Monday, April 27, 2020

Even when tempted to worry ...

One of my favorite passages is when Jesus described what the work of God was to believers. 

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29
Sounds easy, right? Whew! That is do-able. I'm so thankful He doesn't require an exorbitant sum of money or some kind of miraculous feat done to prove my worthiness. 

No, what He asks is faith. It's actually the most valuable thing you can give Him.

But sometimes it is mighty tough to do.

It's always a good thing to look at scripture in context. So, when did Jesus say such a thing - that all God wants is for us to believe in Jesus?

He said it to people after some miraculous events. He'd fed  5,000 a fish dinner multiplying 5 loaves of bread and two fish. It was after His moonlight walk on the water with the mission of calming the scared disciples tossing to and fro in their little boat.

John tells us the next day the people noticed the disciples had taken the only boat. They'd seen the disciples go off, leaving Jesus; yet now, both the disciples and Jesus were gone. They went looking for them.

What followed was an interesting discussion.

You see, Jesus wasn't fooled when they showed up. He knew they were hoping for another meal. He basically told them not to spend their lives chasing perishable things but to labor for food that lasts forever.


They asked what they could do to do the works of God; and that's when He told them the famous verse about the work God wanted from them - believing on Jesus.

That must have seemed too easy to them so they asked for a sign. "What sign will you perform?" and then in the next breath they reminded Him of Moses feeding them in the desert with manna.

C'mon, Jesus, feed us again was their unspoken wish.

Jesus tried to direct their thoughts to spiritual food when He then told them He was the bread of life. He promised they would never lack for spiritual food and that He would accept anyone who really wanted to come.

They just didn't get it!

Unless the Father draws us by His Spirit, we never can grasp spiritual lessons. We're too consumed by the material lives we lead.

And it is no different today.

Right now in 2020, in the midst of mandates and sheltering-at-home and wondering if life will ever be the same, it is all-too-easy to get caught up by the material parts of our lives.

I mean, who ever thought you'd have trouble keeping enough toilet paper and dish soap in your house?

John's gospel told us to believe in the One God sent us - Jesus. In his other books, John addresses the fruit of what believing in Jesus gives us - love.

Living a life of love means we're also living a life of trust. We're not worried about lack because He takes care of us. What He decides not to bless us with will become our ability to use our brains and take what we do have to meet the need.

And we're not worried about death because we know we will be viewed through the lens of our Savior. Through Him we will look perfect since our identity is in Him.

We live in love, and we die in love.

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. 1 John 4:18 (The Message)

Why worry? Why fear? 

*You can read all of John 6 here.

In this age of pandemic fears, stock piling and shortages, I've begun a series of posts entitled F.E.A.R. - False Evidence Appearing Real because most of what we are afraid of is in our minds. 

You can also look at my last post, "Even when you realize you need to change," which focuses on the fear you may feel when you realize God is holy and you're ... not.

I'm linking this post with the communities at Inspire Me Monday
Recharge Wednesday


Linda Stoll said...

Turning away from fear, what-ifs and anxiety daily ... trusting in Him alone!

Debbie Wilson said...

Jerralea, that verse has brought me back in focus when I'm driven to fix something. He provides, I trust and obey. Thanks so much.