I’ve been in a marvelous, online writers’ conference the past three days, so wasn’t sure what I would write about today. Then, in my inbox, I received this wonderful Bible art from YouVersion, created by Faithlife:
This just resonated with me because God used this scripture in a time of my desolation and despair. After my first husband died, the memorial service was over (and was all I wanted it to be, to glorify God, honor Jerry, and help people understand how to have a relationship with God), I crashed.
Suddenly I was in a dark pit, a place a despair, of deep loneliness, of hopelessness. What if all I believed about Jesus was a lie and I’d never see Jerry again?
Some of the disciples walked away from Jesus when they felt the road was too hard. He asked the rest, “Will you also leave me?”
Peter, in his usual extrovertish, bullish personality, jumped in. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69 NIV)
After wallowing in my personal pit for about three weeks, God brought the scripture above to my mind. At that moment my mind left the pit, the lie the enemy would have me believe that God’s Word was untrue. I continued to grieve, deeply, but without that despair of “where is God in all this?”
I think we all face these questions from time to time. Our pastor said this morning that it’s possible to want what Jesus can do for you more than you want Jesus, a good life more than God in our life.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said one of his disciples would betray him that very night. Rather than naming Judas, I think Jesus wanted each of them to look into their own hearts. No one wanted to be Jesus’ betrayor; but each recognized the temptation in his own heart for power, wealth, comfort. Each looked into his own heart and, one by one, said, “Surely you don’t mean me?” But it was Judas, the one who held the disciples’ purse-strings, who betrayed Jesus for 30 silver coins–and later hanged himself.
God has already given me everything–Himself, salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ, eternal life. He owes me nothing.
So will I serve him because I expect to get something out of it for myself– recognition, wealth, influence, whatever–or will I serve him wholeheartedly because he has already given me everything, and I adore him?
Jesus took me from death to life. Think about how huge that is!
In a day where many are weary, heartsick, lonely, feeling abandoned, we need the hope that only Jesus can bring.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:7-10, NIV
May we be blessed this week, knowing God has freely given us himself; and may we worship and adore him with our words, actions and service.