Don’t Create Enemies
In Kenya when I taught on biblical leadership, we had Anglican bishops, Methodists, Baptists, and Assembly of God---all combined with some native African churches newly born as Kenyan friends went from town to town, city to city explaining Jesus’ Good News.
I’ve learned in ministering with my brothers and sisters from Kenya to South Korea, from Poland to Chile, that’s it’s important to serve together with all those who believe Jesus died and rose again and who have received Jesus’ gracious gift of salvation.I’ve seen a lot of unity among Jesus’ followers around the world, but I’ve also been rejected by those who think they’re Jesus’ exclusive insiders.
When Jesus ministered in the flesh, how did he respond when one of his most loved, but also fiery disciples, was quick to reject an exorcist using Jesus’ name because he was not a part of Jesus’ immediate circle?
“John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we told him to stop because he is not following with us.’ ‘Don’t stop him,’ Jesus replied, ‘for no one who does a miracle in my name will in the next moment speak against me. For whoever is not against us is for us. And whoever gives a cup of water in my name, count on it, they will certainly not lose their reward.’” Mark 9:38-41
Jesus made the test of fellowship evidence that actual concrete actions were being done based upon his name. And these actions didn’t have to be high profile stuff like exorcisms. A simple cup of water given to express his love was proof that the individual was united with Jesus. We have enough real enemies in the world who abuse and mock our Savior. We can’t afford to be treating our brothers and sisters in Christ from other groups as our enemies.
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