Happy Monday!! Can y'all believe that we're two months and about 10 days from being in 2014 and to end of the Bible 365 Challenge?!! If it wasn't for this blog and my Bible 365 Challenge, I wouldn't know where the year has gone. Time truly waits for no man (or woman). Anyways, it's been interesting reading the happenings of Jesus through John's perspective.
You can just tell that his relationship with Jesus was different and probably closer than the other disciples'. Still, I'm certain being Jesus' best friend only made it harder to bear his death. I don't know if I could stand to side and let one of best friends be crucified without putting up a fight to save him/her. But John knew that this needed to happen in order for God's word to be fulfilled. I'm telling y'all some of these people back in the day had some supernatural emotional strength!
So, in Week 42 we finished up the book John and I learned something new. I had always thought that Jesus had only appeared the disciples one day, but it turns out that Jesus appeared to them on multiple occasions. I had just always heard about people talking about Jesus rising on the day and just assumed that after that the disciples didn't see Him again but they did. Here's what else I learned:
1-"His brothers therefore said to Him, 'Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.' For even His brothers did not believe in Him." (John 7:3-5) It's sad that not even some of Jesus' siblings believed He was the son of God! I mean did they did that Mary and Joseph were lying about Jesus was conceived? Just proves that blood is not always thicker than water. At the end of the day it's easier t get strangers to believe in and support you before your own family will. At the end of the day we don't get to choose our family like we do our friends or the people we associate with.
So, sometimes you have to either take your family as they are or keep moving as Jesus did. Don't let their lack of support hinder your progress. The Old Testament talked about how adversary is often times natural for within families. That's one of the reasons why I believe God wanted us to marry. We get to distance ourselves from that if needed and create the family and support system that we need.
2-"The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil." (John 7:7) You know how sometimes you're sitting in church and the pastor starts preaching about something that you're guilty of doing? Stepping on your toes as most church folks refer to it. Well, some people don't like being called out by God. Not everybody responds well to God's criticism and reminder that we have fallen off the path of righteousness. So, you might see that sometimes you don't see folks at church for a few Sundays until their wounded egos have healed. And you even have those who get so angry at being told what they're doing is wrong that they start to hate God. At the end of the day life as a Christian has rules and you're either fully in or you're completely out.
3-"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10 Jesus was sent so that we could have better lives. God tried to give us a chance to have a perfect life, then Eve got tricked into the eating the apple. He tried again with the Israelites and they disowned and renounced God at every turn. Their faith was shorter than a baby's attention span. Without Jesus coming to save us, I guarantee you nothing about our lives would be abundant except for our troubles. There was just too much wickedness going on.
4-"If you love Me, keep My commandments. ...He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent me." (John 14:15, 24) I've said before... love is an action. We have somehow classified it as emotion, but at the end of the day why do we feel loved? It's a response to someone's actions. Likewise, you show your love through your actions. Therefore, we can't just say we love God, we have to show Him by following the rules He's laid out before us. Lip service does not get you into the Pearly Gates!
5-"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Jesus didn't let the world conform Him. Instead He changed it! He was and will forever be the original Game Changer! This scripture really speaks to me as I weather through my own tribulations in life. I'm determined to not let hard times and adverse people break me. I will continue to let my light shine and give thanks for all that is good and that all that will be greater!
Do you find it easier to get support from strangers and friends than family? And are you a conformist or a game changer?
Week 43 Readings
10/21: Acts 5-7
10/22: Acts 8-12
10/23: Acts 13-15
10/24: Acts 16-18
10/25: Acts 19-21
10/26: Acts 22-28
10/27: Romans 1-3