– John 11:35
That’s the shortest verse in the Bible. And the only place in the Bible that it’s recorded that Jesus cried. Why? What was up? The verse is only a couple syllables long, but I believe these two words are there for us to learn from!
What’s the context of John 11:35? If you go ahead and read the other verses in John chapter 11, you’ll realize that Jesus was crying because His friend Lazarus had died. Lazarus had been sick; Jesus didn’t go to him right away; and Lazarus died.
You know what John 11:35 tells me? Jesus was human. Gayle Erwin’s book The Jesus Style explains this so clearly. Jesus was human – and understanding that can be revolutionary! (If you haven’t read The Jesus Style yet, go do it.) Jesus was 100% man, and 100% God. If you can’t fully comprehend that, that’s okay. Neither can I. It’s like trying to wrap your mind around the concept of infinity. But just because I don’t fully understand something, it doesn’t mean I can’t believe in it with all my heart!
“Jesus wept.” Jesus felt sorrow, he felt pain. He understands my emotions!!! And it’s okay to cry. (In class in School of Discipleship one morning, we were discussing if it was okay for guys to cry. That’s a controversial topic so I won’t get into it, but we came to the conclusion that is IS okay for guys to cry. John 11:35 tells us that Jesus did!) But one point that was brought up about this verse – Jesus didn’t remain in His sorrow. He wept, and then He moved on. He was sorrowful, and then He did something about it! Jesus was sad that Lazarus had died – and then He raised him from the dead.
So, emotions are okay. Just don’t let them rule you. Feelings come and go, but facts are what you can depend on. That sounds awfully pragmatic…but it’s true. Relying on the truth – on what God says – is so much better than relying on what I feel.
And when we feel sorrowful, that’s okay.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
“There is a time for everything… a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)
But don’t dwell in that sorrow, move on, learn from it, and do something about it. Cause that’s what Jesus did.
“How Much is God Worth to You?”
This question has been rolling around in my mind recently since I have been going through the book ‘True Discipleship’ by William MacDonald… I think it is a very good one to ask as well as a hard one to apply!
I have also had to ask myself, am I really willing to forsake all for my relationship with God? I really want to be able to do this, but it is something that is not achieved overnight! (Or at least not for me!) I take encouragement from the message Pastor Danny Punnose shared with us when he was here. He shared with us that although willow trees grow fast, they have a very short lifespan of 20-30 years! In comparison, California Redwoods take years and years to mature, but they last for 500-700 years! This analogy shows us that even when we feel that we are taking an excruciatingly long amount of time to learn a lesson, we can be confident that if it is done in God’s strength and for His glory, it will surely most last! Praise the Lord! This message was and still is a great encouragement to me to continue pursuing a deeper and more sacrificial relationship toward God. I hope this will encourage you in your relationship with God as well. God Bless!!:)
I was almost shocked when I read “Touching Godliness” by K.P. Yohannan. It gave me a completely different view of submission and authority. A big thing that hit me was how people that have authority over us are placed over us by God and when we disobey them we are actually disobeying God. I really love Jesus and to think of disobeying Him really hurts me. Now I have a hard time obeying when I don’t feel like I have to and knowing that when I don’t submit or obey my delegated authority I hurt my Lord and Savior made me give it more thought. Another thing that is a challenge to me, is the truth about submission; that it’s a matter of the heart. I should always have a good attitude at heart when obeying, that’s when I give the glory to God. This book was bold, challenging and frustrating but it made a lot of sense! I couldn’t disagree with much because by the time I was done reading the chapter it all clicked and I realized that it was the truth.
One of my favorite chapters was chapter 3, “The Benefits of Submission.” First of all, it’s comforting but it also encourages me and gives more reasons to submit besides just the fact of being obedient to the Lord. Even though that’s the biggest reason and should probably be the only reason, but I also know now that God uses delegated authority for our own protection. Through submitting to our authorities we get protection from the powers of darkness and we are protected from making bad choices. We are restored from past mistakes/rebellion and blessed by God and to add to all that, it pleases God when we submit! It makes sense doesn’t it? God uses our authorities like a shepherd watching his sheep and when we step out from under the covering of our authorities we become like wandering sheep.
I find it amazing how God works! I’m finding that He works in different people’s lives in many different ways and He’s working in my life in a different way than He is in my brother’s and sister’s lives!
The book that we as students are going through right now is called “Grace Awakening” by Charles Swindoll. Boy!! I sure didn’t realize that I needed to have so much grace for others! The one thing that I am learning in reading this book is that if I expect others to give me grace, I also need to be willing to extend grace to them. God has given me grace so many times. I’m realizing that if it wasn’t for His grace, I wouldn’t be here. Thank You Lord for Your grace!
Another thing that I am trying to learn is to let other people be who God intended them to be. I don’t have to try to change anyone or make them believe exactly the way I believe because that’s not showing them grace. I have to let them be them and hopefully they’ll let me be me. I want to be able to work together with them in unity even if we don’t necessarily agree with each other in everything but we can still grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ together!
Desiring godliness is one thing, living it is a whole different story! In his book “Touching Godliness” Bro. K.P. does a marvelous job at breaking this subject down in a way that is easy to understand. He captures your attention with both Biblical examples and stories as well as with true to life occurrences from his own life. The message this book gives has been so long forgotten that anyone who truly grasps the message that is portrayed within its pages will, with God’s help, be able to enjoy a life that is lived in the very center of God’s will.
Touching Godliness by K.P. Yohannan was a blessing to me. Some might think that it’s a scary subject, but it really opened my eyes to how the Lord sees submission.
One of the things that I learned was that submission is a matter of the heart. I can do the motions and obey my delegated authorities, but that is not submission, it is obedience. Submission is the attitude towards my authority, whereas obedience is an action.When it is done this way, our Lord is pleased. I would encourage you, please read this book. There is so many things in it that will deepen your relationship with the Lord. May the Lord bless you.