Today I realized a HARD truth ya’ll!
That truth is that scripture is right! I know that may sound silly, but let me explain…
You see when people read the Bible they may find things that they love such as John 3:16 (KJV):
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
or Matthew 11:28 (NIV):
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
or even Psalm 34:18 (NLT):
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
You see all of these are so heartwarming and just feel so Good! But as the weeks and months have passed and just after being saved last year, I feel as if I have gotten closer to God. Through my newfound relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Through getting closer to God, I have begun asking Him questions. I talk to Him daily and ask Him about how to get over my ex, where do I go next in life, and so on and so forth.
I think one day I asked God about my family because since being saved I have struggled to reach them. As much as I talk about the goodness of Christ, it’s as if they just don’t care, which is extremely frustrating. So I had been asking God about why they weren’t receptive of me telling them about salvation, God and Christ. Eventually God took me to Mark 6:1-6, which is talking about Jesus.
6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples.2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
– New International Version
This passage of scripture hit me HARD!
Thinking back to San Francisco I was pretty much kicked out of two churches because my beliefs were different from the rest. If not kicked out, it would have been EXTREMELY awkward to go back after my arguments with the lead pastors of each church. Not only the pastors but my peers in the young adults group which I mentioned in a previous blog post.
That experience still blows my mind!
But after I came back East to the Washington, DC area back in November of last year God reminded me not only of this passage above, but how San Francisco was where I was born. San Francisco was and is my “own town” as the scripture states.
San Francisco, California is not just the city where I was born now, it was the city where I was saved.
So God began to reveal to me through scripture why these events in SF most likely and I’m sure took place. It was not only to test my faith, but also to show me how Christ has got my back now. Nobody can truly destroy me like how I felt they could before I knew Christ because I have Christ living and breathing within me now.
Not only was Mark 6:1-4 an eye opener about why I had trouble connecting with people at different churches in California, but it opened my eyes as to why I struggled connecting with my family once I returned East.
“A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home (Mark 6:4 NIV)
You see that?! “Among his relatives and in his own home.”
No wonder I struggle connecting with my family. No wonder it seems like whatever I say that has anything remotely to do about Jesus or God it goes in one ear and out the other with my family. But let me talk about money, cars or clothes and they are all ears!
This by no means is a shot at my family, but more an eye opener into scripture. Into the passages of scripture you may have read over or not known existed at all. The passages of scripture that aren’t all sunshines and rainbows like the other scriptures I referenced in the beginning of this post.
If Mark 6:1-6 didn’t hurt in knowing that once you receive Christ and are saved – truly saved – the people in your hometown will reject you, your family will reject you and any members of your household, I got something else too. It’s just as bad, but broken down more so.
Here it is…
When Jesus was here on earth He instructed His twelve disciples to go out and cast out demons. They were instructed by Jesus to:
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
– Matthew 10:8 (NIV)
He then told his disciples…
Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting.13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
-Matthew 10:9-15 (NIV)
To not go into too much detail here, but to let you know what I was referring to which I felt was worse, at least to me, than those actions I mentioned happening to you above is when you are not welcomed or listened to by someone else. Someone you feel God is placing on your heart heavily. Someone you want to deliver a message to, but they don’t care to listen. To truly listen to what you have to say.
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
-Matthew 10:14-15 (NIV)
You see now that I am saved when I enter someones home I may feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to say something on my heart. It’s almost as if it takes over my body and mind to speak. I guess that is Jesus living within me.
But when you enter a home, whether it be with a family member or someone else, it hurts – like REALLY hurts – when that person doesn’t listen to you. It hurts because you know hell is a real place and you don’t want that person whom you are talking to to go their. You may believe your Spirit is giving you wisdom to share very urgently with that individual because the Spirit or Christ within you knows the fate of that person if they don’t listen to your words.
Which is what breaks my heart because I had that experience today with someone I won’t name of coarse.
But as a believer in Christ and as a believer in hell, you don’t want family or ANyONE for that matter to experience hell. You know that it is forever and there is no end to it. That the only chance we get is here on earth to find Christ. So when God says in verse 15 that:
15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
…I know it ain’t no joke. Like forreal. Because if you may or may not have missed what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah from the Bible I invite you to read Genesis 19. Let’s just say it isn’t pretty.
People who think knowing Christ is just supposed to be this beautiful life where you are always at peace and life is just a beautiful rainbow for you have been gravely mistaken. Even Jesus told us that He didn’t come to earth to bring peace.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
-Matthew 10:34-39 (NIV)
I believe that social media and television has polluted our minds into wanting this fantasy family and fantasy life.
Jesus came to turn us against our family amongst other things. Can you believe that?!
So all this worldly complaining about my family isn’t “perfect” is all silly talk in God’s eyes. Wanting a family like those you see on television or social media is not just fake, but opposite of what God desires. By hating my entire family like it says in Luke 14: 25-27 I secured my salvation in Christ. That was after people told me I just needed to love my mom or my brother or grandparents more. People inside and outside of the church. That was all a lie.
You love them by finding Christ and hoping that they will listen and follow you.
Jesus HAS to be Number 1 in your life if you want to be a true follower of Christ. You cannot love your brother, mother, sister or anyone more than Him.
So when or if people ask me who my family is now, I might still say my biological mom or brother to not hurt their feelings, but inside my answer will be the same as Jesus’ was:
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
-Matthew 12:46-50 (NIV)
Finding people who follow God’s will in life is hard as most people want to live life their own way. Figuring it’s “their life” so they should be entitled to live it the way they choose. Which I may have believed was smart in my younger years, but now that I’ve gotten older and matured don’t believe is the smartest way to go about life.
Most people may be like just leave your family alone and if they don’t listen to you it’s whatever. But it’s not whatever to me. I care about them and I care about you too!
This journey is extremely terrifying, but it is also Exciting too. Terrifying because I am currently living with my mother in Virginia and if she kicks me out because of me preaching about God too much I am not sure where I will go. It’s really cold here in DC so I have been scouting homeless shelters in the area. I just don’t know what is next for me.
I feel God telling me to not look for a job yet, but how do you tell your mother or anyone for that matter that?
But that is where the Exciting part comes in. Though I have fear around where I will live if I get kicked out with no job and barely any money, the exciting part as of late has been seeing how much God truly loves me when I am broke and with little. I’ll find twenty dollars around the house or I’ll just feel His presence as I am walking to Seven Eleven in the blistering cold. It actually made me cry thinking that with most people I feel like I have to be well groomed, smell nice and have some money to hang out with them, but not God.
I can be funky, hair disheveled and broke as a joke (financially, not faith wise) and He will still kick it with me.
He spent an entire week with me after my family left for South Carolina that made me cry. Because I felt His presence, but also His love as I kept finding things to eat or drink around the house when I thought I’d go without. So that, to me, is the exciting part.
I don’t know whats next, but I know God got me.
It just hurts because you want your family, friends and everyone to listen to you. But at the end of the day not even God can bring everyone to heaven. If it were that easy He wouldn’t need me and you. He wouldn’t have needed to send His Son to earth.