A Meditation from The Jesus Workout by Scott Martell
- Choose a worship song, put it on, and worship our Lord
“I started writing just what I’d say, if we were face to face … I’d tell you, just what you mean to me, tell you, the simple truth … Be strong in the Lord, never give up hope, you’ll do great things … God’s got his hands on you.”The Words I Would Say, Sidewalk Prophets
From the Word of God
- Read Today’s Bible Verse three times and place it in your heart.
- The verses are John 11:1-44 – The story of Lazarus raised from the dead. Read slowly and thoroughly.
To Consider: Yes, Lord, I believe!
Is Lazarus a special case? Hasn’t Jesus done the same thing for all of us? Christ in our lives is not God turning bad people good, but bringing DEAD people to LIFE. (Read Romans 6:1-11.) Sin is like those grave clothes. A person may be alive, but mummified.1 Jesus told Martha in verse 25, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” The question is just as pertinent today as it was then. Jesus never claimed to be a healer or a teacher or a prophet. He claims to be the resurrection and the life. If this is not true, we are wasting our time. But if it is true… we must do, and proclaim, as Martha did. “Yes Lord, I believe…” This removes our grave clothes, sets us free from slavery to sin, makes us alive in Christ. Belief – deep, sincere, unshakeable belief – is key to our walk with Jesus. Yet, we ALL struggle with belief at times. Here are a few ideas to aid our belief:
Iron Sharpens Iron
- If you struggle with unbelief, read Mark 9:14-29. Open your heart. Ask Jesus, “Please, Lord, help me with my unbelief.”
- Iron sharpens iron – share the story of John 11:1-44 with someone you care about who is a Christian believer. Read the verses together. Repeat 11:25-26, ending with “do you believe?” Honestly express your feelings to each other of what this means.
- If you have questions – go to your pastor. It is good to yearn for increased understanding. Christians are urged to be “Bereans.” Read Acts 17:10-12.
- Every night before getting into bed, tell Jesus, “Yes, Lord, I believe! Thank you for my belief!”
- Finally, meditate on the Word to deepen your belief.
Meditation & Prayer Workout
Read John 11:1-44 again, to have it fresh in your mind and heart.
Close your eyes; go over the story again in your mind, from beginning to end. Place yourself at Lazarus grave … with Martha and Mary … You are there. You loved Lazarus as much as Martha and Mary did …You are there at the tomb. You hear Martha say, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatever you ask of God, God will give it to you.” And Jesus says “your brother shall rise again.” Martha says, “Yes, I know he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” You look up and Jesus locks eyes with YOU, and YOU fall into those warm, loving eyes. Jesus says, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall life. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe?” You gasp, feeling these words sinking deep into your heart. “Yes, Lord, I believe …” A little later, with Mary, you watch as Jesus sheds tears for Lazarus. Then you hear him say, “Lazarus, come forth!” And you see Lazarus stumble alive from the grave. You believed in Jesus with all your heart while Lazarus was still dead – you believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, not having any idea what he would do. He didn’t have to do anything. You believed and knew who he was … Then, just as a preview of your own resurrection in the future, you physically see Lazarus come alive!
In deep prayer, you ask:
- Jesus – Examine my heart … if I have unbelief, help me with my faith! Deepen my faith, Lord. Help me Lord … Open the eyes of my heart. Lord, talk to me … TAKE TIME TO LISTEN.
- Remember how Jesus shed tears for Lazarus, how much he loves him. He loves people – He loves YOU. Think of this as you meditate. TAKE TIME TO LISTEN.
- Jesus – look at my life … Am I obedient … Am I a good temple of your Holy Spirit? What in my life do I need to change …Where do I need to do better? TAKE TIME TO LISTEN.
- Jesus – today I commit myself to you … more than ever before – show me how I can serve you. What do you want me to do? TAKE TIME TO LISTEN.
Workout in Journaling
Today matters! What critical things did you learn today as you listened to God? How might you use it today, and for the rest of your life?
“I challenge you,” says the great basketball coach John Wooden, “to show me one single solitary individual who achieved his or her own personal greatness without lots of hard work: Hard work includes initiative, diligence, goal-setting, and resourcefulness. (Character Matters, Thomas Lickona)(Character Matters, Thomas Lickona)
I believe! Thank you Lord!
1 Image from author’s personal sermon notes, Pastor Sahlie, BEZA International Church, Addis Ababa