“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40
Read this verse over and over. What is Jesus whispering to you?
This morning the whisper I hear from Jesus is “be mine.” I know Valentine’s day is a week away. But this is the text that jumped off the page at me this morning. The Love of God is so great that His will is for us to look to the Son and believe in Him so that we can live with God for eternity.
For many this will is difficult to accept. Why? Well, lets dig a little deeper. The word for “looks to” is a difficult one to translate. It can have many meanings. It could mean to be a spectator of, to see, but it could also mean to experience, discern or intensely acknowledge. I think it is more than just seeing or watching Jesus because He adds “and believes in Him.” This is the word for having faith, to entrust one’s spiritual well being to Christ (Him). So, we look to Jesus, we see him as our Savior and we entrust our spirit to Him. This isn’t an on the surface kind of belief. It isn’t just saying that Jesus is the Son of God, the devil will acknowledge that, it is accepting Him as our Savior and giving control over to Him.
Now God’s will just got real. God’s will is turning our lives over to His Son. Don’t just pay Him lip service. Just going to church on Sunday doesn’t cut it. It is a life serving God. It is a life of being Jesus to those around us. It is more.
Honestly, I get little butterflies in my stomach as I think about it. Have I given my whole life over to Jesus? Do I live for Him all the time? I hate to admit that the answer is no. I struggle. So where does that leave those of us who are still sinners? It means we must rely on God’s grace. No longer are we trying to please God, but we are letting God love us through His Son. We let go of our need for control. We stop trying to do and we just be.
It is hard to explain. It is something that is experienced. I think this is where so much of the fighting occurs in our Christian denominations. Salvation is important. It is literally life and death. I don’t want to see anyone perish because of something I did, said or didn’t do. So, we try hard to save people. The problem is it is not our job to save. It is our job to believe and to point others to Jesus. Salvation is the job of Jesus. We must love and let God teach. Let God handle their souls. We must allow God to use us as part of that process. Sin and all. This means seeking forgiveness. Being humble but confident. Teaching relationships with God. Preaching the Word of God and not our own agenda. Too much of religion is driven by our pride and not by grace.
Why are so many leaving the church? I believe our pride drives them out, but Grace will bring them back. This doesn’t mean we stop preaching truth. We still have to teach the hard teachings but instead of beating people over the head with the law we need to love them. Forgive them. Teach them to read the Bible and let the Holy Spirit convict them. When they are convicted we can’t shrug it off and say it is ok, ignore that. We must help them change and support their change, but that change starts with us. We must allow the Spirit to convict us and then we must truly repent which means turning from our sin. Turn from our pride. Embrace God’s love and live God’s love.
People know there is more. They hunger for more. They are tired of the empty feeling that they have. But when they come to a community that is full of pride, they see that same emptiness that they have. Why would they join that? We must know God’s love, then we must live God’s love. When we live God’s love we can’t help but share His love. People want that. They thirst for it. They will come. There are still those who are so lost in their sin they will push away. We have to pray for those people and keep loving them. Love will break down the walls. Humility will drop their guard. God will save their soul through us if we allow Him. Stop being in control and hear Jesus’ call to “be mine.”