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Saturday, December 16, 2017

What do you believe?

25 Jesus told her, “I am the one who raises the dead and gives them life again. Anyone who believes in me, even though he dies like anyone else, shall live again. 26 He is given eternal life for believing in me and shall never perish. Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26 TLB)

Could we insert your name in place of Martha's for just a moment? If we were to do so, this would read "Jesus told Jane" or "Jesus told Rebecca" or "Jesus told Harry". There is much impact when we make scripture apply to us as individuals rather than just accepting that Jesus was talking to just one individual in history. Martha received these words, but we can, as well. "Anyone" can be us - short and sweet - the "anyone" Jesus came for is right there staring back at you in the mirror!

Jesus may have been asking Martha if she believed he was the one who could give life - eternal life. The question is important - not just so her brother could be raised from the dead, but because it determines her own personal destiny. Like anyone else - we are all alike - but the blessing is that if we believe in him, we live again! Jesus may have been asking if she believed this one truth, but there are times when Jesus is asking us this question over and over again in our own lives about some truth he wants us to really get hold of in order to turn our lives around.

All truth is revealed in Christ - but there are times when he asks us if we will believe it as truth. To do so will open doors for us that seem to have been shut beyond our ability to open. Martha's brother (Lazarus) was dead and in the grave - the place of burial was not known to be the place of life - it was pretty doggone permanent. There wasn't much more of an alternative than to mourn the loss. Jesus is quite specific with Martha - as he is with us - and asks very pointedly if "SHE" believes. Not the belief of the crowd, or of her sister, or even of the religious leaders of the day - HER belief.

When Jesus zeros in on OUR belief, it is time to take inventory of what we truthfully DO believe. We give a whole lot of lip service to beliefs, but they aren't really held as much in our hearts, attitude, and spirit. They are nice thoughts, but they aren't living truth until we embrace them and allow them to take hold of all of us. It begins with the matter of who we believe Jesus to be - do we really believe him to be the Son of God, come to earth in human form, dying for OUR sins, and raising from the dead for US to have a pathway to enter into the presence of God. It doesn't end until I don't know when!

Settle the question about what you (not the crowd) truly believe about Jesus and a new life begins. There is a new-found freedom that comes into your life - free of guilt, shame, and even of self-done righteousness. It opens the door to us getting asked a whole lot more questions about what we truly believe - about his power, his authority, his faithfulness, his ability, his love, etc. The question will not always be, "What do you believe?" It may be, "Will you trust me?", or "Will you finally let go of that?" Either way, the question is revealing the root of what we believe! Just sayin!