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Words of Life

Jesus is teaching about who He is in the synagogue. He makes the statement that “He is the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.” (vs. 35) He later says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them, and I will raise them up on the last day.” (vs.43) Then Jesus says, I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (vs.51) Then he challenges them with this truth, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” (vs.53)

This was hard for many of his disciples to understand. I think they were thinking of eating his flesh and drinking his blood in the literal sense instead of the spiritual. Then Jesus went on to say, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you– they are full of the Spirit and life.” (vs.63) After this it tells us that many of his disciples didn’t follow him any longer. This was too radical for them. Jesus turns to his twelve disciples and asks if they want to leave also. We then get to our verse, “Simon Peter answered Him, Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life! We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” (vs.68)

There were many people who followed Jesus besides the core twelve. Can you imagine what is was like for Jesus to see so many of his disciples turn away from him? They had seen him perform miracles, heard his teachings in the synagogue, walked and talked with him. Yet they turned from him.

I love Peter’s response, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Peter got it. These men who had given up everything to follow Jesus, knew there was no other place to go to find eternal life!

The words eternal life are found 42 times in the New Testament. One of the most familiar verses in the Bible talks about eternal life and is found in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE.” Over and over, scripture portrays Jesus as the source of eternal life and that eternal life is a gift freely given to those who desire it.

Have you come to Jesus, the giver of eternal life? Have you received the free gift he offers you and I? Have you heard him calling you to come to him? I pray today you would make the decision to follow him for the rest of your life and the life to come. He worthy of our trust, our time, and our full dedication.

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Take Courage

I came to the realization yesterday that the character quality I most admire in another individual is courage. Courage is “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear: bravery.”

I would encourage you to read Matthew 14:22-31 as it gives you the context to this particular verse. I will attempt to condense it down into a short paragraph. The disciples were sent out on a boat by Jesus who stayed behind and found a quiet place to pray. When Jesus finished praying, he sees the boat is a far distance away. Sometime between 3 and 6AM, Jesus walks out on the water to the boat. The disciples see him and are afraid. That is when Jesus says, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Then Peter boldly says, Jesus if it’s you tell me to come out on the water. Jesus calls for Peter to come to Him. Peter begins walking, looks around at the waves, becomes afraid, and begins to sink. Jesus reaches out his hand to catch him. Then Jesus remarks to Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

This segment of scripture is jam packed with a lot I could write about today but I will choose to focus on how Jesus encouraged his disciples to have courage and how Peter walked on the water courageously. I absolutely love that Jesus said to his disciples to “take courage.” How many times in your life have you been encouraged to “take courage”? For me it is when we moved our young family over to the Philippines in 2007. We had never lived overseas or lived in a mega city. A couple that were instrumental in us moving there encouraged and challenged our faith and believed in us. It was as if they were saying to us Take courage Wade. Take courage Christine. You’ve got this.

So Peter steps out of the boat and crazily walks on water to Jesus!! Can you imagine what that must have felt like? He was stepping out in faith to Jesus. How is Jesus compelling you today to climb out of the boat and walk on the water? For me, it actually is in my writing the blog daily. Some days I am filled with self doubt and think, I can’t get out the boat today. I don’t think I have anything to offer others. This can paralyze me at times. What challenges keep you from stepping out in faith? I would encourage you to write out todays scripture and put it somewhere where you will see it daily. Let Jesus’s words help you to get out of the boat and take courage. I know you can do it. Write to me today and let me know how Jesus is calling you to TAKE COURAGE.

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Walking on Water

I share this with you because I’ve been imagining myself walking on the water with Jesus.  In my life and yours there are a lot of waves surrounding us that can cause us to be fearful and distract us from Jesus’s face.  Right now the pandemic is a big wave.  Any hint of sickness in our home has caused me to feel as though I’m sinking.  When this happens, I find myself anxious and worried that something could happen to those I love.  

What keeps me walking to Jesus is his truth.  Isaiah 41:10 tells us “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.”  What is your big wave 🌊 that is keeping you from walking to Jesus.  I’d encourage you to talk about it with a close friend and Jesus too.  Let them know what is on your heart and so they can point you to some words of hope during the storm.  “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of the world will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”