"And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me. Ye (The Jews Jesus was speaking to) have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape. And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believed not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life. I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not His writings, how shall ye believe my words?" John 5:37-47
Jesus makes it clear on more than one occasion that if you believe in the Father, you will believe in the Son. The reason that you will believe in the Son is that the Father testifies of the Son and His word is sure. If you believe the Old Testament scriptures then you surely will believe in the Son because Jesus says it is so. You do not have the Father if you do not have the Son, because God the Father spoke it and it is so. These Jews thought they believed in the Father, because they believed in the religious system that was based around the Father, but Jesus was speaking to their heart, not their mental ascent. Jesus could see that they indeed had much religion, with its rules and regulations, ordinances and trappings, but the spirit of the law was void and empty.
They even claimed to trust Moses, they just didn't trust what Moses said. It's easy to get trapped into thinking that going to church or listening to your favorite preacher is the same as listening to and communing with God. Of course there is nothing wrong with listening to your favorite preacher or going to church, but neither is a substitute for personal relationship. If your pastor is doing his job, he is directing you to get to know Jesus better. He is discussing the importance of a personal relationship with God. He is giving you the tools and teaching you how to use them, but you will have to do the digging yourself if you are to uncover the gems of truth from God. It has always been that way and it will always be that way.
Lazy Christians want someone else to do their bidding for them. They want someone else to gather the information, distribute the information, process the information and then send them a check in the mail (so to speak). Lazy Christians want the pastor to do all the work while they receive all the harvest and they want the pastor to do it for nothing. Lazy Christians make up the majority of church boards, so they make lazy Christian rules and lazy Christian programs. What's the point? Lazy Christians are teaching lazy Christians how to be lazy Christians. It was the same in Jesus' time. Jesus was hard on the Jewish leadership because they had fallen away from a relationship driven life/lifestyle like that of David or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and fallen prey to a legalistic, rule oriented, dogma driven relationship clouded by men who would go to extreme measures to keep you from a personal relationship with God, because they made their money off of the ignorance of the people. If they had taught the people to have a personal relationship with God and that was the only kind acceptable to God, they would not have been able to take so much for offering so little.
I hope you read your Bible and I hope that you have the expectation that God will teach you and talk to you and wants to hear from you, personally. If you really want to go deep with God, get to know Jesus better. He is willing and available all the time.
Wedding cake toppers from the 50's...
2 months ago