Sunday, November 18, 2018

Missing the Miraculous

Missing the Miraculous

In John chapter 6 of the Bible, we find a large number of Jews following Jesus. They were following Him because they had seen Him heal the sick. And as they followed Him, Jesus performed another miracle, He provided more than enough food to feed over five thousand people when all that was available was five barley loaves and two small fish. Because of these miracles, the people started claiming that Jesus was the Prophet (a reference in Jewish law to the coming Savior King). But Jesus knew their intentions to take Him by force to make Him king, so He left them.

However, the next day, motivated by what they had seen and experienced, the people searched and found Jesus. At this point, Jesus confronts the crowd with the truth about their motives.
  • John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

Jesus was telling them, ‘You have seen the miracles, but you are missing the miraculous!’ He wanted them to see beyond the obvious physical miracles to a clear understanding of the miraculous spiritual truth about Him!
  • John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

But because these Jews were so focused on finding a savior who would address their temporary earthly troubles, they couldn’t see that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah who was sent to meet their eternal spiritual needs. With love and compassion for these lost souls, Jesus spoke to them using graphic physical imagery to express a critical spiritual reality.
  • John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

But they didn’t understand what He was saying to them! They weren’t willing/able to accept what seemed to be appalling statements about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. So, Jesus tells them plainly that He is speaking about spiritual, not physical things.
  • John 6:61-63 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
    • NOTE: The word ‘disciples’ in this verse literally means ‘students’. Here, Jesus was referring to the people in the crowd who were hearing His teachings, not the 12 disciples He had chosen earlier in His ministry (see John 6:67 and Mark 3:13-19). The 12 disciples were those who spent 3.5 years in close relationship with Him and continued to spread the truth about Him after His death, resurrection and ascension.

And then we read, what is to me one of the saddest scriptures in the Word of God.
  • John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

Those who walked away from Jesus had seen with their own eyes His healing power. They had eaten the bread and fish that He multiplied. They walked away from the very Messiah for which they went searching. They walked away from God!

They Had
Seen the Miracles

But They Were
Missing the Miraculous

Christians, pray for those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Pray that they will see the truth of WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE!

If you are not a follower of Jesus, pray for the one true God of the universe to reveal the truth about Jesus to you.
  • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”


Father, may the truth of Your Word and the conviction of Your Spirit encourage believers and draw the lost to You through Jesus. Thank You for Your perfect love and Your amazing grace. I pray these things in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018



All of humanity lives in this broken, sinful world. The reality of evil, a cursed planet, and the depravity of man leads to much suffering. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in desperate situations. And sadly, when someone is drowning in pain, sorrow, disappointments, frustrations, feeling trapped, they may consider ending their life. And even more tragic is the fact that many times people do end their lives.

The Bible tells us of four people who directly asked God to end their life.

  • Numbers 11:14-15 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”
    • Moses was overwhelmed by the responsibilities and disappointments that came with leading the rebellious Nation of Israel once they left Egypt and headed out for the Promised Land.
    • God provided a solution (seventy elders to help Moses bear these burdens (Numbers 11:16-30). And Moses persevered, continued to serve God, led the Nation of Israel, wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, and was present when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain (Mark 9:2-4).

  • 1 Kings 19:3-4 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
    • Elijah was persecuted for confronting the evil King of Israel, Ahab, and destroying many prophets of false gods (which angered the wicked Queen of Israel, Jezebel).
    • God sent angels to minister to Elijah. God demonstrated his power to Elijah in a very strong wind, an earthquake and a fire. And then God spoke to Elijah in still small voice. God spoke to Elijah and gave him instructions. Elijah was obedient and was eventually taken up into heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). Elijah was also present when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain.

  • Job 6:8-9 “Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the thing that I long for! 9 That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
    • ‘loose His hand and cut me off’ means – reach out His hand and kill me.
    • Job was grieved by the loss of his children, possessions, standing in the community, support/encouragement from his friends, and not understanding how God was working in these situations.
    • God speaks to Job and enables him to see the foolishness of questioning His sovereign rule, almighty power, infinite wisdom and perfect plans. God instructs Job’s friend to go to Job and offer up burnt offerings. He also told them that Job will pray for them. God tremendously blessed Job’s latter days (Job 42).

  • Jonah 4:2-3 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”
    • Jonah was resentful because God chose to be merciful to a great multitude of people that Jonah hated (the Ninevites). God spoke to Jonah through an unusual object lesson and revealed two things to him: 1. Although Jonah had heard directly from God and was saved from drowning by God, his priorities and understanding of God’s mercy were utterly deficient; 2. God has great compassion for those who are blinded by their sin. (Job 4).
    • Jonah’s call for repentance in Nineveh resulted in 120,000 souls turning from their sin and turning to God. And although Jonah is mentioned several times in the New Testament, we don’t know about his life after Nineveh.

The heartbreaking truth is,
Sometimes people end their lives.

The point of this devotion, as demonstrated in the Bible, is that anyone can become so desperate that they want to die. Those who love God are not immune to the horrific realities of desperation and/or depression.

Psalm 88:1-3
O Lord, God of my salvation,
I have cried out day and night before You.
2 Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.
3 For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.

Whoever you are, whatever circumstance you find yourself in, if you are desperate enough to consider ending your life – immediately reach out for help!

If you have access to a friend or family member who follows Jesus, or if you can talk with a Christian pastor, they should listen to you and help you find the help you need. They can also share with you the message of love and hope found only in Jesus. God loves you and has a plan for your life even if you can’t see past your current circumstances.

If you are not willing or able to talk with a Christian, find someone you trust and tell them what is going on. Let them help you find the resources you need to see and move beyond the issues and/or circumstances that have brought you to this desperate point in your life. There is hope!


All-knowing Father, You know better that anyone about the desperation that exists in this world. Please Lord, make a way for anyone considering suicide to get the help they need. I pray in the name of Jesus that desperate people around the world will obtain eternal life in heaven with You through saving faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.