…"But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!" 2Tim. 2:9
In the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 16 and verse thirteen, Jesus asked His disciples; ” Who do men say that I am?”
We all have a belief system. All of us believe in something. We may have gotten a little bit from here or a little bit from that friend, but what ever it is we have a system of things we believe in and they shape all the decisions that we make. It doesn’t matter what it is, it shapes who you are and what you do.
Do you believe in God or you don’t believe in God? What kind of God do you believe in? Is He a big God? What can He do and what can He not do? Your view of God and what kind of God you see or don’t see will shape who you are and what kind of life you live. That view of God was probably influenced by your parents, how you were raised, and what kind of home you were raised in.
I was raised in a home were we went to church every week. My mom and dad lived every other day of the week the way they wanted to, but when Sunday came around, we were ready to get our “Sunday go to meeting clothes” on, and off to praise and worship the Lord. I learned at an early age, that God wanted us on Sunday, and the rest of the week was ours.
I thought God was a big guy up in the heavens some where and He was ready to bring the hammer down on me whenever I stepped out of bounds. That was my view of God and my life showed it in a very big way.
Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” He had been teaching them for awhile. People had been hearing what He was saying. They saw the healing’s that He had performed. The blind were given sight. The lame were walking. People with demon spirits were being set free. The dead were given life again. His teaching was different then anyone else that they heard. It was time to ask the question.
Jesus had given a full account of who He was and what He mission on earth was all about. He did it by what He taught and what He said, and He proved it by the miracles and even the winds and the waves obeyed His voice. Some said He was Elijah and some said He was one of the prophets, that has come back to life. Now He asked the question to His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter, who was the spokesperson for the group said, “You are the Christ, (or messiah) son of the Living God.” Peter basically said, you are the one we have been waiting for. Our Messiah given, to save us from our sin. Given to us from the “Living” God. God is not dead.
Whatever has shaped your view of who God, or what you think of Him, or maybe you don’t believe He even exists. That question Jesus asked His disciples thousands of years ago, He asks you today.
Who do you say that I am? Your answer to this question will shape the rest of your life. It will definitely alter your belief system, no matter what it is.
Don’t be molded into what everybody else says or what they believe. Check it out for yourself. Read God’s autobiography, the Bible. Find out what He says about Himself and then you decide. It’s the only way you will ever really know.
I remember when my boys were small, and I would stand in the pool and hold my arms out, while they were standing on the side, and I would say, “jump”. They would reluctantly look at me, and hesitate….think for awhile and move closer to the edge. I often thought, “what was really going on in those little minds? Did they really think that their Father would let them fall in the water and drown? Don’t they trust me?”
I’ve often thought about that when I face a new challenge or crisis in my own life. What must my heavenly Father think about me? He knows what I’m really thinking about. He knows if I truly trust Him all the way or if I am a little hesitant. Do I step a little closer to Him and than turn back and go my own way?
I think of the verse in the book of Job. After Job had been through some real rough times, Job said of God, ” He knows the way that I take, after He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) God knows where you are today my friend. He knows what you are going through and He is right there at your side as you go through it. “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5) Remember, He will not permit you to go through more than you can handle. (1Cor. 10:13)
Who do you trust? How is trust built? I remember J. Vernon McGee telling the story of a bridge that was being built in the small town where he lived. After the bridge was completed, the engineers drove huge trucks and heavy equipment across the bridge, and someone asked why they did that? Did they think it might collapse? They said absolutely not. They were proving that it wouldn’t.
Jesus asked His disciples, ” Who do men say that I am? They answered, some say you are Elijah and some say John the baptist. He asked them, Who do you say that I am, and Peter stood and answered, You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” (Mark 8:27-29)
It was from the experience of knowing and living and walking with Jesus, that Peter could say, ” You are the Christ the son of the living God.” They could not say that at the beginning.
You and I must also walk and live and commune with the living God on a daily basis. Learning and knowing more and more through the experiences we face with Him, will enable us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is the Christ, the son of the living God.
He takes us through trials and testings so that we might know, not believe, but know that He is there and that He loves us and will always take us through. We learn this from our trials and difficulties in this life.
Read (Colossians 1:9-12). The word that is used for knowledge in verse 9 means to know something from experience. Knowledge that comes from a deep intimate relationship. When you and I can gain that kind of a trust and bond with our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, we will learn trust and faith in Him because we’ve tested the bridge, and it holds us up.
How about today? God is holding out His arms to you, and He’s saying, ” come on and jump. I’ll catch you. I won’t let nothing happen to you.” Where are you? Are you standing around the edge deciding if you should go or are you going the other way? Do you trust Him? Do you really believe what He says?
Peter said at the end of his life, ” But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. (2Peter 3:18) Peter could say this from experience. He knew.
May God bless you.