John 5:19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
We stood in the ‘Religious’ section of the local bookstore. My friend sought a new Study Bible. There was a nice selection of Bible versions… amongst other books of various religions.
I couldn’t help but notice a mom guiding her daughter in pursuit of Jewish scripture. “The Torah is just the first 5 books, but the Tanakh includes the writings and the prophets.” She informed her.
Compassion brewed in my heart. These people were at the cusp of something great. By reading the jewish texts, the Lord could surely open their eyes to Jesus being the fulfillment of the scripture. I got pulled away twice, giving me a chance to pray. “All right Lord, if they’re still there when we walk back around, give me the words to say”
“Excuse me, are you Jewish?” I approached with trembling.
“Yes” she confirmed.
“Can I tell you something interesting about the prophets?”
“Are you Christian?”
At any previous time in my life, I would’ve been crushed by such an abrupt shutdown.
I used to think God wanted me to convert people. I felt pressured, under qualified and a failure. This old way of thinking robs God of His power and sovereignty.
Today’s verse takes the load off. Jesus Himself says He can do nothing outside of what the Father is doing. We can do nothing outside of what God is doing.
John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
He calls us to join Him in His work, not out of compulsion, but privilege.
Loving others, we get to fish in conversation to see where they’re at, and to see how God may be working in their heart. God brings to mind a seed or two of His Word. Packed inside that little grain encases all the goodness needed to produce a follower of Christ. Even praise bubbling up from our hearts and overflows from our mouth, shines light into darkness.
After the lady’s rejection, I left the conversation encouraged. Sure, I ‘failed’ from a human standpoint. My choice of words weren’t the best. Nor did they follow the most effective line of questioning from “Tactics” (a great read BTW, written by Gregory Koukl). Subtlety is not my best quality by far. Obedience to Christ, is true success!
For the Son came to seek and to save — in Christ we are to be about our Father’s business. How exciting to see our Father working! We don’t all have the gift of evangelism, but we who walk in the light shine God’s light.
Has God’s Holy Spirit been tugging on your heart to start a conversation? Pray, and Go for it, in Christ!
Lord, we pray for religious people everywhere, who think they can work their way toward you. May you open their eyes, and humble their hearts to seek You — Only Way, Truth and Life. You reward those who diligently seek You. Shine through us, as we focus on You. Keep us connected to you, in full reliance. ~Amen
A Vietnamese Christian pastor imprisoned for his faith once said, “We have learned that suffering is not the worst thing in the world — disobedience to God is the worst.” (Taken from ‘Extreme Devotion’ – VOM)
Todays verse comes from the same section as Jesus talking about being Connected To The True Vine