Do you believe? What would it take for you to believe? What is keeping you from believing? Do you feel you need to believe but need help with your unbelief? The reality is that the truth will be revealed! The reality is that the truth will set you free! We still all get a choice and so it is up to us if we will believe and be transformed or not. Don’t let prejudice get in the way! Don’t let fear get in the way! So … Believe!
This morning’s reading starts with unbelief…
The Unbelief of the Jewish Authorities
45When the guards went back, the chief priests and Pharisees asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46The guards answered, “Nobody has ever talked the way this man does!” 47“Did he fool you, too?” the Pharisees asked them. 48“Have you ever known one of the authorities or one Pharisee to believe in him? 49This crowd does not know the Law of Moses, so they are under God’s curse!” 50One of the Pharisees there was Nicodemus, the man who had gone to see Jesus before. He said to the others, 51“According to our Law we cannot condemn people before hearing them and finding out what they have done.”
52“Well,” they answered, “are you also from Galilee? Study the Scriptures and you will learn that no prophet ever comes from Galilee.”
–from John 7
Do you just need to be prompted and reminded? Do you need to learn more? Do you have a Bible believing and Bible preaching and Bible leading church? We need a strong foundation and His name is Jesus! We need a cornerstone from which to build up and build out our lives and His name is Jesus! With that in place we need to go out and love others! We need to be willing to go out with God’s grace and mercy and share His love with those He has put into our lives! It’s not about judging others! It’s all about relationships! A relationship with God! A relationship with others! Today’s reading continues with the following…
12And so I will always remind you of these matters, even though you already know them and are firmly grounded in the truth you have received. 13I think it only right for me to stir up your memory of these matters as long as I am still alive. 14I know that I shall soon put off this mortal body, as our Lord Jesus Christ plainly told me. 15I will do my best, then, to provide a way for you to remember these matters at all times after my death.
Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory
16We have not depended on made-up stories in making known to you the mighty coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. With our own eyes we saw his greatness. 17We were there when he was given honor and glory by God the Father, when the voice came to him from the Supreme Glory, saying, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased!” 18We ourselves heard this voice coming from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19So we are even more confident of the message proclaimed by the prophets. You will do well to pay attention to it, because it is like a lamp shining in a dark place until the Day dawns and the light of the morning star shines in your hearts. 20Above all else, however, remember that none of us can explain by ourselves a prophecy in the Scriptures. 21For no prophetic message ever came just from the human will, but people were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God.
–from 2 Peter 1
Had a great lunch with a dear brother yesterday and we talked about how Job was showing up in my readings again. One interesting topic came up about how Job speaks about how God doesn’t have to give an account for what too place as well as the difference between Job and his friends. It is interesting as we spoke how it was all about relationships. Job had a relationship with God that allowed God to work deeper truths into his life. The response of his friends seemed to be more religious response than relational responses. And is a good lesson for us as the church. By being the church and going out into the world, we need to be building relationships. We know the law, but we even see through the Bible how God used grace, mercy, love, compassion first prior to bringing up the law. Consider the woman caught in adultery … where are your accusers? … now go and sin no more! When Jesus was healing those that society wouldn’t go near, He touched them right in their time of need! No prejudice! No judgment! Let’s model our lives after Jesus and allow God to do the work He needs to do in and through our lives! Now let’s continue into the book of Job…
Satan Tests Job Again
1When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the Lord again, Satan was there among them. 2The Lord asked him, “Where have you been?” Satan answered, “I have been walking here and there, roaming around the earth.” 3“Did you notice my servant Job?” the Lord asked. “There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil. You persuaded me to let you attack him for no reason at all, but Job is still as faithful as ever.” 4Satan replied, “A person will give up everything in order to stay alive. 5But now suppose you hurt his body—he will curse you to your face!” 6So the Lord said to Satan, “All right, he is in your power, but you are not to kill him.” 7Then Satan left the Lord’s presence and made sores break out all over Job’s body. 8Job went and sat by the garbage dump and took a piece of broken pottery to scrape his sores. 9His wife said to him, “You are still as faithful as ever, aren’t you? Why don’t you curse God and die?” 10Job answered, “You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?” Even in all this suffering Job said nothing against God.
Job’s Friends Come
11Three of Job’s friends were Eliphaz, from the city of Teman, Bildad, from the land of Shuah, and Zophar, from the land of Naamah. When they heard how much Job had been suffering, they decided to go and comfort him. 12While they were still a long way off they saw Job, but did not recognize him. When they did, they began to weep and wail, tearing their clothes in grief and throwing dust into the air and on their heads. 13Then they sat there on the ground with him for seven days and nights without saying a word, because they saw how much he was suffering.
–from Job 2
Lord, grant me the wisdom, the courage, the strength to accomplish Your will. Turn what the devil has planned for evil and use it for God! Help me I pray to pass the tests and the trials. And as Your Word says, I will consider it all joy when I face trials of any kind because the testing will produce perseverance and endurance, and that it’s finished work will make me mature, complete, and lacking nothing! I ask all of this in Jesus’ name.