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Saved by THIS Work

June 29, 2023

John 6:29
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Happy birthday! (For all those born June 29th) Hopefully you will have a party and receive gifts. Hopefully you feel loved. Gifts, both giving and receiving, usually connote love. Quick question – how much do we need to work to earn our birthday gifts? Will your parents or grandparents not give you gifts if you haven’t worked hard enough for them this year?

     The people in Jesus’ day were taught that everything they received had to be earned, especially when it came to matters of their religion. Jesus’ statement in John 6:29 comes after they questioned Jesus, who had just fed over 5000 people with a few pieces of bread and fish. They had just been fed and experienced multiple unexplainable miracles. But, instead of worshipping the One who had done these things, they were only interested in what He could do for them. John 6:28 & 30 let us know their mindset 28 They said therefore to him, “What must we do, that we may work the works of God?” … 30 They said therefore to him, “What then do you do for a sign, that we may see and believe you? What work do you do?

       John 6:29 – Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” Jesus’ statement is the exact opposite of what they were expecting. They wanted to hear about a work that was tangible and measurable that they could have done to earn heaven. They wanted a list of dos and don’ts.  Jesus knew their hearts and even though He had just performed miracles that no man had ever done, they did not believe His words. They couldn’t accept the gift of eternal life Jesus was offering because it was “too” easy. Why? Maybe, because then they couldn’t be proud of their own hard work. Jesus turned their world completely upside down by removing their own efforts to get to heaven. He ripped up their Do & Don’t List.

     Today, please listen to the words of Jesus. There is NOTHING you can do to earn your way to heaven. Even if you never get drunk, swear, lie, cheat, murder and always go to church, tithe, give to the poor and say all the right things. NOPE. None of that gets you a ticket to heaven. If you have any questions, please reach out and contact us. Happy Birthday. Enjoy your gifts and we are praying that you receive the gift of eternal life.

John 1:12 – But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name

Dave R

’69 / ’83 Quarryville PA

Bonus Thoughts and Verses

John 6 is so rich in God’s truth it is very hard to unpack in a short devotional. As I was studying verses 35-44, some truths popped out. Some deep theological debates that are not always agreed on. I do not want to act like I have all the answers, these are just observations based upon Jesus’ words.

          Sometimes, 2 apparently opposite truths can both be true.  An oxymoron (jumbo shrimp, honest politician) of Biblical truth. In verse 37, Jesus claims both free will and predestination both exist. It is not one or the other. His Father gives Him people and He accepts all who come. I would suggest prayerfully reading all of John 6 for these truths. It blew my mind.

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will not be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But I told you that you have seen me, and yet you don’t believe. 37 All those whom the Father gives me will come to me. He who comes to me I will in no way throw out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day. 40 This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Someone once told me a great illustration of how to view both man’s free will and election / predestination. There is a large gate at the entrance of heaven and on top of the front, it reads – “All are welcome”. Once you walk through the gate and turn around, the back of the gate reads – “Welcome to the chosen”. I share this not to stir up controversy but to stand in amazement of God’s wisdom and unsearchable ways. May God bless you as you study His Word.

(Jesus is also very clear here about being eternally secure)

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