To Whom Else Shall We Go?
Written by: Vaché King
Click HERE to listen to today's devotion
But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
- John 6:68
What was your experience of reading the Bible for the first time? Did you comprehend? Did it make you uncomfortable? Were you confused by the “thou” “shall” “whence?” Did you look at the Bible as a set of restrictions or a book of rules?
I recall when I was entering into my first year of college I asked my mother for a Bible. I had rededicated my life back to Christ the Sunday before my request and I was so excited to sit down to read and learn about Jesus, whom I had strayed away from. From the moment of accepting Jesus into my life at 12, and the following 5 years, I lived a life of rebellion. I was mad at Jesus! Can you believe it? Well it’s true.
I wrestled with my first year of salvation: my grandmother passed, my great-grandmother passed, and my parents were officially divorcing. The pain and heartache I was experiencing was too much to bear and instead of me running to Jesus, I had the adverse reaction of running away. At the time all I could think of was there was no way possible the Jesus I heard about could love me and take away everyone I loved. Why?
This particular Sunday was different. I rededicated my life to Jesus and was renewed. I was ready to “forget the past and look forward to what lay ahead” (Philippians 3:13(NKJV)), and press forward in Him. My mother purchasing me a Bible was a way to start anew, and it even had my name on it. So here I was, sitting on the couch opening it, not looking for any particular Scripture, and turned to something that I interpreted to say, fornicators will not enter the kingdom. Do WHAT?
Of course, this was frightening for me, as I had partaken in this sin. I recall continuing to read some other Scriptures and I got the feeling that I had committed every sin it referenced and the penalty was I would not inherit the kingdom. There were a lot of “thee” “thou” “wilst” so my ignorance of truly understanding what was being said led me to believe my interpretation was correct.
Because I was confused, bewildered, and afraid, I closed my Bible, laid it down on the table, and there began its collection of dust.
I can’t live by these rules. My friends are all doing this. I can’t make a 180 degree turn immediately. It will take some time. Some things I don’t want to stop doing. This Bible is nothing but a book of restrictions, no fun, and full of rules and regulations.
These were all the lies I told myself.
This is how it occurs isn’t it? At least for some, and even the disciples. Jesus’ following was very large, but they began to discover that His teachings were difficult to put into practice. They would rather turn back to what was acceptable and comfortable, than to continue and follow Jesus. (John 6:66 (NKJV)) And if we are honest, especially in today’s culture, the ways of the world have become more accepted than living righteously. In Paul’s letter to the Romans in Chapter 12 verse 2, he encourages us “not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (NKJV)
To conform would mean we dissolve into the world and blend in; you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between believers and the world. OUCH! I blended in. At that time, I would have rather dissolved into the world's ways than standing boldly on Christ the solid rock. And it would be years before I became a devoted believer. He never stopped pursuing me.
How beautiful is it to know that God, the One who created the universe, continues to pursue us through His Son. He never gives up on us. And He will chase after you, like the perfect gentleman, drawing you into intimacy with Him. This is what He wants, to maintain continual fellowship with His children.
His pursuit showed His love, which day by day, I was able to receive. It compelled me to want and attempt to read His Word again; however, I knew this time, I had to do some things different. I invested in a Bible I could comprehend (Amplified, New Living Translation, and New King James Version) and began consistently attending Bible study. Steps like these are necessary so you can understand truly what God is saying to you.
Remember how I said I read about fornication and a whole set of sins I had committed which in turn led to me thinking I couldn’t inherit the kingdom? Well, Praise God I grew to know He was referring to a habitual lifestyle of sin, not the act of sin. We live in flesh and our flesh battles every day, therefore we sin every day. BUT God forgives through our repentance unto Him and our faith in Jesus.
The Bible isn’t a rule book. It isn’t a book of rules and regulations, nor restrictions. It is His love letter. The more we receive His love for us, the more we desire to please Him. Because He first loved me, it is my privilege to serve Him through obedience.
1. Did you know, God loves you? Has it been hard for you to believe this?
2. How has learning God wrote a love letter especially for you changed your outlook on life?
Lord, You are a good, good Father, and we are grateful. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for showing me, Your Word is not a book of restrictions, but a love letter to Your children. I love You, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray and thank You in advance, amen.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD? CLICK HERE