Why Be Joyous : Conclusion
- Thursday, July 03, 2003
Jesus...our Lord and Savior, our Brother and Bridegroom. He is the One we anticipate returning for us, sweeping us away in a whirlwind of love and-dare I say it-joy! We have never laid physical eyes on Him, but we hold Him-like a mother her unborn child-close inside, tucked in and under and around our hearts.
The word Peter uses for love is agapao, which is the type of love we have for "persons," but goes even deeper to mean: to love dearly and is used to define a love we have for our "beloved."
Say, His name. Say it in Greek (Jesus), say it in Hebrew (Yeshua), but say it! Shout it, whisper it, allow yourself to weep as you repeat it over and over and over again.
Sweet, sweet Jesus. We love you.
...You Believe in Him
I love old movies. Just the other day I was watching Charade with Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, and Walter Matthew. In one of the movie's most tense scenes, Audrey Hepburn holds a stamp in her possession worth the USPS in money. Walter Matthau stands to her right, pistol pointed toward her, ordering her to "bring the stamp to me, Mrs. Lampbert."
"Don't listen to him, Regina," Cary Grant's character (Peter Joshua) calls from behind a mammoth column, gun poised and ready to shoot the sinister Hamilton Bartholomew (Matthau). "Believe me. Once he gets the stamp he will kill you."
Bartholomew returns, "No, Mrs. Lampbert. Believe me!"
Who's a girl to believe? Which one is telling the truth? The next lines come from Grant and Matthau, telling her all the reasons she should believe what they are saying respectively. But, who will ultimately persuade her to belief? And what word or action is it that causes her to finally know that Peter Joshua (what an ironic name) is the good guy?
What does it mean to believe?
Peter's word here (pisteuo) means "to think to be true, to be persuaded of...to place confidence in."
Why Do You Believe?
Further study into the word "believe," reveals the following definition: to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith.
Why do you believe? Why do you believe that there is a God who created the heavens and the earth, who desires to be in relationship with His children, who sent His Son to die in order to enable that relationship? Why do you believe the man called Yeshua, born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, raised in Nazareth, carpenter turned rabbi, crucified by Roman execution, buried in a borrowed tomb and then resurrected to life three days later as He promised is the long awaited Messiah?
Because your parents do? Because you grew up hearing the stories all your life and never once thought to question it? Because you live in America, the country settled by Christian men and women looking for freedom to worship God without restraint, as they choose rather than as dictated by government? Why?
And if I tell you why I believe, will it mean the same to you as it does to me?
The Results of Belief
Peter gives us the results of belief. Peter? you say. Well of course Peter believed! He saw the miracles...witnesses the resurrected Christ...was called to ministry by the Messiah Himself, even being told, "Upon [his profession of faith] I will build my church."
But don't forget the dynamics of our dear friend, Impetuous Pete. Yet, nowhere in Scripture are we told that Jesus had to convince Peter to follow Him. He simply said, "Follow me," and Peter left everything behind to do so. Though Peter eventually sank into the Sea of Galilee after walking across its waters, he at least had enough faith in Whom he was walking toward to get out of the boat. When Jesus asked, "Who am I?" it was Peter who said, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God."
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