But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. ~John 5:38-40 NKJV
What a profound statement! We should all just think on it for a bit, in order to comprehend its full meaning.
There are studies and other surveys out there which tell us two of the reasons that (we) people purchase books is to:
- Inform us; and
- Makes us look smart. (Rhomberg, 3/3/2016)
Now there are other reasons, but these two make the point I seek to make. Namely, with a particular book on a shelf and in plain sight of others, in their eyes we are well read, well rounded, and more importantly…smart! But such an inference is a giant leap because in many instances we had never read, opened, or even finished the book in question. This includes the bible.
Now as the above bible verse states, “…You search the Scriptures…” As Christians we read the bible daily, study, search it, and research it, but are we really getting any smarter within the context of the biblical tenets put forth to us? I must state a resounding no, yes…even in my case! All too often we read, search, & research; yet, we do not put into practice those words we read daily. We do not rely on the voice of God in our hearts. We tend not to apply what we have learned on any given day…let alone on Sunday!
We read the bible, even in context, of all the truths put forth about Jesus. The prophecies, the teachings, etc. yet, we choose to live in our own little bubble thinking we are doing well even while we are failing miserably. I recently watched an episode of HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN entitled, “WALLY”. With Dick Van Dyke as the lead role, where he played a bum…but a rather Godly bum. Though just a show it depicted something wonderful that we tend to overlook in our lives. Where the lowly are endowed with grace and love for all. Performing good deeds toward his fellow man, helping those even less fortunate than himself, emulating Christ in his life.
I often think, and believe, that though we read, study, & research the biblical text we often fail to see the fact that we need to put those words into practice within our daily lives…EVERY DAY, not just on Sundays.
Furthermore, the bible passage reads, “…for in them you think you have eternal life…” just as a person infers that they have more knowledge within them simply by purchasing a book the same goes for owning and reading the bible. We believe that because we read our bible we automatically possess eternal life. Solely because we are bible believing, God fearing, Jesus loving people. Unfortunately for all of us, we need to learn, understand, comprehend, AND obey the words therein; applying them in our lives…daily!
Unlike the Pharisee, we must be willing to go to Jesus, the Christ, the One True Son of God, to obtain that eternal life. Believing in Him, following His words, obeying His commandments. Perhaps this is why so many of us have lost our passion and desire to do things in life, because we have not been following the words given to us. Perhaps we have side stepped just a bit to the left or the right of center and lost our way. But God has this way and means of tugging at your heart to get back to the center of the right path. To enter in through the narrow gate. God is good about getting people’s attention and setting them straight, just read Jonah, Job, or the Book of Acts concerning the Apostle Paul.
God is always waiting for you and is always willing for you to come to Him. He loves all of His creation, but unless you are willing to submit yourselves to his rule over your heart, soul, mind and be reborn you can never enter the kingdom of God nor shall you ever possess eternal life! That is biblical truth. Like it or not, that is truth. Just as you believe people need to be adjudicated in such a way, so does our Creator. But God has given us the rules to live by, most of mankind has chosen to believe that God should make judgements based upon their personal subjective agenda. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. God makes judgements based upon His objective standards, not our relative and subjective standards.
There was once a story I heard from Ravi Zacharias concerning a disagreement with an atheist. The atheist touted that mankind only to act a certain way in order to be moral, that there was no need for God. Ravi asked how he determined the morality of a matter, the atheist refuted that it was by feeling. Ravi reminded him that there were still Tribes in South America and the Amazon who determined their liking you by taste, what is your preference? Rare, medium, or well done?
Jesus told us to search the scriptures, but He also told us through a mandate to obey the scriptures, too! We need to apply them in our lives, daily. We were commissioned to do certain things:
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
All Ten Commandments rolled up into two simple commands. and then the Commission placed upon us:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV
We are told what to do, how to do it, through the loving of God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds! How much simpler could it possibly be for us?
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD