September 5, 2011 · 6:45 AM
I’m a sucker for theatre popcorn and enjoy the big screen occasionally, but I usually prefer to watch a movie on DVD or Blue Ray because of the extras like a peek behind the scenes of the movie being made.
The actors come and go when they are needed but the director is always busy behind the scenes; reviewing and editing and rewriting and all the stuff that goes into making a great movie. This behind the scenes, always busy working, is what comes to mind with God when I read about a particular exchange between Jesus and the Jews.
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. ~ John 5:16-18
The Jews are upset at Jesus, again, but Jesus defends His actions of healing an invalid (John 5:1-15) by stating that His Father is always at His work. God is always working to bring about His story of reconciliation. Even when we forget that or get busy with other things God is still working.
- When we lay our head on the pillow and sleep through the night… GOD IS STILL WORKING
- When we give our attention to our jobs throughout the week… GOD IS STILL WORKING
- When we get a break in the routine to rest or recreate… GOD IS STILL WORKING
- When we get stressed and overwhelmed with life… GOD IS STILL WORKING
- When the report from the doctor isn’t good… GOD IS STILL WORKING
- When the bills outweigh the checkbook… GOD IS STILL WORKING
- When we just don’t know what to do next… GOD IS STILL WORKING
- When we are at the end of our rope and losing our grip… GOD IS STILL WORKING
No matter what this new day or week brings remember… God is still working!
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, Trusting God
Tagged as Christianity, Encouragement, God, Gospel of John, Jesus, Jews, Religion and Spirituality, Sabbath, Trusting God
August 8, 2011 · 6:45 AM
Yesterday I blogged about John 11 where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. I pointed out an easily overlooked life lesson that’s like a side note within the bigger event of what’s happening when a dead man comes walking out of a tomb. You can read about it here.
Today I want to offer another little side note from that same account in John 11. In verse 7 when Jesus decides to go to Judea because of Lazarus the disciples protest. They remind Jesus of a recent incident with the Jewish leaders when they tried to kill Him; so they’re none too eager to visit that particular region.
Jesus speaks in a somewhat veiled manner about those who walk in the light not needing to worry about dangers along the way. I believe He was telling them that their safety was not a pressing concern. But they didn’t get it. Consider what Thomas says just a few verses later as part of that same conversation:
Let us also go, that we may die with him. ~ John 11:16
It’s admirable that Thomas was so ready to lay his life on the line to follow Jesus; assuming it wasn’t said in sarcasm or despair. But something else about Thomas is revealed in this statement…
…he was clueless as to what God was really up to!
If the disciples who walked and talked and did life with Jesus could miss the bigger picture of what God was up to, how easy is it for us to do the very same thing?! We might think we have it all figured out. We might be certain of what God ought to do. But the reality is we just can’t always be sure.
It’s a new day and a new week. Don’t be too quick to presume what God is up to in a given situation. Instead, keep an open heart and mind as you…
…wait on God!
Filed under Faith, God's Will, Trusting God
Tagged as Christianity, Faith, God, God's Will, Gospel of John, Jesus, Judea, Lazarus, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God
March 27, 2011 · 6:45 AM
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I don’t know about you but I like those movies that start with a BANG! From the very first scene they have you on the edge of your seat with nail-biting excitement. A car chase; a fight scene; something exploding…
That’s what comes to mind when I read the first chapter of John’s Gospel. In the very first chapter he uses no less than 7 names or titles for Jesus!
- The Word – 1:1-3, 14
- The Light – 1:4-13
- The Son of God – 1:15-28, 49
- The Lamb of God – 1:29-34
- The Messiah – 1:35-42
- The King of Israel – 1:43-49
- The Son of Man – 1:50-51
John wrote his account later than the other three Gospels, probably sometime between 70 – 100 A.D. Why does John use such powerful imagery with all these names for Jesus? Because he’s on a singular mission.
But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. ~ John 20:31 (NIV)
The early followers of Jesus were undergoing some intense persecution and were perhaps wavering in their faith; so John writes to encourage them by reminding them that Jesus was indeed God’s chosen Messiah – the giver of life.
Take a few moments to reflect on how John speaks of Jesus.
- The Word – God’s creative power at work in the universe and in us.
- The Light – That which illuminates the way to God and real life.
- The Son of God – the one and only, equal with the Father and the Spirit.
- The Lamb of God – the One who sacrificed his very life to pay our sin debt.
- The Messiah – the anointed one, set aside for a special purpose.
- The King of Israel – the rightful ruler of life, our Lord.
- The Son of Man – fully God and fully man, able to identify with our struggles.
Which of these descriptions of Jesus and how He relates to us is most meaningful to you today? Identify it, thank God and enjoy Jesus!
Filed under Gratitude, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus
Tagged as Christ, Christianity, God, Gospel, Gospel of John, Gratitude, Intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Messiah, Religion and Spirituality, Son of God