Savage Faith – Lessons from John 6

CrucifiedWithChrist“Jesus said to them, ‘I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Human One and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me lives because of me’” (John 6:53-57, CEB).

I’m not so certain that in these verses Jesus is just talking about taking communion. Certainly, communion celebrates the flesh and blood sacrifice of Jesus through the imagery of the bread and the wine. I suppose these verses might even be used to support the notion that the bread and wine of the Eucharist is somehow changed into the body and blood of Christ.

But I don’t think that’s at all what Jesus had in mind here.

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Emancipation Proclamation – Hebrews 13:1-8

Emancipation_Proclamation“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:7-8, NASB).

Recently in the men’s Sunday School class I attend, the lesson was from Hebrews 13. And, this lesson from Hebrews 13 helped me resolve a long-standing theological dilemma I had wrestled with from Romans 6-8.

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Wait Training, Part 3: Wait Watchers – Isaiah 40:31

HawkWatching&WaitingBut they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).

When we wait upon the Lord, our faith is actually strengthened because the act of waiting develops God’s perspective in us. In other words, it’s Wait Training!

So, wouldn’t you rather be having faith for what you know God wants to do and wants you to do instead of hoping that what you want to do is what God wants you to do?

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Wait Training, Part 2: The Inscrutability of God – Isaiah 40:28-29

Waiting_For_God“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power” (Isaiah 40:28-29, NASB).

When we wait upon the Lord, our faith is actually strengthened because the act of waiting develops God’s perspective in us. In other words, it’s Wait Training!

“Waiting upon the Lord” causes you to rise above your present circumstances to get a higher view, a more objective view, a God-view of them. From that vantage point, you can gain perspective about what it is that you are hoping and trusting God to do and thereby develop a better understanding of God’s plans and purposes for you.

When you follow the advice to “wait upon the Lord” (vs. 31), it’s easy to see why you must wait on God to act and to perform His will when you consider it within the context of the previous verses. God is the Everlasting Creator of the universe. Time and space exist only within His Infinite realm (vs. 28). So, He proceeds about the business of performing His will at the perfect pace!

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Wait Training, Part 1: Strengthening Your Faith – Isaiah 40:31

wait-trainingBut they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).

When I was younger, we often sang this verse at prayer meetings or Bible studies as a song. Then, at the end of the verse we added this refrain to the song: “Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.”

The Hebrew word that is translated “they that wait upon” in the KJV finds its root in another Hebrew word that means to wait or look for, to hope for or expect. The sense of the waiting in this verse is eager expectation or anticipation. So, the NIV translates it as “those who hope” and the HCSB translates it as “those who trust.”

Unfortunately, when we talk about “waiting upon the Lord,” it’s not necessarily waiting with hopeful anticipation, but more like waiting with dreaded apprehension! For us, waiting upon the Lord is exceedingly distressful and practically unbearable. Instead of eagerly waiting upon the Lord, we impatiently wait upon the Lord.

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Faith That Works – James 2:14-26

faith_that_works“Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (James 2:17, NASB).

James maintains that faith is a two-step process. Belief is the first step of faith and works is the last step.

According to James, faith is not completed without works because works is belief put into action. Faith starts with belief, but works is the culmination of belief. Belief is faith sitting down. Works is faith walking!

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In God We Entrust – 1 Peter 2:21-24

InGodWeTrustDollarBill“And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23, NASB).

A law passed by Congress and approved by the President on July 30, 1956, declared “IN GOD WE TRUST” to be the national motto of the United States. This motto is engraved or printed on U.S. coins and currency.

So what’s so important about trust in God that we wanted it printed on our currency? It’s meant to show that the United States is a nation that trusts in God, a nation that recognizes God’s sovereignty over all nations on Earth.

“Trust” is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust in God means recognizing or acknowledging that God is Sovereign and Mighty over His Creation.

But, in these verses the Apostle Peter tells us that when Jesus experienced suffering, He entrusted Himself to God.

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