Seeing Is Believing!
John 1:1.“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Many today are like Thomas, unwilling to believe because they do not see the Lord. One thing for certain is that the testimony of the disciples, including Thomas, should be more than enough proof of the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, bodily.
The other disciples had undoubtedly seen and talked with someone, and they said that it was Jesus. Thomas, not believing, thought it must have been someone they mistook for Jesus, and because he did not want to be deceived, he sought to see for himself before he would be convinced that it was the risen Saviour. The question for the Christian today is: How can we see more of Jesus?
We see Him in the Scripture
John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The phrase, “In the beginning” is also used in Genesis 1:1, and in both cases, it applies to the Word of God. In both cases, it clearly means before the creation of the world, when there was nothing but emptiness. In other words, the Word of God was in existence before anything else, showing us that Jesus was before anything else. John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
However, we can’t see Him if we don’t read the Bible. Do you have a desire to see Him?
Read Malachi. List two Old Testament verses that tell us of Christ.
Seeing is Believing!
John 20:24-25, “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
For almost two centuries, Thomas has been referred to as”Doubting Thomas,” and sometimes we wonder why. My aim is to try to understand what caused him to doubt. To Thomas, seeing was believing, yet we are told in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Thomas probably believed as much as any of the other disciples, but they had already seen Jesus, while Thomas had not. Remember that Moses, too, felt the need to see God at the burning bush. Moses saw the glory of God, and while he did not question the fact that he was in God’s presence, he wanted to see more of God.
No matter how great the manifestations of the glory of God, it is human nature to want to see more. One day we will see the full glory of God face to face. It was in Thomas’ human nature to want to see evidence that this was really Jesus.
C. H. Spurgeon said, “He had no right to claim such a proof; unbelief is unreasonable in its de- mands.”
The testimony of the other disciples should have been sufficient, but Jesus used the occasion as an opportunity to convince doubters of the truth of His resurrection. Even the other disciples, who had seen Jesus, were slow to believe. Thomas simply refused to rely on their testimony. Should we really blame Thomas?
Read Ecclesiastes 11-12. Spend five minutes in prayer for a missionary family.
Is It Burning Within? Part 2
Jeremiah 20:9,“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
New Testament churches are to be on the offensive, not the defensive, in their orientation. We are not to get caught up in fighting each other, but should fight the enemy. Our job is to save as many as possible from the impending judgment. Think of those who have paid the price to keep us free.
God did not call us to be superhuman. Everyone had forsaken Jeremiah. He was disgusted with his calling and with God, and was driven to the point of wanting to quit. He is saying, “I’ll just take the easy way out.” Why did God not kill Jeremiah as he requested? Read Psalm 103:13-18. I often take comfort in these verses. He takes pity on us and remembers that we are but dust. This is a great lesson: you do not have to know it all, and how to do it all.
God did not call us to fail. God never gives manna for tomorrow. When He told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” He was not making reference to a lifetime, but grace for the need of the moment. What happened to Jeremiah that set him on fire?
He thought about the Word of God. We, too, need to settle this in our hearts. God gave us His complete revelation – all of it. He preserved it for us, just the way He wants it, in the King James Bible. We don’t have to see one single prayer answered or one soul saved to stay faithful to God. He commands us to preach in season, out of season, and leave the results to Him! Let God’s Word burn in your heart.
Read Psalms 137-139. Read Jeremiah 20:9.
“Is It Burning Within?”
Jeremiah 20:9, “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
Have you ever been so upset with God that you were not interested in talking to or about Him? Let’s be honest about it so that the Holy Spirit can work in our hearts.
Jeremiah did not think too highly of himself. In fact, he reminds me of Job when he said, “Why don’t you just kill me?” He was in a real crisis in his personal life and needed to learn how to be encouraged in time of trouble; so do we.
An important lesson to learn from Jeremiah is that God chooses men who are little in their own sight; He does not use big shots. God sometimes sends people who encourage us; but sometimes we deal with those who fail to give us encouragement when we need it.
Remember when, as a boy, David took on the giant Philistine? He said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defied.”
Look at Jeremiah upon his call in Jeremiah 1:1-6, when he said, “I cannot speak, for I am a child.”
God did not call Jeremiah to an easy task; the religious and political leaders hated him. We have to remember that we are not called to be entertainers, but to preach the Word of God. To be concluded tomorrow!
Read Nehemiah 1-4. Buy a small gift of appreciation for your pastor.