The Will of the Father

John 6:37-40.

All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.

For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:40 | Son of god, Jesus is lord, Lord and savior

The people had asked Jesus how do to His work, and what His work was.

His answer is beautiful in its simplicity, deep in its doctrine, comforting in its promise.

To condense these four important verses into a short blog post is something of a challenge, but I didn’t think it was wise to separate His statement into shorter portions.

Verse 37: All that the Father gives Me. The pronoun is neuter, referring to everything the Son receives from the Father, and inclusive of people who come to Him in faith. The picture he draws is of a poor man who seeks assistance from a wealthy man, who kindly takes him in and does not refuse him.

Verse 38: Jesus stated clearly that He left heaven strictly according to the will of the Father. Total, unquestioning obedience.

Verse 39: I love this reassurance that all that the Father gives Him will never be lost, but that all will be with Jesus. He says in both 39 and 40 that He will raise up the believers from death and the grave “at the last day.” The meaning here refers to the last day of this present age when all believers, living and dead, will be taken from this world to be forever with the Lord. The last day that sin will rule the world. The last day before God will establish His Son as the Messiah, King, Ruler over all that He has given to His Son. The world, all that is in it, all souls who love Him; the universe, and heaven itself. After that last day, all will be given permanently into the Son’s control and care.

V. 40: We will be raised up into everlasting life! What a day, glorious day, that will be!

Please watch the entire video. You will be blessed!

Sunday Morning Coffee: Gratitude

A friend recently told me about a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, who is a favorite of mine. The book is Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy. So far, I can highly recommend it.

So today I decided to apply it.

This “social distancing” quarantine hasn’t really been much of a problem to us. We’re doing fine. So here’s a list of things for which I am grateful today:

Forsythia, flowering trees, daffodils.

Mild temperatures.


A warm, cozy house with a roof that does not leak

My husband

A dependable car

Grocery stores that are working hard to keep us supplied, (even when stupid people do outrageous things, like the kid who took the carton of ice cream out of the store freezer, removed the lid, licked all over it, and put it back. Or the woman who deliberately coughed all over open produce, bakery, and other product cases. The store had to dispose of $35,000 worth of food.) What’s to be grateful for in that? Well, so far it was just the two of them, and both are in custody.

A medical (but non-medication) treatment I’m getting that is working incredibly well.

Well-stocked pantry and freezer.

My whole family is healthy, no virus attacks.

In a few minutes, I’m going to listen to my pastor preach. Live-stream, this is the third Sunday he’s been recording his messages.

I’m SO thankful for the internet! It helps keep us in touch with others, provides a way to “do” church, and I can still do my blog posts.

I don’t know of any friends who are sick.

I just got the good news that both my oldest two sons and families will be with us in July for a week or so.

Friends who have called or messaged, asking if there’s anything we need. Thanks so much, you know who you are.

The power of prayer. This one could develop into a list of its own.

My Bible. I love my Bible, the comfort, wisdom, encouragement, conviction, doctrine—I cannot imagine not having my Bible.

Well, you can see that when you start, you have trouble stopping! We have so, so much for which we ought to be thankful, and when we start counting our blessings, there is no room for doom and gloom ๐Ÿ™‚

I Am the Bread of Life

John 6:34-36.

Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.

But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not.

I Am The Bread of Life โ€” Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

Can you imagine being face to face with Jesus Himself, listening to His words, and just not “getting” it? That’s what was happening here. Maybe the concept He was teaching was just too novel. Maybe they were used to thinking in literal terms. It was hard for them to understand the spiritual, the heavenly implications of Jesus’ words.

I’ve read this passage over several times this week, and each time I have to pull myself up short in being critical of these people. After all, they were Old Testament Jews, and the Law had been interpreted and re-interpreted so much that the original was lost in the revisions. The Jews had become accustomed to the indisputable authority of the religious leaders, and the heavy burden of all the nit-picking rules that came not from God, but from the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and priests. Speaking from my own life experience, I know that people who get by paycheck to paycheck, IF they’re careful, have to be practical. You have to deal with what IS, not with what you WISH. And most of the people surrounding Him at this time were like that. They worked, they ate, they followed the Law, they slept. Repeat. They didn’t think often in terms of what lay beyond their every-day lives.

Jesus was offering them an eternal banquet, but so far all they really were looking for was free bread. Not just for that day, but “evermore.”

Instead, they were given these wonderful words of life: “And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” Remember the woman at the well in Samaria? Jesus had offered her the Water of Life. The difference was that she realized something very exciting was happening, and she ran and gathered up the townspeople so they could have the Water of Life, too.

Now, along with being the Living Water, He was saying He was also the Living Bread. Those who believed on Him would never be the same. Their lives would change. Their eyes would be opened to the Son of God, and they would never question again whether or not they would be in heaven someday. They could feast forever on the Living Bread, drink forever from the Living Water, and be assured of eternal salvation.

But they didn’t get it. Jesus said, “I said already that you have seen Me, but you don’t believe Me! I’m standing right here, you can reach out and touch Me, and you still don’t believe Who I am!”

Bread of God

John 6:31-33.

Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

For the Bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Image result for our fathers did eat manna in the desert

It seems the people wanted to debate Jesus. They asked what the work of God was, and He said, “Believe on Me!” But that wasn’t what they wanted. They were looking for a sign; they wanted more miracles, and they wanted those miracles to be to their benefit.

So they went in the direction of telling Jesus how their forefathers had eaten manna in the wilderness, bread given to them by God through Moses.

Jesus took a moment to remind them that it was not Moses who provided the manna; it was God, the Father, Who took pity on the people and sent this this daily gift of food from heaven. The people arguing with Jesus seemed to want the same thing from Him: Daily bread from heaven. The feeding of the previous day whetted their appetite for more.

In His response, Jesus tried to turn their attention from physical food to spiritual food–the Bread of God, sent from heaven to sustain them for all eternity if they would accept it.

He is necessary for spiritual life, just as bread is necessary for physical life and health. He made it clear that He was that Bread of Life, the Bread of God, come down from heaven to give life to the world.

Give us a Sign!

John 6:28-30.

Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent.

They said therefore unto Him, What sign shewest Thou then, that we may see, and believe Thee? what dost Thou work?

Image result for asking Jesus for a sign

Remember, many of these people who are asking Jesus for a sign had enjoyed a miraculous picnic the previous day, filling their bellies with food that Jesus distributed to 5000 people from five small loaves and a couple of little fish.

And now they want a sign.

The passage in Mark 8:12-13 upon which this picture is based goes on to say that Jesus “sighed deeply in His spirit.”

The request for a sign reminds me of a small child who, having torn through a huge pile of Christmas gifts, looked up and said, “Is that all?”

But I’m ahead of myself. Going back to v. 28: The people asked Jesus what they needed to do in order to do God’s work. In yesterday’s passage, Jesus had told them not to labor for food that perishes, but to labor for eternal food. Now they used the same word–labor–in the sense of getting what they wanted from Him. “What (labor) shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” They thought if there were only some regimen to follow, some list of rules, some clear map, they could just follow it and they would have food; they would conquer Rome! Their minds were still on earthly things.

His answer was beautiful in its simplicity, and is just as applicable today as it was then: Believe on Me! Believe that the Father has sent Me!

And that’s when they asked Him for a sign. I doubt that Jesus was in the habit of rolling His eyes, but I wouldn’t blame Him if He had! He sighed deeply in His spirit. Not an adolescent, “nobody GETS me” sigh, but a sigh of deep understanding of the people He had come to redeem.

The people didn’t even pause to consider what He meant when He said, “Believe in Me.” They said, “What sign can you give us, that we may see and believe? What are Your works?”

I think they wanted something spectacular, like a bolt of lightning that would destroy Rome. I guess five loaves and two fish being made to feed 5000 people wasn’t spectacular enough.

But I wasn’t there, so I can’t be too quick to judge. Would I have been a part of that short-sighted crowd? I’d like to think not, but it’s entirely possible.

A Teachable Moment

John 6:25-27.

And when they had found Him on the other side of the sea, they said unto Him, Rabbi, when camest Thou hither?

ยถJesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed.

Image result for seek not for the meat which perisheth

First, notice that Jesus did not answer their question. He could have, but because He knew their hearts and motives, He chose instead to use this opportunity to drive home an important truth.

Years ago, I heard a message that described this conversation as a “teachable moment,” and we were encouraged to use similar situations as openings to teach our children truths about God. You know, kids are always asking questions. We give them age-appropriate answers, and the reward for patience with them when they’re small is that when they hit the teen years and then adulthood, we can enjoy deep, meaningful talk with them around the things of the Lord.

But back to the story.

In v. 59 of this same chapter, we learn that this conversation took place in the synagogue in Capernaum, at a Sabbath service. Also, in Matthew 15, we learn that Jewish leaders from Jerusalem had traveled to Capernaum to question Jesus, always intent on their determination to shut Him down.

Instead of answering their question as to when He arrived in Capernaum, He told them why they had come. They were looking for more of that miraculous bread and fish. They were seeking food that eventually spoils, and is no longer useful.

They wanted another miracle. Also, they were still looking for a sign that this Man was the valiant leader who would free them from Rome’s tyranny.

The incredible miracle they had already witnessed was not enough. They were looking for deliverance, not a relationship with Jesus. They had a crusade against Rome in mind, and Jesus was not there for that purpose. They wanted full bellies and freedom from Rome, and that is all for which they followed Him.

They were looking for meat (food) that is temporary and subject to spoiling; power against an enemy that is a passing thing.

I can’t help but compare the attitude of those people so long ago with what is happening worldwide today, and especially in America during the campaign season. Promises of free stuff will always attract followers. Free education, free medical care, free food, free phones, free, free, FREE! And yet, nothing is free. Someone, somewhere, is paying for all the free stuff and doing so in hope of buying the loyalty of the people. The irony, of course, is that it is the people who pay for all that free stuff, through the taxes that grow more burdensome as time marches on. This is not a new thing. Think of the history of Rome, whose fall was, in part, due to giving the people free lunch and free entertainment at the Colosseum. Bloody, horrifying entertainment. When people don’t have to work for their food, they have way too much free time on their hands. The most depraved side of human nature surfaces, demanding more and more thrills and chills.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Notice also that Jesus never, in this conversation, referred to Himself as the Messiah. Rather, He was “the Son of Man,” a term which was not in common usage then, and one that would stir their interest. Jesus was far more interested in bringing them everlasting spiritual food through the miracle of His birth, death, and resurrection than He was in providing perishable food that would satisfy only temporarily.

Finally, referring to Himself as the Son of Man, He said that the Father had sealed Him. What does that mean?

A seal was a mark of ownership, and a promise of good quality. The clear seal of the Father had come at Jesus’ baptism, when the voice of God said, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

Jesus is eternal life and satisfaction. We ought to seek Him for a relationship with Him, not just as a source of free stuff.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Where Could I Go?

I’ve been determined NOT to write about the virus today, but really, nothing much is happening around here ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s hard to ignore, isn’t it? It’s controlling a lot of lives right now, and seems it will continue to do so for a while.

As usual, thinking of current events has brought a song to mind: An old spiritual called “Where Could I Go.”

Trouble is nothing new. It started the moment the evil serpent in the Garden of Eden tempted Eve. I don’t know why we all seem so surprised that yet another evil serpent has raised its head in the form of the Corona virus. It’s not the first time a plague has threatened the health and life of countless people around the world.

I think it seems so much worse this time because of all the instant news options we have literally at our fingertips. I haven’t looked at email yet this morning, but I’m sure the virus will be there, as well as news on the economy affected by the shut downs all across the country and the world.

I despise the way the present situation is being politicized. It is beyond my understanding that we can find the time and energy to attack, accuse, and demean anyone with whom we disagree. Lots of finger-pointing going on out there. Name-calling has become an art form!

We’ll be listening to our pastor’s sermon via the internet later this morning, knowing that many of our church family will be listening with us, missing our usual Sunday morning fellowship but still able to be in touch.

Perhaps one of the best things to rise out of this mess is the creative ways people are dealing with suddenly becoming homeschoolers, or work-from-home employees. It’s a whole new world out there, and many are offering helpful ideas on Facebook and other social media sites. I’m so glad for the positive that’s out there to balance out the fear and hysteria.

We need not to forget that prayer is still our first, last, and best resort in times of trouble. God knows all about it.

Make it a blessed and thankful Sunday. Count your blessings. Name them ton by ton ๐Ÿ™‚