Stained Glass Window of Christ with His Disciples

A daily devotion for January 20th

Is Jesus For Real?

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

John 7:17

Do you ever wonder if Jesus actually was what he claimed to be? Do you have trouble at times understanding what he is saying in these tremendous passages, especially in the Gospel of John? Well, if that is the case, he tells you what to do: Practice what he says. Obey his words. Repent of your sins. Come to him. Cast yourself upon his mercy. Believe in his forgiveness, and go out in obedience and treat people the way he says to. Then you will know from an inside knowledge that no one can take away that what he says is true, because his teaching is in line with the reality you are seeing of God at work through you.

This is a principle that runs all through life: You learn by doing. A doctor may learn all that the medical books can teach him, but until he gets his hands into surgery or dispenses medicines to people who are sick he never really learns. The same is true in any field: You learn by doing. When you do what Jesus says, you begin to understand with a deep conviction that he knows what life is all about.

This explains the phenomenon of certain people who become Christians—some of them early, some late in life—and who immediately practice what they have learned, and grow with astonishing rapidity. They become grown up, capable, well-adjusted whole persons, seemingly almost overnight, while others who sit under the teaching of the Scripture for years hardly seem to grow at all; they are still childlike in their behavior, emotionally upset, anxious, and fear-ridden. This is because they are not doing what they hear. Those who put into practice the truth they hear begin to grow immediately.

In Washington, D. C. years ago, I met a hard-bitten old Marine General, one of those tough, self-sufficient characters who was used to giving orders. After he had retired he became a Christian and grew with astonishing rapidity. Everyone who knew him saw the change. They respected him as much as they always had, but they saw a compassion, an understanding, a patience develop in him that was never there before. When I asked one of the Christian leaders why this was true, he replied: When General Silverthorn hears something from the Scripture, he obeys it immediately. That is why he grew so fast.

Yet some people who have been exposed to the gospel for years never seem to grow. After years of sitting under the ministry of the Scriptures they still think an epistle is the wife of an apostle! I am grateful for the many people I know who put into practice what they learn. How encouraging to see how quickly they grow and become strong so that they are able to stand and work out the problems of life.

Thank you, Lord, for your clear teaching about life. Forgive me for my self-deceits, my falsehoods, my lying to myself. Keep me trusting your word, understanding it and seeking to obey it that I might learn what it really says.

Life Application

Do you ever wonder if Jesus actually was what he claimed to be? Do you have trouble at times understanding what he is saying in the scriptures?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Is Jesus for Real?

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