Hindered Christianity? John 4:43-54

Text:  For Jesus Himself testifieth, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.
                                                                                                              John 4:44.
          But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.  And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.  And He marveled because of their unbelief…’”
Mark 6:4-6.

Good morning, hindered Christian!  The Lord God has given you many talents and abilities to serve Him well - in the preaching of His Word; in witnessing to family, friends, and fellow employees.   But you feel you are not being used of God to your full potential; you feel frustrated that your God-given talents are not being utilized to their full extent.  Well, dear friend, join the club, as we say here in Ulster.  Both you and I have experienced great and grievous hindrances - but the Lord is not finished with us yet!  Praise His Holy and Omnipotent Name! 

“…In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33)

Ye did run well; who did hinder you?"  (Galatians 5:7)

Hindrances to Full Christian Service:

The World:  The world I define as all those that are yet unregenerate in spirit; those who have never subjected their will to the will of God in Christ Jesus; those that are still, as the Scriptures teach, ‘…of their father, the devil…’ - and doing the ungodly works of their father the devil. 

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.  (John 8:44)

Such worldlings and worldly practices will always seek to hinder the child of God from fulfilling his/her full potential in service to Christ Jesus.  This is a clear fact that we can all relate to in a personal manner.  The world hinders us - if we let them do so.

The Flesh:  Our own treacherous flesh hinders us day by day.  We are natural born sinners; and as such we sin naturally.  Even the great apostle Paul acknowledged this clear hindering fact in his Roman epistle.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man (his born again spirit/mind); but I see another law in my members (his flesh), warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity (failings) to the law of sin which is in my members.  (Romans 7:22-23)

Our own natural flesh, so prone to sin, is a constant hindrance to more fully serving our Lord Jesus in constant victory over sin and in power.  Its a fact.

The Devil:   The devil is a very real person, my friend, not some mythological concept conjured up by religious minds.  If there is no literal devil, then the Bible is not true, and we Christians are all living in cloud-cuckoo-land!  Satan, that old Serpent, is alive and kicking against the will of God in this 21st Century, even though he knows that his time is short.

“…the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  And they overcame him (Satan) by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimonyWoe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.  (Revelation 12:12)

Other Christian Hinderers:  From my own personal experience, I would place others professing Christ as their Saviour, as the fourth greatest hindrance to the Christian that wishes to serve Christ to the best of his/her potential.  This is so sad, but true nonetheless.  Some Christians oppose Christians who are zealous to serve Christ, and in doing so, oppose Christ!  Please take heed!

And a mans foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:36)

Dry formalism; or its opposite, outrageously happy-clappy Christian groups can measure another Christians zeal to serve by their own human reasoning and particular mode of religious practice. If the zealous Christian does not dot Is and stroke Ts in exactly the same manner as the group - they are either ostracized, or denied opportunity to serve Christ within such a church setting.

In this manner, talents given by Christ to serve the church are treated with the utmost contempt - and the fervent and faithful Christian is denied opportunity to serve the Lord God.  Such hindrances are CONTEMPTIBLE.

Thought:  Encourage Christian service - discourage all hindrances to Godliness!

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