Jesus, if you’re real…

Jesus BillboardWhat do you pray for? Healing? A better job? Any job? A better marriage? For your kids’ safety? Chances are you pray for a whole litany of things. And the more dire things are, the more fervently you pray. Even if you don’t go to church or believe all that “Bible stuff” you still pray. Everyone prays. Everyone cries out to something when life goes wrong. Even the atheist prays when his plane is about to crash. I don’t care particularly to whom you pray, my point is that you do indeed pray. Most of us pray to the god called “Fate”. We say to Fate, “I’m good; I’ve tried to do my best. Would you please give me a break and cut me some slack!?” Even if you call it wishful thinking, you’re desperately hoping that someone or something will grant your wish. That’s praying. After all, the word “pray” simply means to petition, to ask.

But I would go further and say that even if you don’t believe all that “Bible stuff” or go to church or even consider yourself a Christian, still you pray to the Man who changed water into wine. You seek Him out in your prayers. You don’t have to admit it to me or to anyone else. I don’t know who you are. But you know that when the proverbial poop has hit the fan and you’ve hit your knees because the weight of  the world has come crashing down on you, whether you’ve just got a gut-wrenching phone call or have come from a heart-rending doctor’s visit, when all the chips are down and you’ve nothing left to hang on to, you pray to the Son of Mary. “Jesus, if you’re real…!”

You can fill in the blank. You’ve prayed it before. Probably many times. Even if you call yourself “Christian” you’ve prayed it. Even if you think the Bible is a load of crap, you’ve hoped against hope that maybe, just maybe, if even a smidgen of it is true, He’ll have compassion on you and heal you or your loved one or even bring them back from the dead. In your desperation you have sought the Son of God.

How beautiful, then, that He promises that whoever seeks finds and whoever asks receives and to whomever knocks the door is opened! Oh, I know, your wish list wasn’t granted. Mine either. (You think pastors don’t have wishful prayers?) But you have sought the Lord! You have sought the Lord and the Lord has made Himself known to you. How else do you explain your grandmother’s insistence that you go to the Lord’s gathering on Sunday? How else do you explain those bothersome Christian friends of yours that are always trying to get you to come to church with them? How else do you explain your reading this article? How else do explain you knowing about the gospel of the Lord Jesus, that He has reconciled you to God by His blood and will raise you from the dead. How else do you explain it except that as infrequently and spottily as you have sought Him, He has diligently and without rest sought you!

Which reminds me, all those sicknesses you’ve asked to be healed of, all those deaths you’ve asked to be undone; they’re answered. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Your cancer is healed in His flesh. Your back pain and debilitating disease is healed in His risen flesh. Not right now, you object? No evidence, you say? If that’s your argument then don’t go to the doctor for chemo because it takes a while to work and you won’t be healed immediately and not everyone is healed by it. If that’s your argument then don’t get a job because it takes a couple of weeks to get a paycheck and your money problems won’t magically disappear. You wait for stuff all the time, even impatiently, but you still wait. So we wait now, with baited breath we wait upon the Lord, eagerly anticipating the revealing of the sons of God. We wait for the Man of heaven to raise the dead and give life to those who call upon His name. And those who wait upon the Lord renew their strength so that they run and do not grow weary; they walk and do not faint; they mount up with wings like eagles. For all who call upon His name shall be made whole – that is, their prayers shall be answered – in Jesus’ name. See you at the Lord’s gathering on Sunday.

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One Response

  1. Excellent, Mark.

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