One of my favorite things about reading through entire passages of Scripture is coming across little verses hidden in the text that I had never noticed before. Today, the Lord had me in John 6, and verse 43 caught me by surprise:
“But Jesus replied, ‘Stop complaining about what I said.’”
Well, that gets straight to the point, doesn’t it? As Jesus looks at our world, especially His Church, and sees so much division, don’t you think He turns to us, His followers, with love, firmness, a touch of exasperation, and a dash of sass and says, “Stop complaining about what I said”?
He reminded me very plainly of some of the things He asks of us, even those things that are hard to swallow and even harder to carry out:
Love people, even the ones who look or believe or act nothing like you do. Pray for people, even the government leaders you don’t agree with, the boss who treats you unfairly, and yes, even the terrorists intent on destroying and harming. (Remember how an encounter with Jesus turned Paul, a terrorist, into one of the world’s greatest missionaries.) Forgive people, no matter how much you’d prefer to get revenge or how badly they hurt you. Above all, take up your cross, die to your own desires every day, and follow Jesus.
That’s right. Die to yourself. What a controversial calling in our me-centered culture. If you choose to call yourself a Christian, you bear the name of Christ. You live by His Spirit. Your thoughts, preferences, dreams, comfort, safety, and even your very life must be left as an offering at the foot of the cross for the Lord’s glory and for the sake of the world He loves. Those souls you serve will be the ones you call brother and sister in heaven. They are worth more than anything you could collect in this life. In Jesus’ own words, what good is it for someone to gain all the world has to offer but give up their soul?
Stop complaining about what Jesus said, and just do it. Do it as a child whose Father wants them to be free from rules and religion. Do it as one loved more than you’ll ever know by a God who died to know you. Don’t let complaining rob you of your identity.
I just want everyone to know that if I ever say Christian media is bad,
1) I’m specifically complaining about the modern publishing category, so anything which predates that category or which was presented as belonging to a different category suitable for general audiences isn’t Real Christian Fiction. Narnia is not really a counter-example even if you like it, and LotR definitely isn’t
2) veggie tales is exempted from all of my criticism. I forget to say this because I always assume it’s obvious, but veggie tales is legitimately fun children’s entertainment that is equally engaging and equally appropriate for young children and for adults. it is not “good, for christian media”, it has transcended the normal limits of the category, and indeed the normal limits of children’s media in general, and become something legitimately beautiful. the vegetable children have done nothing wrong, ever, in their lives, do not slander them in my presence
3) adventures in odyssey is not exempted from all of my criticism, but my aunt and uncle refused to let their 12-year-old and 9-year-old sons listen to it because it was “too dark”, so apparently I have to go to bat for it and admit that it’s actually pretty well-written most of the time
4) 321 penguins isn’t that good, but the kids are not hallucinating. the penguins are aliens that occasionally take control of the penguin figurines. yes i will die on this hill
5) Bibleman was kind of artistically terrible, but it was funny and made on a budget that I am pretty sure consisted of $52 and a snowcone, so the early episodes get the same sort of pass that you give to star trek for its terribleness. the newer episodes where new!bibleman receives direct divine aid do not get a pass, those are actually genuinely terrible
6) Frank Peretti isn’t a counter-example. during any given rant about christian media there is like an 85% chance that I am at some point specifically complaining about something that happened in a Frank Peretti novel
7) “those are eggs? we thought those were ping-pong balls” seriously guys every episode of veggie tales was a cinematic masterpiece
An adaptation of one of my favorite quotes, No Weapon Forged Against Me Shall Prevail, this is a protection sigil designed to stop both physical and mental weapons. Useful for both people and wards (it was originally meant to be a sigil ward)
It’s just now 8:00PM but guess who’s in bed already?? This gal! Also. Mark 3:34-35 is where it’s at. I just keep reading these verses over and over and over. Thank you all so much for being my brothers and sisters and mothers. 💙