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The conclusion to Nazareth-Jesus Rejected at Home examines three actions we can take that reveal whether we have a heart after God. 

Nazareth-Jesus Rejected at Home-3

Continued from Nazareth-Jesus Rejected At Home-2

We don't want to cheat death or cause death, instead, we want to do as Jesus did and Chase Death.

3. Chasing Death: Lk 4:23-27 "Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’" "I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian." Was He whacked? Didn't He know how they would react? It's like He just slapped them in the face. He knew!

Israel, for over 1,000 years, had a problem with pride. They thought they were 'all that' and then some. "After all, we're the chosen ones of God. No nation has ever been blessed like us. We're the children of the promise of God. All the rest of you out there, you heathen, you can't begin to approach God as we can. We won't even eat with you because it would defile our very holiness. You can't enter our homes and we won't enter yours for the same reason." Anybody ready to puke? Sadly, in many places, that same attitude is carried by Christians. I had a pastor friend of mine tell me he finally got all the needy people out of his church, so now they can really serve God. I'm thinking there's at least one needy person still there. It's the one who doesn't remember Jesus came to heal the sick. You see, Israel's mission was to be the nation through whom God blessed the whole world. They saw themselves as the ones who were supposed to condemn the world. Jesus' words were to put them on notice…God's plan will succeed even if you continue to choose not to be part of it. He knew what he was doing. He slapped them on purpose.

Jesus knew there had to be a death of the old life to make room for the new, and, at the very start of His ministry, He chased and pursued and embraced that death. My accountant told me last week, "If you have to eat a frog, don't look at it too long." Just bite right in! I never have understood how Jesus could be portrayed as some docile weakling that let everyone else walk all over him. He ran the show! Taught with authority, whipped the crooked money changers at the temple and took on the entire religious government of His country at every opportunity. If we're going to be followers of Jesus, we'd better be ready to grow a backbone. Because Jesus knew, and depended upon the fact that rejection is part of God's plan:

The old life must die to make room for the new.

Maybe you're receiving this and God let you know you've been rejecting yourself and the abundant life He has for you through his calling. You've been afraid what people might think, what friends or family you might lose or just that you feel you're not qualified. He wouldn't be prodding you if you weren't qualified. He has promised to more than replace anything you give up to follow Him. It's really the only way to life; you know that. Ask Him to help you focus on the joy He's setting before you and walk in it. Maybe, like me, you've even gone so far as to oppose others who are following Him, however that was done. He's calling you now seek His forgiveness and embrace your own calling. Don't continue in opposition because the death you're causing is your own spiritual death. Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you. Maybe you've been rejected while following Jesus. Celebrate! Don't react in kind, but love them, forgive them, pray for them and do good to them. Understand the death you're experiencing brings greater life.

Dear Lord, take the hearts of each one who receives this message and change them into someone who can die to the old to make room for your new, abundant life.

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