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Trusting Instead of Trying

Jesus longs for us to live the life of trusting instead of trying.

Jesus longs for us to live the life of trusting instead of trying.

In the church, the man who labors for God with the goal of being like God is highly valued! The work is great and the workers so few that the highly disciplined and sacrificial man or woman is in high demand. The church calls such a man or woman – “A man of God” or “a woman of God” but do you know what God calls such a one? He calls them a rebel! What? How can that be? Because that man or woman who is trying to be like God is living out of the wrong economy.

God established an economy whereby man would live FROM God by faith.

This is the economy man was intended to live in. It is the same economy that Jesus did live in. He said on numerous occasions that without His Father, He could do nothing. He said unequivocally that it was only as He heard, that He Himself spoke. He blatantly declared that the works that He did, were actually the works of the Father in Him and through Him. That’s right, Jesus walked on the water, but it was the Father walking on the water through Him. This is the economy that man was designed for and intended by God to live in. But in the garden man chose to not live out of this economy, instead he/she chose to live out of the economy of “being like God”. Man would function independent of God and do life His own way with his own resources.

Jesus longs for us to live the life of trusting instead of trying.

Jesus made it very clear in John 15, that just He could do nothing without the Father, so we can do nothing without Him. He is the Vine of true life and only when we branches connect to Him can He bear His vine life through us and produce fruit in us.

Man was never intended to be like God in the way he lived, he was intended to trust God to be God in and through Him by faith! That is why a man who tries to be like God, though he may look good and labor much, is actually a rebel in God’s eyes!

GOOD NEWS!!

Hear the Good News, my friend. Jesus has been crucified for your sins. He has risen from the dead to new life. He has ascended because His Work is now done – He has declared it so.

Hear the Good News, my friend. Jesus has been crucified for your sins. He has risen from the dead to new life. He has ascended because His Work is now done – He has declared it so.

Evangellion = Good News!

In the realm of humanity, we very often use words with such familiarity that we fail to embrace the depth of the meaning of our words. Take for example the word Gospel. I fear that it has been so often on our lips that the impact of the word has been greatly minimized. The Greek word is evangellion and it means “Good News!” Now ponder that for just a minute… Good News! What is the news? The news is the reporting of something has happened. It is definitely NOT something to do or be done! It is an announcement, a heralding or declaring of something worthy of being on the front page headlines of the newspaper!

Hear the Good News, my friend. Jesus has been crucified for your sins. He has risen from the dead to new life. He has ascended because His Work is now done – He has declared it so. From the cross, He said, “It is finished!” In the Greek, that means it is finished! He has returned to the Father and sat down at the right hand of the throne. The Holy Spirit has now been sent to complete the work in all who put their faith in Him. Faithful is He Who began the work to finish the work He has completed. This is the Good News! 

Please understand, there is NOT more work to be done. All too often, this is how the “good news” is proclaimed – God has done His part, now go do your part! That is NOT good news. The good news is that God has done it all and offers to do it all in and through you. Your only responsibility is to lay hold of Him by faith. This is called abiding. Abiding means you are living in Him until you make the conscious choice to live from other than Him. In other words, abiding is just like breathing. It is NOT something you choose to do, it is something you are doing already until you choose not to. 

And ponder that my friend, why would we choose to find “LIFE” in something or someone that can only provide us with “life” – and that a counterfeit and temporary satisfaction. Augustine said it so well so very long ago, “The human spirit designed by God, will only rest when it rests in God!” Jesus came to bring us that rest because He offers to dwell in that place that only God can fill.

This is Good News indeed! Enough of a man-centered Gospel that is NOT good news at all.

How did Jesus do what He did?

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How was Jesus able to do what he did? He walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead? How was He able to do that?

Do not gloss over that question. It is a very important one because we are called to live the way He lived. Oh, not that we are to walk on water and raise the dead, but certainly in the other things He did like having compassion on the neglected outcast, loving His enemies, and being kind to others. How did He do that?

Most people answer because "He was God!" That, my friends, is a horrible answer. Think about it. If He was able to love the unlovely, and love His enemies because He was God, that means we are NEVER going to be able to live the way He lived - because He is God and we are not!

The real answer? He was able to what He did
because He lived constantly dependent on His Father.

John 6:57 says "I live out of, or from (Greek = ek) the Father. That is why Jesus said in John 5 "I can do nothing without the Father. That is why in John 14 Jesus said the works He did were really the works of the Father. 

  • When Jesus walked on the water, it was the Father walking on the water through Him.
  • When Jesus fed the 5,000 it was the Father feeding them through Him.
  • When Jesus loved the unlovely and His enemies, it was the Father loving them through Him.

Now, this is GOOD NEWS! Because Jesus also said in John 6, that just as He lives out of, or from the Father, now we, in turn, are to live "out of, or from (greek = ek) Him. 

We can live as He lived, loving the unlovely, loving our enemies, being kind and compassionate as we trust HIm to live His life through us. Fascinating, but just as Jesus said He can do nothing without the Father (John 5), He also said without Him we can do nothing (John 15). 

Listen, we do NOT imitate Jesus behavior. All that will offer others is cheap, human counterfeit. We imitate His method. Just as He lived dependently on HIs Father, so we are to live dependently on Him. This is how we will live as He lived. GLORY!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

In the various tasks of life, there are usually many different ways that we can accomplish the tasks at hand. For example, when mowing my lawn. I can edge first, then, weed-eat and trim, and then mow... or I could mow first, then weed-eat and trim, and then edge... or - you get the idea!

When God created man, there are of course many various ways that He could have done so. When He created the birds, and the sky, and the earth the method He chose was "to speak" those things into being.

But when it came to man, God chose a very different method. He made man with His own hands. Significant? I think so. God made our bodies special and unique. As such, we are to treat them with respect and dignity. The human spine, if you have ever studied it, is a hugely powerful apologetic for the existence of God. We are truly, as Ps 139 says, "Fearfully and wonderfully made."

But let's go further.... that fearfully and wonderfully made body was not yet alive. Here again, God could have just spoke life AT US and we would have been alive. Instead, He chose to "breathe the breath of life into us." Significant? Absolutely, and missed by so many of us. God never does anything without meaning and purpose.

May I suggest to you that you ponder how intimate this method of bringing us to life was? He literally "kissed us into life." And what is a kiss? It is an intimate expression of love. God did not speak us into life, He kissed us into life with a kiss of love. He wanted us to know from the very beginning of our existence, that our purpose in being created was that we were created to be loved by God! HE LOVED YOU FROM THE VERY BEGINNING AND LOVES YOU STILL TODAY! His intention in our very creation was that we would literally breathe His love. WOW!

How Did Jesus Do What He Did?

We are going to take a test today. Question: How was Jesus able to do all He did?

  • He walked on water. Healed the sick. Raised the dead.
  • He loved His enemies, was kind and compassionate.
  • How was He able to do all that?

(Stop reading and answer the question!)

Most often, the answer I hear is that He was able to all that because He was God. If that is correct, then that is BAD NEWS for us! Why? Because we are called to live as He lived. Of course, that does not mean that we are to walk on water and raise the dead, but we are called to love our enemies and be merciful and compassionate. The problem, of course, is that we are not God and therefore lack the resources to live as He lived.

Is there a better answer to how He lived the life He did? YES! John 6:57 says that Jesus lived "OUT OF" the Father. Jesus, (Phil. 2) lived in a dependent relationship with the Father. That is why Jesus said He can nothing apart from the Father. He spoke and judged only as the Father told Him (John 5, 8)

Jesus made this reality very clear in John 14 when He said that the works He did were the works of the Father.

So who walked on the water? Jesus did. 
But He would say the Father did it through Him.

Who fed the 5,000? Jesus did. 
But He would say the Father did it through Him.

So did Jesus or the Father feed the 5,000? YES! 
They both did.

This is GOOD NEWS because this means we can live the way He lived. NOT by imitating His behavior but by imitating His method. To live the Christian life we depend on Jesus, the exact same way He depended on His Father. John 6:57 affirms that to us. There, Jesus said, "As I live 'OUT OF' the Father, so you live 'OUT OF' Me!"

By the way, that is why Jesus said in John 15, that without Him, we can do nothing. The Christian life is not something we do, it is really a Someone we get to participate with by faith. Living the Christian Life is really experiencing the living Jesus living His LIFE through us.

This world, especially in these dark days, desperately needs to see and experience His love, compassion, and mercy multiplied in as many lives as will trust Him by faith...