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Believing in Jesus

John 7:1-5

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. 2 But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (NIV84)

This is a very interesting passage concerning what it means to believe in the Lord. Why do you think what Jesus' brothers said to him reflected the fact that they did not believe in him? After all his brothers had been witnessing the miracles and such. They surely knew of the nature of his conception. Their advice does in fact sound pretty reasonable. Before we look into why their advice is evidence of unbelief let us look at another example.

Mark 3:20-21; 31-35

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."

31 Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."

33 "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." (NIV84)

You must believe every word that Jesus spoke

Now what do these verses from Mark have in common with those from John above? They both show a lack of faith in the Lord. Every word that Jesus spoke was from the Father and everything that he did was also from the Father. Whatever he says is true. And there is sufficient power in his words to make it happen. You are to believe that my reader. This is what it means to believe the Lord.

In the example from John above, we see that his brothers did not trust in him, because they thought to tell Jesus what they thought he should do. My friends, we should never presume to tell God what to do. If you believe in him you will do whatever he says, because you know that it is the truth, and we know that if we obey his word then we cannot fail.

Mark 4:35-41

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (NIV84)

Complete faith in every word

Listen to Jesus' rebuke, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Faith in what? Faith in his words.

Jesus said, "Let us go to the other side." That is it. When Jesus said that; they were going to the other side. Period.

Accept whatever he says

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (NIV84)

If you truly believe in Jesus then you will believe the above statement and you will then obey and rely on his every word. When my Lord says, "Mark, when someone acts ugly to you do not respond in like manner." I say okay, and then I bear the disgrace in humility and respond with gentleness.

If you truly do love the Lord, then there is nothing that will ever come against you that is not for your good. You are being tested so that through perseverance you will be conformed into the image and likeness of God himself.

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV84)

Believe what the Bible says

If you believe in Jesus Christ then you believe the above passage, and such belief will determine how you react to every situation. Such belief is called faith. When the storms in life arise, we do what we have seen our Lord do. That is, we obey his word no matter what, just as Jesus allowed himself to die rather than to disobey the will of the Father.

In that story of the sleeping Jesus and the boat, we saw that the apostles didn't show a great deal of faith, but generally they did.

Peter got it right

Matthew 14:25-33

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29 "Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (NIV84)

Notice what Peter said. He said to Jesus, "Jesus, if it is really you then tell me to come, and I know that there will be power for me to come, and when I do I will know that it must be you." He had faith that if Jesus said it then it would happen. That is pretty good faith.

Another good example of faith on Peter's part is found in the next passage.

Matthew 17:24-27

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

25 "Yes, he does," he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes -- from their own sons or from others?"

26 "From others," Peter answered.

"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. 27 "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." (NIV84)

Believe in what Jesus says

Now the Scriptures don't show us, but I am sure that Peter went and caught that fish and opened its mouth and looked inside for the coin, and I am also sure that there was a coin inside, as I am sure Peter also did not doubt.

Now we in this day and age do not have the Lord in our presence telling us what to do, but we have the Scriptures, and the Scriptures are a physical manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are to believe them and obey all that we see in them.

You are with Christ when you read the Bible with an open heart

John 1:1-2; 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. ...

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV84)

Now you who think that things would have been so much better if you could have lived during the time of Christ on earth, you should consider that all time spent in the Scriptures is time spent with Christ. It is also true, that if you do not spend time in the Scriptures, then neither would you have given up your life and walked with Christ at his First Coming.

Jesus and the Bible are one in the same

Revelation 19:11-16

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of kings AND LORD OF LORDS. (NIV84)

We see here that one of Jesus' names is the Word of God. If you want to fellowship with the Lord then read your Bible. Read your Bible everyday. Read it with the intention to obey anything that the Lord speaks to your heart about. Do everything that you see.

If you really do believe in the Lord you will do this thing. If you do not seek to know and obey his will then he does not live inside of you.

Everything that the Lord reveals to you to do, you must do. Not because you agree with it, but because he told you to. He is God and you must obey him.

John 14:22-24

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"

23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (NIV84)

To love Jesus Christ is to listen to and believe every word he says

Judas asked the Lord why he intended to show himself to them and not to the world, and Jesus explained to him that when we obey his teaching we come to know him personally. The world will not obey Jesus' commands, so the world will never know him. This is the only way to come to know the Lord in truth, through reading the Scriptures, and obeying everything that you see in them.

Do what it says

Going to church doesn't bring you any closer to the Lord. Getting baptized doesn't bring you any closer to the Lord. Confessing Scripture passages does not bring you any closer to the Lord. If you would have the Lord show himself to you, then search for the truth in Scripture, and do what you see even if it hurts you.

If you determine to obey the Lord because you have come to believe in him, then you can be sure that the Lord will test you and put you into situations that will be painful. He does this because after we have stood the test, we can then rejoice in the reality of our relationship with him.

Whatever you are going through is designed by God to keep you from error and to bring you to Him

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV84)

What James means by the testing of your faith, is exactly what I have been talking about. When we know what the Lord told us to do, and we do it because he told us to, this is the testing of your faith.

Those that believe in the Lord will obey his every word. Those that do not truly believe will not search the Scriptures for the Lord's will and then obey it.

If you, my reader, claim to love the Lord, then you will carefully examine the Scriptures and fully obey everything that the Lord has shown to you in your heart. Anyone, who is not searching and fully obeying, does not, in truth, love the Lord or even know him. Such a person is deceived. They think that knowing about the Lord is the same as knowing the Lord personally.

 

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