February 02, 2012

free not to believe

just yesterday I was reminded of a penetrating passage that for years I was sure didn't apply to me/us.  It is the one in John 10:37

"If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me" (NKJV)

Can you imagine if we really believed this verse?  and that it just might apply to us?  

How crazy huh?  let's just walk through your next evangelistic encounter with a skeptic.  They start to throw at you objections - hypocrisy amongst Christians, evil in the world, arguments from science, etc.  Then you just say, "Stop!  I don't want to discuss these issues.  I am on assignment and the Kingdom of God is within me, in fact the very Spirit of God dwells inside of me.  So, I don't want you to believe anything I would tell you about Jesus and His Gospel unless I first do the same miracles that Jesus did"

First of all, I think this approach would actually save many of us a lot of headaches.  Nobody likes debates and if we are honest, they've never worked.  

It would also cause us to actually take a serious look at our lives in light of the lifestyle modeled by Christ and His followers in the Scripture.  We'd begin to pray that the Lord would "close the gap" between what we read and how we live.

Finally, crazy steps of faith are exactly the kinds of things that attract heaven.  I can just imagine the fervor that such an approach might cause amongst the angels.  "Oh my goodness, one of God's kids is actually invoking John 10:37 in the 21st century!  Wake up guys, we're being sent NOW!"

are you DEAD?

strange title I know.  a group of us were meditating on Romans 6 and Paul tells us there that we are dead to sin (v. 2) and that we died "with Christ" (v. 6).  I think that many of the problems that I have relate directly to me not living out of the reality of what Paul is teaching.  If I am dead to sin and alive to God, manifesting the life of Christ, then most of the struggles simply evaporate.  Simple.  If only I BELIEVED it more often!