God’s Unconditional Love – the Counter Punch to Rejection - Tuesday, January 10th

God’s Unconditional Love – the Counter Punch to Rejection - Tuesday, January 10th

One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved." This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.” Acts 16:16-21

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

The woman in our introductory story could not please her first husband no matter how hard she tried. In whatever we do if we do it in order to earn a good response from others, we are on shaky ground. Paul may have realized that his action of casting out the demon would lead to a bad response from the masters of the slave girl, but he was not controlled by this and therefore did what needed to be done. Paul lived for God and not the good responses of others. Paul and Silas experienced rather serious rejection and tough consequences at the hands of their captors. It doesn’t seem likely that they were surprised by this. As a matter of fact it seems likely that they were prepared for it. They were living for Christ and His kingdom and their experience was a direct result of seeking to bring Christ to others. They and other early believers not only expected such reactions but actually rejoiced that “they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Life brings rejection and ill treatment our way and how often our desire to be exempt from it compounds its impact on our lives. When we live fully for God and abide in His unconditional love, we are able to let go of trying to earn the good responses of others and we become much better equipped to handle well the rejection and ill treatment that we face.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I confess that I am overly oriented to earning the good pleasure of others. Help me to be wrapped up in your unconditional love and to be more prepared for the reactions that come to me from others as I live out my faith more and more each day. Lord, I am truly grateful for your unfailing love. Amen!

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