No Wonder We Can’t Believe!

01. September 2016 John 0

Text: John 5:31-47
Theme: The reasons for some people’s lack of faith is painfully obvious.
Key verses: “Someone else is testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true. In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved. John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. But I have a greater witness than John–my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me…You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. Your approval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God” (v. 32-44)
What God said to me: Son, you are obstinate like those Pharisees were. In fact, you are acting like a Pharisee now. You are harboring sin in your heart, and you’re trying to act like it doesn’t matter to me, like you are OK as you are, in your self-righteousness. Do you seriously think I’m OK with your sinful behavior, with your spiritual pride and obstinance? I am not. Don’t think for a moment that all of your accolades and past experiences and future potential is enough to overcome your present sinfulness. The only thing that matters to me is your obedience today. Your past sins are forgiven and your future works are wishful thinking. Who are you today? If you stood before me right now, how would you feel about your actions and your spiritual condition? Would anything you’ve done in the past really matter? No wonder they couldn’t believe. They refused to consider the obvious. They choose instead to cling to their own understanding and their own preferences. They were blinded by their sin and self-righteousness. Don’t be like those Pharisees, Dwayne. Confess and forsake your sins. You know what they are–they are ever-present before you and before me. No matter how “small” and insignificant you may think they are, no matter how hidden they may be to the world, I know of them, and they are hindering your fellowship with me. No wonder you can’t believe! No wonder I can’t bless you more deeply and broadly. No wonder you don’t have peace. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and I will lift you up in due time.
What I said to God: Father, thank You for making this passage all about me today. I know it’s not really just about me, of course. However, today I needed what You have so clearly spoken to me. I need Your chastisement and Your gracious clarity. I choose to confess and forsake my sin, and follow You completely today, all day. Please watch over Justin at school and Stephen in Zambia. Protect Sonia while she’s at her mom’s in AL, and give her some great times with her family there. I pray for Pastor Brian and our staff at VVC today. Please grant us all direction and tenacity as we seek to move our church forward and reach more people who need You. Thank You for NLWI. Please continue to open doors for greater ministry in Zambia and in the US. Thank You for meeting with me this morning. I am trying to love You with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength today.