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Tag Archives: Believe

God Provides Manna

The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but” against the Lord.Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’“And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’“ In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.’“ The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed. (Exodus 16:1-18, NRSV)

The people had left Egypt with supplies for only a little while. But they should not have been worried, but isn’t that human nature?

We are hungry, and things were so much better back in Egypt because we could sit next to the fleshpots and eat our fill of bread, but let us not remember now the bondage we were in and the back-breaking work we were doing, because now we are hungry and we only remember the free-flowing food.

But God already knew how He was going to handle this, but He heard their grumbling and gave them quail in the evening for meat, and manna for bread every morning. And no matter how much they collected, a little or a lot, they had the exact measure they needed. God was watching over them.

And even in the watching over they still wondered, as the name manna literally means, “What is it?”

So remember you don’t have to understand what God is doing, we are called to trust Him and follow Him.

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life

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” (John 11:17-27, NRSV)

Even if you die you will live if you believe in me. Do you believe this?

Do you believe this?

It is a hard statement to swallow, even if you die, if you believe in Jesus you will live. Because what is life really?

Is it breathing and a heart beat? That is why we are alive, but is being alive and living a life the same thing?

And what is death?

Not breathing and no heart beat is the clinical answer, but can you be breathing and have a beating heart and be dead?

Life is more than living, and death is more than not.

If you believe Jesus is who He says He is and the promises He brings, you will have life, even if your body is not living.

LIfe in Jesus is worth living.

So believe it!

 

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Who can be saved?

Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that ‘the person who does these things will live by them.’ But the righteousness that comes from faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ down) ‘or “Who will descend into the abyss?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ (Romans 10:5-15, NRSV)

Who can be saved?

The person who keeps the law?

The person who loves all?

The white person?

The black person?

The Asian person?

The ______ person?

The straight person?

the homosexual person?

This simply says if you confess (say) that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart the promises, you are saved. Doesn’t matter anything else. If you believe in your heart and say that, then all is done for you.

Everyone can be saved. Just believe the promises and tell the world!

 
 

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Believe!

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat.’ But his servant said, ‘How can I set this before a hundred people?’ So he repeated, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, “They shall eat and have some left.” ’ He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. (2 Kings 4:42-44, NRSV)

God provides for us even when we do not understand how.

Here God feeds 100 people with 20 barley loaves and fresh ears of grain. We do not know how this meager amount of food will feed so many, but God is able to do far more than we can fathom.

Believe!

 

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cornerstone

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:4-10, NRSV)

The cornerstone is the base of everything. It is the stone that holds the wall in place.

It gives the base for the walls to be square and to stand tall.

And if you believe in the corner stone you will not be put to shame. It is believing in what the cornerstone will do for you and your life.

So base your life on Christ and allow Him to hold you steady.

 

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doubted…

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20, NRSV)

This is the passage of text most of us know as the great commission. This is where Jesus sends the disciples into the world to make more disciples.

Jesus sends the 11 into the world to share what they have learned. And through the sending of the 11, He also sends us into the world.

And many of us doubt that we are called to go and be a part of God’s plan in the world. We would say we were part of the some who doubted here on the mountain with Jesus. But what if I told you that the part of the verse “but some doubted.” maybe a bad translation? The Greek here is οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν.

οἱ is a masculine plural article or they.

δὲ is a conjunction meaning but or and.

ἐδίστασαν is the third person plural aorist active indicative for to doubt.

So the part of the sentence all together is but they doubted. Of course, some say that the οἱ is redundant and unneeded because the they is implied in the form of the word for doubt and therefore should be translated some. But the other side of this is this is not done in any other part of the New Testament. This is the only time this particular construction is found. And we have to explain why the 11 disciples would have walked with Jesus and witnessed everything He did and when they finally see Him resurrected they doubt what they are seeing.

So how is it possible they worshiped and they doubted? Well, we have to get beyond that doubt is the opposite of faith. Doubt is the opposite of certainty. And wouldn’t you be uncertain about what was going on in front of you at that moment on the mountain? It doesn’t mean you don’t believe, it doesn’t mean you can’t worship, it just means you don’t get it and you have questions. Questions are not bad, they lead us to discover and to investigate.

So don’t fall away from doubting and questioning, lean into the call God has on your life, knowing you are in good company when you wonder about it and question it.

 

Here is a wonderful cartoon about this:

 

 

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Seeing isn’t believing

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:19-31, NRSV)

When it was evening that day…

So if you read the first 18 verses of John 20 you will see what day it is. The day Jesus rose from the dead. Mary Magdelene was at the tomb and told the disciples what had happened, Peter and John went to see and went home. Then later that night the 10 disciples are locked in a room. Judas is dead, and Thomas is nowhere to be found. He is out while the others cower in fear. But when the 10 do see Thomas they tell him what happened and he wants nothing more than what the 10 got. To see the wounds. Becuase they did not acknowledge Jesus until He showed them His hands and His side.

But when Thomas sees Jesus, Jesus tells him to put his finger in His hands and his hand in His side, but he doesn’t. He simply proclaims, “My Lord and my God!”

But does he have to see Him to believe He rose from the dead?

Because as they great line from the Santa Clause goes, “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.”

Jesu because we see something doesn’t mean it is real or true. I have seen a lot of magic tricks, David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Did it actually disappear? I don’t believe it did, it was an optical illusion.

And I’ve never seen Jesus or God, but I believe they are always there for me.

So don’t be unbelieving, but believe!

 

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