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GRACEVINE DEVOTIONAL
Friday, January 6th, 2017


John 3:14-15 KJV
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE”.

To believe is to be convinced of something or someone and accept it as true. This conviction affects a person’s reasoning, reactions and decisions in life. Belief governs a person’s entire life and lifestyle. Depending on its strength, a person’s belief could so alter both their conscious & subconscious states that their every reaction becomes preprogrammed.

Every belief is a product of information received either by sound, sight or touch. The strength of a person’s belief is determined by the root of information that created it.

Salvation in Christ for instance is accessible only through Faith or belief in Jesus as the Saviour of the World. To believe this, a person must HEAR and receive the Good News that Jesus died for their Sins and that of the whole world. Believing this causes them to confess or call upon Jesus for Salvation. (Romans 10:13)

God is so determined that People believe in JESUS that He allows people to come by 2 ways to Christ. One is superior to the other.

The 1st way is BY FAITH.
Saving Faith in Christ Jesus is achieved by HEARING His Word & believing it. (John 3:14-18 / Romans 10:17). This Word is the Good News of Jesus dying for and becoming the Saviour of the whole of Mankind. When people come to Christ this way, God calls it FAITH. This is because they believed independent of any external convictions. Their belief was informed by the simplicity of hearing the Good News and believing it with the heart. (Romans 10:8-10)

The 2nd way is BY SIGNS

“.....Except ye SEE signs and wonders, ye WILL NOT BELIEVE” (John 4:48)

True faith comes by HEARING THE WORD, not by SEEING. But this category of people believe ONLY by SEEING. They don’t even “see” Jesus - they see SIGNS.
A Sign is anything (often observed with the eyes) that points a seeker in a certain direction.

Signs are usually for the deaf and dumb who both have a “voice” problem. The Deaf cannot hear “Voice” & the dumb cannot use “Voice”. This then causes a heavy dependence on SIGHT.

God had originally approved “Voice” as the true medium for communicating Faith because true Faith comes by HEARING. (Romans 10:17).
This Faith in turn, causes the hearer to use Voice also in CONFESSION that leads to Salvation.(Romans 10:10)
However, since both deaf and dumb people cannot benefit from “Voice” usage, they must communicate by SIGNS.  Just as in the natural, deaf and dumb people are communicated to by the use of signs, even so, spiritually deaf and dumb people are the ones who need SIGNS to help them receive the communication of the Good News of Christ. This is the only way they can believe.

John the Baptist did no sign or wonder in his ministry. Why? It wasn’t necessary. His ministry was to to those who shall believe by the HEARING of Faith alone. His job was to announce The WORD. Christ is THE WORD who is the Saviour that must be believed by HEARING. Since the Word must be heard in order to be believed, Voice is needed to give sound to the Word. That’s why John was called “The Voice” crying in the wilderness.

Jesus commended as “blessed and superior”, the HEARING generation but berated the SEEING generation.

John 20:29 KJV
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, BECAUSE thou hast SEEN me, thou hast BELIEVED: BLESSED are they THAT HAVE NOT SEEN, and yet have BELIEVED.

SIGNS FOLLOW BELIEVERS (Mark 16:17). Not for their benefits but for the spiritually deaf and dumb who need to SEE before accepting since hearing and speaking has failed them.

CONFESSION
I am a believer in Christ Jesus. My faith functions effectively by hearing the Good News of Christ. I do not need to see before I believe. But because I believe, I see the goodness of God in the land of the living. I walk by Faith and NOT by Sight. Those who need to SEE first must keep seeing in order to keep believing. God has spoken once only, I heard it twice - with my natural ears and with the ears of my heart. I totally BELIEVE to SEE every good thing in 2017 in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Shalom
Pastor Ken Okotcha

Read more of our devotionals at http://www.nowayobloggers.com/gracevine-devotional

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