“Mark’s gospel,“ Stan began, “records something that Jesus did that I have done lots of times myself.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It says that Jesus wondered about the unbelief of the people He was trying to teach. I have wondered the same thing. Why is it that people don’t believe?”
“Come to any conclusions?” I responded.
“The best I can come up with,” Stan replied, “is to look at myself before I came to the point of believing. When I look at the reasons for my unbelief, I can better understand why so many people do not believe.”
“And the reasons for not believing were what?” I asked.
“Basically,” Stan said, “I didn’t believe because I didn’t want to believe. I thought that if I believed it would cause change in everything I wanted to do and to be.”
“You were probably right about that,” I replied with a smile.
“Correct,” Stan said, “but the problem is that I didn’t know what I was talking about.”
Continuing, he said, “Yes, I feared being changed from what I was, but I did not understand how fabulously good that change could or would be. I simply did not see the possibility of change for what it was: a good thing for me and a bad thing for the interests of the world, the flesh, and the devil.”
“What caused the difference?” I asked.
“God,” was Stan’s one-word answer. “God awakened in me the desire to know Him. When I responded by choosing to draw near to Him, He came right back and drew near to me. And on and on it goes with my belief increasing into an ever-deepening relationship with God.”
Continuing, Stan said, “Because I believe, there is no longer any reason for God to wonder about my unbelief.”
“However,” he continued, “rather than wondering about my unbelief, I think there should be at least two aspects of wondering about my belief.”
“Wondering about your belief?” I responded. “Who is supposed to wonder about that?”
“On the one hand,” Stan replied, “there should be nothing in my life that would cause another person to wonder why, if I believe what I say I believe, I could possibly behave in a certain way that seems so contrary to what I say.”
“The other hand,” Stan concluded, “is more positive. My life should cause others to wonder about my belief from the standpoint that they want the same thing and they wonder how they can get it!”
And He wondered about their unbelief. Mark 6:6.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you no longer have to wonder about my unbelief. Thank you for awakening in me the desire to know you. Thank you for drawing near to me when I chose to draw near to you so that I can have an ever-deepening and ever-closer relationship with you. I confess that too often my life may cause others to wonder about my belief from the standpoint of how can I be a certain way and say that I believe in you. Please forgive me. And please lead me in living only in ways that manifest you and cause others to wonder how they can have the same relationship with you that you have so graciously granted to me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and Journal) about:
- What strikes you as the biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.