Posted by: glorifyhim1 | June 24, 2013

Do You Believe?

When I was in college, a long, long, long time ago, I remember a composition instructor who cautioned students regarding the use of the words always and never. I understood his point that a writer can rarely claim such absolutes in relation to human behavior. People are unpredictable and so are their experiences. It is typically an untrue generalization to state that people always or never act or react in certain ways.

I have remembered that lesson often through the years. Numerous times I found myself scratching out always and replacing it with something less conclusive such as usually. Likewise, instead of never, I might use words such as rarely or seldom. I had learned my lesson well and I’m sure my composition instructor would smile at my tenacity to avoid using always or never.

In reading my Bible, however, I have discovered that Jesus does not avoid the use of these two words. Consider the following statements made by Jesus.

 

The Always Statements of Jesus

“For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always” (Matthew 26:11).

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours” (Luke 15:31).

“Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).

The Never Statements of Jesus

“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).

“And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26).

 

Jesus does not seem to be afraid to deal with absolutes. In these few verses, He reminds us that we live in a world where there will always be want and need (For you have the poor with you always), but He also reminds us that because of Him, we also always ….

  • Have hope – Jesus told His disciples: “Me you do not have always.” That is because Jesus came to save us. He knew He faced death on a cross, but through His death and resurrection we would be saved.
  • Have His presence abiding with us – “I am with you always.” Jesus told His disciples that He must go away in order for the Helper (Holy Spirit) to come. He stated: “for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (see John 16:7). The Spirit indwells every believer (Romans 8:11). He leads us, guides us, helps us, comforts us, strengthens us, and teaches us, to name just a few of His works in the believer’s life. He is God with us always!
  • Have God as our Father and are part of His family – “you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.” This quotation is taken from the parable that Jesus told about the prodigal son. In this story, Jesus reminds believers that we are adopted into God’s family, that we are His children and joint-heirs with Christ.
  • Have constant access to our Creator, Father, and Savior – “men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Jesus gives us access to our Heavenly Father. Because of Him, we can go straight to the throne of God and talk to Him about everything on our hearts and minds. Life can be rough and challenges we face can cause us to lose heart, but God invites us to come to Him and let Him help us carry our burdens.
  • Have all our spiritual need met in Christ – “He who comes to Me will never hunger, and he who believes on Me shall never thirst.” Just as we need bread to sustain us and nourish us physically, Christ is our spiritual bread that gives us life.
  • Have a Savior who knows us and leads us – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus offers us a relationship. He offers to walk with us through the hard places and sustain us with His presence.
  • Have the promise of eternal life – “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” The great enemy, death, may separate us here on earth, but it has no power over the soul. This verse assures us that while we may die physically, our soul will never die. And one day, the physical body itself will be gloriously raised and will live again!

Jesus asked His disciples: “Do you believe this?” And He asks us today: Do you believe?

Do we believe?  Jesus does not say that usually He will be with us or that believers will seldom perish. Jesus states unequivocally who He is and what He does. Nothing we say or do, believe or not believe, can change the truth of what Jesus tells us. But our belief, or lack of belief, makes all the difference in the life we live today and eternally.  I am so thankful for the Father who is always with me, who never forsakes me, my always and forever God. And if by chance , my composition instructor should see this, no need to worry. I know how to use always and never!

 

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