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Thoughts for the Week -- April 5-11, 1999

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  • Mark Roth
    ====================================================== The Risen Lord with His Disciples (John 20:19-29) Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Do you
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 5 7:48 AM
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      The Risen Lord with His Disciples
      (John 20:19-29)

      Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Do you accept the truth of
      the Resurrection as unchallengeable fact? Then Jesus was talking about you
      when He told Thomas, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have
      believed"! Do you feel blessed?

      I suspect that most people who answer that question answer it in the
      negative. And maybe you are one of those. I am. Most of the time, I do not
      *feel* blessed. In fact, as I sit here and poke at this keyboard, I am
      stumped by this question: What does it feel like to feel blessed?
      Thankfully, blessedness is an issue of fact primarily...perhaps even
      mostly. And the fact remains that those who believe by faith enjoy
      strength, confidence, stability and assurance.

      I believe we can understand this truth easily enough as we consider our
      relationship to Jesus and our belief in Him. But I wonder if this same
      principle can benefit our relationships with other people.

      Obviously there are many aspects of our interpersonal relationships where
      believing without visible evidence is unwise. For example, do not believe
      everything you hear about people and situations. However, wouldn't our
      relationships be strengthened if in other cases we would choose belief
      without evidence?

      No doubt we have all experienced something like the following. A certain
      person does or says something which strikes us clear wrong. Let's just say
      So-n-So stands up during testimony time and in the midst of the ensuing
      words appears this comment: "I want to be a good example of the believer
      the way the Bible enjoins us." Then may come these thoughts (either
      directly into your head or indirectly via another's tongue): "Hmm. Wants to
      show us the way, uh? Wants us to follow, eh? I wonder if (s)he ever
      considered what the Bible says about thinking of yourself too highly!" Or
      perhaps someone does something which so obviously seems intended to slight
      you or put you down.

      What will you do in either of such cases?

      You could choose to believe the best and just not worry about the matter.
      On the other hand, you could be bothered enough that you go to talk with
      the individual. And you actually tell So-n-So what you think he or she
      meant with the action or words. What will you do if the accused proclaims

      We need to encourage ourselves to believe people even when we think we have
      figured out what they really meant. Give them the benefit of the doubt. We
      must somehow get ourselves beyond the arrogance of thinking we have an
      inside line on what people think and what motivates them. This, I believe,
      is one aspect of the power of the Resurrection in the life of the Redeemed.

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      Mark Roth


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