#Faithful or #Faithfail?

believeMaybe you saw the #hashtag segment with Jimmy Fallon this week on The Tonight Show.  He asked the viewing public to tweet some stories of failed Thanksgivings.  Here’s one:  My mother burned our turkey to a crisp, plopped 2 lbs of b0logna on the table and said “meat is meat!”

This week I’ve been studying John 6 and focusing on Christ’s statement:  “I am the bread of life.”  In this chapter, He calls out at least 3 #faithfails. . .paths that promised to take you to faith, but would end in unbelief.

The first #faithfail in John 6 is following Jesus just because you want MORE.  Christ is fresh off one of His most amazing miracles.  He fed a crowd of possibly 20,000 people with one little boys lunch.  Now the people are after Him because they are hungry again.  They want MORE.

The second #faithfail in John 6 is assuming that the pathway of success is tied to doing the right things.  Thinking this was the right question, people asked Jesus:  “What must we do to do the works God requires?”  They wanted the WORKS checklist.  Jesus responded:  “The work of God is this, to believe in the one he has sent.”

The third #faithfail in John 6 is thinking that MIRACLES will increase faith.  This is closely tied to the first.  Instead of generating real faith, miracles tend to increase our appetite for the spectacular.  We want a bigger and better show.  How else can you explain the followers of Jesus asking for a sign like the manna that came down from heaven?  Jesus had just fed a huge crowd with a few sardines and some rolls.  Jesus had just walked on the water.  And now He is asked to do something even better.

People seem to be people who seem to be people.  Not a whole lot has changed in 2,000 years.  Many still live their lives searching for MORE.  We still would like the WORKS checklist.  It is so much more controllable.  And we really love MIRACLES.  None of these lead to real faithfulness. . .they can lead to faithfailness.

Jesus declared:  I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.

Real faith comes from engaging Him. . .tasting and seeing who He is.

Here’s some really great news regarding how we get this faith. . .Jesus says that to believe is the work OF GOD! (v. 29).  In John 6:44, He says:  “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”

Here’s what we need to do. . .get off the consumerism track, tear up your legalistic check list, let go of your right to the spectacular and let the work of God happen.  Allow the precious Spirit of God to carry you into belief.

 

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About Rich Stevenson

Rich is the Executive Director of The Malachi Network (www.malachinetwork.org), a ministry focused on making the name of the LORD great among the nations. This network serves young leaders in missions and church planting. Prior to his present ministry, Rich pastored in Southern New Jersey, planted a church in Wilmore, KY, established a network of churches, served as an adjunct professor at Asbury College and was a senior leader at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO as well as The International House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. Rich is the author of two books: Secrets of the Spiritual Life—10 Lessons from the One Thing Passages (Baker Books, 2003) A Voice from Home—The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father (WaterBrook Press, 2005) He graduated from Asbury College in 1984 with a BA degree in Philosophy of Religion and Asbury Theological Seminary in 1987 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2010, Rich received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Union Biblical Seminary in Yangon, Myanmar. Rich has been married to Tania since 1982 and they have been blessed by amazing children: Zachary and his wife Meghan, Jacob and his wife Lena, Jessica and Corrie Emma.
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