For What Reasons Do We Follow Him?
We may come into a situation when someone ask you why are you a Christian? Many of us may have inherited our faith as a Christian or we decided to follow Christ.
How we came to follow Christ will show how we go through our lives. Are we Christians because God is our help in our time of need. Are we Christians because God forgives us whenever we fail. Are we Christians because God was forced on us and we have no other way we can live.
The multitude have just been fed miraculously and are looking for Jesus the next day. When people see that Jesus is gone, they find him on the other side. Jesus confronts the people about their motivation to find Jesus which was to get more food.
The crowd had seen miracles and signs and this was why they had followed Jesus. Many came to see the signs and others came to be entertained or were just curious. Still, others came for healing. The scriptures tells us that people had come to see the signs of healing and to be healed. However, the people also came to get provisions and Jesus points this out.
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
John 6:26 ESV
These were people in need. They were desperate and Jesus saw this. We read about this in Matthew.
Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”
Matthew 14:15-16 ESV
These people were in need and it was not wrong to benefit from these miracles or what Jesus had done. The people see the figure of Moses in Jesus. They expect Jesus to keep blessing them and providing for them. Yet, Jesus points out the wrong motivation.
When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
Exodus 16:15 ESV
Jesus recognizes that these people are looking for daily provisions and material benefits. This is natural because we need these things to live, but Jesus them that they should not seek these physical benefits because they are temporal. Food, money, health, fame, beauty and good times will all pass. Jesus encourages the people to seek heavenly things.
Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
John 6:27 ESV
Jesus wants the people to reorient their goals and seek heavenly things and understand who Jesus is.
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
John 6:33 ESV
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
John 6:35 ESV
Let us ask ourselves, "Why do we follow Jesus?" Let us also ask that God help us change our reasons to follow Jesus.
From last week's sermon sans video.
What to Do in the Time of Uncertainty
April 26, 2020
It is very easy to ask God when His promises are going to happen, or where are you, God, when so many bad things are happening. There is lots of speculation of why this pandemic is happening. In Korea, Christians are blamed for bringing COVID-19 such levels in Korea. It is typical to blame others and even God during these crises.
So what is God up to? We only need to remember that God is in control. In Jeremiah's time, we see that the Israelites are being told that they will become exiles and captives. The elites of Israel had already been taken captive. The temple treasures had been taken and there is no more army to defend Israel.
The sinners realized they have done wrong and were afraid of their punishment. But those who were pure and clean were also being punished. People were asking how long or why they were going to be punished.
God told the people through Jeremiah that the punishment was going to be long but that they should live and prosper. So what can we learn from the words of God which Jeremiah spoke to the people of Israel.
A. In difficult times, we should persistently seek to stand in the council of the Lord. We have to seek God through prayer and study and we will find God. We will expose ourselves and show our vulnerable parts. When we seek God, we will find God. Although we allow our circumstances to overcome our behavior, we need to ask God what He wants us to do.
In Jeremiah 24 we have the vision of the two baskets of figs. The good figs are those who sought God's council and the bad figs are those that did not. Whatever you do, be honest with God. God will respond and give you what is right. This is not the time to blame. God gas a purpose and it is is for our own God.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:11 ESV
B. Let us learn to accept our realities that we may find ourselves in, yet acknowledge the sovereignty of God over our situation (Jeremiah 29:4). This is where we are and who we are. We may be limited and stuck in our situation, yet by accepting our fate we allow God to work. Amor fati. Understand that it is God that allows this, it is not us who is in control. God loves us despite our failings or success.
C. We need to strive to establish normality out of the abnormal circumstances (Jeremiah 29:4-8). During the hard times we need to develop our selves and have trust in God that He wants good for us.
I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
Jeremiah 24:6 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV