Forwarded by: sdayton@... Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2003 17:10:59 EDT From: Hankins88@... THE OUTCAST -by Lori Hankins. Have you ever felt rejected or neglected, as if you were somehow invisible to people around you? You have been with the Lord, He has shown you wonderful things in the Spirit, you feel you are to share with others and the anointing is upon you. But when you get around other believers, everything changes. It is like you have the plague or something. You can't understand why they don't receive you, why they aren't excited about what God has shown you. You might even feel like there is a sign on you that says "Reject". If you have been through this experience, or something similar, then you are blessed! Rejection by men is one of the greatest trials the Lord allows- great in the sense that He is sharing a part of Himself with you that reveals a depth of the character of Jesus- Though He was rejected by men as the scripture says, He was truly the Servant who came to serve- the Christ who came to love unconditionally! To those who will enter this place with Him, this place of rejection without becoming bitter, it is the opportunity for a much deeper level of intimacy. In Luke 22:14-29 Jesus is about to share Himself in a more meaningful and deeper way with His disciples. He knows His hour and time of suffering has come and He gathers His disciples for a Passover meal that He has "fervently desired to eat with them."(v15) He is bringing His earthly passage to a close and knows He is about to suffer greatly. He has these 12 men whom He has invested all He has. It is His final hour, His final instruction is coming forth to them. He has this "fervent" desire to give them something that will seal the work He has done in them. He gives them His body and His blood, a new covenant of hope! But even in the sanctity of the moment the disciples begin to argue about who among them should be considered the greatest! Jesus is about to sacrifice Himself as the Passover lamb and they are arguing about position! Jesus begins to teach them, He is so patient with them even to the end. He teaches them that the greatest is the servant. He turns the table on their ideas of greatness saying "For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves?" I'm sure they were all thinking the same as we do. "It is the way we are known! It is how we are acknowledged- when we attain our place at that table! That is the coveted position! All eyes are on the one who sits there- who has position!" But Jesus says, "Yet, I am among you as one who serves." He clarifies His position among them one last time, then He reveals the path to the Kingdom He represents. "But you are those who have continued with me in my trials." This statement echos through time, even today it is calling forth the servant, the child of God whose heart is set on intimacy with the Savior. The one who cries out "Lord! I must know You!!" Jesus offers the way- "continue with Me in my trials!" What are these trials? Isaiah 53:3 tells us that He was "despised and rejected by men"-someone who people "hid their faces from." John the Disciple tells us that "He came to His own but His own did not receive Him." Then His final trial was the cross- the ultimate rejection by men is to be persecuted for what you represent, even unto death! If the cross is the power of God (I Cor. 1:18) then rejection is necessary in our own lives as we pursue Him. It is part of the ingredient that makes a true disciple of Christ. How is rejection defined? Sometimes it happens as we share the gospel with the world, and sometimes it happens among the body. We also, like Jesus, come to our own and we are not received. Sometimes I think the Lord allows rejection solely for the purpose of a deeper level of intimacy with Him. One of my favorite stories is about a man named Angelo in the book "Final Quest" by Rick Joyner (pages 150-158). Angelo is different from birth. He is first rejected by his parents, then by most of society. He becomes bitter and angry at his lot in life, but he is able to overcome this by the love of Christ. His final outcome is a throne in heaven. Though he lived a life of utter rejection, even Rick rejected him in the first part of the story, he overcame and learned to worship God with a thankful heart even as a rejected, homeless person. Though he was full of passion for Christ, though he could have taught us all, he was never accepted by "his own" and given the opportunity to share how God came into his life and set him free. He remained the servant, even giving his own life for another unto death. Whenever you get frustrated and tired of being treated as an outcast, remember that the very Son of God, the Lord of Glory, the One true Savior walked this path first. Then consider the honor He has bestowed upon you, that you should "continue with Him in His trials," that He may bestow upon you a Kingdom just as His Father bestowed upon Him (Luke 22:28-29). -Lori Hankins <Hankins888@...> Author of "The Remnant" -a prophetic fiction book.