I'm doing a Bible study on the book of John with my Hello Mornings group. Today we read a passage in John chapter 4, verses 46-54. Have you read this one? Jesus has returned to Cana, where on a previous visit, he performed his first miracle at the urging of his mother. A royal official has heard that Jesus has returned and goes to find him. You see, this man's son was sick...sick and almost to the point of death. Can you just feel his heartbreak, his fear? Can you hear the tremble in his voice as he begs Jesus to come, please come and heal his son?
And Jesus, perhaps with a look around at the crowd of people in the streets, looks back at the man and says, "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe." Let's hit pause here for a moment....
Is that true? Do we need to see the flashing lights, hear the music mounting in tension and volume, see hands make spectacular signals, hear fancy words....do we need to see miraculous signs and wonders in order to believe? Jesus does know the hearts of humans. He knows we are a fickle people...slow to trust, slow to believe...in need of signs that say "Yes, this is it!" But what if we didn't? What if we just....believed? What if we just took him at his word? What if we let the Truth shed Light over us and just accepted Him?
Let's go back to our story in John's book. The official says, "Sir, come down before my child dies." And Jesus replies, "You may go. Your son will live." That's it. "You may go." What? Really? And what does this man do? Does he continue to beg? Does he grab Jesus' hand and pull him toward his home? Does he stop in shock and say, "What? You won't come? Are you serious?"
No. "The man took Jesus at his word and departed." That's IT! A quiet, simple act of faith. He took Jesus at his word. Jesus does not lie. Ever. Did this man know that? Probably not. But he believed him. He turned and headed back home to his son. On the way, some of his servants came running up to him to tell him the good news that his son was still alive, doing better! The man asked when his son had turned for the better, and they told him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour." 1:00 pm. Goose bumps moment here, friends. The man realizes that is the exact moment he was speaking with Jesus. The moment that Jesus said, "Your son will live."
Jesus spoke those words, simple words, and the son's fever immediately broke. And the man believed! He told his household what had transpired and they believed! And this was Jesus' second miracle.
Friends, sometimes it just takes our simple, quiet acts of faith. Take Jesus at his word. He won't lie to you. He won't lead you astray. He won't tease or play games. He speaks truth. Jesus tells us we have eternal life if we believe in Him. Jesus tells us he will never leave us. Jesus tells us he will come again and gather us to him. Do you take Jesus at his word?
Monday, May 20, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I was at a small memorial service yesterday. As I sat listening to my friend, the pastor, speak about God's perspective of our death, I was struck by this one passage of scripture that he read:
John 14:1-4 (The Voice)
14 Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. 2 My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. 3 I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. 4 You know where I am going and how to get there.
The NIV says:14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jesus is preparing a place, making arrangements for ALL believers to come to His Father's house. Not just some, a select few, those who managed to do enough good works to earn their spot...all believers. There's no magic number. God would prefer we all end up there! God gives us grace so that we don't have to live our lives in a panic of "Did I do enough good here, to get a place there?" We must believe, confess, repent, and live in His light.
And how do we get there? Jesus says we know the way....it's Him. Jesus. Believe in Him. Hold on to Him. Focus on Him. Live in Him. Walk in the light of Jesus. Share that light. Jesus...the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE. The LIGHT...the beacon leading the way to eternal life with Him. And He can't wait for us to join Him in that place He is preparing for each and every believer...what peace in knowing...
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
and called you from its farthest corners.
I said to you: You are My servant;
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
10 Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
"I have chosen you and not rejected you." Do you need these words today? God brings you close, holds you near. He has chosen you. He has great love for you. You are not rejected, left behind, forgotten. You are chosen.
He will strengthen you, He will help you, He will hold you securely in His grip. He will never let you go. There is no need to fear. He is with you. Always.