I’ve been going through again the 7th chapter of Luke where it talks about the Baptizer being in jail and beginning to question his beliefs regarding whether Jesus was indeed the Messiah. So he sent two guys to Jesus to ask him about it.
When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’ ”
During that time Jesus had cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he answered the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor (Luke 7:20-22)
As I’ve said before, I’ve been reading Beth Moore’s book, JESUS: 90 Days With The One and Only and I love her insights and comments. and in a previous post I talked about something she said regarding the challenges we face when we can work through our doubts and not let them imprison us like John’s were threatening to imprison him. Christ said, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
That’s actually pretty cool. The word used there is makarios. According to Spiros Zodhiates, in his book, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible it means, “Biblically, one is pronounced blessed when God is present and involved in his life. The Hand of God is at work directing all his affairs for a divine purpose, and thus, in a sense, such a person lives coram Deo, before the face of God.” The Amplified Version adds, “happy–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from outward conditions. Cool! Luke 23 just told us that applies to anyone who doesn’t fall away on account of Jesus.
So what does “falling away” mean? Well, the Greek word, skandalon, means “a cause of stumbling.” Put those two definitions together Luke 7:23 says, “The Hand of God is at work directing divine purpose, or blessing, in all the affairs of the one who doesn’t let the perceived activity or inactivity of Christ trap him or make him stumble.” It’s a mouthful, but chew on it awhile!
I don’t think that verse is talking about falling away from Christ. It’s talking about falling over a stumbling block into a trap–a trap over a matter of faith. It’s when you start doubting the goodness, rightness or mightiness of Christ.
If you are stumbling right now, I want you to consider several passages that promise you that He does hear your prayers and will answer them.
Reading these will build your confidence and your faith to believe. Let’s go through several:
I am ready to perform My Word (Jeremiah 1:12). Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24). Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive (Matthew 21:22). Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things . . . (Jeremiah 33:3).
If you ask anything in my name, I will do it (John 14:14). Whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you (John 16:23)
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you . . . (Job 22:27)
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (I John 5:14)
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (I John 5:15). And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:13)
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11)
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you (John 15:7)
Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18)
Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven (Matthew 18:19)
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you (John 15:16). Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you (Jeremiah 29:12)
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are speaking I will hear (Isaiah 65:24). He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him (Psalm 91:15)
I pray that the Lord will continue to equip us to live in a way worthy of His Gospel–standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side-by-side for the faith, and not to be frightened in any way by our opponents. Because we have been given the privilege for Christ’s sake not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him (Philippians 1:27-29)
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