Time to Choose Sides

Posted: March 22, 2015 in John

John 6:60-71, “Time to Choose Sides”

There comes a point when we must take a stand.  We’ve got to make a choice one way or the other, and bear any consequences that may come.  Students of Texas history are familiar with the stand of William Barrett Travis at the Alamo.  Faced with overwhelming odds, he knew well he was going to die behind the walls of the old Spanish mission that had become the Texian fortress.  According to legend, he drew a line in the sand and offered his fellow soldier the choice: come join him across the line and face certain death, or feel free to leave at that moment and hopefully find mercy from the Mexican national army as they left.  The “line” is legend, though his resolve was not.  In the letter Travis sent, he boldly declared “I shall never surrender or retreat.”  That is where Travis took his stand.

Others have made their stand for something vastly more important than their earthly home (as important as that is), when they stood for their heavenly home by standing for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Every single day, untold numbers of Christians are persecuted for their faith.  Some are placed under crushing financial burden – others are beaten physically – still others give their lives for Jesus.  Yet they will not be broken in their faith.  They hold onto their confession, and will not bend, no matter what.

Why?  What causes someone to be that resolved…stubborn, even?  Why won’t they recant even to save their lives?  Because they understand their desperation for Jesus.  They understand the truth about who He is, and thus they understand that they have nowhere else to go.

It’s not “nowhere else” in a bad sense – as if Jesus is the only One who would take them.  Satan would be all too happy to have anyone caught in false religions.  The devil may be evil, but he’s very inviting in that aspect.  No – it’s that they (and we) have nowhere else to go if we want to receive eternal life.  There are many roads that lead to hell; there’s only one that leads to heaven.  Only Jesus gives life; there’s nowhere else we can turn.

That’s the truth that Jesus’ 12 disciples were confronted with after many other disciples turned away.  This was their moment to cross the line: to either take a stand with Jesus, or to turn and go their own way.  They chose wisely – they chose Jesus.

Remember our context.  Jesus had been in Galilee, and performed the miracle of feeding the 5000 with a few loaves of bread and some fish.  The people were rightly amazed by the power of God on display, and they attempted to force Jesus to be their king.  In honesty, all they really wanted was more food.  Jesus told them of something far better than physical bread: spiritual bread.  Jesus IS the bread of life!  People can only find eternal provision and sustenance in Him.  We need to respond to the call of God and partake of Jesus if we want to be saved.  In the bread and blood of Jesus (His sacrifice) there is life; without faith in Him there is only death.

That’s the kind of teaching that demands a response.  We can learn truths and trivia about all sorts of things that don’t make any meaningful difference in our lives – some of it might be useful, but from an eternal perspective it doesn’t matter.  Not this, however.  Receiving eternal life is the most important thing anyone could possibly consider.  The people heard that they needed to partake of Jesus by faith if they wanted to live.  They couldn’t place their hope anywhere else.  They had to be so invested in Jesus that it was if they ate of Him.  How would they respond?  This is the type of teaching that draws a line in the sand.  On which side would they stand: with Jesus or against Him?  On which side will WE stand?

John 6:60–71
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

  1. First things first – notice who it is that is questioning: “many of His disciples.”  We need to realize that this is not a reference to the 12; that is made clear in vss. 67-68.  But these are still disciples of Jesus, at least in an outward respect.  Many of these disciples were likely among those who had wanted to force Jesus to be their king the previous day.  Now they are stumbling, grumbling, and confused by what Jesus has been teaching.  They were “disciples” in John’s terminology, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily had saving faith in Jesus.  In fact, their response to Jesus is going to indicate that they did NOT have saving faith.  Anyone could appear outwardly as a disciple.  They could follow Jesus around from place to place, listen to His teaching, witness His actions, and generally do almost anything else those among the 12 would have done.  Outwardly, they were “disciples.”  Inwardly, they were not.  A true disciple is someone who follows Jesus in faith.  The outward expression can be faked or imitated; the inner faith of the heart must be sincere, or it doesn’t exist at all.
    1. Are you a disciple outwardly only, or inwardly?  You might come to church every single Sunday and Wednesday – you could do every other activity that other disciples do.  But do you believe?  That is the heart of the matter!
  2. That said, even those who are true sincere believers in Jesus still have questions and confusion from time to time.  These disciples (so-called) were obviously confused, but in all likelihood, so were the 12 (which is why Jesus asked if they wanted to leave, too).  Faith in Jesus doesn’t solve every problem for us.  Faith in Jesus doesn’t answer every theological question for us.  We might still be confused from time to time after we put our faith in Jesus.  What faith does is to give us a foundation when we are confused.  When we have a question, we’re not left drifting out in a sea all by ourselves…we have the Rock of Jesus to whom we can cling!
  3. What was it specifically that confused them?  The “hard/harsh” saying of Jesus.  It was so difficult that they couldn’t see how anyone could truly hear it with understanding.  It’s no wonder why they were confused.  They were speaking with a Man whom they thought they knew.  They were acquainted with His parents, and here He is claiming God as His Father, and heaven as His place of origin.  They were speaking with a flesh & blood human, and He’s telling them to eat His flesh and drink His blood as if it were bread (real food & real drink).  That is difficult teaching!  It is especially difficult from the perspective of a Jew.  To eat human flesh and drink human blood is an abomination – how could Jesus tell them to do this thing?

61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?

  1. Jesus knew their confusion.  He knew their stumbling and grumbling.  The word for “offend” is the same word often translated “stumble,” and from where we get our English word “scandal.”  Jesus’ teaching had scandalized them.  The word for “complained” could easily be translated “grumble,” and the word actually sounds like that in the Greek: γογγύζουσιν.  Just like their ancient forefathers, they were grumbling and complaining about the provision and mercies of God that were shown to them.  As the Bread of Life, Jesus is compared with the manna (which the Galilean people actually asked Jesus to produce).  Yet the Galileans forgot that their forefathers had complained about the manna.  They grew tired of eating it day after day, and they complained about the provision of God that kept them alive in the wilderness.  Now they were doing the same thing with the Messiah.  Jesus had just told them how to receive everlasting life in faith – an incredible gift beyond compare!  And they grumbled about it.
    1. People still do this today.  They hear the gospel, and it stumbles and scandalizes them.  For some, it sounds too good to possibly be true; for others it sounds too difficult to possibly imagine.  Give up our lives to receive life?  There’s only one way to heaven?  It’s so presumptuous…it’s so harsh.  Yet it is the truth.  The Bible says that Jesus will be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (1 Pet 2:8).  It can be a scandalous thing to hear the gospel!
  2. The people questioned, and Jesus knew their questioning and skepticism.  He knew how they were scandalized by His message.  We’re not told how they grumbled, or how public it was, but we are given some insight into Jesus’ own supernatural knowledge about it.  “Jesus knew in Himself…”  Jesus didn’t need to hear the grumbling from their lips to know the grumbling of their hearts.  He knew everything about them.  He knew who among them was truly searching for the truth, and who was just arguing to argue.  (And there are many who do that!)
  3. Of course, if the Galilean Jews thought this teaching of Jesus was scandalous, they didn’t know the half of it!  The things Jesus had taught thus far was just the very beginning.  What would they do when they learned of Jesus’ later ascension to heaven?  That would really blow their minds!  BTW – why does Jesus bring up the ascension?  Is that just a random thought about Jesus’ future ministry?  No.  He brings it up, because as with many other things Jesus taught about the acts of the Messiah, it went against the traditional expectations of the Jews.  They didn’t understand how Jesus had come from heaven; now He’s saying how He would go back to heaven.  They didn’t understand how they could eat the flesh of the Son of Man sacrificed for them, and how He’s saying that the Son of Many won’t even stay on earth with them.  How could they abide in the Messiah if the Messiah would not abide upon the earth?  They expected the Messiah to come and reign forever, and now He’s saying He’s going to heaven?  It didn’t make any sense to them.
  4. It didn’t make sense because they didn’t understand the plan of God.  It didn’t make sense because they didn’t have faith.  That’s what Jesus goes on to say in vs. 63…

63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

  1. The Jews (like many people today) were trying to understand Jesus through their flesh; not faith.  And that was the problem.  Jesus had given them spiritual teaching, but they did not have the benefit of the Holy Spirit to help them understand what was taught.  They mind of the flesh cannot understand the mind of God.  We need the Spirit of God to able to do that, and the Spirit is only given to those who have faith.  1 Corinthians 2:11–12, "(11) For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God." .
    1. Some things you will not understand until you make the choice to believe.  Think about it: you can learn about the benefits of certain foods, vitamins, etc., but you won’t actually experience anything until you eat them.  You’ve got to take it on faith that what you heard is true, and then act on that belief.  Likewise when given directions to a place you’ve never been before.  You need to believe the directions are accurate and actually start driving if you’re ever going to get there.  It’s a similar principle here.  If you try to wait to come to faith until every intellectual question about Jesus is answered to your fleshly satisfaction, you’re going to be waiting a long time.  Some things you won’t understand unless you’ve been given the Spirit of God.  And the Holy Spirit does not indwell us until we place our faith in Jesus.
  2. Don’t miss that: the Holy Spirit does not come apart from true faith, and it is the Spirit who gives life. (We get a great glimpse into the work of the Trinity here, considering that earlier Jesus said that the Father gave the Son the authority to give life…)  Eternal life doesn’t come from having our questions answered; it comes from the supernatural work of the Spirit of God who births us into new life. (Jn 3:5)  We must believe in order to receive life; our earthly/fleshly understanding cannot help us.
  3. So the Spirit gives life, but they Jesus says that His words are spirit, and that they are life.  Is this a contradiction?  No.  Jesus’ words ARE the words of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is empowered by the Holy Spirit in ways beyond compare.  He is God the Son, and He is perfectly anointed by God the Spirit.  The words Jesus spoke & taught are the very words of God, and in those words are life.
    1. What are those words?  The gospel!  Believe upon Jesus to be saved – partake of the Bread of Life – place all your hope & trust in Jesus, believing Him to be God who sacrificed Himself for you & lives today.  When you do that, you will know the life of God.
  4. Of course, not everyone can receive this teaching.  See vs. 64…

64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.

  1. Again, Jesus knew everything about them.  No matter what their actions appeared to be on the outside, Jesus knew the individual state of their hearts…including that of one among the inner 12 disciples, who would later “betray Him” to death.  (More is said on that later.)
  2. That Jesus knows the state of our hearts can be both sobering and comforting.  Sobering, in that it is impossible to lie to Jesus.  If you don’t’ believe, then there is no pulling the wool over Jesus’ eyes.  You might have everyone else fooled, but it is impossible to fool the Lord God.  You will still have to face Him for judgment, knowing that every truth will be revealed in that day, with nowhere to hide.  Sobering indeed!
  3. But it is also comforting.  How so?  Those who have faith in Jesus will still have our times of doubt.  We have our own questions.  We certainly have our sins and struggles along the way.  But those struggles do not determine our salvation; Jesus does.  He knows our hearts.  He knows His own.  He knows those who truly believe.  Just because you’re not perfect, or because you’ve got doubts from time to time doesn’t mean you lose your salvation.  Jesus is the One who gave you life, He won’t yank it back so easily!  Rest assured, knowing that Jesus truly knows your heart.

65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

  1. In light of the fact that many there did not believe, and that their lack of faith was voiced by their grumbling skepticism, Jesus reminds them why He isn’t surprised.  He knew their lack of faith, and knew that God the Father had not given them salvation.  Jesus had already taught how God takes the initiative in the act of salvation.  In 6:37, the Father gives some to Jesus, and Jesus won’t cast them out.  In 6:44, no one comes to Jesus unless God draws them, and Jesus will raise them up.  In 6:45b, those who hear and learn from the Father will come to Jesus.  No doubt, how this all works is mysterious, and it’s difficult (impossible) for us to fully understand the infinite counsels of God.  Jesus also clearly taught throughout this passage how men and women need to willingly respond to God’s calling & drawing.  Nevertheless, the work & will of the Father is essential for anyone coming to faith in Christ.  If God the Father doesn’t grant it, no one comes.  Apparently, there were some among Jesus’ hearers to whom it had not been granted.
    1. Question: “How do I know if it has been granted to me?!  What if I believe I’m saved, and it’s a lie?”  Answer: if you have abiding faith in Christ, then it’s the truth.  If you have faith, then it was granted to you by God, and Jesus gave His unbreakable word that He will not cast you out.
    2. As for those who have not yet come to faith, there are certain mysteries about the will of God that we might never understand this side of heaven.  What we do know is that: (1) God gave His Son for all the world – Jn 3:16. (2) God desires that all men come to repentance and be saved – 1 Tim 2:4, 2 Pet 3:6. (3) God commands all men to repent, Acts 17:30. … So God made it possible for all to be saved, and invites all to be saved.  From that perspective, the ball is now in your court.  God has already taken the initiative, and now you need to respond.  There is no excuse not to.

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

  1. That teaching was too much for some, and they turned away.  They had heard the doctrine of Jesus, seen His power in action, were in the very presence of the Son of God, etc., and they still said “no.”  A line was drawn in the sand, and they refused to cross it.
  2. Beware that you don’t make the same mistake!  Don’t harden your heart to the Lord Jesus!  Today is the day of salvation – respond to Jesus while you have the chance.  It may be your last.  Was it the last chance for the Galilean Jews who turned away that day?  It’s impossible to know for sure, but in all probability it was.  Some of them would never see Jesus again, or perhaps even hear of His later crucifixion and resurrection.  That one day was the only day that they were assured of the opportunity to respond to Jesus, and they walked away.  For some of you, this is your opportunity – don’t walk away!

67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

  1. The crowd had left, and Jesus posed the question to the 12.  Jesus gives people the opportunity to be saved, but He doesn’t force it upon anyone.  Did they want to leave, along with the others?  This was their chance.  They could stand on the side of the line with Jesus, or they could choose to go their own way.  (Jesus is likely asking some of you the same question.  It’s time to make a choice…)

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

  1. Peter’s answer on behalf of the 12 is wonderful!  They understood they had the opportunity to leave; they just didn’t have a destination.  Where else would they go?  Once they knew the truth about Jesus, everything else was plainly a lie.  Once you’ve drunk of pure living water, everything else is like attempting to drink sand.  It’s not that it’s merely 2nd best or slightly less than ideal; it’s completely abhorrent.  Where else could they go?  Nowhere at all.  And the good news is that they didn’t have to go anywhere!  Jesus wasn’t telling them to leave; He just gave them the opportunity to make a choice.  His desire for them (and for all the world) is that they could know Him in faith for now and for all eternity.  Would things always be easy?  Absolutely not – especially for the original apostles.  Most of them would be martyred for their faith in horrendous ways.  But even that cost was worth it.  In Jesus was life; there simply was no substitute.
  2. Why did Peter and the others draw their line in the sand with Jesus?  Because they had “come to believe and know” Jesus’ identity as the Messiah.  They had come to faith in their hearts, and they knew the truth with their minds.  They had a true faith in Jesus, but their faith wasn’t blind.  Once they tasted of the life of Jesus by faith, they knew without a doubt that it was indeed true.  They might have questions about many other things, but they would never question where their source of life was found: it was in the words of Jesus.
    1. Faith and knowledge is an important combination…we need both.  Knowledge without faith doesn’t save, and faith in anything but the truth is dangerous.  The Jesus of Mormonism doesn’t save – the Jesus of the Jehovah Witnesses doesn’t save – the Jesus of new age philosophy doesn’t save.  Many people have faith in those false versions of Jesus, but that is faith without knowledge.  We need faith in the truth.  And even if we know the truth, we still need faith.  Easter/Resurrection Sunday is fast approaching, and if you walked up to random people on the street in East Texas, most of them could tell you the basic facts about what Easter is all about: Jesus dying on the cross, and rising from the dead.  They know bits of the truth, but many don’t have any faith in it.  Faith without truth is meaningless; knowledge without faith is powerless.  We need to come to believe and know Jesus.
  3. What specifically did the disciples believe and know about Jesus?  His identity.  How exactly Peter expresses Jesus’ identity depends on the Bible translation you’re reading.  Translations based upon the oldest existing manuscripts read “You are the Holy One of God.”  Translations based upon the most numerous and widespread manuscripts read “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  Scholars who argue for the older manuscripts argue that the other version is an expansion or repetition from Matt 16:16 when Peter gives his confession of faith at Caesarea Philippi.  Scholars who argue for the more numerous manuscripts point to the end of the gospel of John, when John writes that his intent for those reading is to believe that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” and that this is simply a parallel version.  All in all, the phrasing might be different, but the underlying meaning between the two is the same.  Each phrase proclaims Jesus to be the unique Messiah of God.  If Peter did say “You are the Holy (One) of God,” then even that is as strong of a statement of Jesus’ deity as what Peter said in Mt 16:16.  Even the demons acknowledged that Jesus is the Holy One of God (Mk 1:24).  Jesus wasn’t “a” holy one of God, like so many other prophets might be described. Jesus is THE Holy One of God.  He is unique beyond anyone else – the very expression of God’s holiness because He is the very expression of God Himself.  Jesus is unique because He is indeed the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
  4. Jesus is worth drawing a line in the sand over.  Once you know Him as the Son of God, where else would you go?  Who can offer what Jesus offers?  Other religions? At best they offer prophets, and not even truthful prophets at that.  Philosophy?  What good is engaging your intellect if you lose your soul?  Money?  It might purchase power and comforts and all sorts of things in this life, but it offers nothing you can take with you into eternity.  As the Son of God, Jesus alone speaks the words of life.  He alone provides forgiveness of sins and communion with God.  He alone gives us the assured promise of eternity.  What can possibly compare with that?  Say we face persecution (like multitudes of other Christians around the world) – what are a few years of persecution compared to eternity with Jesus?  In Him is life; there is nowhere else to turn.

70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

  1. Peter and the 12 declared their choice to remain with Jesus, and Jesus affirms that He had chosen them.  Once more, we see a perfect balance of the mystery of election and freewill.  There were two choices taking place: the one by which God had already chosen these disciples for salvation, and the one by which the disciples had chosen to have their faith abide in Jesus.  It’s not an either/or proposition; it’s a both/and.  God chooses us, and we have to choose Him in faith.
  2. The most incredible aspect of God’s choice in salvation is that He chooses us at all!  Jesus had looked upon Peter, Andrew, James, John, and all the rest and chose them.  Some of these guys should have been the last choice for anyone to choose on a ministry team.  Peter was famously impetuous.  Thomas had his doubts.  James and John were conniving trying to gain the best seats in the kingdom, and were infamous for their own temper being known as the Sons of Thunder.  And the list could go on.  Yet Jesus not only chose to save these men; He chose them as His closest associates!  He made them the foundation upon which the rest of the church is built.  They experienced an incredible grace in God’s choosing!
    1. So do we!  It’s an amazing thing to consider that Jesus specifically looked at us and chose us for salvation.  As with the disciples, we should not have been chosen for anything good – much less to spend eternity with God.  We were the idolators, the addicts, the hate-filled, the perverse…and yet still Jesus chose to shower us with His grace and make us children of God!  1 Corinthians 1:26–27, "(26) For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. (27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;" .  Jesus chose us, all to the glory of God!
  3. Notice who was included in Jesus’ choosing: “Judas Iscariot.”  There was a devil among the disciples, and Jesus had specifically chosen him to be there.  The NT doesn’t give us an account of how Judas Iscariot met Jesus, or what Jesus thought about him upon their meeting – but there can be little doubt that Jesus knew from the very beginning what role Judas would play.  And yet Jesus still called him.  Jesus not only allowed Judas Iscariot to walk among the general crowd of disciples, but Jesus gave him a place among the 12.  Judas would have the same privileges as Andrew, Thomas, Philip, Bartholomew, Simon the Zealot, and more.  Judas would wake every morning next Jesus, have meals together with Jesus, travel from town to town with Jesus, listen to all of His teachings, witness all of His miracles, and more.  There was no lack of opportunity for Judas Iscariot to come to faith in Christ.  In fact, Judas had less excuses than most, and still he turned away.  Like the multitudes earlier that day, Judas would specifically choose not to take sides with Jesus; he would actually take a stand against Jesus, betraying Jesus over to death.  But there was mercy and grace in the mercy and choosing of Jesus.  Was Judas predetermined to betray Jesus?  Yes.  Did God give him the opportunity not to do so and be saved?  Absolutely.  Again, there is mystery in the sovereign counsel and determined will of God, but there can be no question of the mercies God extended even to Judas to be saved.
    1. It also emphasizes what was seen among the other broader group of disciples: outwardly someone can appear to be a disciple, without having true inner faith.  Judas hadn’t merely followed Jesus for a couple of days; he was one of the 12.  He had been entrusted with the money bag, and was the de-facto treasurer for the group.  Judas was anything but suspicious at the time.  By all outward respect, he would have appeared to be just as faithful as the rest, but he still had no faith.  Jesus knew it.  Outward actions don’t make us true disciples of Jesus; only sincere faith does. Matthew 7:21–23, "(21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ (23) And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"

Conclusion:
In April 1521, the reformer Martin Luther was called to the city of Worms to appear before a Catholic tribunal and Emperor Charles V to answer for his writings and to be forced to recant.  After long hours of prayer, Martin Luther refused to reject his writings, though he acknowledged his tone may have been harsh.  He said, “I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.”  From there, he is legendarily reported to have said, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”  There was a line drawn in the sand, and Luther chose to stand on the side with Jesus.  The truth of the gospel was clear, and there was no turning back from it.

That was the same stand taken by the 12 on that day with Jesus.  Faced with a choice of following the crowds or following Christ, Peter and the others chose to make their stand with Jesus.  They had nowhere else to go.  They wanted life, and they had come to believe and to know that Jesus was the only One who could give it to them.  They were going to stick with Jesus, come what may.  They would abide with Him, no matter what.

We say the “12” because Jesus did, but ultimately, it was 11.  One among them was a devil.  Judas had a similar mind as the crowds who left Jesus that day, although Judas didn’t physically leave until much later.  Yet his heart was not with Jesus, and Jesus knew it.  Jesus knew the state of all of their hearts – He knew which ones believed, and which ones did not.  Those who did not believe turned away from Jesus…perhaps turning away from their final opportunity to be saved.

It is no exaggeration to say this may be the final opportunity for some listening to this today.  To this point in your life, you’ve said “no” to the gospel, and turned away from Jesus.  Perhaps your heart is hardened – perhaps your time on this earth is limited.  We never know which moment will be our last, and thus we never know when we’ll face God for judgment…though we can be assured that we WILL face Him.  Where will you find life in that day?  When you’ve turned away from Jesus, you’ve turned away from your only hope.  Don’t make that tragic mistake!  That is not what God desires for you.  God’s grand desire for you is to be saved – for your sins to be forgiven, and for you to be made His child.  He will give you that forgiveness and new life through the Holy Spirit, but you need to turn to Jesus in true faith.  You need to come to believe and know that Jesus is the Holy One of God – the Son of the Living God.  You have that opportunity today; take it!

For others, perhaps you’ve come to faith in Jesus, but you’ve been struggling with issues of doubt.  You’ve run across arguments of skeptics, and you’ve been confused.  Or you’ve had a question in your own life, and it seems that there are no good answers.  You’re not really sure what to believe; the only thing you do know is that you believe in Jesus.  Beloved, Jesus knows your struggle, and He knows your heart.  He knows your faith, and you can rest in Him.  When you abide in Him, you can be sure He abides in you.  Your salvation is secure in His hand.

For some, you’ve been wavering in your commitment to Christ.  Today is the day you need to decide on which side of the line to stand.  Will there be struggles?  Yes.  Might there be opposition?  Sure.  But where else can we go?  Jesus is our all in all.  Life is found nowhere else but in Him.  Today, take your stand.  Today, make your declaration.  It’s time to choose sides; choose Jesus.

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