“I tell you, Open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest…I sent you to reap…” John 4:35,38
Jesus is very pointed when He speaks. He sticks with what is known in people’s lives. He speaks in the vernacular in which they are familiar.
Jesus knew He was sent by God, His Father.
Jesus knew His purpose was to atone for my sin.
Jesus knew His mission was to finish what God had started [v. 41].
The proverbial “elephant in the room” are the multitudes of people that I interact with daily. How do I see them? Are they interruptions to me? Are they annoyances to me? Are they distractions to me? Do I see them as people created in the image of God? Am I willing to consider that the person in front of me may be having their heart crushed from a wrong choice? Or what about the person who is feeling left out because they are different? How about the person who wants to talk about spiritual things because they are afraid of dying but does not dare to admit this to his comrades around him. Do I even care that the person in front of me may be a good and moral person but who does not know Jesus and therefore will die alone and without hope?
Father, Help me to see people with Your eyes…those You have placed me with at work. Help me to see their hearts and not their exterior attributes or attitudes.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.” John 3:19
If there is an opportunity for evil to crop into my life it is when I am staying away from interacting with the Light [Word of God]. I will stay away when I refuse to admit that there is some particular sin in my life and I am unwilling to confess it to the Savior. I stay away from the Book because I know from experience that it will expose my sin. That is what I have found that Light does. It is going to expose my flaws and prevents me from denying the sin exists. What is exposed I cannot logically deny. Sin is a darkness of the soul and wants to remain hidden.
I am not different than all the rest of mankind. I do not want the evil in me to be exposed by the Light. I toy with those around me by revealing only those “self-made good things” that I want others to see. You see, I want to be seen as a hero; a spiritual giant. But God knows better. The Light removes all doubt of the “good’s” origin and there fore it is revealed as evil by the Light. That exposes me as a fraud.
Good things can only be done in and through the Light. Light can produce good things in the darkness. When that happens, the darkness is exposed. Light always overpowers darkness.
Father, Make me an instrument of Your light. Help me to do and say only those things that come from Your Light.
“Because of the miraculous signs…many people were convinced that He was indiid the Messiah. But Jesus did not trust them…no one needed to tell Him about human nature…” John 2:23-25
I see and believe. But God wants me to go further. He wants me to believe in a way hidden from the physical eyes. Jesus grew up living a normal life. He experienced the sufferings, dramas and traumas of daily living in community with family, friends, neighbors and the workplace. He knew first hand the fickle behavior of brothers and sisters growing up together. He experienced first hand the human condition as He took part in the celebrations of joy and mourning of pain of those in His community.
Jesus does not want me to believe just because of some miracles that I have witnessed. He wants me to go further. To move beyond surface belief stemming from seeing. He wants me to develop a belief that comes only from searching out why God is different. Why does He do what He does the way He does it? Only as I pursue after knowing God’s ways will I see and change my behavior. Only then will I become trustworthy to Him.
Father, I ask You to make me like Moses. Help me to learn to see Your ways first. Change my life from passenger watching You, to driver moving down the road of life…driving in the direction that You choose. Help me to live Your way and not mine.
“This is the One I was talking about…” John 1:15
John knew his mission: To point out Jesus.
John knew his purpose: To be replaced by Jesus as the center of attention.
This is what I am to be about if I dare call myself a follower of Christ: pointing out Jesus. This means that I must be in the business of allowing Him to replace my natural self-centered tendencies.
I have purposed that my mission is: To know Him.
I have purposed that my purpose is: To make Him known.
Becoming more like Him means becoming less like me in my behavior. Specifically, the exchanged life that Jesus wants us to do…the meaning behind His words of “take up My cross and follow Me”…or…”take my yoke upon you.” There is no magic formula here although the Enemy of my soul would want me to think that I just need to find the right mantra or verse and magically life will change. This deception is powerful to the point of causing inactivity.
Father, clearly show me what it means to exchange my ways of thinking and behavior for Yours. Help me to surrender to You what is not rightfully mine.