seeking benefits or the Benefactor?

First off let me issue a little rant warning … seeing the following on a church sign makes my blood boil …

FREE TICKET TO HEAVEN – SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS

I mean seriously …

Is that what we have reduced God’s will, plan and purpose along with Christ Jesus’ atoning work on the cross to? A free ticket to heaven …

Is that what Christianity has been reduced to? What benefits can I get from God? Are people really looking for heaven or are people looking for the alternative to hell?

And this is just one church marketing technique …

Well, we shouldn’t be surprised … even Jesus encountered this problem first hand … after the miraculous feeding of the 5,000 Jesus discovered the crowds weren’t seeking Him for who he was … but for another fish and loaves feast …

The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone. There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” John 6:22-27 (NASB)

So what was the purpose of the signs … like feeding the 5,000?

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know–this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” Acts 2:22-23 (NASB)

The miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Jesus were God’s testimony that Jesus was indeed the Son of God sent by the Father …

Obviously in my mind, the seeker should be seeking the Benefactor not benefits … we’re not buying a car or an insurance policy … the works of God for the seeker … and the believer … is quite simple.

Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:28-29 (NASB)

Actually when one does indeed do the works of God as Jesus explained, they discover the benefit and the Benefactor are indeed one in the same … we receive a Who not a what …

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23 (NASB)

Let’s see, aren’t we missing somebody?

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NASB)

The triune God … Father, Son and Holy Spirit … make their abode IN the believer …

Could there be any greater benefit?

How’s this for a new church sign …

MAY THE FATHER, SON AND SPIRIT MAKE THEIR HOME IN YOU

You may say, “But Bernie, that is too mysterious and bizarre … that will scare people off.”

Lord willing, we’ll take a look at the answer to that question next.  Just a little preview:  Jesus didn’t promote easy believism …

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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4 Responses to seeking benefits or the Benefactor?

  1. jasonlovelace says:

    A quote form “A League of Their Own”

    “If it was easy, everybody’d do it! It’s the hard that makes it so good!”

    Following Christ Jesus is similar, except that — when its hard — he makes it a lot easier because he’s there with us, keeping us up and helping us stand, to keep from falling down or giving in. Great words of wisdom, Bernie!

  2. I’m a sinner? A really bad one? Since I was conceived in my mother’s womb? Deserving of eternity in Hell? The only way to God is through Jesus? The only way to Jesus is by God’s gift of grace through His gift of faith? And that not of my own efforts? None at all?

    Seems like you’re creating an awfully narrow road here. Much better to see that grinning guy, holding his Bible in the air, telling me how good I am … I just need a positive attitude and a pep-talk about how nice Jesus makes everything. Oh, yeah, now gimme my ticket!

    Blessings!

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