Repetitions are Good!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

30-31 They waffled: “Why don’t you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”

32-33 Jesus responded, “The real significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you the bread from heaven but that my Father is right now offering you the bread from heaven, the real bread. The Bread of God came down out of heaven and is giving life to the world.”

34 They jumped at that: “Master, give us this bread, now and forever!”

35-38 Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because you don’t really believe me even though you have seen me in action. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own agenda but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

39-40 “This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father is completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time, I have everything, and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole after time.”

41-42 At this, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” the Jews started arguing over him: “Isn’t this the Son of Joseph? Don’t we know his Father? Don’t we know his mother? How can he now say, ‘I came down out of heaven’ and expect anyone to believe him?” -John 6:30-42 The Message

The conversation between Jesus and the crowd members continues. A quick recap; Jesus is found on the other side of the shore after disappearing. The crowd asked him when did he get here? He called them out for having self-centered reasons to follow him. The conversation questions continued after Jesus answered what we must do to do the works God requires. They asked Jesus, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” The group responded, “Sir, always give us the bread,” Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Just a quick reminder, the bible is always in repetition. The bread of life is Jesus; this is spiritual food. Your relationship with Jesus Christ can only be sustained by the spiritual food Jesus can bring you. You can eat bread to live in life, but the only way we can have spiritual nourishment is to allow Jesus in our lives in our daily walk.

Jesus continued: “But as I told you, you have seen me and still do not believe. Therefore, all those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me.” Jesus worked in union with the God of the Father. Remember that Jesus has the same purpose to follow the will of God, not to satisfy his human desires. Let this be welcoming of God’s presence and always being protected by him.

Jesus continued on: “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. Christ will not let you be overcome by the devil and lose salvation (17:15, Philippians 1:6) because if and when you make the commitment to believe in Jesus, you are fit with eternal life. Thus, Jesus said to us all that he would not lose even one person whom the Father had given him.

Verse 40, Jesus is responding: “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” You put your faith in Christ, you will be resurrected from physical death to eternal life with God when Christ comes again. (1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

The Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the Son of Joseph, whose Father and Mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven?” When John was writing, he mentions the Jews. John and Jesus are Jews, so he is not talking about all Jews. He is talking about the Jewish leaders that are being hostile towards Jesus. Some of them didn’t want to accept Jesus’ claim of divinity; that’s why they grumbled. They don’t want to believe that Jesus was God’s divine Son, so they rejected him and would not tolerate his message. The reality is that the demands Christ makes for loyalty and obedience are what they can’t accept. So they end up protecting themselves by rejecting his message.

Father, thank you for your message. But, unfortunately, there are a lot of people who reject your message because they refuse to believe it. They don’t want to be obedient, so they leave you. I pray we can be examples of obedience to you to show them how to live in faith for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

What Reasons?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

22-24 The next day, the crowd that was left behind realized that there had been only one boat and that Jesus had not gotten into it with his disciples. They had seen them go off without him. By now, boats from Tiberias had pulled up near where they had eaten the bread blessed by the Master. So when the crowd realized he was gone and wasn’t coming back, they piled into the Tiberias boats and headed for Capernaum, looking for Jesus.

25 When they found him back across the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.

The Bread of Life

27 “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Instead, work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”

28 To that, they said, “Well, what do we do then to get in on God’s works?”

29 Jesus said, “Sign on with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.” -John 6:22-29 The Message.

The crowd stayed on the opposite shore of the lake. Jesus didn’t enter the boat with the disciples, and the group realized that only one boat had been there, but they also realized that Jesus had gone away alone. So everyone started a search party for Jesus because the disciples weren’t there either. Finally, they found him on the other side of the lake. So the crowd asked, “When did you get here?” Jesus responded, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me not because you saw the signs I performed, but because you ate the loaves and had you full.” Let’s talk about what Jesus said. You are looking for me because you saw the signs I performed. Jesus called them out because of what can be their self-centered motives. Jesus believed that they followed him because of physical and temporal benefits and not satisfy spiritual hunger. Truth is that the followers of Jesus know the truth because he has the truth and his way is the way to live. Another reality is that people use religion to gain prestige, comfort, or even political votes. 

So, let’s talk about me. I have a podcast I do call “Afternoon Coffee Break with Darren Watts.” I talk a lot about racism and discrimination in America. In my podcast, I started to get the bible involved with the education of teaching oppression. The bible shares stories about oppression. The thing that has bothered me the most is why Christians choose to ignore oppression in America and refuse to talk to their children about oppression in the bible. Is this self-centered of me to do? Let me know. Because the oppressors can be categorized in many areas. It doesn’t have to be only slavery. If you can’t speak up about it because you are silent by the oppressors, that’s oppression. It’s my thoughts, and I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Jesus continued his answer, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him, God the Father has placed his seal of approval. The crowd asked, “What must we do to do the works God requires”? Jesus said, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” Yes, a lot of sincere seekers for God can be confused about what he wants. I know I do; I get it a lot of times. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Many religious leaders or philosophers try to answer this question, but Jesus can make it easy to answer. The answer is this; we must believe in him whom God has sent. We can do all the work for him, but it comes from who we believe. Accept Jesus when he claims to be God. Spiritual development is built on affirmation. Matthew 16:16, in summary, declares to Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Make that a life of a belief that is satisfying to your Creator.

Father, thank you for your dedication to us. We have work to do to recognize how we follow you. Do we follow you by our self-centered motives? I asked that question myself, and I hope others will. If you see a self-centered attitude in me, please correct me and those you see. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Miracle Feeding!

Monday, July 19, 2021

10-11 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.
12-13 When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers, so nothing is wasted.” So they went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.
14-15 The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. So they said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself.
16-21 In the evening, his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark, and Jesus had not yet returned. A massive wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” So they took him on board. In no time, they reached land—the exact spot they were headed to. -John 6:10-21 The Message.

Chapter 6 begins with Jesus and his disciples arriving at the Sea of Galilee. They were followed by a crowd because of Jesus’ miracle performances. Finally, Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. There was a conversation about how to feed all the people at the Passover Festival. Jesus wanted to see the response, test the faith of his disciples. Philip started to assess probable costs. They were fixated on what the boy had brought but failed to realize that Jesus is the resource that they needed to solve the problem.

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was a total of five thousand people. Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. Then, when all of them had enough to eat, he told one of his disciples, “Gather the leftover pieces. Let nothing be wasted.” The disciple did that, filled twelve basked with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus knew that they would try to make him king by force, so Jesus withdrew and went to a mountain top by himself. A lesson behind leftovers is this: God gives in abundance, meaning in large quantities. When he does the work to help people, he multiplies the effectiveness in ways we do not believe but see with our eyes. When you take the first step in being available to God, he’ll show you ways you can be used to advance the work of his kingdom.

The evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat to prepare to cross the lake for Capernaum. It is dark by this time, and Jesus had not yet joined them. Then, out of nowhere, a wind was blowing, and the waters grew rough. They rowed about three or four miles, and they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on water! Can you believe that?! But the disciples were afraid, and Jesus told him, “It is I; don’t be frightened. So the disciples took Jesus into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. A few things to unpack here. The Sea of Galilee has windstorms like these because the sea is 650 feet below sea level and 150 feet deep, surrounded by hills. So it caused high waves, and it is expected. As usual, the disciples were afraid when the storm came. Jesus came during the storm three and a half miles out from shore while walking on water and told them not to be frightened. Our lives are filled with waves and storms, and we are being tossed around all the time. Regardless of how scary that may be, trust Christ to keep you safe, and he will give you peace from any storm you are trying to pass. I have many storms now in my life, no job, no education to get me a job, no skills. I have to trust God to get me through each day. I have been getting through by the grace of God and help from family. The struggle is still accurate, but I trust him every day. I don’t panic.

We have to be prepared for help, as the disciples were not ready for use because they automatically assumed the worse. In Mark 6:49, the disciples were terrified at the sight of a ghost. But they didn’t think about it in this instance when they saw the ghost again. Remember your past in a way that can keep you from fearing the worst.

Father, thank you for your word. Every day, we are reminded not to fear you but to trust you. I pray it will motivate many others to not fear you and to trust you. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Testing Faith

Sunday, July 18, 2021

1-4 After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick. When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews.
5-6 When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.”
8-9 One of the disciples—it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter—said, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.” -John 6:1-9 The Message.

After the explanation of working on the Sabbath day, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. Because of the miracles he has been performing, he attracted a large crowd. Jesus went on a mountainside and sat with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was coming up. Jesus stood up and saw a great group coming toward him, and he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Jesus did this to test him as he knew what he would do. If anybody knew where to get food, it would be Philip since his hometown is Bethsaida, a town nine miles from where they were. (John 1:44) Jesus knew there was no human solution, but the challenge we must take on and believe is that Jesus can do all things, even if we know it is out of our league. But Philip answered the question by saying, “it would take more than a half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” What Philip did was start to assess the probable cost. The lesson here, not just for Philip but also for us, is that financial resources are not the most important ones. The limitations are what is possible and what is not possible. We believe God can’t do many things because it is impossible to do, but don’t let the estimate scoop low and not have faith because what you think is limiting. He is a resourceful God and can provide for you.

Another of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” The boy brought barley loaves and two small fish and gave what he had, but the disciples didn’t produce anything but failed to realize they had more resources than the boy. At that point, the boy gave what he had, and that made a difference. But the disciples didn’t go to Jesus and ask at that time what to do. They kept evaluating instead of using their resource right in front of them. But Jesus loves to work through people. The miracle Jesus perform is the most significant recorded in the Gospel, but Jesus works through the boy to do his blessing. Age does not matter to Jesus. The boy is young. Even if you are old, Jesus can still perform miracles through you! Jesus will offer our services at any time, any age! Be ready!

Father, thank you for your service and thank you for using our services no matter the circumstances. I pray we can continue to be faithful to allow you to work in us, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Followers?

Saturday, July 17, 2021

39-40 “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.

41-44 “I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms. How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for positions with each other, ranking your rivals, and ignoring God?

45-47 “But don’t think I’m going to accuse you before my Father. Moses, in whom you put so much stock, is your accuser. If you believed, really believed, what Moses said, you would believe me. He wrote of me. If you won’t take seriously what he wrote, how can I expect you to take seriously what I speak?” -John 5:39-47 The Message.

Jesus continues his explanation to Jewish leaders. So we continue at verses 39 and 40. “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.’ The most important thing that he wants you to understand about his teachings is not getting so involved in “religion.” The religious leaders knew what the Bible said, but they didn’t want to apply the words of the Bible to their lives. As religious leaders, they know what the Bible says. All the leaders understood the teachings and scriptures but didn’t want to see the Messiah where the Scripture pointed. So they made sure they stay with “religion” and not what Jesus said.

Jesus continued: “I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have a love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me, but you will accept him if someone else comes in his own name. So how can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” So the question Jesus is asking is, who do you praise? The leaders of Jews may have enjoyed fame in Israel, what they don’t realize is that their stamp of approval meant nothing to Jesus. Jesus was concerned about God’s blessing. We should be concerned if God disapproves of our behaviors. The highest official usually approves of our behaviors. Let it be practical to serve God at our highest and not the highest officials.

Jesus continues on to the last part of his speech. “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would feel for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” The Pharisee’s haughtiness about following Moses, their ancestor, did their best to follow his letters’ laws but added some of their own. Jesus warns the Pharisees that Moses would accuse them stung them angrily. Moses wrote about Jesus in Genesis 3:15, Numbers 21:9, 24:17, Deuteronomy 18:15, but the religious leaders refused to believe Jesus when he came. What do you do when you have friends and family that don’t want to follow Jesus? Do you stop following? Do you continue to support Jesus? Living in the free world that God releases us to live in, we have choices and decisions to make. God knows your options before making them, but it is up to you to make a wise decision.

Father, thank you for educating us about following you. Thank you for the history of followers that pretended. We can see how to follow you when the devil comes and convinces us to do other things from people or ourselves. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Defending the Sabbath

Friday, July 16, 2021

25-27 “You must get this right: The time has arrived—I mean right now!—when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive. Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. And he has given him the authority, simply because he is the Son of Man, to decide and carry out matters of Judgment.

28-29 “Don’t act so surprised at all this. The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice. Those who have lived the right way will walk out into a resurrection Life; those who have lived the wrong way, into a resurrection Judgment.

30-33 “I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders. If I were simply speaking on my own account, it would be an empty, self-serving witness. But an independent witness confirms me, the most reliable witness of all. Furthermore, you all saw and heard John, and he gave expert and reliable testimony about me, didn’t he?

34-38 “But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved. John was a torch, blazing and bright, and you were glad enough to dance for an hour or so in his bright light. But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete. As I go about achieving them, these same tasks confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me. The Father who sent me assured me. And you missed it. You never heard his voice; you never saw his appearance. There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.

-John 5:25-38 The Message

Jesus is continuing to explain his answer after working on the Sabbath day. He continues by saying, “very honestly, I tell you a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” The dead will hear my voice, which means that the spiritually dead listen, understand, and accept him. Those that receive Jesus and the word will have eternal life. Now, Jesus is also talking about the physically dead. Jesus raised several dead people while he was on earth, and in his second coming, all the dead in Christ will meet him. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Jesus continued: “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” The source of and Creator of life we all know is God. There is no life apart from God ever! The gift we have is life from God. (Deuteronomy 30:20, Psalm 36:9) Jesus is eternally existent with God and the Creator; that is also “the life,” which we will see when we live forever. (1 John 5:11)

“And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son on Man.” So if we look back to the old testament, there are three signs of the Messiah coming. John shows that Jesus did fulfill all three signs.

  1. The power and authority are given to him as the Son of Man. (5:27, Daniel 7:13, 14)
  2. Lame and sick are healed. (5:20, 21, Isaiah 35:6, Jeremiah 31:8-9)
  3. The dead are raised to life. (5:21, 28, Deuteronomy 32:39, 1 Samuel 2:6, 2 Kings 5:7)

Moving on in Jesus’ explanation. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out. Those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” Many people have rebelled against Christ. The result is they are resurrected, but God’s Judgment against them and to be sentenced to eternity apart from him. Therefore, it is essential to learn about him and decide if you believe in him or not. We also wish to live well on earth but ignore God and then see death as a final rest. We can’t believe people to see death as the end of it all. There is the Judgment to face when that happens.

Jesus went on: “By myself, I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My Judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. Therefore, if I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.” In verse 18, Jesus said he is equal to God. He also gives eternal life, which he mentioned in verse 25, and he is the source of energy, which is mentioned in verse 26. He is to judge sin in verse 27. John the Baptist supported these statements that were made by Jesus. Jesus is claiming to be divine. Where are you? Jesus is looking for you. He is looking to help you with your life and make it better for you. Reach out to your Pastor or a local Pastor to help if you don’t have a church home.

Father, thank you for doing so much even on the Sabbath day. The Sabbath day can be a day when you don’t have to do anything, but you still defend us to the end. Thank you for your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Enteral Life

Thursday, July 15, 2021

15-16 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.

17 But Jesus defended himself. “My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.”

18 That set them off. The Jews were now not only out to expose him; they were out to kill him. Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was calling God his own Father, putting himself on a level with God.

What the Father Does, the Son Does

19-20 So Jesus explained himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.

20-23 “But you haven’t seen the half of it yet, for in the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out. The Father handed all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father. Anyone who dishonors the Son dishonors the Father, for the Father decided to put the Son in the place of honor.

24 “You must listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.

-John 5:15-24 The Message

We learned about Jesus’ miracle he performed on a government official’s Son. We also knew that Jesus was working on the Sabbath day. So a result of Jesus working on the Sabbath day, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. Can you think of another word that associate with persecution? I’ll give you a hint. The posts are pinned on the top of the page of the Sincerity Having Peace website under blogs. If God stopped working on the Sabbath day, how do you think the world would function? Genesis 2:2 reminds us that God rested on the seventh day. That doesn’t mean that God stops doing good for people just because it is the Sabbath day. Just like how we take advantage of opportunities when it presents itself, Jesus is the same way. When good comes, he wants to do good when the opportunity presents itself. Jesus let the Jewish leaders know that the Father is always at his work and I (Jesus) works. Jesus is identifying himself with God, his Father. There is no option to believe in God while ignoring God’s Son, Jesus. So the only two options are to either believe in him or accuse him of blasphemy. (an act of expressing, lack of reverence for God) Of course, they chose the second option.

So the Jewish leaders tried to kill Jesus because he was breaking the Sabbath law, and he was calling God his Father, which is equal with God. In verse 19, he gave them the answer in length. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all, he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so, the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. There is more explaining himself, and the explanation will continue in tomorrow’s blog.

To summarize verses 19-24, we should honor Jesus and live as he wants us to live. There is unity with God, and because there is, God wanted Jesus to live. The question we ask ourselves is, what would Jesus do? Our decision-making can be better by asking this question and accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior is marking our life as “Eternal life,” living with God forever. The reminder of this is in 2 Corinthians 5:17. There is physical death involved, but your body is resurrected to live forever when Christ returns. (1 Corinthians 15)

Father, thank you for your reminder of accepting you as our Savior. There is no other way to you but through you. Thank you for the gentle reminder of sticking by you for a better life. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Structure and Humbleness

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Even on the Sabbath

5 1-6 Soon, another Feast came around, and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, there was a pool called Bethesda with five alcoves in Hebrew. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”

7 The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”

8-9 Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.

9-10 That day happened to be the Sabbath. So the Jews stopped the healed man and said, “It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.”

11 But he told them, “The man who made me well told me to. He said, ‘Take your bedroll and start walking.'”

12-13 They asked, “Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?” But the healed man didn’t know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.

14 A little later, Jesus found him in the Temple and said, “You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse might happen.” -John 5:1-14 The Message.

Here is another miracle from Jesus. We learned that he healed the government official’s son. Here is the story of this miracle. Jesus made his way up to Jerusalem for the Jewish festivals. There are requirements for all Jewish males to come to Jerusalem for three reasons.

  1. The Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
  2. The Festival of Weeks, also known as Pentecost.
  3. The Festival of Tabernacles.

Near the Sheep Gate, there is a pool which in Aramaic is called Bethesda. It is surrounded by five covered colonnades. There are disabled people, the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed there. There is one person that’s been there for thirty-eight years. Jesus came to the man who is ill and asked him one question. “Do you want to get well?” The man responded by saying that no one helps him get to the pool, but someone is already in when he tries. Jesus said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” That man was cured. He did as Jesus said and picked up his mat, and walked. After thirty-eight years of struggles, his life seems like it is hopeless. Attempt after attempt, he gets beat to the pool. No matter where your life is at right now, there is always hope. God can always be there for your needs. He can help with your hardship. God showed us this with the paralyzed man. There are a lot of people who ministered to the hurt because they overcome their pain.

The day that the miracle happened was the Sabbath day. So the Jewish leaders said to the man that it is a Sabbath day and that the law forbids you to carry your mat. The healed man replied,” the man who made me well said to me, pick up your mat and walk.” The Jewish leaders had no idea who he was talking about. So they asked him who it was and the man had no idea who he was. Jesus was gone and had slipped through the crowd. So later on in the day, Jesus found him and told him, ” you are well again. Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you.

When the man was healed by Jesus, the greater need he had was his sins to be forgiven. The physical side of him is incredible, but the spiritual side needed some healing. He had to turn back to God so he can forgive him for his sins. Although the man was healed on the Sabbath day, the Jewish leaders are concerned about him carrying his mat and the rules instead of looking at how he is healed. The miracle was not paid attention to because they are not interested in what Jesus did. So often, we are caught up with structure when we forget to praise for the small and the big things in life. Take a moment to thank God for those miracles regardless of what they are. You have to pick if you are about God-made laws or man-made ones.

Father, thank you for the laws you made for us. Thank you for the miracles we can celebrate and for reminding us of forgiveness and humbleness when these are performed. Allow us to remember these things in repetition. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Doubts Turned to Miracles

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

46-48 Now, he was back in Cana of Galilee, the place where he made the water into wine. Meanwhile, in Capernaum, there was a particular official from the king’s court whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: “Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.”

49 But the court official wouldn’t be put off. “Come down! It’s life or death for my son.”

50-51 Jesus simply replied, “Go home. Your son lives.”

The man believed the bare word Jesus spoke and headed home. On his way back, his servants intercepted him and announced, “Your son lives!”

52-53 He asked them what time he began to get better. They said, “The fever broke yesterday afternoon at one o’clock.” The father knew that that was the very moment Jesus had said, “Your son lives.”

53-54 That settled it. Not only the official believed, but his entire household believed. This was now the second sign Jesus gave after having come from Judea into Galilee. John 4:46-54 The Message

After Jesus preaches, he made his way to Cana in Galilee. A refresher course; this is where Jesus did a miracle and turns water into wine at a wedding. He meets with a government official. The government official learns that Jesus arrived and wanted to see him. The royal official had to walk 20 miles to meet with Jesus. He also called Jesus “Sir.” Although he had legal authority over Jesus, he humbled himself and did not let the title get in the way of greeting Jesus. Jesus is about to perform another miracle. Spoiler alert; he is about to do more blessings in the upcoming study of Jesus. Focusing on this one, the miracle’s purpose is to get people who didn’t believe in Jesus to start focusing on him. All over John’s book, John wrote to everybody that they should have faith in Christ, and he urgently told people that. The government official believed in Christ and had faith.

His faith is he left it up to Jesus to make it happen. It also demonstrated to others that he had faith and set an example of how we should respond when we want miracles to happen. Rachel Maddow said it perfectly: Watch what they do, not what they say. It’s one thing for people to say, I believe in Jesus, but it is another thing when it is time for them to show it. When you need Jesus, pray and be in faith as it will happen. Do not get caught up in people having to watch what you do, not what you say.

When the government official left his son to Jesus, this is a 20-mile difference. Yet, no matter the distance, Jesus can perform miracles. There are never space issues when it comes to Jesus performing anything you need to be done. He is not a WiFi connection or an internet corded connection where you have to be within limits, you can be anywhere, and your miracles will be achieved no matter where you are. When you look at the official’s attitude, notice the things that made his faith grow. First, he automatically went to Jesus. He knew no one else can do it but Jesus. Secondly, he believed Jesus when he told him to go, and he left. And lastly, his whole house felt and depended on Jesus. Faith grows, and it only grows when we use it.

Father, thanks for your miracles. No matter where we are in the world, no matter our faith, you are always here. Thank you for allowing us to know you better to grow in our faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Food and Water

Monday, July 12, 2021

34-35 Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that it will be time to harvest in about four months? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!

36-38 “The Harvester isn’t waiting. He’s taking his pay, gathering in this grain that’s ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant. That’s the truth of the saying, ‘This one sows, that one harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.”

39-42 Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman’s witness: “He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!” They asked him to stay on, so Jesus stayed two days. A lot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what he had to say. They said to the woman, “We’re no longer taking this on your say-so. We’ve heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He’s the Savior of the world!”

* * *

43-45 After two days, he left for Galilee. Now, Jesus knew well from experience that a prophet is not respected in the place where he grew up. So when he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, but only because they were impressed with what he had done in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, not that they really had a clue about who he was or what he was up to. -John 4:34-45 The Message

The food that Jesus mentions in verse 34 is not the food in which everybody believes. The food he is talking about is spiritual food. Prayer, bible study, and attending church. Helping out the church can also be spiritual nourishment, doing God’s work. Bring the salvation to completion. What do you do to help God and his work? How do you fill yourself with spiritual nourishment daily?

“Don’t you have a saying, It’s still four months until harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” The harvest is ready; you have to find it by opening your eyes and knowing that it is time to do the work. It is the same with our lives. We have many people ready to hear about Christ with the life formation change made in your life. We have two problems.

  1. We don’t recognize that someone is ready to hear about Christ.
  2. We make excuses without asking.

Like farmers, we have to go out and look for those wanting to hear about Jesus. Remember, God can help you by fixing your mouth for the things you say and actions that are taken.

Verses 36-38, Jesus mentions reaps draws a wage, meaning that Jesus is the joy of working for him and seeing the harvest of believers. I see people at church who are happy that got either friends or family to come to church and learn about Jesus to have a new follower and get baptized. That’s the reaps of joy Jesus is talking about. It is the hard work you put in to get them in that position. Nothing is more significant than that!

When you learn about Jesus, you share your experiences; that is how others are drawn to what Jesus has to offer. The one thing that may make us skeptical is our reputation. And that is normal, but when people see the change, that’s what matters. So the slogan is, “Christ Changes Us.” That is where the curiosity comes from others. So use yourself to continue to bring on mind-blowing changes!

Father, thank you for your wisdom. Today will bring challenges to us to spread the word about you, but we can better show others our changes with the changes you made in us. In Jesus’ name. Amen!