Can’t Or Won’t? – II

July 1, 2016

John 6:60, 66-69

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

Here again is John 6:60, 66-69:

      Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is an
      hard saying; who can understand it?”…From that time many of His dis-
      ciples went back and walked with Him no more.  Then Jesus said to the
      twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”  Then Simon Peter answered
      Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 
      Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son
      of the living God.”

Jesus had just told a large crowd of followers that He had come, not to feed them physical food!  He had just fed the five thousand (see John 6:1-14) – and they wanted more! (See John 6:26).  But He had come, as He said in John 6:55, to offer Himself – telling the crowd, “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

The vast majority of the Lord’s followers “…went back and walked with Him no more…[mumbling] ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (John 6:66, 60).  But the twelve disciples stuck with Him, and told Him in John 6:68 and 69, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  Also we have come to believe… that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

As was said in the last blog, it was not that the majority could not follow Jesus all the way, it was that they would not!  And today – in the matter that so many who name the name of Christ yet don’t follow and obey Him as Lord – it is not that we Can’t follow Him in complete obedience, but that we Won’t!

In the last blog, we looked at the issue of what we are told we should do concerning the Bible:  Read it, study it, meditate and delight in it, memorize it, think about it, write it down, talk about it, and teach it to your children! (See Isaiah 34:16; II Timothy 2:15; Psalm 1:1, 2; Deuteronomy 11:18-20). Let’s procede:

•      Prayer (emphasis by underlining, mine):

      ✞      Luke 18:1 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible) – “…it is always right to pray, and not to faint….”  Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:17, “…pray without ceasing….”  Most scholars agree, not that we should constantly be in conscious prayer, but that we should always be in an attitude of prayer!

      ✞      Ephesians 5:20; I Thessalonians 5:18 – “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ….In everything give thanks….”  We are to offer prayers of thanksgiving both in everything and for all things, knowing that the Lord is working…all things…together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 – see verse 29 where Paul defines His purpose).

       ✞      Psalm 100:4 – “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”  Praise should always be a part of our prayer life!

       ✞      Philippians 4:6 (Contemporary English Version) – “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything.  With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.

      ✞      I John 5:14, 15 – “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

There are many more Scriptures that help us to understand what we are to be doing about prayer!  These five above are a good start to understand the subject.  But remember – and it applies to prayer as it applies to getting into the Biblewe are commanded to do it!  If we don’t, it is not that we Can’t, it is that we Won’t!

There are still some things to examine in this Can’t Or Won’t! series.  But we will take a one-day break for Independence Day – July 4th.  On that day I will offer a blog called Might!

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