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Posted By Nan
John 6:28-29.

These two short verses contain so much information about our relationship with God and His expectations of us. Jesus has just told the people not to work for food that spoils but work on the food that leads to eternal life. Now the people ask him what they must do to do this work. In so many churches the people are taught to work hard, to arrange the flowers, clean the church, provide the music, write the church newsletter, any of a myriad of jobs that exist in order to keep a church building running. The message is often that it is a requirement of service to God. Many still believe they have to work to earn their place in heaven. Yet here Jesus is telling the people that the work that leads to eternal life is to believe in Jesus. In case you think “is that all?”, I would ask you to think about how much work that involves. How easy it is to say “I believe”. Can you keep saying it when you are angry? Can you say it when you want to tell a lie? Can you keep saying it when you don’t want to forgive someone? Can you keep saying it when you want to hear or spread some juicy and very hurtful gossip about another person? Believing in Jesus and living that belief is very hard. To believe in Jesus requires us to have a personal relationship with God. That relationship must be serviced. It takes discipline to resist the temptations of the world and spend time with God. The temptations out there are designed to draw us away from God. When we want to hate someone, or refuse to forgive them, or refuse to surrender our pride we are failing to serve God. See how hard it is? Sure, we will never be perfect and Jesus knows that. That is why He died for us. But He also knows how much we can do if we are prepared to give our relationship with God the time and the commitment. That requires work. The nice thing about that is that when we express the willingness God will give us the strength we require to get there. Never forget that Jesus, who was God, spent considerable amounts of time in prayer to God. If He who was the Son of God needed that time, how much more do we who have sinned need?

 
Posted By Nan

John 6:25-27.
Having realised Jesus went to the other side of the lake, the people follow Him. Jesus tells them they have followed him because of the food he gave them. It caused me to think about how we put up with a lot of what is wrong in this world because taking a stand against it involves not being so comfortable with our full stomachs, warm homes and comfortable beds. Jesus’ words were not that ridiculous. The people felt good and secure because Jesus gave them food. If they had spent the night on the other side of the lake hungry they would not have been so keen to follow Him the next day.
How much of our worship of God is based on having a comfortable, happy life? How many times do we fail to worship God when things are bad? Instead we switch to asking God for help. It is not wrong to ask God for help, but we also need to keep our focus on God’s greatness. We need to follow Jesus because of who He is, not because of what He gives us.

 
Posted By Nan

John 6:16-24
This passage is another one that is so often talked about that I have ceased to see the wonder in it. Usually, it is approached from the perspective of the disciples fear and their lack of faith. Another way of looking at it is about the way God stills the storm and our need to trust Him. We could consider the puzzlement of the people who could not find Jesus on that side of the lake but knew He hadn’t gone on the only boat there with His disciples. But I noticed a small cross reference linking Jesus’ walking on the water to Job 9:8. This is part of a passage where Job acknowledges to his friends that no person is every righteous before God. He then details how great God is. In verse eight he mentions how God stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. What greater evidence could the disciples have seen of Jesus being the Son of God than that? I wonder if, in their frightened state, sitting in a small boat in a raging storm and seeing what they thought was a ghost coming to them across the waves, they remembered the words of Job? It certainly demonstrates how important a thorough knowledge of the Bible is. How often does God send us messages and we don’t see them because we don’t understand the symbolism? The Holy Spirit will enlighten us, but we can only be reminded of what we have already read. A very good reason why we should read the Bible every day and aim to read it completely every few years. Some people set out to read it every year. The Bible is a great treasure trove of God’s messages. No two readings of the Bible are every the same because our understanding of it is always guided by the Holy Spirit. I once read that the Bible is the only book where the author looks over our shoulder and points out bits for us to understand.
So looking at these verses from that perspective, I realise this is a powerful section on God’s greatness. His power and awesomeness. His majesty and impossible to fathom greatness. His willingness to reveal Himself to us through the most terrifying storms of life and His willingness to come to us, to meet us at our point of need.
Wow. Our God is really great.

 
Posted By Nan

In case you follow the link on a different day and get directed to a different devotional. The devotional I am directing you to is the one for 21 November and it is titled "Thirsty for God"

http://www.thewordfortoday.com.au/

 

 
Posted By Nan

This is a wonderful devotional from The Word for Today. It speaks so strongly of what I expressed in my last blog.

 

Here is the link:

 

http://www.thewordfortoday.com.au/

 

May you be challenged by today's Word for Today.

 

 

 


 
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Nan
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