“It didn’t happen very often,” Stan began on morning, “but there were times when I was growing up on the farm when there would be a dust storm. The wind would blow out of the west, pick up the dirt out of the fields, and cause a mess of dust all over the place.”
“I grew up in a city and I’ve never seen a dust storm,” I replied.
“It might be fair to say you’ve seen one, but didn’t recognize it,” Stan commented.
“How could that be?” I asked.
“You ever read what Jesus said about shaking the dust?”
“Well, maybe,” I replied. “Didn’t that have something to do with what He told some of the disciples before He sent them out to talk to people about the kingdom?”
“It did,” Stan said. “Jesus told the twelve He sent out that they were to shake the dust off their feet and move on when people wouldn’t listen to what they had to say. I can imagine that if there were very many such people, it could have been quite a dust storm!”
“You’re right,” I replied, “there probably have been a lot of dust shaking that I haven’t recognized. If such dust shaking means that a person is to move on when people don’t listen, do you think that’s the end of the story concerning such people and their eternal destination?”
“Yes and no,” Stan said. “Yes, in the sense that there can come a point when it’s time to stop talking to someone about God the Father, Jesus the Son, Christianity, coming to faith, and all of that.”
“However,” he continued, “deciding to stop talking doesn’t mean stop caring.”
“Not stop caring?” I responded. “What’s that look like?”
“Let me give you an example from the person I know best, me,” Stan said. “I was very slow in coming to faith. So slow, in fact, there was a time when people gave up on talking to me about it. But they continued to pray for me, and I believe that because of those prayers I was eventually opened to hearing, accepting, and embracing the truth of salvation, redemption, life eternally with God when it’s time, and the eternal life of knowing Him and Jesus on this side of eternity.”
“So,” I replied, “those people may have shaken the dust off of their feet, but they didn’t stop caring by praying, is that the point?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan said. “It may be okay to create a dust storm, but don’t leave it at that!”
Bible verses to consider:
And any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust from the soles of your feet for a testimony against them. Mark 6:11.
And whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet. Matthew 10:14.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is done, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus before then. Thank you, too, for those who were diligent in presenting that truth to me and in praying me into believing, accepting, and embracing the truth. Please lead me in knowing when it is time to shake the dust off of my feet. Help me to know when it’s time to stop talking, but to never stop caring by praying for those to come to you in faith. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of redemption and salvation for when your time here is completed? If no, why? If you do have that assurance, how did it happen? Are there specific people you can identify as having an impact, people who did not give up on you? If so, do you thank God for them and their prayers for you? If no, why? Are there people in your life who have not yet come to faith? Are you talking with them about it? Are you praying for them? If no, why?