John 11:17-37

John 11:17-37

John 11:26Vintage message from our 2002-2003 radio program called “Perspective” aired May 11, 2003.

We, so often, will call on God. We will approach Jesus. We will use the name of Jesus almost as an incantation for magic, thinking that somehow, because we call on Him, He has to give us the thing that we desire, that we conjure up for our own flesh’s pleasure…

I am speaking to those of you who have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, who have walked with Jesus Christ, who have been Jesus’s friend, and you have now been disappointed because you didn’t get something that you felt you wanted or needed. Sometimes when Jesus tries to speak to our hearts, we are so disappointed that we try to explain to God what it is that we truly need, to tell God how to accomplish what it is that we truly need…

Jesus in approaching us, comes to us with the truth. You know, Jesus does not have expectation of us. Jesus asks only one thing of us, and that’s that we believe. That we believe Him for what He says. That we believe Him for what He’s doing. That we believe Him for His power. That we believe Him for His authority…

He’s not asking for a lot from us as believers. He’s not asking for you or for me to do backflips off of the Golden Gate Bridge and land on our feet and walk on the water. This is so often what we believe we have to do for God. Jump through hoops and do all kinds of good things to impress Him. He’s not asking for us to impress Him because guess what? He is not impressed with anything that we can do for Him, but what He desires is what we do with Him. Simply believing in Him. It says, if we believe, we will live it. Even though He dies. So if some of us, you or I, after this moment, should find ourself or a family ¬†member in death, understand: if we go to that place of physical death believing that Jesus is Who He said He was, then we’ll live. And whoever lives and believes, those of us who are still walking with Jesus, that day that He chooses to bring the church into the clouds with Him, will not die. “And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” We’ll be translated. In a moment. In the twinkling of an eye, as Paul tells the Thessalonians…

And the bottom line is, do you believe this? Most of the problems that we have within Christianity, most of the problems that we have within the church, most of our problems that we struggle with in fellowship with one another, is that we do not truly believe everything that Jesus says. We do not believe that Jesus is the life. We do not believe that Jesus is the resurrection. We want to believe. We want to understand, but so often we live in ignorance because we do not search God’s Word to find out about the character and the Person of Jesus, to find out about the character and Person of God the Father, to search the Scriptures to find out about the Person and the character of His Holy Spirit that He left here with us. If we understood God, then we would come to a place of believing that He an accomplish whatever it is He chooses to accomplish, not what I expect Him to accomplish…

A simple statement of faith. One that I believe that Jesus desires for each of us to make. “I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God.” And it is that place of receiving, that place of accepting, that place of choosing, to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the One Who has Lordship and authority over us, that a change begins to happen in our life, that faith begins to grow…

You and I live our lives every day believing that Jesus should give us something, do something for us, be a part of our lives in a way He’s not going to do, but Jesus will raise us from the dead. He is our Lord and our Savior. He does have a plan for our life, in honoring His Father, bringing glory to His Father. And I guess the question is…and I will leave you with this question: do you believe this? I think this is something that we need to struggle through this week, something that we need to go through in our hearts and bring answer to. Do you believe that Jesus is Who He claims to be? Is Jesus your life? Is Jesus your resurrection? Is Jesus your Lord and Master? Do you believe this?

Pastor Dave Elkins