Lord, to whom shall we go? – John 6:66-69

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

If you have walked with Jesus long enough, you are familiar with this problem.  People hear things, experience things, do things, or maybe someone does something to them.  The end result is just as in John 6:66.  

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 

Whatever the reason, this is a sad outcome.  At its root it is an expression of unbelief, of a lack of trust.  There is a way in which it belittles Jesus, his identity as God and his work on the cross for us.  It is saying that you, Jesus, are not big enough, nor is your cross effective enough to resolve this issue.  It is saying that my inability to understand why you work the way you do gets the final say.  There is nothing you, Jesus, can say or do to persuade me otherwise.

If we could see the big, eternal picture, we would know that this response would border on insanity.  However big our problem is, however difficult to understand, however wicked the forces that have raged against us, however cruel the attack, Jesus is bigger still and his cross provides the ultimate victory. 

Through faith in him we will eventually rise above the battle just as he rose from the grave and conquered death.  In eternity we will hear remarkable stories of incredible evil experienced by weak but trusting saints.  And the end of each and every one of them will be along the lines of, “But that is over now, and we have found everlasting joy in the presence of our Savior.  The cruelty of the battle that almost ended in utter defeat only makes the victory sweeter.  He rose, and he reigns forever and I am one of his.”

May our response to Christ when we don’t understand what he is saying or doing ever be,

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

A Prayer Prompted by Luke 18

Heavenly Father,

As we approach you in prayer, we want to leave behind any thoughts of our own merit, wisdom – and all confidence that we even know how to pray.

Our confidence is nothing more than trust in you. Give us boldness to come before you on the basis of your faithful love. And help us to be persistent in prayer.

Help us to live our lives in such a way as to store up treasure in heaven.

Not that we deserve any such thing, but again, we trust you and remember our constant need for your great grace.

And finally thank you for the cross, through which your Son Jesus has brought us into a right standing before you, by atoning for our sins.

It is in his name that we pray,

Amen

 

Luke 14 – Verse by Verse

Photo for Luke

This chapter starts with a miraculous healing.  Jesus then teaches us about following him.  His invitation is open to all, but those who accept it must be willing to place put Jesus before everyone or everything else and even their very lives.

Luke 14.pdf

Luke 14.mp3

Here is a link to the livestream video:  https://www.facebook.com/horizoncentral/videos/651452032317248/

A Prayer Prompted by Luke 14

Dear Heavenly Father,

Let us begin by humbling ourselves before you and accepting the invitation that you give to any and all who are willing to come to you.  We need your grace for our salvation and beyond – to live this Christian life from day to day.

Further, we know that discipleship is costly, but we also remember that any price we might have to pay will be worth it in the end.  We bring no merit of our own to this commitment. Help us to serve you well and serve you faithfully – to take up our cross, remembering that our lives are not our own but that we belong to you.

Finally, we also remember you as our healer – the one who has all power over all sickness and disease.  For those who are sick and for those who are working on their behalf, we pray for your grace and extra amounts of help from you at this time.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.