Don't Abandon Your Faith
20 October 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 16:1-4
1 “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. 2 For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. 3 This is because they have never known the Father or me. 4 Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer. (John 16:1-4 NLT)
For the past two weeks we’ve been working our way through John chapters 14 and 15. Jesus has been telling his friends a lot of things that he hadn’t addressed earlier, because then, he was going to be with them for a while longer, and now he’s going to leave them. What they do with everything they’ve heard, seen, learned, and experienced during their three-plus years following Jesus along the dusty roads of Palestine, preaching the Good News in the villages of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, seeing miracles of multiplying food, calming storms, healing the sick, lame, and blind, and even raising the dead—what they do in the days and years after he leaves will all soon be put to the test!
The plan is that they will recover from their shock and grief and loss at his death; have their faith re-kindled by the power of his resurrection; be filled, empowered, and guided by the Holy Spirit; and take the same Good News that Jesus proclaimed in tiny Palestine to the very ends of the earth. And also that their faith will be multiplied by the Holy Spirit and be passed on to another generation, then another, and another, and still be going strong in October of 2018!
But they would be persecuted, expelled from the Jewish synagogues, driven from town to town, beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and killed for their faith in Jesus and his message of God’s love. And if they quit, there was no “Plan B!”
Here’s the good news about the Good News, friends! They didn’t abandon their faith when things got bad, even really, really bad. And the Jesus followers of every generation since didn’t abandon their faith. And by the grace of our Good God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we won’t abandon our faith either! Friends, our faith in Jesus is the most precious thing we have! Hang on!
Father, Please may we keep a firm grip on our most precious faith! For Jesus’ sake!