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John 6

28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." NIV

The people ask him what works (plural) they can do.

"Those who questioned Jesus seemed sure that if only Jesus told them what to do, they could please God by their works of God. For these people, as with many people today, salvation is found in the right formula for performing works that will please God."
http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/4306.htm

Jesus corrects them. Jesus' name means "Jehovah is salvation". Salvation is God's work. In this regard, there are no works (plural) for the people to perform only the work (singular) of God. Believe in the one He sent - believe what He says, believe why He is there, believe IN Him. Have faith!

[Note: Greek in text is erga (works) and ergon (work).]

Having faith does not mean one gets a free ticket to do what one wants - faith leads to a transformation of our lives.

"We become by faith, his brethren, his servants, his soldiers, his subjects, and the children of his Father in heaven. This faith is obviously no merely peripheral interest of one’s life. If you have it, it controls you! Our entire lives, therefore, are redefined, redirected, indeed, recreated, because we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he came into the world to save sinners, and that those who trust in him will live forever."
http://www.faithtacoma.org/sermons/John/John20.6.25-40.July9.00.htm

Once you have faith and are saved, then your life changes, so that we can carry out God's works.

Eph 2:10
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Family is not at all a personal issue.Samuel by not restraining his sons gave Israel an excuse to seek for a king.God's reign was a lot better than any King's,he provided for them,protected them and Israel became famous for it's conquests because of God.Yet in their desire to be like the world,they didn't care what the costs were.There's a saying that goes"the world's becoming churchy and the church worldly".Many christians today seek other means other than the word as their standard.Not wanting to stand out they lower their standards without counting the costs to be like everyone else.Though the cry for revival is everywhere,many refuse to see that we need to be consecrated,different from the world to truly be light.
Saul shows great concern for his father;as days pass he worries that his father may forget about the donkeys and worry about his safety,he is ready to give the last thing they have left (a quater of a shekel of silver)to find out what happened to his father's property...pretty good qualities.When he is told by Samuel that he's chosen to be King,he thinks he isn't worthy even though his father was said to be"a man of standing".Saul was seemed to be a godly man before his coronation.
The crowd,the jews were not looking to know the will of God but what they could get from a man that does miracles.They attributed the manna in the desert to Moses,not God and now they wanted signs from Jesus probably for their gain....they didn't want to hear his teaching.Did they really want "this bread"as they put it or did they just say what they thought Jesus needed to hear to begin his miracles.I think it's good to always keep in mind that God knows our hearts,maybe better than we do.Sometimes a revelation of out true state of heart is what we need to be asking for...
God bless you all.

"I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst." AMEN!!!

Yes, Lord, I BELIEVE!!!

1 Samuel 8:1-9:27

In e-mailing Anka several days ago, we both have the same philosophy, or belief, that God has a sense of humor and I believe, in these two chapters, God is showing His humor toward us. However, this humor here is not the funny Ha, Ha, humor but the funny ironic kind.

Israel is desiring a king because of there disunity, because they want to be like the other nations, because they want a central government, they want someone to uphold the laws. Funny thing if one is following the Laws of God, one wouldn’t need to have someone enforce the laws. Laws are written for those that break the law not for those who uphold the law in their hearts. If one’s heart is right then one’s actions are right.

Because I have read the Book of Samuel multiple times, I know how the story ends but I want everyone to consider Saul’s name, it’s meaning in Hebrew:

שׁאוּל
shâ'ûl
shaw-ool'
Passive participle of H7592; asked;

And the root word the name Saul was taken from:

shaw-al', shaw-ale'
A primitive root; to inquire; by implication to request; by extension to demand:

Israel was about to get that what she demanded. Be careful what you ask for you might get it. And when you accept the cost without.

The story of Saul and some other passages in the Bible have led me to conclude, outside of God and His Christ; we get the leadership we deserve.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

P.S. Anka--Great insight!

As Saul was talking about himself today being from the tribe of Benjamin, I remembered that the Apostle Paul was also from the tribe of Benjamin (Phil 3:5). Saul of the OT, like Saul of Tarsus, was not looking for God when the Spirit of God found him in an incredible life-altering way. Interesting parallel.

it's funny the details we find in the bible. for instance, why are we told how handsome saul is, but nothing about why samuels sons are so corrupt or who their mother is.
i'm really enjoying the old testament reading but would really love to have more commentary. i've been saturated in the new testament but am lacking in my knowledge and understanding of the old, which effects my grasp of christ and the new test regardless of how much i've been exposed to it. if anyone could recommend a good old test commentary for me i'd really appreciate it.
thanks,
mich

John 6 (NKJV)
34
Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

~~~
NOTE:
This is the key point of all knowledge and learning of the Scriptures. Do we know and have intimacy with the Lord Jesus?

Notice what Jesus said, “…He who comes to Me shall never hunger.”

We always have needs and we always hunger for more. That is why Jesus also said in Matthew 5 (NKJV):
6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

I am to be always and constantly seeking and receiving so all of who I am is truly washed with the water of grace and filled with Christ.

May Christ truly be seen and manifest in and through our lives.

~~
We can only walk in the love of God as Jesus lives His Life through us. When people hear God’s Word in and see the Presence of Jesus in us, then many hearts will come and receive from the Water of Life.

~~~
Psalm 106 (NKJV)
39
Thus they were defiled by their own works, And played the harlot by their own deeds.

NOTE:
Either Christ is our life and sustenance or something or someone else will be. Jesus is Lord and God is the Most High.

Yet
—it still amazes me when I think about it—
my choices can determine whether I have life or death, blessing or curse.

May I enter more and more and drink deeply from the Presence of the Lord. Then I will be protected from being defiled. Then and only then will I have the pure heart that only comes from grace.

Vance

Mich,
Bob Deffinbaugh is a pretty good commentator on the OT...there are many others on www.bible.org.

anka,
thanks for the response. i've been following all the commentary links (most of them bible.orgs), but i guess i'm commentary greedy and want even more. i get much from bob d. but would love to have a verse by verse analysis with a heavy historical/contextual background.
mich

Mich - the Zondervan NIV Study Bible is incredible. Great verse by verse analysis, and pretty good on the historical context w/ maps, etc. It's online here - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0310929555/

I try to review this study Bible before posting up, but don't always get the chance. It adds a lot to my posts when I actually do. :)

Mike

More Thoughts on Today's Readings:

One of the common thread in both of today’s reading, Old and New is seen in I Samuel 9:20 and Jesus’ words to the crowd looking for bread and fish, John 6:26.

Don't be concerned about the donkeys that you lost three days ago, for they have been found. Whom does all Israel desire? Is it not you, and all your father's family?"
(1 Samuel 9:20 NET.)

AND

Jesus replied, "I tell you the solemn truth, you are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate all the loaves of bread you wanted. (John 6:26 NET.)

Saul was the answer to the hope and dreams of Israel, but was Israel operating out of God’s desire? Just because you have a lot of people desiring you, calling for you doesn’t mean that your fulfilling their hopes and desires they way they want you to is your true purpose. Just because you have the crowd carrying you along doesn’t mean the crowd will take you where you want to go, should go. Good isn’t good unless it’s righteous.

Jesus came to this earth to feed those that were spiritually starving and He knew His purpose. He wasn’t waylaid by the desires of the crowd. They wanted to be fed so their stomachs were full; Jesus wanted their spirits feed, that was the assignment his father gave Him and that was what He purposed in His heart to do.

Our God given assignments should never be diverted and perverted by the voices of the crowd.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

John 6:37

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."

Something to keep in mind as we delve furhter into the New Testament.

Also, in this chapter Jesus establishes himself as greater than Moses. Keep this in mind for chapters 8 and 10.

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