John 5:16-18 (God Works)

God Works

So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied,“My Father is always working, and so am I.” So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God. (John 5:16-18)

Read: 1Samuel 1:1-2:21, John 5:1-23, Psalm 105:37-45, Proverbs 14:28-29

Relate: Out of the mouths of children… I was asked once, “Why do we have church on Sunday instead of Saturday?” I started to answer when I was interrupted, “No. God rests on the seventh day and He doesn’t like it when we all sing at Him while He is trying to sleep.” Even as I struggled not to laugh I started explaining how God never sleeps. The response I got, “I know, duh. It was a joke.”

React: I can smile and laugh and know in my head that God doesn’t sleep but something inside me often still doesn’t get it. Part of me wants to get His attention. If I pray longer, maybe He will notice me and meet my need. If I sing louder, or raise my hands, or dance more expressively while I sing maybe He will look my way. If I sin less maybe He won’t ignore me. If I give more… If I read my Bible more… If I… If I… I know that there is nothing I can do to earn His grace. His mercy is a gift not a reward for my merits. I don’t have any. I know this. But still, there is a need inside to work for my blessings.Robert-Downey-Jnr-as-Tony-Stark-in-Iron-Man-3 The work is already done. There is somebody else on the job and He is far better at it than I can be. The Father is working on my behalf.

Jesus is working on my behalf. I don’t always see the what and the where and the how of His work. I don’t know exactly what He is doing in my life, but I trust Him. He knows what He is doing. It reminds me a bit of Iron Man 3. At one point Tony Stark realizes that he needs to get into action but his suit isn’t ready. The boy he met earlier asks him, “You said you’re a mechanic, right?” Tony answers, “yes.” The boy responds, “Then build something.” Tony goes into a Home Depot like store, buys a bunch of random things, and gets to work. God is taking the things in my life and putting them together in better ways than Stark ever could imagine. He’s still on the job and there is no greater mechanic.

Respond: 

God, I give myself into Your hands. I am tired of doing my own work. I am tired of thinking that If I try hard enough, if I go far enough, it will be enough. Never, through my own strength, will I ever be completely successful. Please step in and take over. Let me rest in the confidence that You are on the job. You are the great mechanic and in my life, You work.

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10 thoughts on “John 5:16-18 (God Works)

  1. Very good devotional, BJ. I loved the joke. I’m going to use it on my kids. 🙂 Thank you for the time you put into your blog, it is a blessing. 🙂

  2. Mine is probably the opposite problem in that I’m so comfortable with Him always being there that I forget to ask – for more, for strength, for belief, for power, for…whatever – He can do it and would love to – if I would just ask!

  3. Nice post. I needed your prayer most of all: “If I try hard enough, if I go far enough, it will be enough.” Gotta get out of the trap thinking that I need to keep struggling to do; instead, allow God to do his amazing work through me. Thanks.

  4. I especially like the thought process that led you from beginning to end. I believe that God loves it when we use our minds by thinking of Him. You are so right that we cannot earn salvation and yet He requires obedience. However, it isn’t earning since salvation is a gift, with obedience as gratitude for the gift. Another thought that I feel has a very real connection to your meditation is the question of the when and where of obedience. When and what are we to obey? It is my opinion that we must obey when we learn of something He wants us to do. Why? Because we can never again claim ignorance, “But Lord, I just didn’t know you wanted me to do that.” It is not a question of ‘do this or you will be eternally doomed’; it is more like ‘my Lord wants me to do this, work toward that, learn more, pray oftener’. Living for Him is exactly that, a life devoted to the idea that you want to “BE” for Him. There are a couple of things of which He doesn’t allow us an opinion. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and Him only shall you sere.” This means we can’t put anything ahead of Him in importance. I like what you had to say and the motivation of the heart that prompted it.

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