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The Dilemma

Dear Friends,

For the past few weeks I’ve been reading through the gospels as part of my morning devotions. It’s always fascinating to me to see how Jesus never really seemed to deal with any two people in exactly the same way. Instead, He approached each person in a way that would allow Him to meet their unique needs. But it’s also interesting that, while He was actively meeting the needs of some folks, there were other folks He seemed to move right past. This ability for Him to discern who to help has always been something I’ve wondered about, because when I'm surrounded by folks who all seem to have great needs, it's hard for me to know what to do. However, as I thought about all of that after my reading this morning, I was reminded that Jesus was able to navigate this dilemma of who to help, because He can see what we cannot.

Here's what I mean: in John 2:23, we find Jesus in Jerusalem for the Passover, where many of the folks believed in Him because they saw the miracles He did. But the John passage goes on to say that, “Jesus didn’t trust them, because He knew human nature. No one needed to tell Him what mankind is really like." (vs. 24-25) So these people were all excited, and believed Jesus was the Messiah after they saw His miracles - but Jesus didn't trust them. And the reason He didn't trust them is because He knew what "mankind was really like". In other words, He knew their hearts. So Jesus knew that these folks weren't truly seeking Him - and they weren't truly interested in following Him - they were just wowed by the miracles He had done.

On the other hand, there are all sorts of stories in the gospels about folks who were truly seeking Christ, and who truly needed His help. I'm thinking of people like Bartimaeus, the blind man who sat on the side of the road, crying out for help. Or the woman whose daughter was sick, and she came to Jesus for healing. Or the leper who came to Him, looking for His touch. All of these folks were people who were seriously seeking Jesus' intervention in their lives, and He could see their true hearts, and so He responded. And He did so because He can see what we cannot - He can see our hearts. And when our hearts are genuinely seeking Him, He will be found by us. Jeremiah 29:13 sums it up beautifully by saying, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

As I pondered all of this today, the Lord impressed upon me the fact that I need to make sure that I'm not just going through the motions in my walk with Him, but instead, that my heart is truly seeking Him. It's so easy for us to get caught up in the routine of life, and of our faith, and to only get excited about God when we see "big" things happening. But when we only get excited about the "miracles" God does, instead of seeking Him in the big and small of everyday life, our hearts gradually become cold and distant. And that's not a good place to be.

So today, join me in praying that we will each sincerely seek God – not just for what He can do, but for who He is. Let's ask Him to give us a passion that seeps into the very core of our beings, and directs our every step. Let's cry out to Him as those who are truly in need of a Savior.



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