Sweet and Sour

As we approach Christmas, we’re reminded once again that we’ve been blessed with an amazing message to share. The Son of God has become a human being just like you and me. It’s a sweet message of forgiveness, grace, hope and salvation through that Babe of Bethlehem.

The gospel message is meant to be taken in and fully digested. And for those who are hurting, or those who struggle with habits that have them locked into a downward spiral, or those who have hang-ups in their lives that are deeply frustrating right now, the message of Jesus Christ tastes like pure, sweet honey.

But, let’s face it, for those of us who love Jesus Christ and deeply trust the gospel as pure truth, we soon discover that our new gospel-centered “worldview” is not compatible with the false philosophies and theologies of the world around us. The spiritual lies of Satan, often informing the majority view in our culture, make our message sound foolish and alien to the ears of the world.

And that is not a sweet experience, but frequently quite a bitter one. We go out into our world with its different peoples, nations, languages and kings and we find we are often at odds with the beliefs and views we encounter. Like the apostle John, the author of the book of Revelation, we can expect opposition to our message, even hatred.

Yet, our great mission in the world remains the same, despite what pushback we might encounter because the gospel sours our relationships with the people of the world. In response to Jesus’ great love for us, we have the joy and the great honor of being God’s spokesmen in our world — to declare the message that Jesus is the Savior of all nations.

As the angel declared to the shepherds so long ago, we also say to our neighbors, friends and family members, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, NIV).

“So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, ‘Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’ I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, ‘You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings'” (Revelation 10:9-11, NIV).

Lord, thank you for the sweet gospel message that assures me of forgiveness, new life and salvation through Jesus Christ. I know that while there is nothing sweeter to my soul, this message will also bring bitter experiences at times. Ready my heart so that I continue to share the beautiful message of the cross and the empty tomb with those whom God has placed around me.

Our Bible reading for Friday, December 18, is Ezra 2:68 – 4:5, Revelation 9:13 – 10:11 and Proverbs 30:24-33.

Header image based on "Honey" by Siona Karen, CC By 2.0

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pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “Sweet and Sour”

  1. Bible reading for Friday, December 18, is Ezra 2:68 – 4:5, Revelation 9:13 – 10:11 and Proverbs 30:24-33.

    Today I’m thankful for… A wife who is understanding, being able to fail and finding love, laughing when no one else gets the joke.

    “Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’ ” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.””
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭10:8-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Heavenly Father, who can understand your righteous plans. We lead a life of faith as we walk the earth. We don’t wander because you have a plan in place for each and everyone of us. You are the good shepherd who keeps close and cared for us. When stray to far away you bring us back with discipline and love. Lord help me to better share this story with others. We are all failed, we are all full of sin. Knowing that there is hope, there is forgiveness, there is grace is so important. I pray that many come to find you before the end.

    ~Paul Montenieri

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