I didn’t check to verify this, but I’ve been told that Ronald Reagan once said the nine scariest words that can come out of a man’s mouth are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
Humorous statement from the president that reflects a bit of truth about the way our government works. Jesus once spoke a nine-word sentence that troubles me at times. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, NASB).
Lord, You demonstrated Your love for us by dying in our stead. Help us demonstrate our love for You by keeping Your commandments.
Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. (John 12:42-43)
The words in bold above are thirteen of the most haunting words of Scripture, in my opinion. These men refused to do what they knew was right because they wanted to maintain high status at their local congregation. Sometimes we ourselves are tempted to allow worldly values to corrupt the purity of the gospel; other times we fail to defend the bride of Christ when people slander her; still other times we fail to speak up in the name of Jesus when we know what we ought to say. This we do because we are ashamed. We put stock in the opinions of other people, and we are afraid we will lose rank in their eyes if we express our faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we do not confess what we know to be the truth. God have mercy upon us!
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
God, help those of us with genuine faith in Jesus Christ to find ways as often as possible to share the gospel, defend the Lord’s church, and resist the devil’s attempts to water down her doctrine with ungodly cultural values. We care not what man thinks of us–only You, our God.
In John 9, Jesus heals a blind man on the Sabbath Day. Since he had been blind since birth, what a joyous, life-changing moment this must have been, right? But unfortunately, one of the first things his newly functioning eyes witnessed was Pharisees descending upon him like hounds on a trapped coon. They had an agenda and the man and his parents knew it, so they felt like they were walking on thin ice answering their questions. To them, this wonderful gift of sight from Jesus may have appeared to be a curse at first. Typical of life–when you obtain something worth rejoicing about, there’s somebody there trying to drain all the joy out of it for you.
About the 4th time they came to him asking him what happened, they began basically by trying to bully him into calling Jesus a sinner. His response is one of my favorite verses. It was profound in its simplicity: “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” He didn’t yet know that Jesus was the Messiah; he hadn’t been told much about Jesus at all, and he didn’t go trying to fabricate an answer. He just told them what he knew, which was enough for both parties to make a choice. Might we learn from this that we don’t have to be experts before we tell people about Jesus.
Lord, thank You for providing the account of Jesus and this blind man. Grant us the integrity to admit what we don’t know, the courage to speak what we do, and the wisdom to let the truth guide our thoughts, words, and actions.