B-E-L-I-E-V-E

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life…” John the Baptist; John 3:36

Really, it all comes down to what we believe. I heard a preacher years ago say, “What you believe determines how you live regardless of what you say.” Truth.

When the disciple John wrote his gospel account he placed a great deal of emphasis on the concept of “belief.” In chapter 3, vss 11-21, alone, John uses the word “believe” seven times; and it occurs approximately 100 times throughout John’s gospel. For instance,…

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him….” (3:16)

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (20:30-31)

What atheists, agnostics, skeptics, etc. fail to remind their audiences is this: Sure, Christianity takes faith (“by grace, through faith we are saved” – Eph. 2:8). But, so do Darwinian evolution, atheism,  and agnosticism require a great deal of faith.

Personally, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. I tried in the days immediately following my son’s death, but to no avail. The evidence for the existence of God is overwhelming. And, like former atheist, Antony Flew, “i must go where the argument leads.”

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Believe

Fast & Furious

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” (John 2:13-15)

Before we question Jesus for his actions here, just know that the business practices of those selling livestock and exchanging currency had become extremely corrupt, taking advantage of the thousands in town for Passover.

Of note here is how quickly and decisively Jesus “addressed the problem.” John MacArthur comments on this passage: “When the holiness of God and His worship was a stake, Jesus took fast and furious action.”

As I read through this passage in John’s gospel I found myself quickly convicted. After all, Paul describes us (believers) as “temples of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20) If, somehow, my body/temple were laid out like the 1st century temple – and Jesus walked in – what would He find? Would my spiritual condition prompt in Christ the same reaction the Jerusalem temple did?

Lord, reveal to me all the corruption in my heart and mind (there’s a lot). Forgive me, and – with swift force – “drive it out of me” so that I may say with the psalmist, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (19:14)

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

At the Corner of Guilt & Shame

She was a Samaritan. The Jews hated Samaritans.

She, due to her own bad choices, had a rough past. And her present situation wasn’t any better.

Jews didn’t speak to Samaritans, much less a Jewish man speak to a Samaritan woman. But Jesus not only spoke to her, he initiated the conversation. Or, better put, the encounter. The disciples (shocked by this) asked Jesus, “WHY are you talking with her??”

Samaritan women typically came to Jacob’s Well to draw water in the early morning or late evening to avoid the hot sun. This woman, alone, came during the afternoon. John MacArthur comments on this passage: “The woman coming to the well alone may indicate that her public shame caused her to be isolated from other women.”

This was no chance meeting. It was a divine appointment. It was no accident. It was by design.

And, at the corner of Guilt & Shame, Jesus was waiting for her (He never misses an appointment :)) – offering restoration and redemption, all because of love.

Having arrived at the well at the corner of Guilt & Shame, she was departing the well from the corner of Love & Grace. Returning to her home restored & redeemed, John writes, “Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.” (4:39)

Guilt & Shame come from Satan. Boundless Love and Amazing Grace are offered to you and me freely from Christ Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick