. I also know that it had to happen this exact way because it was in God’s perfect plan. But this passage also got me to thinking about what would have happened if the leaders had been open to what Jesus taught, and used their influence for good instead of division and chaos.
Jesus wanted to show Israel a new and better way of life, not compete with the life and values they were already living.
If the Jewish leaders had accepted the truths He taught, almost the whole Jewish nation could have been radically changed. The leaders could have chosen to be a part of something great, but instead they chose to allow fear of the unknown and jealousy over their position to cause much chaos and division.
They did not want the people to grow and change because they wanted to continue to reap the benefits of their current situation. Instead of seeking truth and embracing the change it would bring, they chose to keep a closed mind so they could continue in their selfish ways.It is very important for a leader to always be learning and growing, and have an open mind for change. AND, to ask for Godly discernment and wisdom to know what needs to be changed and how that change needs to happen.
What Jesus taught was different than anything these leaders had ever heard. But if they had listened with an open mind, prayed about it, and asked for discernment to see truth, things would have turned out much differently.
Instead, they tried everything possible to make people believe that Jesus was a fake.
It’s easy to find a comfortable place, get established, and then decide you are where you want to be forever. But change usually comes whether you like it or not.
You may not be the leader of hundreds or thousands of people, but you are a leader in the sense that someone is watching you. They are watching how you handle problems, family matters, and your children are watching how you live your everyday life before them. How you live your life DOES affect the people around you.
Yes, change can be a bad thing when it comes from worldly people who don’t care about God or want to please Him. But when the change comes from God, you can know that it will be His way of growing and maturing you to become a person He can use in a mighty way.
I read a great story about Oswald Sanders.
In World War I, he was sent as a YMCA Chaplain to Egypt. There he was to minister to Australian and New Zealand troops. The YMCA center was intended to be a wholesome alternative to the many brothels in Cairo. Sinful acts were taking place all around him, but he saw an awesome opportunity for God to work in a mighty way among the soldiers.
He taught Bible classes and helped them grow in their relationship with God. Their lives were changed, and they took this new relationship home with them after the war was over. God used him to change hundreds of lives – all because he purposely chose to look at what God could do instead of looking at the darkness and sin around him and thinking he could never make a difference.
Will you look at the world around you and think God can’t use YOU to bring about change? Or will you be light in a dark world because you are following the plan that God has specifically chosen for YOUR life?
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This post written by Cathy Deaton.
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