Who’s Up for An Honest Reading? John 6:37-40

image Theological discussion in various venues often pits one position of belief against its opposites. Supporters of one position or another like to issue proposition statements of the form ‘If they would give _____ an honest reading’, ‘once I gave ______ an honest reading’,’ you can’t read _________ honestly and still believe’ or various other permutations that are meant to couch the idea that your position is unsupportable in the light of clear interpretation. In other words, the veiled inference is that theological presuppositions have colored your interpretation of the text and if you would put them aside and engage an honest reading of the text, you would certainly see the validity of the opposing position. Let’s see if that’s a valid argument…

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I 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. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 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 him up at the last day.”  (Jn 6:37–40)

Given the earlier promise of Jesus recorded by the Evangelist John in 3:16-17, the power of the good news that brought many to believe in Samaria recorded in 4:39, and his repetition of the earlier promise for any who believe spoken in 5:24, an honest reading of this passage leads the reader to two conclusions.

Continue reading “Who’s Up for An Honest Reading? John 6:37-40”

Psalm 70 Let God Be Exalted

imageHasten, O God, to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me. (Psalm 70:1)

How often have we heard or said these words? Come now Lord, save me now! Our urgency must, through our pleas, become the Father’s urgency. We bring God’s time into our infinitesimal lifespan rather than seeking to understand our life in the span of eternity. Shall we not trust Him to save us tomorrow rather than today?

Our impatience is linked to our view of God’s glory. We believe that were He to save us now it would be to His greater glory rather than waiting until tomorrow. Our view down the corridors of the future ends at the tip of our nose and sometimes, our trust ends there as well.

Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God.

You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay. (v5)

Grace and peace to you.

image by adesigna

Lent Spent with the Psalms, the Waiting

imageAs modern Christians, we can scarcely imagine the cloud of darkness that enveloped the early disciples of the Lord. He had died and been placed behind the stone in the tomb. All hope had gone, at least for today. It was a test for which they were not prepared. It led to a dawn that was beyond anything imaginable.

We will have times of darkness when it seems that God is far away. He is not, but for whatever reason, His plan calls for us to endure. The advantage that we have is our distance in time. We have seen that our Lord rose and walked among us a second time before rising to His rightful throne. This day before Easter is symbolic and ceremonial. We wait and we watch. We do not allow our hearts to sink into despair in our own moments of darkness.

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;

I will sing and make music.

Awake, my soul!

Awake, harp and lyre!

I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, O Lord among the nations;

I will sing of you among the peoples. (Psalm 57:7-9)

Grace and peace to you.

 

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Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Thirty Nine

imageBut man, despite his riches, does not endure;

he is like the beasts that perish.

This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,

and of their followers, who approve their sayings. (Psalm 49:12)

We will all face death one day. Our choice in life is to wait on that day for the benefit of redemption as though Christ died for nothing but an insurance policy with us as the beneficiary or to be free today.

But God will redeem my life from the grave;

he will surely take me to himself. (v15)

You have been redeemed and set free. Will you walk up out of your self-made tomb? Will you live as a free man or woman in Christ?

Grace and peace to you.

 

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Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Thirty Eight

image Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.

You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. (Psalm 86:1-2)

The Cross in view and many are still waiting. The Psalmist did not have the Cross in view. He pleaded and prayed and praised and cried out for God to save him. You have the Cross in view and yet many still wait.

For God to save them.

The Cross is in view.

Grace and peace to you.

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Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty

imageTell yourself the reason for the Cross today. Look ahead four weeks to the Easter weekend and explain to yourself the reason that Christ is sacrificed. It certainly isn’t rooted in anything we have or can do. It’s not that we are worthy of that sacrifice.

It is grace, pure and simple.

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;

he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. (Psalm 20:6)

We place our trust in this grace and it induces an increase in our humility. We are reduced as the magnitude of this gift is realized. We are drawn closer to the giver of the gift.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (v7)

Grace and peace to you…

image julian nistea

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day One

imageWe’ve all spent time in the psalms. They are a source of challenge, comfort, and promise for us today in the same way that they were for the people of Israel. At times pleading and others praising, God and His incredible works remain front and center in this poetry. The Church enters the season of Lent today, a period of pointed reflection on the Lord that moves day by day toward the celebration of Easter. We meditate on the bloody and horrible cost of salvation, how the perfect Seder lamb had to be sacrificed so that you and I might be saved. It is at the same time a sober and celebratory time.

Psalm 85 expresses our need and desire perfectly. The psalmist pleads,

Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us.

Will you be angry with us forever?

Will you prolong your anger through all generations?

Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you?

Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. (vv 4-7)

Begin our walk through the desert toward Calvary by asking yourself, what am I contributing to prolonging God’s anger?  What must I shed on this trip through the wilderness? Our goal is to reach the cross rid of the dead weight  and dross that interfere with our relationship with the Savior.

Grace and peace to you.

 

image wolfgang staudt