Month: May 2013

State of Belief

The world today seems to be much like Thomas, the disciple. We live in society that is in a state of unbelief. I use unbelief because it may be the more accurate term. People today have faith, albeit in the wrong things. What they do not have is belief in Jesus as the Son of God. Sure, many believe that Jesus was a good man, maybe even a great man, a scholar, morally superior, a philanthropist. All these are true, but few are willing to accept that Jesus is God. Thomas, one of the very disciples who followed Jesus and His ministry was willing to believe all the good things, yet had trouble coming to terms with Jesus being God.

John:20:24: But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
John:20:25: The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Thomas had heard the preaching. He had seen the miracles. He was among those closest to Jesus being numbered among the other eleven disciples. Yet, because he did not see, he would not believe. In Thomas’s view, seeing was believing. Oh! how the world carries that mantra so strongly today. With all the technology available today and the manipulation of videos and pictures, should we still be saying that “seeing is believing”? Let me tell you that seeing was not enough, Thomas needed to feel the wounds which Jesus suffered upon the cross. Everything Thomas needed for his unbelief to be changed to unwavering faith was given:

John:20:26: And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
John:20:27: Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
John:20:28: And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus supplied the answer to Thomas. Not only did He appear to be seen, He offered Thomas to reach out, touch the scars and believe! Friends, it is this very encounter the Spirit of God is crying out today, be not faithless but believing! When led by the spirit to kneel in prayer, confessing your sins, do those very prayers not ascend into Heaven bringing down that nail scarred hand to touch your very heart, cleansing you in that precious blood, reconciling you to Jesus, your Lord and Savior? Those still not believing charge “but you have still not seen Him” which brings us to the close:

John:20:29: Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Blessed are they that have not seen, yet have believed. I count it a privilege that He, Jesus Christ, has given me the faith to believe without seeing His physical body. He has, however, allowed me to glimpse His glory, His continuing work, His miracles, and His mercies. He has supplied more than I have asked. It is truly to His glory that I have felt His tender touch in times of need. I have seen His mercy when it was not deserved, His grace has been multiplied to me. Moreover, not only me, but all those who have come to the knowledge of the Truth, all who have accepted Jesus as Lord, as Savior, and as God. Just as He appeared to Thomas, I too am awaiting His appearance and believe it will be soon. Let us assure all those who have not yet come to the knowledge of the truth, if they reach out, they too will receive a touch from the Savior. To Jesus be the glory, for He is truly worthy! Amen!

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Author and Finisher

It is a certainty that we will have trials and tribulations in this life. The unfortunate consequence is they are not easy to endure and often vary in length and difficulty. The upside is that, by our faith in Jesus Christ, through these times of trouble we are able to obtain reward far greater than gold, an everlasting reward. There is a saying: “No one said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it”, which is a perfect analogy.

Are you easily persuaded the fight is not worth it? Do you stand strong even when it seems to be only you standing? Do you grow stronger with each battle? Do you look back upon past trials which became victories for strength, confidence, and better understanding? Why must we encounter these times and situations that seem impossible, insurmountable, and so unfair?

We endure such things so that God is glorified. One of the greatest things we can do is sing the praises of God. Only by Him are we able to overcome. He wants to show that His grace is more than sufficient, His power is greater, His love is stronger than any adversity or adversary we may face.

Hebrews:12:2: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus is the author of our faith. In Him is our beginning. Jesus knows what you need before you ask, He has set your path before you. He knows your struggles. Not only is He the author of your faith, He is the finisher! He has not started something that He will not finish. What seems to be a great struggle to us has already been declared a victory by Him. Our paths in this world will not be tread by us alone, for He is the Friend that is closer than a brother. He will not leave nor forsake us. He does not know defeat. His death at Calvary appeared to be a defeat, but worked a victory that will never be quenched, an everlasting victory. We too must take up our burdens, endure our trials, and look forward with joy, for we too, as children of the living God, have been assured the same victory. When the trials come, and they will, smile knowing they are temporary, yet the reward is eternal and He is with you every step of the way. To Jesus be the glory, for He is truly worthy!

Bread of Life

It’s a wonderful fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. As children we learn the story of the birth of Christ and how He was born in a manger because there was no room at the inn. It is a story that continues with us throughout life and the mention of His birth brings to mind his place of birth.

Matthew 2:1: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

There is so much more that must be considered which further glorifies God, Christ, and His plan. Bethlehem when translated means “house of bread”. Could there have been a more perfect place for the Savior to have been born? The answer has to be no! Let us look even further using the Word of God.

John:6:48: I am that bread of life.
John:6:58: This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Jesus, the bread of life, was actually born in a place called the “house of bread”. He is that bread which came down from Heaven! Even the manna which the Israelites ate in the wilderness had a far reaching prophetic meaning which would not be fully realized for many years. Just to emphasize how exact, meditate upon the following verse:

1st Corinthians:11:24: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

The fulfilled word of God is amazing to behold. From such a simple story, which we learn as children, we can take what is considered a small detail, such as the place Jesus was born, and find greater truths than what is on the surface. Moreover, we are able to see His plan and the fulfillment of His plan, which is greater than we can imagine.

Maybe the most important thing we can take away from this little study is this: God also has a plan for you! His plan is greater than your plan. He has set you upon a path, trust Him. He will lead you in the paths of righteousness, believe Him. When you accept Jesus as your savior, you have begun the journey He intended for you. Looking at all He has fulfilled, know that He has planned for you. He is ready and willing to show you how great His plan for you is, lean upon His promise, and let Him shine in your life and through your life! He is able, He is willing, and He has prepared your way! Are you trusting in Him? Are you accepting His plan? Are you willing to submit and lean upon the only One who can? We better be! To Jesus be the glory, for He is truly worthy!