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Sunday, October 28, 2012

An Uncompromising Message

The dictionary’s definition of uncompromising is “making no concessions; unyielding; without reservation or exception; undeviating.” 

 This doesn’t exactly describe our loving Savior! … Or does it? When a sacrifice had to be made on behalf of all of mankind, Jesus stepped up in love. He loved us so deeply, in fact, that he surrendered his spiritual home for a time and presented himself as a lamb to the slaughter for the forgiveness of our sins. 

That’s a kind of love that our human brains may never be able to fully comprehend. But at the same time, once he arrived, Jesus certainly made no excuses for the seriousness of his mission. This loving Savior of ours often came off to unbelievers — both then and now — as harsh. He was no politician; he never once changed in deference to the unwillingness of others to comfortably receive his message.

When one of his disciples told Jesus (in Matthew 15) that the Pharisees were offended by his teachings, he didn’t apologize for what he knew to be the truth. The main objective of Christ was to deliver that truth to an unsuspecting world; and he also knew that it wasn’t going to be well received in some circles. Did that stop him from delivering it?

From birth to death to resurrection, Jesus never once compromised on his message:

  • Humble yourselves before the Word of God.
  • You can only repent of sin after you’ve acknowledged its power over your life.
  • Hit your knees and receive the forgiveness and redemption promised to you because you can’t get to God any other way.
  • Now get up and walk the path of grace, sharing it with others.

When the beggar at the temple gate (in Acts 3) asked Peter and John for help, he had a specific picture in his mind of the kind of help he wanted: Money. He was probably stunned, even irritated at first, when Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Though he may not have realized it then, the beggar undoubtedly later looked back on that moment at the gate as a pivotal turning point in his life and, more importantly, in the lives of countless witnesses.

A turning point, which always starts with one small step, can only be recognized as such after the passage of time. When Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793, for instance, he no doubt hadn’t looked beyond the simple goal of creating an easier way of separating cotton from its seeds. He probably had no idea that his little invention would spur the South’s economy into a plantation system, initiating a conflict with the North that contributed to the Civil War and beyond! How could Whitney have known that his single invention would mark a turning point in American history?

Like in the case of the beggar at the temple gate, often what we think we need is not at all what will set us free in the bigger picture; however, in Acts 3, we learn that all things come to a straightforward and uncompromising resolution through faith in Jesus Christ.

Simply stated: Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.” -Acts 3:19-20

Jesus Christ never wavered or compromised; and yet he delivered a resolute and steadfast message that was consistently wrapped in love and which was always based in the fact that he — unlike us! — knew the end result. Despite the fact that we may look foolish to unbelievers, following the directives set before us by a loving and omnipotent God is so simple at the core:

Tell the truth (and it shall set you free); turn toward Christ (because we can never please God without doing so); trust in God’s works in your life (because He’s faithful to complete them); examine yourself and confess your sins (as you minister to others from your experience). 

Easy? Not always. But simple in the miraculous and unwavering candor of the message? Absolutely.

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Sandra D. Bricker is a best-selling and award-winning author of laugh-out-loud romantic comedy for the Christian market. Her most recent book, Always the Designer Never the Bride is the third of a series of four novels in the Another Emma Rae Creation series from Abingdon Press Fiction. Check out her BLOG and sign up to receive her weekly posts by e-mail.  

Sandie leads a team of writers in creating the Living It Out daily Bible study for CedarCreek Church. Today's devotion is based on the Living It Out study on Christ's uncompromising message. If you enjoyed it, feel free to check out the daily studies by e-mail or audio podcast by clicking HERE.


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