Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are we thirsty?

October 28, 2010

John 7:32-39

V 37…”If anyone thirsts, let him come to him and drink”

As I’ve been on a journey to be more physically healthy I’ve learned some things. One of those things is that generally speaking we are more dehydrated in the mornings. Our bodies are thirsty. In the summer, I run in the mornings but I’m a total chicken once the weather gets cooler, so I run in the afternoons. What I’ve learned is that after the morning run I’m parched. I really need a drink, my body is craving water. The same is true about our spiritual lives. As we are “running the race” we get thirsty. We get tired, and without a steady diet of the “living” water we will be unable to complete what is set before us. Just like our physical bodies crave and thirst for water first thing in the morning; so do our “spiritual” bodies. Becoming dehydrated in a spiritual sense is just as dangerous as dehydration of our physical bodies! Yet, we have an endless supply of living water set before us.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is Seeing Really Believing?

October 27, 2010

John 7:25-27

V 27 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

I mean really, what more did these folks need? Right, they had seen him heal the blind, lame, and dead. They had seen him feed the 5,000. What more did they need, right? Yet, we are no different. We require Jesus to do all sorts of things for us also. When our prayers are not answered like we want them to; then God no longer answers prayers. When bad things happen to “good” people; we wonder where is God. The fact is God doesn’t have to perform to our standards because He is God and I am not. Jesus is worthy of being worshiped just from being Jesus not for what He may have done for us or for any miracles He has performed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Learning to decrease

October 20, 2010

John 3:30 He must increase but I must decrease

For a while now I’ve been on a journey to have Him increase in my life. That has been a productive endeavor, and of course, all thanks are to God. Yet, as I’ve also discovered lately this is only half the battle. The rest, and quite possibly the hardest part, is decreasing your “self”. This is the battle. The only way to really allow God’s word to affect your life is if you allow it to change your life. There are many things we can “know” about God and His word, and it is great to learn them, we are commanded to learn them. However, it is only when we put that knowledge to work in our lives that we will see the differences. “He must increase BUT I MUST DECREASE”

Monday, October 18, 2010

"...But judge with right judgement"

October 18, 2010

John 7:14-24

V 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment

Wow, how often do we judge others by what we think they should be doing? How often do we look at what people are doing, or better yet, not doing and judge them by our standards? How often do we hold others to a stricter standard than what we are willing to hold ourselves to? I’d say the answer to that is often. I’d say that we are more willing to look into someone else’s behavior or actions before our own. Interestingly enough, this same thing was happening to Jesus during this passage. The Jews were judging Jesus because He healed a man on the Sabbath, yet, they were guilty of circumcising someone on the Sabbath. The Jews were also judging Jesus because His knowledge was vast and they couldn’t figure out how He had come by it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Fear of Man...

October 13, 2010

John 6:38-71, 7:1-13

V 13 yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him

Can you imagine living during the earthly time of Jesus? Can you imagine being at the wedding were He turned the water to wine? Can you imagine seeing Him heal the sick or cast out demons? I can imagine that even if you never saw it personally, you knew someone who did or had heard of it. So, after all that had been going on, people were too afraid of the Jews to talk of the miracles Jesus performed or of the great wisdom with which He spoke. I began to wonder as I read verse 13…are we any different. Yes, we have never seen with our own eyes the miracles Jesus did while on Earth, yet, we know that they are preformed every day. We pray for them when our loved ones are sick or hurting. We haven’t heard with our own ears the actual voice of Jesus teaching. Yet, we can pick up the Bible and read them whenever we want. And like these early believers we often times fear the world too much to tell others of Him.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Forever Held...

October 12, 2010

John 6:36-37

V 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out

How comforting to know that if we are His, He will never cast us out. Despite the fact that we will still sin, that we will at times choose the world over Him, that we will choose not to start our day by reading His word, or all the other failures that we will make along the journey of our lives. He will never cast us out. Of course, this isn’t due to any goodness on our part or the fact that He just can’t live without us. No, this is due to the fact that He is who He is. How wonderful that it isn’t dependent on anything I can do.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Bread of Life...

October 11, 2010

John 6:28-35

V 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

To be free from hunger; is to be full complete. To not need anything; to have all that will sustain your life. Jesus is that. He is what makes us complete; He alone gives us all that we need to sustain our lives. We can and do find it in Him. If we are hurting; He is our comforter. If we are overwhelmed by the trial of our lives; He is our peace. “I am the bread of life…” that’s one of my most favorite things Jesus said. To have no food will eventually lead to your death; no doubt about it. The same can be said for our spiritual food; if we never have any we will experience spiritual death. The believer must have a steady diet of God’s word.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What are we laboring for?

October 8, 2010

John 6:22-27

V 27 do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life

To labor is defined as physical or mental exertion. We are told to not labor for the things of this world but to labor, instead, for things eternal. What I find interesting is that we are told to labor for food that will benefit us eternally. Meaning, it won’t come easy; we won’t just have a relationship with God simply because we won’t one. No, we have to pursue it; we have to sacrifice for it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Be not Afraid...

October 6, 2010

John 6:20 It is I do not be afraid

Jesus sought to calm the fears of the disciples; He didn’t want them worried. Worry is an easy sin for believers to get into. I’m not saying that the disciples didn’t have cause to be frightened because, hey, it’s not every day you see someone walking on water! Yet, Jesus wanted to assure them that their fear was unnecessary. God’s word says “Be strong; fear not! Behold your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God He will come and save you. Isaiah 35:4” Of course, this isn’t easy and in some cases it’s certainly a battle. However, God’s word is clear that He will provide us with a path to not worrying but we must choose it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Where do you turn?

October 5, 2010

John 6:5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bead, so that these people may eat?”

We know the whole story. We know that this is the one who will rise from the dead; this is God as man asking this question. However, the disciples weren’t exactly privy to the end of the story yet. So, when they were confronted with 5,000 people to feed, they didn’t immediately think of Jesus. I suppose that feeding people seems mundane to all the medical miracles that He had performed in front of them. But not one turned to Him and asked Him to provide food. Yet, that’s just what He did. It’s easy for us to read this account and totally blast the disciples for their faithless unbelief that Jesus was their answer. Yet, are we any different. How many times for us is prayer our last and final choice? How many times have we said “all I can do is pray”? How many times do we turn to other things instead of scripture to answer our questions or solve our problems? I’d say that if we were honest the answers to those questions would be all the time. Yet, do we, like the disciples know and believe that God can do all things?

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Life that Glorifies...

October 4, 2010

John 5:31-46

V 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

I recently had a discussion with someone about giving God glory. I think that sometimes the selfish humans that we are think that giving God glory is somehow about us. We sometimes think that singing loud or raising our hands and shouting in a worship service is giving God glory. Now, I’m not denying that God isn’t glorified in worship that is centered on him. However, sometimes God is glorified in our suffering. Or rather how we handle ourselves in our suffering is glorifying to God. Of course, God wants us to praise Him, but to live a life that truly glorifies Him, we must move out of the worship service and into our real everyday lives. We must make decisions that the world around us may think strange. We must realize that it takes more than emotion to glorify God; it takes lives centered on Him, it takes a growing relationship with Him.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

With Your Strength you Strengthened Me...

October 2, 2010

1 Corinthians 10:39 So whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

Psalm 138:3 You answered me when I called to you; with your strength you strengthened me.

In January, I started praying that God would help me to rid myself of this overwhelming love for vast quantities of food. I mean I really like food, and lots of it. So, I knew that this was wrong, and sought God’s help to get rid of it. He did. I also around May started praying that God would help me in my physical fitness. He did. Every morning He would convict me to get out of my bed (even in the summer) to go run. Well today I’m doing my first 5k this is something totally foreign to me but God brought me here. Thank you!