John 6: Believing is the work

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In John 6 Jesus is chased by the people who want more signs. They are so eager that they jump in boats in search of Him.

Think about it. If they were mildly interested in finding him they might search the village. If they were more interested in Jesus, they probably would go beyond the village seeking Jesus in the countryside. But it appears they were more than just a little interested in Jesus. They jumped in boats and traveled across a lake to find Him (6:24). They really went out of their way to keep up with Jesus. These folks were on a mission.

So they catch up with Jesus and he gets in their face! “You’re not here because you want me. You only want what I can give you. You’re here for the wrong thing!” (6:26-27)

What’s a ‘miracle-chaser’ to say to that? They ask the classic religious question, “What do we have to DO to be a part of your program?” To which, Jesus gave the only answer He ever seems to give, “Believe in me.” The work is to believe. Isn’t that kind of like saying the work is to not work.

What boss would ever say that? You show up on the job and Bossman says to you, “Today the work is to not work.” What?

What kind of religion is that? “The way to be religious is to not be religious.”

Mmmmmmmm. “The work of God is to believe.” So should I not prepare messages and just believe instead? The answer doesn’t seem to fit my question. I want to do. Believing seems to be not doing.

Many older, wiser saints have said it before. I’ve heard it but I am a slow learner. All Jesus asks us to do is to believe, to abide in Him. In doing this I begin to learn that He does the work. When He does the work, he receives the attention, fame and glory. He gets bigger in my life. I become an effective ambassador for Him. The ministry is not as much what I do, as it is what He does through me. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God”

Ministry results as an expression of Jesus in my life. Any ‘doing’ that gets done happens as a result of believing.

Effective ‘doing’ is believing.


LIFE AFTER HOME begins long before they leave

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I attended the Life After Home event with Dr. Tim Clydesdale over at Grace Point on Sunday night. It was really good. As I walked out afterward someone asked what stood out to me. Immediately I knew what it was. Didn’t have to think about it. Didn’t have to choose between my top two. The thing that stood out to me was that the best thing to do to help kids make wise and good choices, choices to pursue to Jesus when there is no one around making them do that — the best thing was . . .

for parents to live out their faith at home day in and day out as the kids are growing up.

Think about that. I think many parents think we have to make our kids go to camp, read the bible, pray, go, do, go and do. But the real burden lies on us as parents.

What are we doing? Is it in alignment with our words and the message of the Gospel? When Clydesdale said that I went into deep self-reflective mode! What have I been doing? What do I need to be doing? What do I have to stop doing? How are my actions and attitudes matching the message of Jesus? When my boys look at me, what do they see?

Finally, how much of what we are doing is spoon feeding our kids instead of teaching them to feed themselves? How do they begin to make their faith their own, instead of living in the shadow of my faith? How do we encourage them to actively engage in a walk of faith instead of going through the motions of accommodating my faith and wishes for them?

Bette and I are trying. Many parents I know are trying. But the rate that kids are walking away makes me think much of what we are doing is not working.

Parents, we are only stewards of the souls of our kids. One day we’ll give account for what we have done or not done to disciple them. I fear much of the burden will fall not on what we told them, but on how we lived in front of them.

If you want to hear the discussion for the “Live After Home” event click here.

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