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March 13, 2014

Motives

“Jesus replied, ‘The truth of the matter is that you want to be with Me because I fed you, not because you believe in Me.’”

John 6:26 (LB)

Do you follow Christ for the benefits or because you believe in Him? Sins forgiven, a clear conscience and a home in heaven appeal to our own sense of self-preservation. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it falls short of what Jesus was really seeking when He came to save that which was lost. His mission was to restore our relationship with God. “I am the way…No one can come to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus seeks a commitment from us that is far deeper than a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude. In the first part of John 6, the Gospel writer tells us, A huge crowd kept following Him wherever He went, because they saw His miraculous signs as He healed the sick.” (Vs. 2-3 NLT) By verse 26, they had all been fed with Christ’s miraculous feeding of the 5,000.  Who doesn’t enjoy a free meal and a show? Jesus knew their hearts. Even though they crossed to the other side of the lake to find Christ the next day, He spoke to the real motive in their hearts. “The truth of the matter is that you want to be with Me because I fed you, not because you believe in Me.” (Vs. 26) One person explained it like this, “As you follow our Lord’s ministry in John’s Gospel, you see Him moving gradually out of the bright light of popularity and into the dark shadows of rejection. At the beginning, it was easy for people to follow the crowd and watch His miracles. But then His words began to penetrate hearts with conviction following; and conviction leads either to conversion or opposition…People who want His works but not His Word can never share His life.” Like them, miracles attract us. What reasonable person wouldn’t want eternal life and sins forgiven? But how many are willing to seek the Giver alone? Faith in Jesus goes deeper.

Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word;
Once His gift I wanted,
Now, the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.