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Posts Tagged ‘John 06’

Prayer Varies

Prayer includes moments of ecstasy and also dullness, mindless distraction and acute concentration, flashes of joy and bouts of irritation. In other words, prayer has features in common with all relationships that matter. — Philip Yancey, Prayer, pg.19

We may not be satisfied with our prayer time, but it’s the best thing we have so we keep at it.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” – John 6:68 (NIV)

— fritz@langgang.com

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. — Matthew 13:47-50

Heaven’s kingdom has quite a draw. So many want and expect to go there — just not yet, and not the way the Bible instructs.

Some are like Mr. Formalist and Mr. Hypocrisy in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Unlike true followers, they climb over the wall instead of entering by the gate. They saw no need to do things God’s way, theirs was easier. But they received no scroll and knew nothing of God’s path so eventually fell away.

But all those who come to Christ with a true heart of repentance have nothing to fear. Jesus said,

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. – John 6:37

— fritz@langgang.com

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“Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. [I am] the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” – Jesus (John 6:35b, 49-50)

They all knew about manna — their ancestors were hungry and God nourished them with “bread” from heaven. It was God’s miracle through Moses, so different they called it, “Manna”, which literally means, “What is it?!”

When Jesus’ audience asked him for a miracle like Moses gave, he said he was the miracle itself.

Like manna was given by God to satisfy hunger, Jesus satisfies the gnawing hunger for something more. Unlike Moses’ manna which sustained a short while, eventually going stale, and breading worms, God’s true “living” bread is always fresh, satisfies for ever, and gives unending life.

Of course, they had problems with metaphors.

Sound Bite: Jesus is not the miracle worker, he is the miracle itself.
Prayer: Jesus, don’t just give me bread,
be my bread.

– fritz@langgang.com
See also: “What He Is, Not What He Does” – June 9, 2011

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Choosing to Eat

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” – John 6:53

In Church during the Eucharist (Communion), watching members move orderly forward, kneel, and partake of the bread and wine, a thought again comes to mind.

Being in Christ is more than listening to a sermon and pondering truth, there comes a time for commitment – a choice to eat and make it mine.

– fritz

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Swinging Pendulums

“Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” – Jesus (Matthew 19:27b-30)

Jesus daily encountered a literalist mindset. When he told the crowd he was the real bread from heaven, that they had to eat his body and drink his blood, they went wild thinking he was implementing a new form of cannibalism. The context of his statement clearly showed otherwise.1

We, in our culture, have swung the other way to the point we don’t take anything he says literally.

Jesus taught there is an actual, touchable, noticeable change coming to this world – what he called “the regeneration”. Those who “spiritualize” this miss the point of why we remain here in this life; why we continue to have struggles and work through our problems.

Jesus is taking real human beings as leadership material and engaging them in an apprenticeship program. We who follow Christ were chosen to have real responsibilities in that coming renewal. All the apostles knew this and believed it literally.

“It is a faithful saying: … If we suffer, we shall also reign with him…” – 2nd Timothy 2:11a, 12b

Don’t spiritualize it to the point of irrelevance; live like it, expect it. Appreciate the privilege!

– fritz

1 – John 6:30-60

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>Offence not always the wrong course of action…

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These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? ….And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. – John 6:59-60, 65-66 (KJV)

Many church going Christians have expressed concern about being too open and too bold about their faith saying they don’t want to be responsible for driving people away from Christ.

While we should not be obnoxious, the fear of something we say or do driving people away from Christ is, perhaps, unfounded. Someone taking offence at something we say or do may not mean we did something wrong; perhaps it means we did something exactly right.

We could be left being more concerned than Jesus about who came to him and who didn’t. We shouldn’t hide our light under a bushel (Matthew 5:15) because someone may get angry and refuse to come to it.

Sometimes our stated concern about not wanting to push someone away from Christ is really a concern about them pushing away from us and the possible consequences to ourselves rather than to the cause of Christ.

– Fritz.

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And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst….And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. – John 6:35, 40-41 (KJV)

Jesus’ hearers got all bent out of shape about Jesus saying he was the Bread of Heaven (like the Mana in the Old Testament) and one should “eat his flesh” and “drink his blood”, never noticing or addressing the fact that Jesus said on the last day, he would be the one to raise the dead!

Which is most important to notice – a metaphor about bread and water, or realizing whose voice you will hear on that last day?

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