One of the great questions I have sometimes is not whether God would really forgive me because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. I accept this by faith without fully understanding because the Bible tells me so. What puzzles me more is why an infinitely pure holy and powerful God would care to spend eternity with me. And then I come to this verse and am reminded that while the distance from the North to South poles is fixed (12,430 miles) from East to West there is no measure. That measure”s limit lies beyond the edge of the universe, just like the love and mercy of God!
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
II Timothy 4:7
Sometimes what looks like the end of the road is really just the beginning of life’s greatest adventure!
I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears Psalm 34:4
God knows and He hears is our Immanuel, but He is also something more, He is “Moshia” Our Deliverer. Jesus not only goes with us through our problems, He is able to deliver, which can be translated as Save or Heal as well.
Imagine you have a high fever and a terrible cough. You go to your family doctor whom you trust and who has taken care of you for years. He takes x-rays, listens to your chest and takes your blood pressure. Then he clears his throat and says, “Well you definitely have a severe case of pneumonia. If it isn’t treated this week you could die, but the bad news is I have no antibiotics left to give you In fact there has been such a run on anti-biotics this year that the entire supply is depleted and you will just have to go home to die! I wish I could help. I would like to help but I can’t!”
You might laugh and say, “That never happens!” There is always someone who can help!” But as certain as we are in small problems that we do understand, we also need to believe that no matter what we face; Jesus is “Moshia” He is our deliverer. He not only knows our problem. He not only cares about our problem. Jesus holds the waves and wind of our storms under his command. Jesus is king over every King. Jesus is the forgiver of every sin. Jesus is the healer of every disease (whether we pick up our prescription here or in heaven)! Jesus knows about not just some of our problems, not just some of our hurts and not just some of our fears. Jesus knows them all. Jesus is “Moshia” who delivers us from ALL our fears!
… if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you Matthew 17:20b
Maybe when you have heard this verse mentioned it was used in the context of a surgery to be faced, a marital crisis brewing or a financial disaster looming on your horizon. But a mountain also represents any impossibility that separates us from God’s plan for our lives. What is the biggest mountain that separates us from God? Today’s encouraging news is that moving that mountain has nothing to do with its size but it has everything to do with our small faith in a big Savior!
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord Romans 8:38-39
No mountain can separate us from God’s love because of the cross of Jesus. Our sin which loomed like a giant mountain in our path has been removed and cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness. It will no longer be remembered anymore forever. When one day we open our eyes in eternity with God we have the wonderful assurance that this biggest mountain of all has been moved! Since He has moved that giant mountain we joyfully use our mustard seed faith to face any small mountain today!
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” John 1:50
Believing connects us first to knowing that He knows our hearts. This only recorded conversation between Nathanael and Jesus in the Bible is intriguing both because of its smallness and its bigness. Nathanael was astonished to discover that Jesus knew one of the smallest details of His day. That smallest detail led to the biggest decision of his life!
In the movie “The Santa Clause” with Tim Allen, the elf named Judy says, “Seeing isn’t believing; believing is seeing!” That is one of the best descriptions of the miracle of faith in a believer’s life. At the moment that we believe we begin to see who Jesus for who He truly is. As we begin to see Him as He truly is then we begin to follow where He leads. When we follow where Jesus is leading, then we discover that He is going to some astonishing places!
Be prepared for astonishing places along the way as you follow Jesus. Buckle your seat belts and hold on tight. He has promised to show us greater things, if we only believe!
Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” John 1:38-39a
Jesus had a way of dealing with new followers which was a lot different than ours. He didn’t say, “Come and do” or “Come and give.” In fact Jesus began the conversation with a question, “What do you want?”
Whether at the door of the church or alone on a mountain trail, God asks us every morning, “What do you want?” Am I following just because someone told me to or do I really want to for myself? His test is not about our ability to serve Him but our desire to know Him.
When we go looking for Jesus we will find Him. He knows us but He waits for us to long to know Him. Then Jesus extends the invitation, “Come and see!” Jesus wants us to get to know Him because He isn’t afraid of what we will find. Every day is an opportunity for a new discovery of His character, His will and His heart. Maybe you have received an invitation that says: RSVP. That stands for the French “Répondez s’il vous plait” – “Respond if you please. “We have received an invitation to come to know Jesus. Jesus waits to see if we will respond. Do we really want to know where He lives? He calls out, “Come and see!”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 14:24
During a recent snow storm our friend’s son told his dad that since God had sent the snow then he would just wait for God to take it away. In the morning I sent the father this short message, “Let your son know that I waited a few hours for God, but finally I had to shovel the snow myself!”
Jesus cannot be hurried or pressed into doing our part. The father in Mark’s gospel story had done all he knew to do. He had asked everyone he could think of for help. Now at last he stood before Jesus and pleaded for help for his son. But Jesus was not concerned only about the problem that this man could see. Jesus was at work, beneath the surface. He tenderly pressed this dad till he touched on the core issue of his struggle. He was willing to sacrifice. He was willing to humbly ask for help. Could he now be brave enough to believe?
It seems almost hard-hearted of Jesus to push this person to his limit, but Jesus saw something within him that he didn’t even know he had. He had faith! Listen closely to his prayer, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” That is a prayer God always answers!
First we believe, and then He gladly helps us with our unbelief. Drawing out this father’s faith is the great miracle. When the miracle of faith drawn out to action in our lives is accomplished there is nothing that God cannot do!
“All things are possible, only believe!” Mark 14:23b