BELIEVE IT OR NOT….. Read John 6: 25-40

Jesus has just told the crowd that they are following Him because He fed them…food for their stomachs, bread and fish to keep them alive and well. He encourages them not to ‘work for the food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life…’ (verse 27). And I’ll bet(even though I am not a betting man!) that they wonder how they can get from Jesus some of that Wonder Bread! So they ask Him,’ What must we do to do the works God requires?’ What do we have to do to get a chunk of that bread? And that becomes the universal question, the question for the ages. What do I have to do to get in good with God? We could go on for the rest of the year with answers from comparative religions to economic theories to pleasures allowed and those prohibited, we could read the philosophers and dramatists from ancient times, from time immemorial. But for me, I’m like the crowd that day. I want to hear from Jesus…what He has to say. You too? Most would expect Him to give a long laundry list of things to do to get in the good graces of God. I remember a terrible book that I read in Bible College about prayer– how to get things from God. Like God has all the goodies and we have to figure out how to open His clenched fists, His reluctance to give more than just the back of His hand. Wangle it out of Him! Use just the right words! Terrible, I say. Makes our loving Lord into a great, big, cosmic meany. Here’s Jesus clear and simple answer–‘the work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.’ Believe in Jesus as the Son of God come in the flesh to offer His life a ransom for many, to forgive our sins offering the free gift of eternal life as God’s children, safe in His arms forever. Jesus says that He is the bread God gives; like the manna that God gave through Moses day after day for 40 long years in that desert. And, of course, the crowd wants this bread–‘…from now on give us this bread’ (verse 34). Possibly shaking His head at the denseness of this crowd, He tells them that He is the bread of life. He Himself. You need look no farther nor further. He’s standing right in front of you. Do you see Him? Do you believe Him and believe in Him? I first put my faith in Jesus when I was 16 years old…over 50 years ago now. I believed in who He said He was. And, trust me, I knew so little of His claims–mainly that He loved me and wanted to be in my life. That’s all I heard that Sunday night on my radio. I didn’t know all that that meant, not really. But I learned. I started reading the Bible. I found a Bible-believing church where I couldn’t get enough of sermons and Sunday School teaching and anything at all about this new life in Christ. I was growing in Him but nobody had to tell me that I needed to. I knew it. And I wanted more of Him. Not just the goodies, which I didn’t know He had to offer anyway. And I’m still growing (not just in weight either!!) and learning and asking for forgiveness for daily sins, and wanting to share Him with others. As St Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, ‘…work out your salvation with fear and trembling…’ (Phil. 2:12). Notice Paul didn’t say to work for your salvation. No, but work it out. Get it out. Let salvation work itself out in your life. Let God work through you once you have received His free gift of salvation. That’s what this ‘Reflections’ blog is for me…God working His salvation out through my feeble hands and mind… to share Him with others, with you. What’s in your heart that God has placed there to work out for Him for others? Believe it or not, He has great things to do through you…and me! Why not let Him…

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