Tag Archives: Answer

Wednesday with John – Again

John 16:16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
In a little while I’m going away but then again in a little while you’ll see me. Things are going to be different then.  The sorrow you feel now will be forgotten because I am going to the Father.  I know you’ve got questions you want to ask.  The world will enjoy your weeping and lamenting but truly, truly I tell you your sorrow will turn into joy.  I will deliver you with the pains of labor that give birth to a new human being.  Again in a little while, your heart will no longer remember the anguish of your faith becoming your life.  Your heart will rejoice and be full and no one will be able to take that joy from you because you will know the Father has birthed it in you.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus is going to the Father.  The Father is going to give you answers to whatever you ask in Jesus’s name.

What does it say about people?
We need to learn to trust “whatever” we ask in Jesus name is what prompts the Father’s desire to give us His answer, not that whatever we ask is THE answer.

Is there truth here for me?
Jesus knew the Father’s answer for my deliverance would have to be birthed inside me so my heart could have its questions answered and would be filled enough to recognize Jesus. “A little while” is the lengthy labor of finding the faith in my daily life is really finding Jesus, again, in a little while every day.

The Third Chapter – 1 Timothy

I Timothy 3:14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He[God] was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. [ESV]

1 Timothy 3:14 I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, 15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faithChrist was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations.  He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory. [NLT]

1 Timothy 3:14 I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, 15 so that if I don’t come for a while, you will know what kind of men you should choose as officers for the church of the living God, which contains and holds high the truth of God.  16 It is quite true that the way to live a godly life is not an easy matter.  But the answer lies in Christ, who came to earth as a man, was proved spotless and pure in his Spirit, was served by angels, was preached among the nations, was accepted by men everywhere, and was received up again to his glory in heaven. [TLB]

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I am writing these things so you will know how people ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.  Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness and faith.  The way to live a godly life is not an easy matter, but the answer lies in Christ.a

a The “read and ponder” method of personal study: read multiple versions of Scripture, highlight words and phrases from each, look up definitions of words as needed, ponder which mean the most to you and let the Word combined strengthen itself to become your personal truth.

Living Evidence

John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [NRSV]

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If you “accept and act in accordance with” Jesus what He says will establish a relationship of life between Himself and you.  What makes that matter is this reality: Jesus IS God.  The first assurance of John 15:7 is when you “abide” with Jesus, God Himself is alive within you and He understands the reality of whatever you ask.  That makes His answer perfect for what He knows you need.  The second assurance is God’s answer comes with a greater blessing “if you abide in” Jesus and let his words “abide in you.”  Your relationship of life with Jesus makes you living evidence of the glory of God. 

The Firsts: Ephesians 1 – Destiny

“Predestined” is an attention getting word. The dictionary definition of predestined is “an outcome or course of events determined in advance by divine will or fate.”  I’ve heard the “elevator” explanation of predestination: when you step into an elevator you trust it’s going to take you where you want to go.  The “airplane” explanation is similar; you get on the plane trusting the pilot will get you safely to the planned destination. Those explanations make some sense to me. They’re based on faith not fate. Nobody gets on an elevator or in a plane saying “whatever will be, will be.” 

What doesn’t make sense to me is that the God who sacrificed his own Son to remove sin’s power to destroy us would then turn around and pick and choose those who would be saved.  The phrase “turn around” became my catalyst to turn these eight verses around and read them in reverse changing only the punctuation at the end of verse 14 because that’s a question I could answer.

V14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory[?]
V13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 
V12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 
V11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 
V10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. 
V9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 
V8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,  
V7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace,

I turned around those verses and as I read I found myself caring less about my understanding of how “predestined” relates to personal choice and more about the question I could answer.  “Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory[?]  Predestination is still an elusive concept but I do know the answer to V14 is where destiny begins.  The big turn around ends at the right destination too; “in him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.  

The Red Thread – The Right Question

Mark 8:
27…“Who do people say I am?”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
33…“Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
34…“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Who? Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Right answer but which was the right question: “Who do people say I am?” or “Who do you say I am?” The right question mattered to Jesus not just the right answer.

“Who do people say I am?” The cultural heritage of the Jewish people was that Messiah would come as a warrior-like king in a battle to redeem their long history of oppression and remake their world. That was a powerful and appealing identity any Jew would recognize about Messiah

Jesus presses on with a far more personal question. “Who do you say I am?” It was an identity destined to be an uphill battle for their mind. Jesus was talking about being killed and rising from the dead…for heaven’s sake! Messiah WOULD redeem their long history of oppression and remake their world…BUT by giving up his own life in exchange for their souls and asking them to deny themselves and lose their life for him.

It’s no wonder Peter was worried about the messaging. It’s no wonder Jesus called him on it! “Who do you say I am?” is still the right question. It’s still an uphill battle to keep “in mind the concerns of God,” and not just settle for knowing the right answer.