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By Yetta Yao
on March 03, 2017 03:03 AM
Migrant workers have returned to the cities, and churches, from rural hometowns following the Chinese lunar calendar. A pastor of migrant-worker church in Beijing advised workers recently that they should union with Jesus at all times in the new year, so that their lives could experience real change.
The following is the main content of the sermon from John 1:35-42:
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"
They said, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are you staying?"
"Come," he replied, "and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).
The Bible tells the importance to union with God. Not only does He give us eternal life, He also walks with us.
1. The disciples stayed with Jesus and their lives were changed
John the Baptist, who was a herald to Jesus, exclaimed to his disciples, "Look, here is the Lamb of God! The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi, where are you staying?" (John 1:36-8)
These disciples were smart. When "The lamb of God" ask them "What are you looking for," they asked Jesus where He was staying because they wanted to know about him so much. Jesus answered "Come and see," which meant they could follow Him, and they remained with Him that day.
It was wonderful! We made great efforts to change our lives, especially through discipline and rules, but these two disciples just stayed one day with Jesus and their lives were changed! The next day Andrew, one of the two, found his brother Simon Peter and told him the Jesus was the Messiah.
If it was just for the testimony of John the Baptist who saw the Lamb of God, the disciples might not accept Jesus. If not for staying with Him, they would not have made the confession that they had seen the Messiah.
Similarly, Christians tell people to believe in Jesus to prevent sickness, have good jobs, and have god marriages, but the ones who listen do not experience changed lives even though they may be Christians.
As soon as we enter a church and entrust God's Word to our hearts, we can continue to come to Jesus to have our life changed. Not only does Jesus not turn anyone away, he even takes them to the Father.
2. You can have true peace if union with Jesus
If believing in Jesus means having enough food, then you are still living in misery and despair. Only in Christ can you find peace. Jesus said, "I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!" (John 16:33)
We must focus on the spirit, life, and death when we come to Jesus, not just our daily needs. "If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." (1 Cor 15:19) We need to know that there is a resurrection waiting for us, but how can we know that we have this life from God? "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved." (Mark 16:16) Baptism means that we share in Jesus death and are buried with Him. Only in this way do we experience His life and have a share in His resurrection.
This means that we are with Jesus through baptism. "Into" means inside of Him. John the Baptist said, "Look! The lamb of God!" The Jews knew this meant Jesus was the lamb for our sin, which was very real and needed to be cleansed. Men had been looking for a way to do this on their own, but failed. Only Jesus can carry and cleanse the sin of man.
When you are about to lose your peace, confess and keep it to yourself!" God hears our confession and he is with us, but we forget constantly and leave Him. God guides us with cords of kindness and bands of love, and also the Holy Spirit.
3. Be familiar with His Word if you want to be with Him
Just as children listen to the teaching of parents, we only truly change our lives in Christ. If we aren't with him, we sink into corruption. If we want to change, we have to be with God.
John 4 tells a story about Jesus and a Samaritan woman. Because she was ashamed, she waited till noon to fetch water. She encountered Jesus and talked with him a while. Neither of them drank the water of that well, and she left with her jar empty to the city. She told the people her testimony, even the things that she was afraid of people mocking her, because this woman recognized that Jesus was the Messiah and He had met her despite her sins.
The Samaritans came and asked Jesus to stay with them, and He remained there for two days. Many of them changed and said to the woman "it is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world." (John 4:42, ESV)
In the Old Testament, the Israelites lived a God-centered life through the prophets and the Ark of the Covenant. Moses stayed 40 days on Mount Sinai and his face glowed by the time he returned from the mountain so that the people were afraid to look at him. He changed greatly while he was with God, from a person of slow words to a person who could lead his people from captivity. He took God's words and passed them on to the people. Paul also changed because he was constantly with God. He knew that the secret of God was Jesus Christ and that everything was in Him.
So how can we be with God? From his word we know where He is: He is everywhere. So know that, wherever you are, if you believe in Him and invite him in, He will be with you. You will even feel His presence even on the bus. He will talk to you and wake you up in the morning. You will kneel down, and when you don't know what to say you just say, "God, I'm here."
You need to come to Him, read His Word, the Bible, and let Him talk to you. "Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:4-5, ESV)
Don't think that going to church once a week is enough. You need to be with God in your family, work, and even on the bus. If you listen without living a life of faith in God, then you won't have an abundant life in the Lord.
Translated by: Grace Hubl
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