|John 11:14-15 (MSG)|
|14-15 Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”|
|Earlier in chapter 11 the followers of Jesus had reminded Him of the danger in returning to Bethany, the town where His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived, because the last time they were there they were stoned. Right after Jesus’ command His disciples to follow Him to Bethany, Thomas spoke what may have been on the hearts of most of the disciples, when he said “let’s follow Him so that we may die together”. However Jesus had a greater mission in mind, and I believe we could also learn from this….|
|It seems like our attention is often enhanced by the unexpected. Jesus could have healed His friend Lazarus while he was still alive; He could have brought him back to life as soon as He was told that Lazarus had died; He could have performed the miracle before a large crowd, or He could have done it in the middle of the night. However, I believe that Jesus saw the doubt and limitations being built by His own disciples, so He wanted to go beyond anything they had seen before, to make sure that lives were miraculously touched, and that God the Father received glory. This very much spoke to me about the normal church attendee today. We have come to expect a special order of service, the same speaker bringing the sermon and we have become so accustomed to getting out at a certain time, that we could easily plan our oven to complete cooking lunch at a certain time. Now IF God was programmable, all of this would work within His time-frames, but knowing that He’s not, what would happen if people started getting saved in every service, or Brothers getting healed, or sisters recommitting their lives to Christ in every service? Think about it, Jesus deliberately delayed His arrival to Bethany so that followers would see a different kind of miracle – one that would shake them up from their normal expectation, and they would be reminded that He truly is the Son of God, who could do ALL things. We too get ourselves into a box of believing that God can do only so much, because we have seen or heard of Him doing just that much before. Friends, I believe we are being taught here, along with the disciples, that the God who created us and placed the stars in the sky, is still very much alive and capable of doing way more than we could every dream or believe. I believe that our part is: to believe in the only One who could save us from our sin; trust Him to watch over, protect and guide us in the way of Truth daily; learn to worship Him, thank Him and depend on Him daily; trust Him by never putting Him in a box of limited possibilities; and get excited about the place He has prepared for us in glory. Do you feel like you are lacking in either of these things? Do you feel like you have placed complete faith and trust in Jesus, to accomplish way more than you could ever imagine? We tend to ask for only as much as we could believe, or have faith to ask for. God can do so much more than that friend!
|Lord, I believe that we are just as guilty as Your disciples were in the story of Lazarus, They followed you to Bethany, but they were so worried about their own lives that I believe it was challenging for them to truly appreciate the miracle that You brought about with Lazarus that day. We have become so accustomed to knowing the limitations of everything that we encounter, that we tend to place those same limitations on what our awesome God could do. Please forgive us for our littleness and for the blessings we miss out one because of our limitations. You are worthy oh Lord, please forgive us for our unworthiness and grant us new perspectives about You every day so that we may be overzealous in praise and thanksgiving. AMEN!
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Earlier in chapter 11 the followers of Jesus had reminded Him of the danger in returning to Bethany, the town where His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived, because the last time they were there they were stoned. Right after Jesus’ command His disciples to follow Him to Bethany, Thomas spoke what may have been on the hearts of most of the disciples, when he said “let’s follow Him so that we may die together”. However Jesus had a greater mission in mind, and I believe we could also learn from this….