“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35 (NASB)
It was a practice of Jesus when He was on earth teaching the people about Himself to use common everyday experiences and ideas to underscore who He truly was. Hunger and thirst are familiar to every person and who does not wish to never be hunger or thirsty again? In these words, Jesus is not speaking about our physical hunger and thirst. He is speaking about how He satisfies our spiritual needs. He was answering people who had been so impressed at the way He had fed thousands of people the day before. Like them, He wants them to recognize that we have spiritual needs and that He is able to meet such needs for us. This is our promise. We need to constantly turn to our Lord Jesus for the needs of our hearts and souls. It is not enough just to believe in Jesus as our Savior. We need to always be looking to Him to satisfy our spiritual longings. Jesus says if we constantly trust Him we will never be unsatisfied.
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16 (NASB)
‘Abide’ is an interesting word in our verse today. It can be translated as ‘remain, wait, or continue.’ One of the many great truths revealed to us in the Bible is God’s love for us who abide. These words in our verse today are John the Apostle’s. John knew God’s love and he had experienced it intimately as he walked and talked with Jesus. He had seen Jesus heal sick, raise the dead and he had seen Jesus weep. He also watched Jesus die as he was nailed to the executioners cross. He saw the resurrected Jesus and he saw Jesus rise up into heaven. John knew God’s love and he relied on it. We today also know God’s love because we have believed that Jesus died for us, rose again to new life and accepted him as our Savior and Lord. We experience His love in our lives and we depend on Him each day because we know how He loves us with a perfect love. We live in the love of God and God lives in us. A wonderful and encouraging promise we can depend upon to be true. As we ABIDE let’s be thankful and rejoice!
“As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” ” – Matthew 9:27 (NASB)
“And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” – Matthew 20:30 (NASB)
Trying to count the number of people who were healed of their blindness by Jesus personally when He was on this earth will only be a guess. Today have two accounts of two blind men each in Matthew’s Gospel who were healed of blindness. These two accounts and a few others recorded include eight miracles of Jesus healing a blind person but certainly there were many, very many more. In these accounts four blind men were healed. For the first two, Jesus was in the region of Galilee. It is early in Christ’s ministry and He is very involved in healing all kinds of illnesses. The other two blind men were sitting on the road outside of Jericho. One of them desperately cried out to Jesus as he passed by. This was close to the end of Jesus’ ministry as He is approaching the completion of His mission. Sometimes we say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Or, “Seeing is believing.” When Jesus encountered these people who were blind, he asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” With affirmative responses we see a sign of “Believing is Seeing,” Seeing Jesus as the Messiah.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 (ESV)
As an Apostle, Peter, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus helped spread the news of the early Christian Church. Peter walked with Jesus and heard him teach. He many times ate meals with Jesus and talked with him face to face. Peter wrote these words in his first letter because he wanted those who would be reading it but had never seen Jesus. We have never seen Jesus as Peter did but we love him and we believe in him. The promises are many as we focus on verse 9. “Obtaining” could be translated “presently receiving for yourselves.” Christians now possess the result of their faith, a constant deliverance from the power of sin. In another sense, we are waiting to receive the full salvation of eternal glory in the redemption of our bodies We can experience this inexpressible and glorious joy because we have believed in Christ – even though we have never seen him. Our faith has opened the eyes of our hearts and minds to believe in Him as our Savior and Lord. It’s hard to express sometimes but in our hearts we know He is true. What a joy it is to have that assurance.
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:4 (NASB)
Let’s look at the Hall of Faith chapter found in Letter to Hebrews, 11. Every person (except Cain) who is mentioned in this chapter have a testimony as faith believers. Faith is essential for salvation. Faith is vital and indispensable. If we desire to know God. Even to be able to approach God in prayer, we must have the faith which Enoch had. He was the first person who was “taken up” to be with God was Enoch. By faith Enoch walked with God and pleased God. Without such faith it is not possible for anyone to “walk with God” or “please Him.” Our promise is that knowing God is for those who by faith believe that He is; the emphasis here is on “He,” the only true God. Genuine, a gift from God, does not simply believe that a divine being exists, but that the God of Scripture is the only real and true God who exists. Many people believe in the existence of a Supreme Being and some call Him “the man upstairs” without ever by faith believe that He is the one and only God. Our promise is that He is a rewarder of God seekers.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” – John 1:12 (ESV)
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” – James 2:19 (ESV)
We use the words “faith believers” to identify any who truly believe in God by grace through faith. We do so to help others understand that “to believe” in Jesus Christ is more than believing He lived on this earth. Also, believing in God’s existence makes us no different than demons who believe God exists. Many believe in a god that is not the One God and some believe who are still under the influence of Satan and reject His offer of salvation and forgiveness. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches that our saving belief comes by grace through faith and both are a gift of God. Faith believers have been given the grace and faith to believe in God and to receive wholeheartedly His promise of salvation through the work of Jesus Christ – they are forgiven and possess eternal life. Not by our effort to be good enough are we accepted by God – our faith by grace is not of works. If we have believed in faith, the truth of salvation which has saved us from the penalty of our sin. By that gift of grace through faith we become a child of Almighty God – we are faith believers.
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 (NASB)
The Apostle John tells us very plainly why he wrote this letter to all believers near the end of the first century (A.D. 90-94). His message extends to all of us through all the years since he wrote the letters. John wrote this letter to give us the assurance that by believing in the name of the Son of God, our salvation is sure. We have eternal life⸺which means more than just a period of time⸺it means a person (1 John 5:20). . Eternal life is a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ it means possessing His nature which He has given to us. This is a certainty of our Christian life. We can trust with confidence what God has promised to us through this letter by John. What a great promise God has given to us so that we can live according to His will and know that we belong to Him. More than just belong but belong as having Jesus within our lives. Although we do experience doubt cast our way by the enemy of God we have this assurance to overcome those doubts.
“…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)
God saves us because He chose to do so. Our salvation happens when we believe that truth and confess with repentance to God. Our verse of promise says, “Confession is made unto salvation.” We are not saved by our mouth’s confession, but rather, our mouth testifies readily of the grace of God in Christ which we received by a gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8). This is not a simple acknowledgment that He is God and the Lord of the universe, since even demons acknowledge that to be true (James 2:19). This is the deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is our own master or sovereign. Paul emphasizes the importance that this comes from our heart. The heart is not merely the seat of affection or emotion. As used in the Bible, our heart is the hub of the wheel of human existence and life – intellectual, emotional, and volitional. First of all there must be faith in our heart. Without such faith a confession with the mouth would be mockery. But even if there is faith in our heart, confession with our mouth is altogether natural when our faith is genuine.
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NASB)
Peter, the disciple of Jesus, became one of the foremost apostles who helped spread the news of the early Christian Church. He also was used by the Holy Spirit to write some of the books in the New Testament. Peter walked with Jesus and heard him teach and watched him do miracles and heal all who came to Him with physical or spiritual need. Many times Peter ate meals with Jesus and talked with him face to face while breaking bread together. Peter wrote these words in his first letter to believers in the new Church. In the same way we have never seen Jesus as Peter did but we love him and we believe in him. These words are also given to us and can be applied to us personally. We can experience the “inexpressible joy and be filled with glory” because we have believed in Jesus the Christ – even though we have never seen him. Our faith has opened the eyes of our hearts and minds to believe in Him as our Savior and Lord. It is hard to express sometimes but in our hearts we know He is true. It’s a joy to have that assurance.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” – James 1:5-8 (NIV)
Because context is important, our promises are sometimes in more than one or two verses – that is the case today. The promise today is boundless. “If any…should ask…gives generously…without fault…will be given.” But the promise has a requirement and a caution – “must believe and not doubt.” When a friend asks for prayer, how do you respond? Do you say you will pray but actually, rarely remember to pray? Do you send folded hands emoticons suggesting that you are indeed praying? When you are sincerely praying is it more than a feel-good acknowledgement. We might ask God for wisdom to help us choose our right path. When we need wisdom we ask God; He promises to give richly without humiliating us⸺that’s important. God promises we will receive wisdom when we ask in faith believing. Those who ask with doubt are double-minded people. No wishy-washing doubting allowed. Faith in God that He will hear our request for wisdom and provide what we need is essential. If you do not believe God can or will answer and if conviction is not truly in your heart, then like a rudderless boat being tossed by the wind and waves.