Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 9 - John 9


KEY VERSES ~ John 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

OBSERVATION ~ I feel that God is opening my eyes to more and more of scripture and to write it all down, somehow just does not do this justice. Maybe it is where I am in my life, maybe it is a newer and growing hunger for Jesus, I'm not sure, but I feel, no, I know God is calling me to move beyond, way beyond where I am right now. For me, for any of us, that can be a scary thought, and it is, because God calls us to do what can only be accomplished when He is leading the charge. On our own, our accomplishments will always pale in comparison.

We are a grace deprived people. I mean that! And the one's who deprive us of the grace is ourselves and those whom we allow to influence us. This passage is a classic example of how we still think today. We assume that when bad things happen to us it must be because we did something bad. That was certainly the case back in Jesus day where affluence was always considered to be a blessing from God and poverty the denial of blessing from God.

Even though I know God’s goodness is a grace that is given undeserved, I still find myself thinking that if I screw up God will get me and if I will just be really good, He will bless me. (And the hard part about this is the partial truth within this – that if we live life God’s way, Jesus promises it will result in an “abundant life” {although God defines what abundance means}).

The disciples assume since this guy was blind it must be the result of his sin or sin in his family. They ask Jesus about this and he says, “No, this is not the result of sin.” Jesus doesn’t explain why the blindness, but he goes on to explain that God will take this bad situation and turn it into something good. He will redeem it. God will re-purpose it. And He does - Jesus heals the blind man and gives him his sight! And story of the blind man’s healing is told all over town and has now been told for 2000 years. Literally billions of people throughout history have been inspired by this story to trust Jesus.

Of course, the Pharisees were the exception. It was better for the man to remain blind for one more day than to upset the Pharisees. Ever get the feeling that the most religious people were the biggest stumbling block? Even the ex-blind man's parents were afraid of losing Temple membership if they spoke out too much, so they turned it back over to their son to speak for Himself. Ultimately, he becomes a believer and worshiper of the true Christ, Jesus! This leads to the application . . .

APPLICATION ~ Did you catch verse 4, As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. The question for us is the same as it always will be, 'how are we demonstrating our love of Jesus by serving Him and making a difference in the world?'

When we stand before Jesus will have empty fruit baskets, or will they be filled with fruit, and more fruit, and even more fruit? That is the call of Christ . . . it's my belief we are to be faithful to what Jesus calls us to be and do . . . and when we are . . . we become more fruitful than ever.

Today, I am leaving the church not long after noon and finishing my work day in the community, typing, dreaming, planning and faithful fulfilling the call of Jesus. I am looking forward to that.

On another day, I'll share some thoughts about what I sense we (the universal church) are to do in order to further the kingdom, yet, we don't do it.

PRAYER ~ Lord, You are awesome, You are faithful, You overflow with an abundance of love and grace; even when we are totally unlovable, sinful, wretched . . . and thank you, my precious Jesus for loving me so very, very much that You came into the world to give me hope and a reason to live. Help me to fulfill that dream You have for me, let me not fail You by falling short of the mark. Amen

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