Luke 22-24; John 1-5

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16, NIV (the words of Jesus)

 

We've all seen it thousands of times. You used to couldn't go to a football game without someone waving a poster with the message, "John 3:16". We rely on the message, and the promise of the message... but what does it really mean?

 

For some, the word believe just means a "mental assent". In other words, it is something that they hold to be true, but no action is required.Yet, nothing could be further from the truth, for belief is much, much more than just an acknowledgement that something is so.

 

You don't "believe" that? Well, what would you do with your teenage son or daughter if you told them to take out the trash or they would be punished, but then they did not do so? What if you then asked them, "Did you hear me when I told you to take out the trash or you would be punished?" and they said that they heard you, what would you do? You might then ask them, "Did you not believe me when I told you to take out the trash or you would be punished?" and they said they believed, what would you do?

 

If you were a good parent, you would punish them! But, what if they then were surprised that you punished them? If they were surprised, you would have to conclude one of two things: Either they weren't very smart... or they didn't really believe!

 

One of the greatest dangers for those of us who want to follow Christ is in not believing. It's not that we don't hear His words, for we do. It's not that we don't understand what He says, for He is no less competent than are we when we give instructions to our children. Nor is He less loving than us - we know that He is more so! Yet how many times do we hear His words, and we say that we believe them... but then we don't obey?

 

Can we still truthfully say that we believe? God will answer that question for us on the Day of Judgment, but if we are smart, we will read His words now, believe them, and then act on that belief. Jesus calls this love! And we must act if we truly believe because of what God has done for us... for God so loved the world!

 

"If you love Me, you will obey what I command... Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me... If anyone loves Me, he will obey my teachings... 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."

John 14:15, 21, 23, 24, NIV

 

"Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?"

Luke 6:46, NIV

 

(Today is day 10 of the 30 Day Bible Challenge. The readings are Luke 22 through John 5. You will be glad that you read them!)