God the Father is the initiator of the Gospel message…

Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless My Father who sent Me draws him—and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44)…

Where Jesus declares that “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day, ” the Greek word translated “draw” is helkuo, which means “to drag” (literally or figuratively).

Clearly, this drawing is a one-sided affair. God does the drawing to salvation; we who are drawn have a passive role in the process.

There is no doubt that we respond to His drawing us, but the drawing itself is all on His part.

Helkuo is used in John 21:6 to refer to a heavy net full of fish being dragged to the shore.

In John 18:10 we see Peter drawing his sword, and in Acts 16:19 helkuo is used to describe Paul and Silas being dragged into the marketplace before the rulers.

Clearly, the net had no part in its being drawn to the shore,

Peter’s sword had no part in being drawn, and Paul and Silas did not drag themselves to the marketplace.

The same can be said of God’s drawing of some to salvation.

Some come willingly, and some are dragged unwillingly, but all eventually come, although we have no part in the drawing.

Why does God need to draw us to salvation?

Simply put, if He didn’t, we would never come.

Jesus explains that no man can come unless the Father draws him (John 6:65).

The natural man has no ability to come to God, nor does he even have the desire to come.

Because his heart is hard and his mind is darkened, the unregenerate person doesn’t desire God and is actually an enemy of God (Romans 5:10).

When Jesus says that no man can come without God’s drawing him, He is making a statement about the total depravity of the sinner and the universality of that condition.

So darkened is the unsaved person’s heart that he doesn’t even realize it:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?”
(Jeremiah 17:9)

Therefore, it is only by the merciful and gracious drawing of God that we are saved.

In the conversion of the sinner, God enlightens the mind (Ephesians 1:18), inclines the will toward Himself, and influences the soul, without which influence the soul remains darkened and rebellious against God.

All of this is involved in the drawing process.

When the Father draws us and we respond in faith, we then begin to have new desires.

He places within us a new heart that inclines toward Him, a heart that desires to know Him, obey Him, and walk in the “newness of life” (Romans 6:4) that He has promised.

Here’s the backstory to John 6:44:

John 6

A Deep Dive Into John Chapter 6

John 6 records the feeding of the five thousand followed by Jesus’ poignant sermon on the bread of life.

The chapter ends with the departure of some disciples and the rededication of the Twelve.

Jesus is the Bread of Life:

Water, food, and bread are metaphors that show how the spiritual appropriationment of the life which Jesus gives is absolutely necessary for our salvation.

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all four Gospels.

Jesus had crossed to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee at a time when the Jewish Passover feast was near.

If we accept John 5:1 as a Passover, the reference in 6:4 would be the third Passover observance recorded in this Gospel.

This is one of those several examples in John where we see the miracle-message method of Jesus’ ministry.

Paul told the Corinthians that Jews required a sign, and John reminded us that a great crowd of people followed Him because they saw the miraculous signs He had performed on the sick (6:2).

Some scholars estimate there may have been as many as seven thousand to ten thousand people, since verse 10 talks about five thousand men.

As we shall see, this chapter is about faith, but these people wanted food.

Jesus talked about spiritual relationship, but the crowds were interested in physical showmanship.

They focused on the lunch, not the love; on their bellies, not their beliefs.
Jesus first centers on people in need.

Starvation even in our time is a stark and unpleasant reality, as it was also in Jesus’ time.

Ten percent of the world’s babies today die before their first birthday, and one of every four children suffers from malnutrition.

Yet the problem of spiritual hunger is even more severe.

Like the people gathering on the mountainside in Galilee, millions today need the living bread that only Jesus can provide.

The introduction of the Passover is always significant in the chronological pattern of John’s Gospel.

He contrasted the rejection in Jerusalem at the end of chapter 5 with the magnificent scene of thousands coming to hear Jesus speak on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias.

This body of water actually has four names in Scripture:

The Sea of Galilee and the Sea of Tiberias both identified here in our text;

The Lake of Gennesaret in Luke 5:1; and the Sea of Kinnereth (Num. 34:11).

Today it is generally called Lake Kinneret, but students of the Bible have difficulty calling it anything other than the Sea of Galilee.

The bread-and-water connection has ancient Israeli roots in the manna of the desert and water from the rock.

The entire Exodus experience sets the historic basis for the Jewish Passover Feast.

In Israel’s history, stories of food and water are indelibly attached to faith.

From the tree of life in the garden, the rescue of Noah in the flood, and throughout their pilgrimage these two symbols are repeatedly rewoven into the fabric of God’s dealings with His people.

It is understandable then that Paul, thinking like a Jew, also linked these two symbols in his warnings to the Corinthians about their relationship with God (10:1-4).

Jesus was not annoyed when He saw the great multitude, thinking they would disturb His rest or His time with the disciples.

His first thought was to provide something for them to eat. And so He turned to Philip and asked where bread could be purchased to feed the multitude.

When Jesus asked a question, it was never for the purpose of adding to His own knowledge, but to teach others.

Jesus already knew what He was going to do, but Philip didn’t.

The Lord was going to teach Philip a very valuable lesson and test his faith.

Jesus Himself knew that He would perform a miracle to feed this great crowd of people. But did Philip realize that He was able to do this?

Was Philip’s faith great or was it small?

Apparently Philip’s faith did not rise to very great heights.

He made some quick calculations and decided that even two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough to provide even a little meal for everyone.

We do not know exactly how much bread could be purchased for two hundred denarii in that day, but it must have been a very great amount.

A denarius was a worker’s daily wage.

Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother, and they both lived in the vicinity of Bethsaida, along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Andrew also decided that it would be difficult to feed such a throng, and he noticed a little boy with five barley loaves and two small fish; but he felt that these would be almost useless in attempting to satisfy the hunger of so many.

This lad did not have very much, but he was willing to put it at the disposal of the Lord Jesus.

As a result of his kindness, this story was recorded in each of the four Gospels.

He did not do very much, but “little is much if God is in it,” and he has become famous throughout the world.

In making the people sit down (lit. “recline”), the Lord Jesus provided for their comfort. Notice He chose a place where there was much grass.

It was unusual to find such a place in that region, but the Lord took care that the crowd would eat in a clean, pleasant place.

It is recorded that there were thousands of men (Gk. “males”), so this means that there were women and children in addition.

The mention of the number five thousand is made to indicate what a mighty miracle was about to take place.

Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks for them.

If He did this before partaking of food or serving it, how much more should we pause to thank God before eating our meals.

Next He distributed the food to the disciples.

There is a real lesson for us in this.

The Lord Jesus did not do it all Himself. He enlisted the service of others.

It has been well said, “You do what you can do; I’ll do what I can do; and the Lord will do what we cannot do.”

By the time the Lord distributed the bread to the disciples, it had been wonderfully multiplied.

The exact moment when this miracle took place is not recorded, but we know that in a miraculous way those five loaves and two small fish became enough in the Lord’s hands to feed this great throng.

The disciples went about serving the bread and the fish to those sitting down.

There was no scarcity because it is distinctly stated that they gave them of the fish as much as they wanted.

This is a very beautiful touch. If Jesus had been a mere man He would never have bothered to think about the remaining fragments.

Any man who can feed five thousand does not worry about a few leftover crumbs!

But Jesus is God, and with God there must be no wasting of His bounties.

He does not want us to squander the precious things He has given to us, and so He takes care to instruct that the broken pieces which remained should be gathered up so that nothing might be lost.

Twelve baskets of bread were gathered up after the people had finished eating.

After all this, there can be only one conclusion, and that is that a mighty miracle had been performed.

The people themselves recognized that it was a miracle.

In fact, the people were so convinced that it was a miracle that they were willing to acknowledge that Jesus was the Prophet who would come into the world.

They knew from the OT that a prophet was coming, and they looked for him to deliver them from the control of the Roman Empire.

They were waiting for an earthly monarch, but their faith was not genuine.

They were not willing to admit that Jesus was the Son of God or to confess their sins and accept Him as Savior.

As a result of Jesus’ miracle, the people wanted to make Him king.

Again, if Jesus were only a man, He doubtless would have submitted readily to their request.

Men are only too anxious to be exalted and to be given a place of prominence.

But Jesus was not moved by such appeals to vanity and pride. He realized that He had come into the world to die as a Substitute for sinners on the cross.

He would do nothing to interfere with that objective.

He would not ascend the throne until first He had ascended the altar of sacrifice.

He must suffer, bleed, and die before He would be exalted.

In verse 16 it says that it was evening, and that Jesus had gone to the mountain by Himself.

The crowd doubtless returned to their homes, leaving the disciples by themselves.

And so the disciples decided to go down to the sea and prepare for their trip back across the Sea of Galilee.

As they went over the sea toward Capernaum, it was already dark.

Jesus was not with them.

Where was He?

He was up on the mountain praying.

What a picture of Christ’s followers today.

They are on the stormy sea of life. It is dark,and the Lord Jesus is nowhere to be seen.

But that does not mean that He is unaware of what is going on.

He is in heaven praying for those He loves.

The Sea of Galilee is subject to sudden and violent storms, and winds traveling down the valley of the Jordan River at a great speed.

When they hit the Sea of Galilee, they cause the waves to rise very high. It is not safe for small boats to be out on the sea at such a time.

The disciples had rowed about three or four miles.

From a human standpoint, they were in great danger.

At the right moment, they looked up and saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near the boat.

Here is another marvelous miracle.

The Son of God was walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee.

The disciples were afraid because they did not fully realize who this wonderful Person was.

Notice how simply the story is told.

The most amazing facts are being told to us, but John did not use big words to impress us with the greatness of what was taking place.

He used great restraint in setting forth the facts.

Then the Lord Jesus spoke wonderful words of comfort.

“It is I; do not be afraid.”

If He were only a man, they might well be afraid, but He is the mighty Creator and the Sustainer of the universe.

With such a One close at hand, there was no reason to fear.

He who made the Sea of Galilee in the first place could cause its waters to be calm in the second place, and could bring His fearful disciples safely to shore.

The words “It is I” are literally “I AM.”

So far this is the second time in John’s Gospel where Jesus used this name of Jehovah as applying to Himself.

When they realized that it was the Lord Jesus, they welcomed Him into the boat.

And the Bible says that as soon as Jesus entered the boat, Immediately they found themselves at their destination.

Here another miracle is stated, but not explained.

They did not have to row any farther. The Lord Jesus brought them to dry land instantly.

What an awesome Savior He is!

It is now the day after the one in which the five thousand were fed.

The multitude of people are still in the area northeast of the Sea of Galilee.

They had watched the disciples get into the small boat the previous evening, and they knew that Jesus had not gone with them.

Only one boat had been available at that time, and the disciples had taken it.

The following day, boats had come from Tiberias, near the place where the Lord Jesus had fed the multitude.

But the Lord could not have departed in one of these because they had just arrived.

But perhaps it was in these small boats that the multitude crossed over to Capernaum, as recorded in the following verses.

The people had watched Jesus very carefully. They knew that He had gone up into the mountain to pray.

They knew that He had not gone in the boat with the disciples across the lake.

Yet on the following day He was nowhere to be found. They decided to cross the sea to Capernaum, where the disciples were most likely to be.

They could not understand how Jesus could be there, but they decided to go and seek Him anyway.

Arriving at Capernaum, they found Him there. They could not conceal their curiosity, and asked Him when He had arrived.

Jesus answered their question indirectly.

He realized that they did not seek Him because of who He was but rather because of the food which He gave them.

They had seen Him perform a mighty miracle on the day before.

This should have convinced them that He was indeed the Creator and the Messiah.

But their interest was simply in food. They had eaten of the miracle loaves, and their hunger had been satisfied.

So Jesus first advised them not to labor for the food which perishes.

The Lord did not mean that they should not work for their daily living, but He did mean that this should not be the supreme aim in their lives.

Satisfying one’s physical appetite is not the most important thing in life.

Man consists not only of body, but of spirit and soul as well.

We should labor for the food which endures to everlasting life.

Man should not live as if his body were all.

He should not devote all his strength and talents to the feeding of his body, which in a few short years will be eaten by worms.

Rather, he should make sure that his soul is fed day by day with the Word of God.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

We should work tirelessly to acquire a better knowledge of the Word of God.

When the Lord Jesus said that God the Father had set His seal on Him, He meant that God had sent Him and approved Him.

When we set our seal to something, it means that we promise that it is true.

God sealed the Son of Man in the sense that He endorsed Him as One who spoke the truth.

The people now asked the Lord what they must do in order to work the works of God.

Man is always trying to earn his way to heaven.

He likes to feel that there is something he can do to merit salvation.

If he can somehow contribute to the saving of his soul, then he can find a ground for boasting; and this is very pleasing to him.

Jesus saw through their hypocrisy. They pretended that they wanted to work for God, and yet they did not want to have anything to do with the Son of God.

Jesus told them that the first thing they must do is accept the One whom God had sent.

So it is today. Many are seeking to earn their way to heaven by good works.

But before they can do good works for God, they must first believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Good works do not precede salvation; they follow it.

The only good work a sinner can do is to confess his sins and receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

We find in verse 30, when they asked Jesus, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You – What work will You do” – this is a further proof of the wickedness that was in the hearts of this people.

One day previously, they had seen the Lord Jesus feed five thousand men with five loaves and two fish.

On the very next day, they came to Him and asked Him for some sign that would prove His claims to be the Son of God.

Like most unbelievers, they wanted to see first, and then they would believe.

“That we may see it, and believe You.”

But this is not God’s order. God says to sinners, “If you believe, then you will see.” Faith must always come first.

Going back to the OT, the Jews reminded Jesus of the miracle of the manna in the wilderness.

They seemed to be saying that Jesus had never done anything as wonderful as that.

They quoted from Psalm 78:24, 25, where it is written: “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

They implied that Moses called down food from heaven; the Lord was not as great as Moses, because He had only multiplied existing food!

The Lord’s answer conveys at least two thoughts.

First of all, it was not Moses who gave them the manna, but God.

Moreover, the manna was not the true spiritual bread from heaven.

The manna was literal food, designed for the physical body, but it had no value beyond this life.

The Lord Jesus was here speaking about the true, ideal, and genuine bread which God gives out of heaven.

It is bread for the soul and not for the body.

The words My Father are a claim by Christ to deity.

The Lord Jesus revealed Himself as the bread of God which came down from heaven and gives life.

He was showing the superiority of the bread of God to the manna in the wilderness.

The manna did not impart life but only sustained physical life.

It was not intended for the whole world but only for Israel.

The true bread comes down from heaven and gives life to men—not just to one nation but to all the world.

The Jews still did not realize that the Lord Jesus was speaking about Himself as the true bread, and so they asked Him for the bread.

They were still thinking in terms of a literal loaf. Unfortunately, there was no real faith in their hearts.

Now Jesus stated the truth simply and clearly.

He is the bread of life. Those who come to Him find enough in Him to satisfy their spiritual hunger forever.

Those who believe on Him find their thirst forever quenched.

Notice the words I am in this verse and recognize that the Lord was making a claim to equality with Jehovah.

It would be folly for a sinful man to utter the words of verse 35.

No mere man can satisfy his own hunger or thirst, much less satisfy the spiritual appetite of the whole world!

In verse 30, the unbelieving Jews had asked the Lord for a sign in order that they might see and believe.

Here Jesus said that He had already told them that they had seen Him—the greatest sign of all—and yet they did not believe.

If the Son of God could stand before them in perfect manhood and not be recognized by them, then it was doubtful that any sign He would perform would convince them.

The Lord was not discouraged by the unbelief of the Jews. He knew that all the Father’s purposes and plans would be fulfilled.

Even if the Jews to whom He was speaking would not accept Him, then He knew that all of those who were chosen by God would come to Him.

The realization of the invincibility of the eternal counsels of God always gives a calmness, a poise, a courage, and a perseverance which nothing else can.

This verse is very important because it states in a few words two of the most important teachings in the Bible.

The first is that God has given certain ones to Christ and that all those whom He has given will be saved.

The other is the teaching of man’s responsibility.

In order to be saved, a man must come to the Lord Jesus and accept Him by faith.

God does choose some people to be saved, but the Bible never teaches that He chooses some to be damned.

If anyone is saved, it is because of the free grace of God.

But if anyone perishes forever, it is his own fault.

All men are condemned by their own sinfulness and wickedness.

If all men went to hell, they would be receiving only what they deserve.

In grace, God stoops down and saves individual people out of the great mass of humanity.

Does He have the right to do this?

He certainly does. God can do as He chooses, and no man can deny Him this right.

We know that God will never do anything that is wrong or unjust, but just as the Bible teaches that God has elected certain persons to salvation, it also teaches that man is responsible to accept the gospel.

God makes a universal offer—that if a man will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, he will be saved.

God does not save men against their will.

A person must come to Him in repentance and faith.

Then God will save him.

No one who comes to God through Christ will be cast out.

The human mind cannot reconcile these two teachings. However, we should believe them even if we cannot understand them.

They are Biblical teachings and are clearly stated here.

In verse 37, the Lord Jesus said that all of God’s plans would eventually be fulfilled with regard to the salvation of those who were given to Him.

Since this was the Father’s will, the Lord would personally undertake to bring it to pass, as His mission was to do the will of God.

“I have come down from heaven” said Christ, clearly teaching that He did not begin His life in the manger at Bethlehem.

Rather, He existed from all eternity with God the Father in heaven.

Coming into the world, He was the obedient Son of God.

He voluntarily took the place of a servant in order to carry out the will of His Father.

This does not mean that He did not have a will of His own, but rather that His own will was in perfect agreement with the will of God.

The will of the Father was that everyone who was given to Christ would be saved and kept until the resurrection of the just, when they would be raised and taken home to heaven.

Verse 39 says,

“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose NOTHING, but should raise IT up at the last day.

Please note that the words “nothing” and “it” refer to believers.

Here He was thinking not of individual believers but of the entire body of Christians who would be saved down through the years.

The Lord Jesus was responsible to see that not one member of the body would be lost but that the whole body would be raised up at the last day.

As far as Christians are concerned, the last day refers to the day when the Lord Jesus will come in the air, when the dead in Christ will rise first, when the living believers will be changed, and when all will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, to be forever with the Lord.

To the Jews, it meant the coming of the Messiah in glory.

The Lord now went on to explain how a person became a member of the family of the redeemed.

God’s will is that EVERYONE who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life.

To see the Son here means not to see Him with the physical eyes but rather with the eyes of faith.

One must see or recognize that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Then, too, he must believe on Him.

This means that by a definite act of faith, he must receive the Lord Jesus as his own personal Savior.

All who do this receive everlasting life as a present possession and also receive the assurance that they will be raised at the last day.

The people were quite unprepared to accept the Lord Jesus, and they showed this by murmuring against Him.

He had claimed to be the bread which came down from heaven.

They realized that this was a claim of great importance.

To come down from heaven, one could not be a mere man or even a great prophet.

And so they complained about Him because they were not willing to believe His words.

They assumed that Jesus was the son of Joseph.

Here, of course, they were wrong.

Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.

Joseph was not His father.

Rather, our Lord was conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Their failure to believe in the virgin birth led to their darkness and unbelief.

So it is today. Those who refuse to accept the Lord Jesus as the Son of God who came into the world through the womb of the virgin find themselves compelled to deny all the great truths concerning the Person and work of Christ.

Although they had not been speaking directly to Him, yet He knew what they were saying, and here Jesus told them not to murmur among themselves.

The following verses explain why their murmuring was useless and profitless.

The more the Jews rejected the testimony of the Lord Jesus, the more difficult His teachings became.

“Light rejected is light denied.”

The more they spurned the gospel, the harder it became for them to accept the gospel.

If the Lord told them simple things and they would not believe, then He would expound to them more difficult things and they would be thoroughly ignorant of what He was saying.

Man in himself is utterly hopeless and helpless.

He does not even have the strength to come to Jesus by himself.

Unless the Father first begins to work in his heart and life, he will never realize his terrible guilt and his need of a Savior.

Many people have difficulty with this verse.

They suppose that it teaches that a man may desire to be saved and yet might find it impossible.

This is not so. But the verse does teach in the strongest possible way that God is the One who first acted in our lives and sought to win us to Himself.

We have the choice of accepting the Lord Jesus or refusing Him.

But we never would have had the desire in the first place if God had not spoken to our hearts.

Again the Lord added the promise that He will raise every true believer up at the last day.

It is God, not people, who plays the most active role in salvation.

When someone chooses to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, he or she does so only in response to the urging of God’s Holy Spirit.

God does the urging; then we decide whether to listen and believe.

Thus, no one can believe in Jesus without God’s help (see 6:65).

Jesus, in verse 45, was alluding to an Old Testament view of the messianic Kingdom, in which all people are taught directly by God (Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 31:31-34).

He was stressing the importance of not merely hearing but learning.

We are taught by God through the Bible, our experiences, the thoughts the Holy Spirit brings, and relationships with other Christians.

Are you open to God’s teaching?

The religious leaders frequently asked Jesus to prove to them why He was better than the prophets of the past.

Here Jesus refers to the manna that God had given their ancestors in the wilderness during Moses’ time (see Exodus 16).

This bread was physical and temporal.

The people ate it, and it sustained them for a day.

But they had to get more bread every day, and this bread could not keep them from dying.

Jesus, who is much greater than Moses, offers Himself as the spiritual bread from heaven that satisfies completely and leads to eternal life.

As used here, believes means “continues to believe.”

We do not believe merely once; we keep on believing in and trusting Jesus, following Him as our Lord and Savior day by day.

How can Jesus give us Himself as bread to eat?

To eat living bread means to accept Christ into our lives and become united with Him.

We are united with Him in two ways:

(1) By believing in His death (the sacrifice of his body, or flesh) and resurrection and

(2) By devoting ourselves to living as He requires, depending on His teaching for guidance and trusting in the Holy Spirit for power.

This was a shocking message—to eat flesh and drink blood sounded cannibalistic.

The idea of drinking any blood, let alone human blood, was repugnant to the religious leaders because the law forbade it (Leviticus 17:10-11).

Jesus was not talking about literal blood, of course. He was saying that His life had to become their own, but they could not accept this concept.

He was predicting His death and what it would mean to all believers.

The Gospel writers and the apostle Paul used the body and blood imagery in teaching about the Lord’s Supper (see 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual life; without the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot even see our need for new life (14:17).

All spiritual renewal begins and ends with God.

He reveals truth to us, lives within us, and then enables us to respond to that truth.

Why did Jesus’ words cause many of His followers to desert him?

(1) They may have realized that Jesus wasn’t going to be the conquering Messiah-King they expected.

(2) Jesus refused to give in to their self-centered requests.

(3) Jesus emphasized faith, not deeds.

(4) Jesus’ teachings were difficult to understand, and some of His words were offensive.

As we grow in our faith, we may be tempted to turn away because Jesus’ lessons are difficult.

Will your response be to give up, ignore certain teachings, or reject Him?

Instead, ask God to show you what His teachings mean and how they apply to you.

Then persist with courage to act on God’s truth.

After many of Jesus’ followers had deserted Him, He asked the 12 disciples if they were also going to leave.

Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go?”

In his straightforward way, Peter answered for all of us—there is no other way.

Though there are many philosophies and self-styled authorities, Jesus alone has the words of eternal life.

People today want to go their own way or no way at all.

They look to their own imaginations, instincts, or some intangible wisdom inside them.

People look everywhere for eternal life and miss Jesus, the only source of it.

Stay with Him, especially when you are confused or feel alone.

Jesus offers no middle ground. When He asked the disciples if they would also leave, He was showing that they could either accept or reject Him.

Jesus was not trying to repel people with His teachings. He was simply telling the truth and giving them a choice.

The more the people heard Jesus’ real message, the more they divided into two camps—the honest seekers who wanted to understand more and those who rejected Jesus because they didn’t like what they had heard.

In response to Jesus’ message, some people left; others stayed and truly believed; and some, like Judas, stayed but tried to use Jesus for a personal agenda.

Many people today turn away from Jesus.

Others pretend to follow Him, going to church for status, the approval of family and friends, or business contacts.

But only two real responses to Jesus are available—you either accept Him or reject Him.

How have you responded?

The Bible calls us to abide in Christ…

When you abide somewhere, you live there.

You grow familiar with the surroundings.

You don’t pull in the driveway and ask, “Where is the garage?”

You don’t consult the blueprint to find the kitchen.

To abide is to be at home. To abide in Christ’s love is to make His love your home.

Not a roadside park or hotel room you occasionally visit, but your preferred dwelling.

You rest in Him. Eat in Him.

When thunder claps, you step beneath His roof. His walls secure you from the winds. His fireplace warms you from the winters of life.

As John explained, “He who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).
____

Come Thirsty

You abandon the old house of false love and move into His home of real love.

Adapting to this new home takes time.

First few nights in a new home you can wake up and walk into a wall. I did.

Not in a new home, but in a motel.

Climbed out of bed to get a glass of water, turned left, and flattened my nose.

The dimensions to the room were different.

The dimensions of God’s love are different too.

You’ve lived a life in a house of imperfect love.

You think God is going to cut you as the coach did, or abandon you as your father did, or judge you as false religion did, or curse you as your friend did.

He won’t, but it takes time to be convinced.

For that reason, abide in Him. Hang on to Christ the same way a branch clutches the vine.

According to Jesus, the branch models His definition of abiding.

“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4).

Does a branch ever release the vine?

Only at the risk of death.

Does the branch ever stop eating?

Nope. It receives nutrients twenty-four hours a day.

Would you say the branch is vine-dependent?

I would. If branches had seminars, the topic would be “Get a Grip: Secrets of Vine Grabbing.”

But branches don’t have seminars because attendance requires releasing the vine, something they refuse to do.

How well do you pass the vine test?

Do you ever release yourself from Christ’s love?

Go unnourished?

Do you ever stop drinking from His reservoir?

Do so at the certain risk of a parched heart. (From Come Thirsty by Max Lucado)

What is the source of your spiritual nourishment?

Movies, television, or music?

Do you need to change your diet so that Christ becomes the strongest force in your life?

You may do this by Bible reading, prayer, and by worship.

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
____

Come join the Adventure!

Skip 🕊️

Author: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL OF LIFE

This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

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