Sunday, April 21, 2019
Spotlight on "Doubting
Have you ever been at a point where you felt that you couldn't go on
unless God stepped directly into your life and made His presence known in
no uncertain terms? Maybe you're there now. The disciple Thomas was
there when he declared:
John 20:25b – Unless I see
the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put
my hand into his side, I will not believe it. (NIV)
unfairly remembered as "Doubting Thomas" because he wouldn't
accept second-hand information about the risen Christ. Thomas hadn't
been present when Jesus revealed Himself to the other disciples after His
crucifixion. He wanted more than their reports. Remember that he, too, had
recently endured the utter devastation of everything that mattered. His
Master was gone, and the Jesus Way was at a screeching halt, fallen apart,
blown to smithereens. No wonder Thomas insisted that Jesus step into his
life and reveal His identity.
I ask: Was that a sign of weak
faith? Is it ever a virtue to ignore the heart cry and settle for
second-hand knowledge of the risen Christ?
In our former years,
we may have been content with what others taught about Christ. We
comfortably rested our faith in their faith. But we didn't know what to
trust Christ for because we didn't know Him for who He truly is. Our
faith was yet to be forged through our own encounter with the revelation of
the risen Christ.
Jesus didn't chastise Thomas for wishing
to see evidence. Instead, Jesus paid Thomas a visit and personally revealed
His nail-printed hands and pierced side. Jesus added, "Do not continue
in your unbelief, but believe." (John 20:27b NET) I put it this
way: "Thomas, stop suspending belief and believe for yourself.
Furthermore, Thomas, thus far you've trusted Me as your earthly Master.
Now you must trust in Me as I truly am: God!"
Thomas saw more than nail prints. Thomas saw Jesus as God! That's not
seen through natural eyesight, but through spiritual sight. Thomas
responded with a profound declaration of belief: "My Lord and my
God!" (John 20:28b NIV) Thus, this disciple more truthfully
should be remembered as "Believing Thomas"!
You and I
cannot step back in time and see those nail prints. In any event, our faith
doesn't rest on natural senses, nor does it depend on revelations of
His deity to others. That's shallow faith which washes out during
trials and temptations. It can't sustain us through challenges.
However, challenges can make us cry out for revelations of Christ as Lord.
That's when we proclaim our own declaration of faith, and utter,
"My Lord and My God!"
Jesus gave Thomas a delightful
promise for all who come to such full-fledged belief: "Blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29b
NIV) May that be said of each of us! May each of us continue to seek
His presence — perhaps praying like this:
Lord, I submit myself to You to mature my faith through experiences that
forge an ever-deepening faith in You — for who You truly are.
Diane Eaton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada
Today's Thought: The original
"Courage to Come Back Award": Jesus is risen!
Today's Verse: Galatians
6:10 – Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all
people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)
Today's Bible Readings:
One-Year* Scripture Passage: Mark 11-12
Two-Year* Scripture Passages: Psalms 97-98
Canadian Bible Society Daily Bible Reading: Luke 24:1-12
Jesus promised, "If two of you agree on earth about anything you
ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19
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Today's Prayer Partnership Request: posted by The Presbyterian
Church in Canada
(Easter Sunday) Pray that all we do today may be an expression of praise
and that we may we drink in God's tender love and pour this love out to
others in our every word, action, and thought.
More On "Stage 4 Kidney Failure", originally posted by Kathy Nelson
Older PrayerLine Requests
"Please Pray for my friend Job. He is in stage 4 kidney failure and needs a
transplant. He need a..." (more)
Update posted on 4/20/2019: Please continue to pray for
Job’s kidney function to improve and his diabetic ulcer to heal as he
returns to the doctor on Tuesday. Most importantly, pray for his
relationship with God to grow and for him to seek God's will for his
life and that he feels God’s love and calming presence all the
* The One-Year Bible Reading Plan is
from bible-reading.com ©1996-2006 by Michael Coley and used by
* The Two-Year Bible Reading Plan is from the Cambridge Daily Reading Bible ©1995 Cambridge University Press
and used by permission.
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