If I am not doing the works… then do not believe me…  John 10:31-42  What would the Olympics be without some controversy? The Russian skater performs a slightly more technical program but flawed. The South Korean skater performs a slightly less technical program but is perfect. Although judging in figure skating has gone through some changes over the years, there are still times when disparities occur and judging is unclear to the viewer. As viewers we see the works. Our eyes see perfection and we think surely that person belongs on top. We see imperfection and nothing else the person does seems to matter. Though we are held accountable for wrongdoing, the human factor in judging is what makes the difference. Praise God that from a spiritual perspective, God’s relationship with us is not held by human factors! Thank God that we are judged by our heart, the faith within and the love we express for God and one another. These are the works we must continually put forth with confidence knowing that God sees past not only the imperfection but the mistakes and shortcomings as well, even when no one else can. Eventually we learn to focus on the works pleasing to God rather than the works that please other people.

But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works…

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Discerning The Challenge

The good news about John’s message is that it prevails today and no testing, has overtaken us that is not common to everyone (1 Corinthians 10:13). However, our repentance during that test is the work of God’s grace and mercy manifesting in our lives. It also enables the process of discerning the physical from the spiritual. Herod could have acknowledged and repented to what he had done as wrong according to Jewish law, if in fact he was committed to it. Historically we know that he was not (Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews). By his actions, Herod was committed to himself. While there are times when we should be committed to our selves, for example our health, a Herod’s dilemma, isn’t one of those times. When we are committed only to ourselves we often have a tendency to believe that the laws or rules therein do not apply to us, we make our own rule for life and go our own way. John’s message is given that we may prepare our selves to be committed to the Spirit of God so that when the challenge of our commitment is tested, our response will honor God (from the heart) and not our selves (according to other peoples’ perceptions). History tells us that this is not always an easy thing to do and if we continue to look through the eyes of others we only see what other people see and respond the way other people respond. When we learn to look through the eyes of Christ we begin to see what God sees and learn to respond through Christ.

Ephesians 1:3,7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,