LISTEN, THEN DECIDE

We have many decisions to make in one solitary day.  We decide to get up or sleep in.  If we are expected at work that pays our bills, then the responsible decision is clear.  We must get up, repair what sleep did to us, shower, put on some decent clothes and get to work.  But there are many decisions to make as we perform the tasks to get to work!  Will we eat breakfast or grab something later? Will we wear the shoes that hurt our feet or go with the ugly but comfy shoes?  Will we talk to our spouse or kids about what needs to be done today, hope they remember or just do it ourselves? 

Will we take the dog out or hope that one of the other family members will take care of that chore?   Will we fix breakfast for all or just ourselves because we have to leave before they do?   Will we take the vehicle that has the most gas or hope we can get there with the one we normally drive?  Will we take the road that is less traveled or take the way that is shorter with high traffic?  These are but a few decisions that we make each morning BEFORE we even get to work!  Some we do from habit, without thinking.  We wonder how we got to work some days!  Sometimes, we stop, pause and think!  How did I get here?  Whew, where’s my coffee!!

Yes, just living life on earth includes decision making—about a million decisions a day! 

Jesus came to earth to teach us how He decides what He will do.  John gives us all the details of decision making in this passage, penning the words of Jesus that explain how to live real life, in true, intimate relationship with His Father, our Father in Heaven.  Read slowly and prayerfully.  This is amazing truth!

John—God’s Love

John 5:19-38, The Message

What the Father Does, the Son Does

19-20 So Jesus explained himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.

20-23 “But you haven’t seen the half of it yet, for in the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out. The Father handed all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father. Anyone who dishonors the Son, dishonors the Father, for it was the Father’s decision to put the Son in the place of honor.

24 “It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.

25-27 “It’s urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived—I mean right now!—when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive. Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. And he has given him the authority, simply because he is the Son of Man, to decide and carry out matters of Judgment.

28-29 “Don’t act so surprised at all this. The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice. Those who have lived the right way will walk out into a resurrection Life; those who have lived the wrong way, into a resurrection Judgment.

30-33 “I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders. If I were simply speaking on my own account, it would be an empty, self-serving witness. But an independent witness confirms me, the most reliable Witness of all. Furthermore, you all saw and heard John, and he gave expert and reliable testimony about me, didn’t he?

34-38 “But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved. John was a torch, blazing and bright, and you were glad enough to dance for an hour or so in his bright light. But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete. These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me. The Father who sent me, confirmed me. And you missed it. You never heard his voice, you never saw his appearance. There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.

WHAT DO LEARN?  DISCIPLESHIP 101

  1. Jesus does nothing until he checks with the Father who tells Him what to do, where to go, who to speak to with what words to say.  “The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does.”
  2. Jesus and God have a perfect relationship of perfect love that binds them together as one.  “The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.”  Jesus was with God when He created the world. God wants the same love relationship with us!  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16, NIV
  3. Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God, has God’s power with God’s love in Him.  “…in the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out.” 
  4. Jesus’ power is equal to God because of God in Him.  “The Father handed all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father.”  Jesus has the power to judge the world, power to heal, power to endure the cross and rise again from the dead.  Jesus basically as the power to do what God sent Him to do as God’s Son.
  5. Jesus teaches us the urgency of getting what He says right!  “It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.”  We Listen; We Decide.
  6. God gave Jesus the authority to judge.  “The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice. Those who have lived the right way will walk out into a resurrection Life; those who have lived the wrong way, into a resurrection Judgment.”  Two choices that demand a wise decision.
  7. “I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders.”—Jesus  

PAUSE and take this in, dear Friends!  Who are we to DECIDE to ignore checking in with God each new day to ask what He wants in every detail of our coming and going, our witness to His Truth, with family relationships, work relationships, with all that we encounter in this life?  God’s Word tells us that He truly delights in all the details of our lives because of His extreme, relentless love for us.  Why, then aren’t the first thoughts we have as we wake of Him who has a perfect plan, a beautiful purpose and knows the way we should go that is the best way.  God is for us, not against us.  He knows us and equips us with what we need.  He knows the amount of the hairs we have left on our heads.  He knows us by name!  Listen; Decide.  Who has your best interest at heart?  Jesus knew.  Jesus knows.  He died and rose again for ALL of us!  Jesus is our perfect example of how to check in with the Father, BE with Him before DOING anything.

  • Jesus stayed focused on His purpose by checking in with God.  “…my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved.”  Purpose?  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”Luke 19:10, NIV
  • Jesus is confirmed, not by the world, but by God, His Father.  “…the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete. These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me. The Father who sent me, confirmed me.”
  • Many listened and decided not to believe and follow Jesus.  They “missed it”.  They missed truth, love, joy, peace, help and restoration between God and man.  “And you missed it. You never heard his voice, you never saw his appearance. There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.”—Jesus

Listen.  Then decide.  What we decide is a matter of life or death.

Ask God what HE wants, then decide to do what He says.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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