Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Any Doubts?

Today, we are going to encourage you to think about your faith, your devotion to God, your willingness to make Jesus the Lord of your life, and maybe some other concepts which are the natural response of people who really strive to be a spiritual being.  It would be interesting to hear responses from everyone on their thoughts just from the opening sentence, but I want to challenge you with an important question.   Here goes:

Do you ever have doubts?  Allow me to expand with several questions we should ask ourselves.  Do we, as the people of God, find ourselves doubting him?  Are we always able to pray with the faith that he hears and answers?  Do we find ourselves thinking more about the physical rather than the spiritual?

When I think of a doubting Christian, my mind turns to that follower of Jesus named Thomas.  We have even become comfortable in calling him "Doubting Thomas."  We call him that because it seems so strange for us to think of anyone who has been with Jesus in his earthly life, hearing him speak, seeing his wonders and miracles, and developing such a strong spiritual closeness to the Son of God, the word "doubt" should not be in our vocabulary.

Then I try and put myself in the sandals of every man Jesus called to be his closest follower and you can catch a glimpse in each one that they must have had some doubts.  Yes they were drawn to Jesus, interested in Jesus, and followed Jesus.  The one thing, unique in the calling of the twelve, is each one was in for a change.  That change is what we come to know as .......transformation.

It seems so odd that Jesus would have a tax-collector in his ranks, or someone that had such a temper, or even those who were dubbed the sons of thunder.  None of them stayed the same when they encountered Jesus.  The same is true with our friend, Thomas.  When Jesus allowed Thomas to put his fingers in the nail-scarred hands, he wasn't a doubter anymore.  He was transformed!

Heavy on my mind and heart right now is the change that took place in the life of Saul on the road to Damascus.  It was a complete turn-around from being an enemy of the cross and becoming the greatest Christian worker and church planter.   Paul's transformation gives us the picture of how the Lord can take the doubt and replace it with such a strong faith.

We fail in our work of spreading the gospel when we bounce off of one doubter and move on to the next.  All the while we have the words and events in the life of Jesus himself who refused to give up on anyone.  And aren't you glad he doesn't give up on you?  The key in all of this is when we allow him to do his work of transformation in us.

 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."  2 Corinthians 3:17-18


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