Do ministers ever wonder about the quality or receptivity of the messages they share? The answer is, yes! Just as is true with this article or a sermon, a pastor desires to present encouraging and stretching messages that have value in helping his readers/hearers to become more effective in living out their lives for Christ. And yet, I can’t help but question whether this attitude of self-expectation is valid? Let us think about it.
Did Jesus worry about, or have any concern for, whether his messages were popular or desired by his listeners? Was Jesus selective to only share messages that would be gentle or non-threatening? Did Jesus only speak to hearers who would be receptive or His thoughts or did He find himself in multiple types of environments?
Stephen was a joyous Christian of courage and burden. Stephen was stoned to death for his efforts. John the Baptizer was a dedicated layman of strong stock and personality as he went wherever it was required to share the story of Jesus. John was beheaded and had his head placed on a plate for his efforts. Jesus was a loving Savior that modeled honest and clear challenge for men to repent and seek the Kingdom of God at all costs. He was crucified.
Hmmm, maybe worrying about the popularity of a message and its’ receptivity isn’t something that shows my hunger to be like Christ after all. Maybe this attitude reflects something that I, and others, need to think about a bit more?