1Peter 1:8-9 - ... Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Hallelujah! It's all about the Word, His Word. It's about Jesus, the Man and the Word.
Coming upon a local Christian television station the preacher, Dr. John Whitcomb, was talking about Jesus' ministry. He talked about certain people, those who followed Him and sought Him for His miracles of feeding the thousands with a loaf of bread and some fishes...and other miracles. They did not follow Him to hear Him speak but for the signs or what He could give them. They missed the message that He was the Bread of Life. Whitcomb said one fleeting statement (in my words): like many in the Church today, they want all the bells and whistles, the things they can see that tickle their senses, the programs, the music, the flashing lights...not so much the words of our Lord.
I think many churches today do this. People don't go just for a well preached sermon and the truth of God's Word. They come out of obligation, the belief that it will get them to heaven...or for the entertainment. We've become a people of needing to be entertained by things and not so much by just listening or reading. And many churches are providing such to keep the people entertained and returning. They opt for a soft, inoffensive message to keep the pews and coffers full. I encountered a women's event one time. As I entered the church the entire foyer was filled with tables with wares to be sold. Something went through me as if to say, is this what is needed to get women to a church event? Do we have to be lured with shopping first and not for the pure Word?
What about churches who will not bow to this entertainment? The difference is the people in those churches want to hear Jesus speak. They want to hear what they must do to be saved, be reminded of their sin and to be encouraged to continue to abide in the Lord. They want the truth and nothing but the truth.
Many churches preach soft messages, as the Bible says: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2Timothy 4:3-4)
Sadly, Jesus encountered a falling away just like many of the churches today. It has to do with wanting to hear (and see) what they want...or finding it difficult to understand or not wanting to hear what Jesus says:
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (John 6:53-58,60) And the result? From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. (John 6:66)
There you go. Eating that bread and the Bread. The people came to Jesus because He provided them badly needed food. They missed the point of He being that which could give them life...the Bread or as the Samaritan woman at the well was told, the Living Water, which when drunk would remove the thirst forever. Except she got it!
Aren't we told that the Word of God brings life? Aren't we told that Jesus is the Word? Don't I constantly say that it's all about Him? Not about a religion but about a relationship with the Man, Jesus Christ.
This reminded me of what I wrote the other day about people believing or having their faith and trust in things they can see or hold in their hands...their stuff, which when others see is like a boost to their ego. What does the Word say? Remember Thomas, who doubted Jesus' resurrection? John 20:29 - Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” And then Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We are called to take Jesus at His word. Simple, childlike faith. Come to Him for He is the Bread of life and the Living Water. It's both a simple concept and mysterious one. How do we do it? Take Him at His word. He is the Word. Take Him into your life. Give yourself to Him and trust and see what He can do.
Jesus, the Word:
Hebrews 4:12 - ...the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
He, the Word, is all we need to be fulfilled in this life. Go for it. Take Him at His word and take Him. Period.
Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.