Monday, April 12, 2010

“Do you believe this?”

In John 11:20-37, Jesus spoke to Martha the emphatic, all-powerful statement;

I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me will always live, even when they are dead; these people will have everlasting life!

The question to us all is, “Do you believe this?”

What matters most to God is not just our belief, as in our ideas of God or that He exists, but that our belief is the basis for our conviction, trust, and faithfulness in Him that leads to our obedience, for which we are rewarded. Having a real confession of faith is not just a statement; rather, it is a decision—to take hold of Jesus’ leading and election and make it real in our lives so we spill over and glow to others about Him. The Spirit’s illumination is the only way we can know who Christ is.

Because Christ is Sovereign, the highest in all creation, and the greatest of all who are raised from the dead. Jesus gives us His life and blood and then a new life in Him that we can enjoy now and for eternity. Christ's resurrection marked the inauguration of the covenant of grace. This also shows that this is the greatest miracle.

Because Christ is also our living Hope that will never fade away! This gives us the confidence and conviction that our loving and living God keeps His promises and secures us in Him. It is the assurance—and fact—that God has redeemed us, will bless us, and will care for us. This also means that death will not triumph over those in Christ (John 6:46-49).

The question to us and all of humanity is do you believe this? What about when you are in trouble, stressed and unable to see a way out of your situation? We have to reach out to Him; let Christ grasp you so you do not see just the sea of problems and the ocean of deluge overtaking the ship of your faith and composure in Him. Yes, this is tough; we all deal with this—certainly I do, even now…When times are confusing and we can’t see where we are going or where God wants us, something to consider and pray about is this: God is far more concerned about how we are than what we do or where we go. Our lives are a process and a journey. Our Lord’s mission is to transform our hearts and minds, the very core of who we are, so we can live in the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom with His values and purpose, regardless of any opposition we might have, including the opposition others give us. We especially need Christ in the dire times of life, which are also the times when we have the best opportunities to learn and grow. Usually, it is our own opposition that hinders us the greatest by our fears and neglect or lack of active faith.

Questions to Ponder

1. How is Jesus your source, substance, and Truth in good as well as in dire times?

2. How must He be for you to not just survive, but to thrive?

3. How do you feel that God is still at work in you and in others through you?

4. How do you think Jesus wants you to be challenged?

5. What do you need in order to learn and grow?

6. How can you better cultivate your faith and maturity? Why does the easy life not allow for such lessons?

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