Ready or not, soon we will be immersed in Christmas scenes and memes, countdowns and shopping guides, and among them will be the exhortation to believe in the magic of Christmas. Every year, snowy backdrops and Santa hats inspire us with the single word: Believe…
John’s Gospel sets the word believe on center stage, especially when compared to his Gospel-writing colleagues. Mark uses the word thirteen times, Matthew nine times, and Luke only seven, while John uses the verb believe over ninety times in his Gospel. John 3:16 is likely the most familiar usage, but here’s another:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.”John 14:1
Here we see Jesus exhorting his disciples, in the face of some unsettling news about his departure, to let their behavior and emotions be impacted by their belief. Easier said than done for most of us descendants of Eve, and yet it’s clear that this is the heart of Jesus’s message: “Trust what I have done for you. Act as if it were true, because it is!”
This is the heart of Jesus’s message: “Trust what I have done for you. Act as if it were true, because it is!”Tweet
John sees to it that we have all the information we need to trust that Jesus is the Son of God, and he makes his purpose in writing and in choosing his material crystal clear:
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”John 20:31
So, tell me: How does what you believe about Jesus line up with your daily rhythms of life? Does your belief make a difference in your choice of words? Your emotional climate? Your use of time and resources? How can I pray for you along these lines today?
Thankful for “life in his name,”
On the Third Thursday of every month, I send biblical encouragement and newsy insights to newsletter subscribers. It’s not too late for you to grab October’s installment where I’m sharing snatches of Elisabeth Elliot’s wisdom I have paired with scenes of autumn beauty from here on my country hill. It’s a series of free images you can download and do with what you please. Click here to subscribe and be sure to spread the word if you know someone who would enjoy the free gift.
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