What will you choose if you do not fear rejection? Would you be free to choose life? To believe the evidence of renewal you see? The work of God's outstretched arm? Pay attention this week to the subtle places where you notice your fear of rejection. Be kind, gentle and non-judgemental of this fear. Welcome it and allow it to tell you it's story. Bring it into your prayer. Talk it over with God. Listen for God's response to you. Allow Jesus' words to soak into your spirit:
"I don't reject you"
"You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you"
John 12:37-50 MSG
All these God-signs he had given them and they still didn’t get it, still wouldn’t trust him. This proved that the prophet Isaiah was right:
God, who believed what we preached?
Who recognized God’s arm, outstretched and ready to act?
First they wouldn’t believe, then they couldn’t—again, just as Isaiah said:
Their eyes are blinded,
their hearts are hardened,
So that they wouldn’t see with their eyes
and perceive with their hearts,
And turn to me, God,
so I could heal them.
41 Isaiah said these things after he got a glimpse of God’s cascading brightness that would pour through the Messiah.
42-43 On the other hand, a considerable number from the ranks of the leaders did believe. But because of the Pharisees, they didn’t come out in the open with it. They were afraid of getting kicked out of the meeting place. When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God’s glory.
44-46 Jesus summed it all up when he cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.
47-50 “If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word. I’m not making any of this up on my own. The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life. That’s all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you.”
I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
For your reflection and prayer:
As you listened, was there a word, a phrase, an image, or something else that stood out to you? Notice what it stirs in you. Have a conversation with Jesus about this.
Consider the context and tone which you are hearing this text in. Who has God revealed his powerful arm to? Who has seen God’s power? How have you seen God’s power?
Slowly savor any consoling words or images which God gives you in this time of prayer. Simply rest in God’s presence with them.