Transformed – teen devotion – July 7, 2024

One truth shared: People won’t always respond with gratefulness and joy when we tell them about God’s words and promises. If we aim to please an audience of One (Jesus) we will be satisfied in simply bringing God glory and we won’t crave the approval of others. That means we can even face rejection from others when we share Jesus with them.

He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.
Ezekiel 2:1-7

Not Glee and Gratitude, but Rejection and Resentment

For the next month, we will be talking about ministry. Serving God and other people. Especially with the gospel—the good news about Jesus’ love and forgiveness. What results should we expect when we do ministry in Jesus’ name?

We all expect to see positive results for our efforts. When we lift weights. We expect to gain muscle. If we study hard for a physics exam, we’re disappointed to get a D. Hard work at our job should mean an eventual pay raise, right?

When our efforts involve serving other people, can we expect positive results from them? Not always. The fact is you can’t control another person’s thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, or feelings.
The prophet Ezekiel got a lesson in this truth from God. God was sending him to His people, the Israelites. You couldn’t blame Ezekiel for expecting God’s people to express glee and gratitude after hearing from their God.

But Ezekiel couldn’t control how the Israelites would respond. In fact, God told him to expect rejection and resentment. Ouch! God also warned Ezekiel he might become afraid after hearing the Israelite’s threats and insults. Ezekiel would feel like he’s surrounded by thorny ground while scorpions chase after him. I wouldn’t call those positive results from other people!

Maybe you’ve experienced something similar. You’ve tried to tell someone about Jesus and they weren’t impressed. You took a leap of faith and spoke to a friend about how their current lifestyle wasn’t bringing God glory. And you got verbally blasted. It hurts like thorns. It stings like a scorpion. No one likes rejection and resentment. If we put our hope in other people’s approval and acceptance, we will constantly be disappointed.

So, what can you expect when you serve others, especially by pointing them to God’s words and promises? Go back to verse 5: And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. You can expect the best result of all. People hear from God. The same God who sent his Son to face the ultimate rejection in your place. And God is pleased. He is glorified. And you get to be a part of that! If we make our goal to please an audience of One (Jesus), we can’t go wrong, and we won’t be disappointed.

Prayer:Heavenly Father, we want to please an audience of One, and that is you! You understand us. You know that when we face rejection we feel hurt and deflated. Fill us with your love. Forgive us for the times we let our weakness get in the way of letting others hear from you. Give us the satisfaction that when we tell others about your Son, you are glorified! Amen.

Teen Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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