Daily D – John 7:5
John 7:5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (NIV)
Who do you love who does not love Jesus? Do not give up on that person or persons as long as they live. Jesus continues lovingly drawing them to himself. Join him by helping your loved ones see Jesus for who he really is.
Jesus’ own brothers did not believe in him. And then they did. His brothers, James and Jude, wrote two of the New Testament books. James is featured prominently in the book of Acts.
What made the difference? They came to see Jesus for who he really is. Something about being eyewitnesses to Jesus dying on a cross, being buried, returning to life, and ascending into heaven does change opinions.
Here is one thing we know for sure: Jesus loves your loved ones more than you do.
He is right now lovingly drawing them to himself. There are two things we can helpfully do. First, stay out of the way. Second, love your loved ones like Jesus does.
How do we stay out of the way? If we were to create a modern commandment, it might say something like this: Thou shalt not attempt to nag your loved one to Jesus. In the whole history of nagging, I’m pretty sure no one ever decided to change opinions because of nagging. Negative, condemning, haranguing behavior is never ever winsome.
This brings us to the second idea: Love your loved ones like Jesus does. Jesus loves the lost. He illustrates this over and over with stories about lost sheep, lost coins, and lost boys (Luke 15). He loves everyone, including the young woman waiting on your table with extremely short hair colored unnaturally, with tattoos, piercings, and a troubled past. Ask my coworker Becky about this person.
Jesus loves those who believe themselves to be powerful and those who know themselves to be weak. Jesus loves those who choose their own adventures and those who only read about the adventures of others. Jesus loves sinners who sin with sins you sin with and those who sin in ways you never will.
Never lock a door your loved one closes in your face.
Pray for your loved ones. Love your loved ones well. Celebrate the good things in their lives. Grieve with them over their losses. Practice unlimited kindness toward them. Love is patient. Love is kind (1 Corinthians 13). Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. (Insert your name here) is patient. (Insert your name here) is kind.
I will love my loved ones with Jesus until they see him for who he really is.
Our Father, you love my loved ones more than I ever could. Love them to yourself. May they know you and experience you and take delight in you. May they anticipate patience and kindness from me. May they come to see you for who you really are. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”