Jesus, Write Me Into Your Story (John 9)

John 9:3

It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

We focus on what is best for us.  Once in a while we truly pick up our crosses and take a total loss for ourselves that Christ might be glorified.  But we should always be willing to suffer for Him.  And how can we complain, for we caused Him more suffering than we can ever bear in this life.

The truth is that all things are for God, and that includes us.  Even if we choose to reject Christ, He will be glorified in His display of justice.  We can be for noble or ignoble purposes, but we will surely be used.

And because we are His, we should rejoice when we are used by Him.  Even if we have a weakness, or are in a humble situation, or some tragedy has befallen us; we need to desire to be a part of His story.

As you read John 9:3, think about how God’s power can be glorified in your weakness… and not for your sake, but for His.  Look into your heart and see if it cries out with every drop of blood within it as Rich Mullins’ heart cried out in his song “Jesus”…

Jesus
Write me into Your story
Whisper it to me
And let me know I’m Yours

Only If You Flatter Me! (John 8)

The second half of John 8 is spoken to the Jews who believed in Jesus.  But when you read it, you get the impression that their belief was weak.  It would seem that they didn’t like to believe when Jesus spoke to their sin.

It’s hard, as a Christian who tries to give his all to Christ, to hear of others who claim to have a faith but deny Him if He hurts their pride.  To watch people have such a wishy-washy faith in the One who died for them, who suffered for them, who became a man for them.  It’s unreal how unthankful people can be.

But then I’ m reminded of my own struggles.  Sometimes I’m faced with a situation that  requires I be humbled if I’m to follow Christ.  And sometimes I don’t give up my pride like I should. 

It’s never an intentional thing when I forsake Him.  But that’s just it… I should always intentionally follow Him.  I should have nothing less than a fully intentional, moment-by-moment, living for Him faith.

The Holy Spirit convicts His people when they walk in sin.  When I’ve been convicted and rebuked for my forsaking Him I have two choices… I can swallow my pride and address the situation, or I can go on living in my pride.

My belief will not be limited to one who will flatter me, it is only placed in He who has the words of life!

Follow Him (John 1)

So today as I was reading on in John 1 I was thinking still about what it must have been like for John the Baptist to know he was spoken of exclusively in a prophecy from Isaiah.  I can’t fully imagine what life would be like if I was in his spot.

It must have been at least a little bit of a struggle not to become proud.  I mean, that’s no small honor John was given.  When I look at the text here in John 1 it looks like he was gaining quite a following.  So many people were coming to him to be baptised.  He even had his own disciples!  Add to that having the hypocritical religious leaders of the Jews snooping around, and it would be hard for me not to think more highly of myself then I ought to.

Well it seems like John did a pretty good job of keeping his ego in check.  When people wondered if he was the Messiah, he quickly responded with humility. 

And we see something special from John in 1:35-36.  These disciples of his, these followers, were obviously supporting John in his work.  And with all the Jews around there, John certainly had his work cut out for him.  Two of them were down by the water with him as he was baptising the people.  John had already declared that Jesus was the Messiah.  He fulfilled a major part of his task, though much work was left to be done.  And Jesus, he didn’t make any indication to John that He needed any help.  So I imagine if I was John I’d still be wanting all the help I could get.

But I’m not John.  And instead of seeing John as a man scared to lose his disciples, we see John as a man eager to give God the glory.  When Jesus comes walking by the water again, he tells his disciples “Hey look, that’s Him!  That’s the Lamb of God!”  And with the way these two disciples so quickly turn and follow Jesus, it’s clear that John had lifted Christ up properly.  We see no questions from John’s disciples, and we don’t see John dishing out advice to them like it’s his kids leaving home for good.  They just go.  And John just watches…

Christ has called all Christians to do likewise.  If you are a Christian, and not all who claim to be are, you must remember that you have given your life to Him.  You have committed putting yourself on a cross, and going out into the world with the purpose of bringing the world to Him. 

Looking back at my life, I’m saddened to see how often I’ve failed to follow the example John set.  Instead of pointing to God, I have often pointed to myself.  I sometimes even start with the intentions of pointing to Christ, but instead I get to focused on how good of a person I am and how good of a Christian I am.  If I saw the truth of it, I would know that I’m not as good as I think.

Is this true for you?  Do you get so worried about what people think of you that you forget your mission?  Your mission, not to simply look good, but to declare with your actions that God is good?  If so, read over the accounts of John the baptist and ask God for understanding.  Look at how John always seemed to take the focus off of himself and shift it towards Christ.  You will find encouragement and insight on how to do the same.  If God has called you to a work, believe He will provide what is needed for that work!

And your work is to point to Him.