Devotion: Monday, August 20, 2018

A Biblical, Christ-filled word to bless your lives. 

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from John 6:67-69, where it says,

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

A Haunting Question that Calls for Faith!

Moms and dads have all had that moment in their lives when they realize that this son, or that daughter just doesn’t get how much they are loved, or how much they as parents have sacrificed for them so that they might have a chance to make it in this world. It’s a tough thing, isn’t it? Such moments often come when you’ve had to discipline your child, or to guide them in a direction that they didn’t want to go. It often happens when your child doesn’t think that you are being fair, when you are struggling to know which version of love needs to be applied, the love that hugs or the love that disciplines. And, on top of all that, you need to do what’s right for them, not what’s right for your conscience, or your feelings. It’s tough. (Oh, I get that we parents don’t always do all this correctly… so if you are a son or daughter out there whose parents have let you down at times, repentance and forgiveness are needed the other direction,too). But, for our devotional purposes today, I’m talking to those who have experienced that moment where you’ve done the very best that you can do for another, and they still don’t see it. In fact, they think that you’ve missed the point, that you don’t care. They’re prepared to go off on their own as if you have let them down. That hurts deeply.

Such is the emotion that Jesus is experiencing in this text on a massive scale. The Christmaschild has grown up and started His ministry. He has preached, taught, challenged, healed, forgiven… exhausted himself in service to others, all to call people to repentance and to faith in Him as their savior and redeemer. And when He lays it all on the line with the crowd in our text, manyreject Him and start to leave. Somehow that call to faith IN HIM ALONE is out of the question, no matter how incredible their need for Him or how amazing His love is for them.

And that’s where the “rub” is even today. In theology, we call this “the scandal of particularity,” namely that Jesus ALONE is the savior we ALL need, the only one for the WHOLE world. Yes, that’s right. The whole world is saved by His gracious life, death, and resurrection, but He’s the ONLY one who could do it for all. Often, our rebellious nature (like so many that day with Jesus) looks at all that He has done and says, “If I have to believe in you ALONE,” that’s too much! Is it really? When people ask that question, I really wonder if they understand their need for God, and if they understand God’s great offer to them in Jesus. Today, I challenge all of us to look deeply in the Scripture concerning what Jesus Christ has done for us. You will not find one who is more just and merciful, who loves you more deeply, guides you more surely, sacrifices for you more diligently, or comforts you more sincerely.

When Jesus turns to Peter and says, “Will you go too?” It must have been gut-wrenching. But, no matter the response, Jesus would journey to the cross to pay for the sins even of those who would ultimately reject Him. Today, let’s remember how easy it is to miss all that God has done for us, and, even better, let’s mimic the response of Peter as we probe the depths of that amazing love of Christ for us in all we say and do. “We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we know that you experienced abandonment because of our sin so that we might be saved. Give us faith to trust you as the one who cares for us even more than we can care for ourselves, AMEN.