In light of our current series “Things Unseen,” I was reading John 1 this morning and saw it from a different angle. So go with me for a second and imagine…
It’s the year 35 AD, a few years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The disciples, who previously leaned in to learn for three years under Jesus, were now apostles and sent out to serve. After
Do you ever wish you could go back to your teenage years and get a second chance at those awkward moments and fails? I bet this is how the disciples felt looking back. I bet they wished they could get a redo of those three years spent doing life with Jesus 24/7.
And here’s what I think would happen…
It’s not that many of the scenes that we’ve come to know in the Gospels would change that drastically. People would still oppose Jesus, they’d still come to see the miracles, hear him speak, and leave when they had their fill. Storms would still happen. But one thing that would change is the disciple’s reactions and responses in many of these stories.
They wouldn’t have tried to send the 5,000+ away due to lack of food.
They might have brought people to Jesus instead of rebuking them from bothering Him.
The circumstances of the disciples in all these stories probably don’t change, but what would change, is the men themselves.
But see, they weren’t alone, many had missed Jesus as God in those first years. John tells us…
He [Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not
Many people saw a great teacher, an influencer, an advocate of justice. But they missed the divine. And John directly links
See, we must first
Because when we do that first, it breeds a beautiful humility. And humility is the posture needed to truly receive.
So friends, be still and know He is God. Acknowledge that first continually as you approach Him and be blessed.
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
Who does the good work? What is your interpretation of good work? When have you done,
Have you ever paused and
After washing the disciples’ feet, the question he asked was profound. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” When we come to faith or re-commit our faith, maybe through Alpha, a conference, an outreach event, ministry or some form of gathering, the question is “What’s next?” The excitement, tenderness
The issue is when all these emotions of good work taper off. Our heart, mind or even our soul is longing for the next thing to uplift the doldrums of life. We
Now going back to John 13, this reminded me of the part when Jesus predicted his betrayal and told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” Clearly, no matter what, God is unchanging and His grace and mercy
Everyone is in a different season. By imitating Christ’s humility, the theme of Philippians 2, we can truly love one another and look past turbulent emotions. Before reminding Peter of his future denial, Jesus gave us the key to do His good work. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my
I will leave you with this quote from Elisabeth Elliot:
“Faith is a decision. It is not a deduction from the facts around us. We would not look at the world of today and logically conclude that God loves us. It doesn’t always look as though He does. Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling – feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lion’s den or hanging on a wooden Cross. Faith is not inferred from the happy way things always work. It is an act of the will, a choice, based on the Unbreakable Word of a God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ.”
Let us pay it forward by:
Jason was born and raised in Hong Kong, and has been going to a Christian school since he was young. He knew the stories about Jesus but as he went to university, he grew even more distant from the faith. He eventually returned to Hong Kong as an investment banker and while things were going well; he began to feel a deep sense of emptiness. After searching for a way to fill that gap in his heart, Jason was invited to Alpha by a colleague and began to relearn the faith again. In a mission trip to Mongolia, Jason found Jesus.
Karen feels that she is able to better portray her feelings through art. She struggles fitting in because Hong Kong values certain academic pursuits, and for university, Karen subscribed to these requirements by majoring in mathematics. She returned to Hong Kong to work for the marketing department at Uber and her creative passions were rekindled. She walked away from everything to pursue this dream, which brought a lot of difficulties but she was encouraged by a Christian. This led her to become curious about God and from there, she came to deeply know God.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:9-11
My son is transitioning from a baby to a toddler. He’s making funny faces, learning to walk, baby talking his way through conversations, and pressing any button he lays eyes on. Whenever he wants to be freed from his “prison”, I mean playpen, he stretches his arms above his head, spreads his fingers, stares at me wide-eyed, and makes this sound that mimics a small injured animal. When he does that, I have the hardest time resisting to pick him up. Such difficulty in refusing a request is something I have never experienced until I became a father.
Upon pondering this feeling and where my son’s influence comes from, I came up with two reasons. First, he is my son, and this unique relationship creates a responsibility in me that is greater than all of my other responsibilities. Being a father makes me want to provide for his needs, attend to him at all times, and make sacrifices for him. The second reason is, that he is a helpless baby who depends on and trusts my wife and me for everything. Knowing this makes it hard for me to refuse his requests. This is especially true when the request is something as simple and innocent as holding him.
When someone relies on and trusts you 100%, it brings out an eagerness to try and satisfy one’s request. I imagine that this is the same between God and us. He is our Heavenly Father and when we rely on Him completely, He wants to satisfy us. As Matthew puts it, God’s natural tendency is to give us great gifts and blessings that are good for us. Our issue is that we don’t usually rely on Him the way babies rely on their caregivers. Instead we feel that we know better, we quit relying on our Heavenly Father and act like spiritual adolescents.
Let us come before God: