Acts 26:1-20

“but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. (v20)

A story from John White, a Christian psychiatrist. A butterfly struggling to get out of its chrysalis was giving a helping hand by a well-meaning observer. As a result, however, the butterfly was unable to fly, because it is in the struggle to emerge that it develops the strength to soar.

The observer intent on making it easy for the butterfly to leave the chrysalis unintentionally contributed to its early demise.          

We do something similar when we help people avoid the struggle than conscious, intentional, repentance invariably brings. By trying to make things easier, we work not for them, but against them. The contemporary church (with exceptions) is like an inexperienced carer, raising children with incomplete resources and knowledge-their health and growth is hampered by a lack of attention to basic principles. To return to the metaphor of the butterfly in the Church today there are many butterflies unable to fly because when they emerge from their spiritual chrysalis, someone may have inadvertently struggled for them instead of with them. We can do this with misleading statements, incomplete truths or even by a misplaced emphasis. Increasingly, evangelism is finding ways to make it easy for people to be saved, but let’s be careful that we do not make it easier than it should be.

PRAYER LINE: Father God, stir us to put the emphasis where You put it – on the Lordship of Jesus and the need for us to put Him first in our lives from those very first steps in faith. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen (EDWJ)

_________________________________________________________ God empower us to stand for Him as we bow to pray.                               

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