What do you believe about yourself? How does that impact how you relate to others? It matters!
What do you believe? How does that impact how you relate to the world? It matters!
What do you believe about God? How does that impact how you live your life? It matters!
Have your eyes been blinded from the truth? Have your ears been deafened from the truth? Has your mind been closed from the truth? Has forgiveness been taken from your options? Your forgiveness? Your forgiveness of others?
Today’s reading starts with disbelief even with everything that was seen, witnessed, done…
The Unbelief of the People
After Jesus said this, he went off and hid himself from them. 37Even though he had performed all these miracles in their presence, they did not believe in him, 38so that what the prophet Isaiah had said might come true:
“Lord, who believed the message we told? To whom did the Lord reveal his power?” 39And so they were not able to believe, because Isaiah also said, 40“God has blinded their eyes and closed their minds, so that their eyes would not see, and their minds would not understand, and they would not turn to me, says God, for me to heal them.” 41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 42Even then, many Jewish authorities believed in Jesus; but because of the Pharisees they did not talk about it openly, so as not to be expelled from the synagogue. 43They loved human approval rather than the approval of God.
Judgment by Jesus’ Words
44Jesus said in a loud voice, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in him who sent me. 45Whoever sees me sees also him who sent me. 46I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47If people hear my message and do not obey it, I will not judge them. I came, not to judge the world, but to save it. 48Those who reject me and do not accept my message have one who will judge them. The words I have spoken will be their judge on the last day! 49This is true, because I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has commanded me what I must say and speak. 50And I know that his command brings eternal life. What I say, then, is what the Father has told me to say.”
–from John 12
We have time to choose before we get judged! For those who choose to believe and follow, they will be saved! For those who choose not to believe, they are opening themselves up to have to deal with the full force of eternal judgment. So will you believe what you have seen? Will you believe what you have heard? Will you put your trust in the Word of God that is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow because God doesn’t change? Will you receive the greatest gift of Jesus? The gift of forgiveness? We have all missed the mark, we have all messed up, we all need forgiveness! For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! But that’s not the end of the story! God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. What you believe makes a difference, not only in the here and now, but also in our final destiny!
What do you believe LOVE means? What you believe makes a difference! Knowledge is power some say…The Truth will set you free!
1From the Elder—To the dear Lady and to her children, whom I truly love. And I am not the only one, but all who know the truth love you, 2because the truth remains in us and will be with us forever.
3May God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, give us grace, mercy, and peace; may they be ours in truth and love.
Truth and Love
4How happy I was to find that some of your children live in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5And so I ask you, dear Lady: let us all love one another. This is no new command I am writing you; it is the command which we have had from the beginning. 6This love I speak of means that we must live in obedience to God’s commands. The command, as you have all heard from the beginning, is that you must all live in love. 7Many deceivers have gone out over the world, people who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came as a human being. Such a person is a deceiver and the Enemy of Christ. 8Be on your guard, then, so that you will not lose what we have worked for, but will receive your reward in full. 9Anyone who does not stay with the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God. Whoever does stay with the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10So then, if some come to you who do not bring this teaching, do not welcome them in your homes; do not even say, “Peace be with you.” 11For anyone who wishes them peace becomes their partner in the evil things they do.
12I have so much to tell you, but I would rather not do it with paper and ink; instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you personally, so that we shall be completely happy. 13The children of your dear Sister send you their greetings.
–from 2 John 1
What you believe can bring you peace! What you believe can rob you of your peace! What you believe makes a difference! What you believe matters! How you respond matters! How you react matters! What you believe impacts your response!
1-2Why do you keep tormenting me with words? 3Time after time you insult me and show no shame for the way you abuse me. 4Even if I have done wrong, how does that hurt you? 5You think you are better than I am, and regard my troubles as proof of my guilt. 6Can’t you see it is God who has done this? He has set a trap to catch me. 7I protest his violence, but no one is listening; no one hears my cry for justice. 8God has blocked the way, and I can’t get through; he has hidden my path in darkness. 9He has taken away all my wealth and destroyed my reputation. 10He batters me from every side. He uproots my hope and leaves me to wither and die. 11God is angry and rages against me; he treats me like his worst enemy. 12He sends his army to attack me; they dig trenches and lay siege to my tent. 13God has made my own family forsake me; I am a stranger to those who knew me; 14my relatives and friends are gone. 15Those who were guests in my house have forgotten me; my servant women treat me like a stranger and a foreigner. 16When I call a servant, he doesn’t answer—even when I beg him to help me. 17My wife can’t stand the smell of my breath, and my own brothers won’t come near me. 18Children despise me and laugh when they see me. 19My closest friends look at me with disgust; those I loved most have turned against me. 20My skin hangs loose on my bones; I have barely escaped with my life. 21You are my friends! Take pity on me! The hand of God has struck me down. 22Why must you persecute me the way God does? Haven’t you tormented me enough? 23How I wish that someone would remember my words and record them in a book! 24Or with a chisel carve my words in stone and write them so that they would last forever. 25But I know there is someone in heaven who will come at last to my defense. 26Even after my skin is eaten by disease, while still in this body I will see God. 27I will see him with my own eyes, and he will not be a stranger. My courage failed because you said, 28“How can we torment him?” You looked for some excuse to attack me. 29But now, be afraid of the sword—the sword that brings God’s wrath on sin, so that you will know there is one who judges.
–from Job 19