Happy Springtime: My sole purpose is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, Who took our punishment for sin at the cross. His blood made peace with God, and His resurrection gave us eternal life and joy in the Holy Spirit.
“This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” 1
A Fruitful Response…
John wrote: “Thank you for your letter. I have been reading the Gospel of John, as you suggested.”
“I’m struck by John the Baptist stepping aside and proclaiming Jesus the true Messiah, even at his own peril. I don’t know that I’ve ever believed in anything that strongly. I suppose it would be easier to believe (not that it should, necessarily, be easy) if the miracles described in John still happened. I guess there’s an argument that they still do, we just turned away from them.
“Do you believe that John literally turned water into wine, or do you believe that it’s a parable intended to show that Jesus provided selflessly? I truly believe that a wise man named Jesus walked this earth and was killed for his beliefs. I also believe in my heart that his message was one of love. Where I’ve always struggled is when it comes to believing in the supernatural. I have to admit that science has narrowed my mind. Do you ever doubt? What do you do to strengthen your faith in those moments?
“I want to apologize if I’m asking questions to answer on your website (which I really enjoy by the way). I am reading your book (WYDFM) and other writings on aboundinglove.org in hopes that I don’t bother you with questions that you answer elsewhere. The article “Christianity for Dummies” WAS helpful, but I guess my real question is: How do I have faith if it doesn’t come naturally?
“I want to thank you again for your letters, and your help. This truly wasn’t the path I expected when I sent you a Christian card, but maybe this is the Universe nudging me back toward belief. Either way, I want to thank you for your time, and your kind letters. I will continue reading your book, and the other information on the website, and I will continue reading the Bible. Be safe, and keep making a difference. Sincerely, John, MO.”
Good News for All…
According to recent polls, 85% of folks are spiritually hungry, like John who wrote me, and the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at Jacob’s well in the Gospel of John, chapter 4. Jesus told her, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 2 For me, I drank the “living water” on May 23, 1975, when the greatest miracle of them all took place in my heart being born again (John, chapter 3). Jesus supernaturally changed my old fallen nature into a brand new one. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 3
So yes, I believe in miracles, even greater than turning water into wine. Salvation is the greatest miracle of them all, when God raised Jesus from the dead, giving us eternal life. He said, “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” 4
Jesus said “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” When he said ‘living water,’ he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him.” 5
Bad News for Many…
The same polls that uncovered spiritual hunger in the world revealed that a large percentage of folks say the Bible is the Word of God, believe in life after death and say Jesus is the Son of God. But have they received Him as their Lord, Savior and Righteousness? James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote: “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” 6 James is saying that good deeds don’t save us, but they are a reflection of our faith.
True faith is acting upon what we believe about Jesus, not faith in our good deeds. If we do not receive Jesus’ blood and righteousness for our redemption, we will have to suffer eternally for our sins, taking the punishment for them upon ourselves. The apostle Paul wrote: “He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.” 7
Lord, Increase our Faith…
John asked in his letter “How do I have faith if it doesn’t come naturally?” Even the disciples of Jesus asked Him: “Show us how to increase our faith.” 8 He told them even faith the size of a tiny mustard seed can do wonders if we step out in faith taking authority over our lives in His name. But it’s the Lord, Who opens our hearts as the Holy Spirit reveals spiritual things. The apostle Paul says it simply, “…faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” 9
Like John, I began to saturate myself in God’s Word, through study and meditation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more.” 10 Also, I’d suggest you pray the prayers of the apostle Paul in his letters: Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21l Philippians 1:5-11 and Collosians 1:3-14. These prayers (when prayed) will bring forth spiritual wisdom, growth, thanksgiving and understanding of the Good News. Let me hear from you as the Word works mightily in your life, filling you with love, peace and joy from the Holy Spirit. “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 11
A Prayer for You…
Heavenly Father, I thank You for this divine appointment with You to open my heart to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, light Your fire in my heart, so that I may know the Truth and be set free from my narrowed mind. I repent of my doubts about You, Jesus, and turn to You in Faith that You died for my sin. You cleansed me with Your blood and rose again from the dead to provide eternal life and right standing with our Father, even an abundant life today. Use me, Lord, to confess You to others, so that they too may receive You and grow to know You. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!
Scripture References (NLT):
1) Col. 1:6
2) John 4:13,14
3) 2 Cor. 5:17
4) John 5:24
5) John 7:37b,38,39a
6) James 2:19
7) 2 Thess. 1:7b-10
8) Lk. 17:5
9) Rom. 10:17
10) Mk. 4:24
11) 1 Cor. 16:13,14