ルカ 10:16 「あなたがたに耳を傾ける者は、わたしに耳を傾ける者であり、あなたがたを拒む者は、わたしを拒 む者です。わたしを拒む者は、わたしを使わされた方を拒む者です。」

This is an extremely important principle, but it is also subject to misapplication. Whereas it is very true that Christians shouldn't take rejection of the Gospel personally, some seem to have an attitude of “If you don't like me you don't like Jesus.” That's taking it a bit too far! We are commanded to love one another, but that doesn't mean that all personalities coexist smoothly! When we are filled with the Holy Spirit it is certainly easier to deal with abrasive and otherwise irritating personalities, but that's no excuse for us to be abrasive or irritating! That said, I need to come back to why Jesus said this in the first place. Many people are threatened by a proclamation of God's truth, because they know they are in violation of it. Actually, someone who reacts vehemently is a better prospect for salvation than someone who doesn't react at all, because they are at least hearing what is being said. The hardest people to reach are those that simply ignore the Gospel.


Japanese culture can make it hard to determine how you are being heard. I have often gotten polite smiles and nods and even words of seeming agreement when actually there was no comprehension at all of what was being said. Japanese congregations are notoriously stone faced, though thankfully that has been changing in recent years. It can be very hard to gauge how a sermon is being received. They are the polar opposite of the US Black churches I have preached in! However, that doesn't mean that Japanese do more poorly about applying the Word they have received. I need to be faithful in communicating what God has spoken to me and leave the reception in God's hands. I need to be as personable and winsome as possible, but always remember that it doesn't matter particularly what people think of me, but rather how they respond to Christ in me.


Father, this has been an issue with me, but sometimes from the opposite direction. People seem to like me, but they can't seem to understand that what they find likable is Christ in me. I ask for words and anointing to communicate that more effectively, helping people understand that they can have everything they find attractive about me. I ask for that particularly tonight as I go to the graduation parties, that the impression I leave with my former students would be of Christ more than of me, so that in Your timing they would seek You and find You, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


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