Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of April 18, 2004


WATCHED CLOSELY

… they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.  Mark 3:1-2

It was the Sabbath day. Jesus entered the synagogue where he saw a man with a withered hand. The Jews wanted Jesus to heal the man so they could criticize Him for healing on the Sabbath.

It would have been a positive experience for those watching Jesus had they were seeking to see in His countenance the love and joy of God. Unfortunately, they wanted to see something to criticize.

In over 2000 years human nature has not changed. Today some are watching the people of God, hoping to find someone to accuse. Certainly, Satan is in the hearts of unbelievers prompting them to find fault with God’s children.

The most common excuse people give for not turning to God is that they themselves live cleaner lives than some church leaders.

When Jesus mentioned “salt losing its flavor,” He certainly must have meant that it is possible for some of God’s children to lose their testimony and their impact for the Lord because of their attitudes and actions. Some are watching us closely for such failures.

Paul had this possibility in mind when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God just as I also please all men in all things … that they may be saved.

Even though some are closely watching believers to find reason to be critical, we can thank God that others are watching believers closely because they see something in them that they want themselves.

People need to hear the Gospel of Jesus in order to be saved. They also need to look at believers and see that God changes those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

As we live out our union with Christ, we will attract some to salvation and disarm some of the critics.