Monday, November 22, 2010

I believe in...

What you believe in directs your actions.  Conversely, how you act expresses what you truly believe.  Today while reading John 4:43-54, I was reminded of the father who requested Jesus to heal his son who was at the point of death.  The man wanted Jesus to come with him to heal his son, but Jesus had other plans. 

Whether it was to test his faith or to grow his faith I'm not sure, but Jesus knew that true faith doesn’t require seeing miraculous signs.  This father didn't argue, as we often to with God, but accepted Christ's word that his son was healed.  His actions expressed his belief.

So what do your actions say about what you believe?  I know that sometimes my actions express a gross denial of God's power in my life.  When sin encroaches and is allowed to have its way, then our testimony is weakened possibly even destroyed.

For this reason, we must always be on our guard against sin.  Every day brings opportunities to test and grow your faith.  As we read the Word, we need to take God at His word.  When He says we are no longer slaves to sin, but rather are free, we need to act on that truth; believe Him. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Testimony of One

How effective is the testimony of an individual?  Find a good restaurant and you'll share your experience with friends, find one with terrible service or food and likewise your testimony tells the tale.

In John 4:39-42, we read of the woman at the well's testimony and how through her "the town believed in Him…".  The fate of the whole town changed due to the testimony of this one woman.  And remember who she was.  She wasn't a wealthy, affluent woman; a wife of some powerful leader; she was an outcast.  She was despised by those in the town; everyone knew her reputation.  Perhaps she had broken up a family or two; maybe she had had an affair with men in the town; who was she to bring such an important message to this town?

She was the one chosen by God to receive the Living Water offered by His Son.  She could have kept it to herself, but instead the witness of this woman led the Samaritans to come to Jesus.  When they came He offered the same gift, Living Water.  Her testimony brought them, but eventually each one had to choose for themselves whether or not to drink of the water. 

Jesus is the One who saves, but He uses us to bring the world closer to Him.  So how effective is your testimony?  Are you telling those around you what Jesus means to you?  You may been the witness God uses to bring the whole town to believe in Him.  Will you be the one?

Are You Hungry?

Have you ever been hungry?  I mean really hungry.  I don't recall ever experiencing real hunger.  Oh, there were times when I was sent to bed without dinner (a consequence I should have received more often).  And there have been times when I have expressed, "I'm starving."  But in all reality, I have never been THAT hungry.

In John 4:31-38, we read an account that brings to mind a different view regarding food and hunger.  Jesus had just met 'the woman at the well', a Samaritan to whom He offered Living Water.  And now His disciples return to offer Christ sustenance.  He responded, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."  Adding, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work."

The difference between the food the disciples offered and the food that sustained Jesus, one is materialistic and the other is spiritual. 

This tends to be the same struggle Christians have today.  We often allow our desire for the material things of this world to distract us from the spiritual food that will sustain us.  We desire to feed our physical bodies while our spirits starve to be fed.

So I return to my initial question, have you ever been hungry?  I have, spiritually speaking.  There are times when I starve my spirit.  Often this is due to sin in my life blinding me to my spiritual need by emphasizing the pleasures that sin offers.  Other times busyness is the cause of spiritual neglect.  I concentrate so much on doing 'church work' that I am blinded to what God really wants me to be doing.

To open the eyes of the disciples, Jesus said, "Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest."  In other words, get your eyes off of yourself and see there are people with spiritual hunger, people dying.