(written October 21, 2005)
"But there are some of you who do not believe."
For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe,
and who would betray Him.
And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
"Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
"No one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
What? What about free will? My own decision-making skills?
But just like salvation, truth is a gift. Yes, God gave us brains so we can understand truth, but the revelation, when it first starts to sink in...is from the Holy Spirit.
"One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see."
(John 9:25, a blind man received sight from Jesus)
I could not and I would not boast about my intellect; for mere hearing or reading, mere observations, or head knowledge, are not enough.
"Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand..."
(Mark 4:12, Matthew 13:14, Isaiah 6:9, Acts 28:26)
How many times have I heard that "Jesus died for my sins," since childhood even!
But it was only when the Holy Spirit truly showed me the extent of my sin against God and man, only then was I able to fully appreciate Jesus' sacrifice.
It was only when God reminded me that He, the Loving Father, is the Righteous Judge as well, only then did I realize that my sin deserved punishment: an eternity away from all that is good, pure and holy.
It was only when God made known to me the need for Jesus --- the Lamb of God, human and yet without sin, the only holy substitute for my punishment because frankly, I cannot save myself --- only then did I utterly embrace Him as my Savior.
Does this mean that we'll juts sit back and stare at nothingness, since it's up to God to reveal the truth to me anyway? Of course not.
"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth,
to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him."
2 Chronicles 16:9
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
"Seek and you will find."
Matthew 7:7,8 Luke 11:9,10
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
"You do not have because you do not ask."
"When You said, 'Seek My face,'
My heart said to You, 'Your face, LORD, I will seek.'"
"'Then I will cause him to draw near, And he shall approach Me;
For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the LORD."
So what to make of all this? :)
"Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
Hebrews 3:15, 4:7