a terrific day to remove the obstacles.
“For not even His brothers were believing in Him.” John 7:5 NASB
New believers are fragile and must be treated gently, with consideration, and with care. It is important that we point out to them that very often, the biggest obstacles to overcome in seeking salvation thru Christ and a relationship with God do not lie within our own hearts, but within the hearts of those who are the closest to us.
“Blood is thicker than water,” goes the cry of family loyalty. But while it is true that God wants us to love and respect our mother and father as well as our brothers and sisters, He knows that sometimes their skepticism can create obstacles to our faith and when this happens we must overcome that obstacle.
How do we go about doing that?
With prayer, but first we may have to separate from our family in order to give our lives to God and learn how we can help them through prayer. Jesus Himself knew that His presence on earth would divide entire families. “From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of Me, and two against – or two in favor and three against.” (Luke 12:52 NLT). Perhaps it will be just you who is seeking salvation and no one else. Is this dishonoring our parents? If your intention is to seek the salvation offered by Christ and you are alone in seeking it, the answer is no. For Christ said that, “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:53 NASB).
Jesus knew that in order to bring a family together it might be necessary to split it apart for a while. After all, it took some time for even Jesus’ family to fully come to grips with who He was. But the fact remains that His brothers and His mother were present with the disciples when Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after His resurrection. “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.” (Acts 1:14 NLT).
If you, or someone you know, are seeking to accept the salvation that Christ offers us all, but the skepticism and unbelief of your family or others close to you are presenting obstacles, do not be disheartened or discouraged. It may take a little time and a lot of prayer, but the changes that take place within those who accept Christ can be quite convincing to even the most skeptical, and prayer for those who do not believe can help re-unite divided families in Christ.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson