This meditation was originally posted on 9/3/2013.
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—did not become ‘Yes and no’; on the contrary, a final ‘Yes’ has come in Him. For every one of God’s promises is ‘Yes’ in Him. Therefore, the ‘Amen’ is also spoken through Him by us for God’s glory. Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us. He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:19-22, HCSB).
Do you ever get down and depressed because you feel like you’ve got so much to handle and you just can’t do it all? And then you get all locked up inside and you don’t do anything. I call it “gridlock of the soul.” Why even try, you wonder.
It seems like life is saying “No!” to you, “No you can’t. No you can’t. No, no, no!”
When life keeps telling you “No,” there is something you can do to escape soul gridlock.
Open your Bible to 2 Corinthians 1:19-22 and read, re-read, and read these verses again until you realize that when life seems to be telling you “No,” God is telling you “Yes!”
And not just “Yes,” but an emphatic “Yes,” God’s big “YES!”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, ESV).
Jesus used the metaphor of a sheep pen or sheepfold and a shepherd to tell a beautiful story in John 10:1-18 of how God desires to care for and protect His people.
“But I know this; I was blind, and now I can see!…He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.” (John 9:25,30-33, NLT).
As Jesus and His disciples are walking along they came across a man who was blind from birth and was also a beggar.
The disciples asked Jesus to provide a theological explanation for the man’s unfortunate condition and circumstances: “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (vs 2).
“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.’ ‘What do you mean?’ exclaimed Nicodemus. ‘How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?'” (John 3:1-4, NLT).
It has been said that perception is reality. In fact, this view could be the mantra of the post-modern era.
The well-known account of the encounter of Nicodemus and Jesus is a story of how people often accept their own flawed perceptions and misconceptions as reality.
“He displayed His glory and His disciples believed in Him.” (John 2:11, HCSB).
When Jesus worked His first miracle at the wedding at Cana, changing the water into wine, the Apostle John concludes that it was a glorious display!
Although this first miracle was a quiet miracle–large pots of water suddenly were turned into wine–it apparently didn’t go unnoticed by Jesus’ disciples.
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:9, NLT).
When God saved you, He didn’t do it because you deserved it but because your salvation was always His plan. God’s purpose for His creation has always been determined and redemption is the way He mediates His plan.
“What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did.” (Romans 8:3, HCSB).
Some consider Romans 8 the greatest, most theologically eloquent chapter about Christian spirituality in the New Testament. Certainly, some verses from Romans 8 are the most often quoted, often taught, and often preached of any in the Bible. Here’s a few examples:
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18, NLT).
These verses make reference to the practice of Moses to wear a veil to hide God’s glory that was reflected on his facial features after being in God’s presence. Moses wore the veil because he didn’t want his fellow Israelites to see the glory of God fading from his face (see Exodus 34:33-35).
“My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” Jesus makes these remarks near the well in the Samaritan village of Sychar. Jesus had just told a Samaritan woman who was drawing water from the well that she should drink from the living water that He gives. She went and told the people of the village that Jesus was the Messiah and many came to see him and believed in Him. While all this was occurring, some of Jesus’s disciples urged Him to eat. Just as Jesus told the woman at the well He was the source of life-giving water, He told His disciples He was the source of life-giving food: “I have a kind of food you know nothing about” (vs. 32). So Jesus can supply spiritual nourishment for the hungry souls of people. Furthermore, Jesus is our model for obtaining spiritual sustenance. He, Himself, was spiritually sustained by doing the will of God and finishing God’s work in His life. In the same way, our spiritual nourishment should be doing the will of God in our own lives to the extent that we complete the work that God intends each of us to do. When Jesus fed the five thousand men (plus women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish, He commanded His disciples “You feed them” (Matthew 14:16). The disciples responded that they had only a small supply of of bread and fish. “Bring them here” (Matthew 14:18) Jesus told the disciples. Jesus was prepared to miraculously provide nourishment for the large crowd of people by blessing the obedient action of His disciples. When you continuously offer the little that you have to Jesus, then you are enabled and empowered to do God’s will and complete the work He plans to do through your life.