Good morning SOAPers! Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Lord, You are faithful to meet us every time we open Your Word if we are faithful to come expecting to hear from You, our Abba Father. These are the very first few days of Your ministry and we are witnessing how You gathered Your disciples. My heart desires to know what it is to respond to Your invitation with the same expectancy and zealousness as they did over 2,000 years ago. So speak to us Lord, we come to listen and learn.
John 1:43-51 (ESV)
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you,[a] you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
- He found Philip and said Follow me
- We have found him
- Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
- Come and see
- Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him
- Jesus “BEHOLD…”
- How do you know me?
- I saw you
- Because I said I saw you believe? You will see much greater
- I realize now that throughout my entire life I was aware that something was missing, that I was being pursued and many times had the invite to “follow Him” but I wasn’t done chasing pleasure, career, and worldly securities. It took until my mid 40’s before actually believe I had tried everything else in this life and nothing satisfied. Each morning Jesus extends the same invite, follow me. Am I not only willing but eager to do that today with all of my heart, mind, and body?
- People were excited about discovering the Messiah and they wanted to tell others. Our testimonies to others, that “we have found him” matters. Without my evangelism, those whom God puts in my path each day may miss out on the message of eternal hope and rescue that He intended for me to share with them. Am I taking my calling to make disciples of all the earth seriously?
- Bitter much Nathaniel? “Can anything good come out of that city”. It’s very real that prejudice and preconceived ideas surrounding the Gospel of Christ exist, but they are false. God is love and He can melt even the most cynical heart. But notice what comes next…
- “Come and see”. They offered an invite to Nathaniel to find out for Himself. They didn’t try and convince him through fanciful arguments or fear tactics, they simply provided an invitation for him to discover for himself. How often do I turn down opportunities to invite others to church or share the gospel because I’m afraid of “their” prejudices? Those walls are not for me to break down, I only need to invite them into His Presence.
- Jesus saw Nathaniel coming toward him. He sees us coming. And I’m sure, conversely, He sees us walking away. Am I always willing to ask God to test my heart and know my desires? There are no secret places with God, He sees me.
- Even Jesus uses my new favorite word, BEHOLD! I continue to love the emotion brought about by that proclamation and how it is mean to really grab our attention for what is about to come next. Do I always pay close attention when Jesus speaks? Do His words stir my soul to action?
- And what he said, in essence, was “Nathaniel, I see you, I see your character. You are one who has no deceit”. How scary and wonderful to be known and seen. Am I grateful God sees me, or fearful of what He sees? How I live matters!
- And how much does Nathaniel’s response mirror our own? How can you know me, we’ve never met. It’s easy to think God is too busy running the universe to know me. Do I always recognize just how known and loved I really am?
- Jesus replies “I saw you”. That blew Nathaniel’s mind. Realizing Jesus saw him was all he needed to be convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the King of Kings. How much is that true for me? Am I in awe of God’s omnipresence?
- And Jesus then responds, you thought that was cool, you ain’t seen nothin yet! Talk about building up anticipation! Do I continue to anticipate the revelation of God’s power and love in my life every day?
Abba Father, the renewed revelation that you know everything about me and call me your adopted son and invite me to follow each day is a beautiful thing. Your mercies are new each day and Your Promises are true, if only I will acknowledge You in everything I do. I continue to be renewed by Your Word Father, thank You that You see us, pursue us, call us, save us, and then lead us. May my best efforts at faithfulness this day honor Your name, Lord.
I’ve begun taking the highlighted questions out of each day and putting them on a single sheet as a daily inspiration to help me keep these “call to action” items front and center.
I’m really enjoying this SOAP journey so far, how about you guys?
Blessings in Christ,