Don’t give up! Never say Never! Put your trust in God! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 26th)

Does it seem impossible? Does it seem improbable? Does it seem unbelievable? Does it seem unattainable? What is in the way? What is your roadblock? What is it going to take? How would you respond if it happened? How would you respond when it happened? What would it take for you to believe? Are you willing to believe?

Imagine being the one who was missing when an event happened. Imagine everyone telling you about it but it sounded too good to be true. Imagine the miracle it would take for such a thing to happen. Imagine the change of reality it would take for it to be possible. Would you believe everyone or would you think they were trying to play a joke on you? Would you believe everyone or need more proof? Would you believe everyone or need to witness it with your own eyes? Would you say “I will never believe unless…”? Today’s theme is that we should never say never! Is it unbelief that is holding you back? Is it doubt that is keeping you from all that could have, should have, or would have? Or can you believe? Can you have faith? Can you have no doubt?

Today’s reading is from John 20 where Thomas returns to the stories of his friends. Their story was incredible. Their story was miraculous. Their story was amazing. But seemed too good to be true.

How would you have respond to Thomas as one of the people from John 20:19-23? What would you say to help encourage him to believe? What would you do to help trust that what was being described was real? How would you demonstrate the reality of everything that happened? So what about the people around you today? What about all the people God has brought into your life today who don’t believe? What are you doing? What are you saying? How are you demonstrating the reality of Jesus being alive? Don’t give up on those people! Never say never! Pray for them! Be salt in their lives! Be light in their darkness! Be hope to the hopeless! Be the love of God’s arms extended! Be the love of God’s arms embracing! Be present! Don’t give up!

Today’s reading shows us Thomas’ response…

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them,“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

–from John 20:25

Jesus can become real to people! Jesus can speak to people and help them believe! Jesus can have divine encounters with people on their road of life! Consider Saul who became Paul and how on that road to Damascus was transformed by a divine encounter with Jesus! God promises in His Word that He will give dreams and visions which many people around the world have having and encountering the reality and the truth of the love of God by having a divine encounter with Jesus! So pray for dreams! Pray for visions! Keep pouring into the lives of the people God has brought into your life at home, in your neighborhood, in your community, at school, at work, and everywhere in between. Never give up! Never say never! Press in! Press on! Don’t lose hope, put your trust in God! Might it cause trouble in this world? Take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Might you face trials of many kinds? Consider it pure joy for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If you are still seeking then don’t give up! If you are still asking then don’t give up! If you are still knocking then don’t give up! God’s Word promises that you will find Him when you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, and strength! God’s Word also promises that when you seek you will find, when you ask you will receive, and when you knock it will be opened! Don’t give up! Invite Jesus into your situation! You don’t want to wait till it is too late and be faced with the reality of your decision! You don’t want to come face to face with Jesus and miss out on everything He had planned for you! Would you want to come face to face with Jesus and be confronted by your doubt? God is gracious! God is love! God is patient! He is looking for ways to draw you back unto Him! He provided a way through faith in Jesus! He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He loves you so much that He made a way for you to spend all of eternity with Him! He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but rather through Him the world could be saved!

Today’s reading about Thomas impacted the world of Arts. Caravaggio painted “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” because of the story sometime called doubting Thomas.

Jan 26 - John 20_25 - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravagio

It speaks to the divine love and encounter of Jesus which is completed in John 20 when it says…

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and putout your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

–from John 20:26-29

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this day. I thank You Lord for Your Word and the truth of Your message. I know there will be hard times and in those times Lord, I pray that you will help take my faith and increase it by overwhelming any doubts or unbelief. Nothing is impossible with You! It is because of You and through You that the ability and opportunity to be saved exists. It is because of You and through You that all things are possible. So Lord, I give this day up into Your hands and ask Lord for Your help in it. I may not know what today will hold or what will unfold, but I do know that my hope and trust are in You! So Lord help me I pray to be salt and light into the world around me! Help me to not lose hope but to persevere and press in to what You have and desire for my life today. I give my day and my life into Your hands so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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