Do you really believe?

For even His brothers did not believe in Him.” John 7:5

What about you? Do you believe in Him? There is a difference between believing there is a God and having a relationship with Him. To say you believe in Him means you put your full faith and trust in His saving power.

What does it mean to fully trust? It means you are no longer in the driver’s seat of your bus. It means you talk to God before you talk to anyone else. It means you obey His voice even though it makes no sense to anyone else. Take a look at Abraham, Noah or Moses. All three were called to do extraordinary feats. They believed and acted. They did it with God’s help every step of the way.

In today’s verse Jesus’ own brothers didn’t believe in Him. They knew He existed, they grew up with Him. But they didn’t believe His fact that He was the Messiah. They made a choice to believe or not. They chose not. We know they later came to faith but after Jesus was crucified. God has a time table friends. There will come a day when you no longer have the choice to believe. It will be too late. Thankfully it his brothers chose yes later.

The same is still ringing true today as was then. We know of His miracles, we have His Word as proof. We can see what He visibly does in the lives of believers. How He can take a criminal and turn them into someone who tells everyone he knows about Jesus and countless souls come to Christ. We can say we believe that He is. His brothers believed that. But do you believe He is who He says He is? The one and only living true God.

It is hard to propel forward into the future without a clue where you are going and how things will turn out. We do it everyday, some of us without God guiding our steps. We make our own plan, we execute, we get to the end of our day and may say thanks to Him but have had no regard for His purpose in our lives that day, or tomorrow or next week. He’s kind of an after thought. I wonder how things may have turned out for you if you would’ve sought his counsel early in the morning about your paths for this day. I so hope that you did.

I would like to offer a bit of encouragement. You can turn to Him right now in full belief that He will hear from Heaven and answer you! God speaks. Primarily through His Word but He uses other avenues to convey His message as well. I am constantly looking for answers to prayers. Everywhere. Just this morning I found a card to a board game randomly in a closet that said CHOOSE. I new exactly what that meant. My way or His way. He followed up shortly with scripture. He is faithful.

In our Bible Study Fellowship lecture Monday night, Angela said you can be near to Jesus and still not believe in Him. So it was with His brothers. It doesn’t have to be that way for you! All you have to do is talk to Him. He is very approachable and knows you better than anyone ever has or will. He knows EVERYTHING and won’t be a bit surprised by anything you have to say. Bring it all to Him, surrender at the foot of the cross and watch Him sort it all out for you.

That is not to say the Christian life is a walk in the park. Quite the contrary. But we walk it with Him which makes everything else seem smaller. We can actually have joy in the midst of life’s trials! Just because He lives and He cares for us. Our advocate.

The good news with Jesus’ half-brothers is they went on to write two of the epistles in the New Testament. James was one of the leaders of the church at Jerusalem. In Galatians Paul refers to him as one of the pillars of the church. A non-believer to a believer. This can be like your story as well. Someone who says they believe to someone who actually does. Believe. Faith. Trust. The decision is yours. There is joy ahead for you today my friend!

 

Receive Him Willingly

the-tempest-1899

“Now when the evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid,’ Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.” John 6:16-21

Jesus had instructed the disciples to go on ahead to escape the crowd. It was dark. Jesus had stayed to send away the multitudes and after He did, He escaped to the mountain to pray. ┬áThe disciples set sail and encountered a storm. They were never out of Jesus’ sight. He knew full well they were headed toward a storm. And at just the right moment He came. He was not late, they didn’t drown, He was there.

Granted they had been tossed around a bit. They were no stranger to this type of storm. They knew the seriousness of it. I have to wonder what they were thinking. Were they thinking, “Where is He?” or “We are going to die!” or “How are we going to get through this tempest?” They didn’t call out for Him but there He was walking straight toward them in the midst of their situation. He didn’t need a boat, he used the water to walk like we use the earth.

It states clearly that they were afraid. Were they afraid of Him? This loving Jesus that had taught them, guided them and stayed with them. Never abandoning, never forsaking. What about you? Where would your head be if you saw Jesus walking toward you on the water? I feel like I would be relieved but at the same time, in utter and complete awe.

The very first thing He says is, “It is I, do not be afraid.” He doesn’t want us to be fearful in our storms, especially when deliverance comes. Maybe the rescue won’t look like you thought it would. But you can rest assured that it will come. Maybe right when the gales are threatening to overtake you. He will walk right into your situation. But how will you respond? If your rescue doesn’t look like you thought, how will you receive it?

It says they willingly received Him into the boat. He didn’t have to convince them or talk them into it. After getting over the initial shock of His presence, I feel like they were like, “YES! Please come in with us!” And when they received Him, they were IMMEDIATELY to their destination. No more struggling. No more straining against the wind and waves. ┬áTheir deliverance was immediate.

I’m not sure who this is for today but please do what the disciples did. Let Him into the boat. No matter what it looks like. In my experience, when He shows up, it’s never the way I thought He would. He is vastly creative and every move He makes has purpose and meaning. Hear this as well, it’s not about you. If feels like it is because you are so wrapped up in the circumstances. Everything is always all about Him. His purpose. His glory. His presence.

When you take the focus off of self and fix your gaze upon Christ, everything changes. It did for the disciples and it will for you too. You no longer feel like you are hanging on by a thread but are being held by the strongest love you’ve ever known. He won’t be late friend. Take heart. Press on. You are never out of His sight. He is there and will act at just the right moment. You need not worry about when. Those details are for Him alone.

So what do you do while you wait? I pray. I trust. I wait (he has taught me to) patiently. And I wake up every morning praising and worshiping Him for who He is and what He has done and what He will do. The way cool thing is that your deliverance will be immediate. The storm will be behind you. Your faith strengthened by the journey. Your help is coming, just you watch and see! You’re going to be amazed!

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