God’s Word for Today: Refuse.
John 5:40. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Refuse is a rather harsh word. A simple yes or no has a tendency to leave the door cracked open for a change of heart. But out and out refusal is pretty cut and dry. When you refuse to do something, that is final. End of discussion.
Now, refuse can be in a good way. The temptations thrown at a teenager are weighty and numerous. And believe it or not today’s youth, us old timers had just as many temptations as you do now. They might have been delivered differently. Definitely not via invitations over instant messaging, but they were still delivered. Even the generation proceeding me will agree with the frequent and numerous temptations as a teenager. There are only so many things that draw the line between right and wrong. They are the same temptations that started with Adam and Eve. No different. You know what they are. We all do. I will not make a list.
So, temptation is there. You either accept it, or refuse it. Then, the next temptation comes along. Which is going to win, acceptance or refusal? I always seemed to have it in my mind if I was going to accept one temptation, it was like opening the floodgates of a dam. I might as well accept them all. More like, I was certain to accept them all. But, if I could simply refuse one temptation, then, that gave me the strength to refuse the next and the next.
Maybe the word refusal in the sense of turning down temptations of a bad source, is so very difficult because the temptations never end. Even when you have survived the teenage years, the thunderstorms of temptations keep showing up. Admittedly, it gets old after a while, trying to refuse every time. Sooner or later, you break or slip or whatever, and give in. Seems like the much easier path.
Today’s Scripture is the answer. It takes this word refusal and turns it completely the other direction. You have always tried to refuse what is wrong. And admit it, you have failed. If you had simply stopped refusing what God has to offer, then those temptations of life would start to diminish. I really hope I didn’t just launch a cloud of confusion. I will explain.
Today, give up on the refusal of temptations. It is a never ending battle. You might win a few, but bad is going to win the war unless you do one simple thing. Stop refusing what God is offering you. God’s love and mercy are offered to you every day just as strong and just as often as every temptation. Accept what God is offering you. Then, you have the ultimate Army to fight your battles for you. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you will win this war we call life……
Prayer: Dear Lord, most patient and forgiving. Thank you for your daily offer to me of your Grace. Forgive me for the times I have refused to listen. Forgive me for the times I have turned my back on you Lord. I really want to refuse bad and accept good. I am sorry when I get these two things turned around. Help me today Lord to turn to you first and find life. In Jesus’, who is just patiently waiting for me to stop refusing Him, name I pray. Amen.