John 20:27b – Do not be unbelieving, but believing. (NKJV)
These days, a lot is said and written about the irrelevancy of our Christian faith. Some months ago, there was a report in our local paper about a minister of the gospel who had preached for many years and submitted faith-based articles to a number of newspapers. Then suddenly, he announced in one of his columns that he no longer believed. All religions are manmade, he said, a figment of people's imagination. In the weeks following, there were a couple more articles in which he tried to justify his position, but then, there were no more. A minister in our province recently announced that she is an atheist, yet she preaches in a Christian church. It makes you wonder. There are so many people who just don't believe, and so many who at one time did believe but then lost their faith.
This is not new. At the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Nazareth one Sabbath. He quoted a passage from Isaiah 61:1-2.
Luke 4:18-19 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (NKJV)
And then He began His sermon: "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21b NKJV) Pretty soon, the people in the synagogue were very upset by His statements.
Luke 4:28-30 – So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. (NKJV)
All through His ministry, there were those who believed and those who did not. In one of my Bibles, the headings of some passages about Jesus in the book of John read like headlines in a newspaper: "Rejected by His Own"; "Many Disciples Turn Away"; "Jesus' Brothers Disbelieve"; "Rejected by the Authorities"; "Renewed Efforts to Stone Jesus"; "The Plot to Kill Jesus"; "Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane"; "Peter Denies Jesus".
Since then, all through history, millions of people have believed and still believe in Him, but there have been, and there are even now, many who reject Him. How important it is for us who believe to steadfastly confess that Jesus is the only Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour, the King of kings, and Lord of lords!
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many people who just don't believe, so many people who have lost their faith. We pray, Lord, that You would speak to the hearts of people so that the fire of faith may be kindled or relit, that many more people would believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord. We offer this prayer in His name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Cleanse Me" (Lyrics)