Julie Iseman is in C&YA and leads a bible study in her home. Her bible study has been studying the Book of John. Julie shares with us what God has been showing her from John 5 as it concerns dwelling with God and desiring to be a witness of his great love to the lost world
Despite the Jews’ knowledge of the bible, Jesus tells them in John 5:38 that they don’t have the word abiding in them. So, I’m not a Jew, and yes the Holy Spirit lives in me, but God used this truth to remind me (John 5:22-47) what it looks like to be a witness of the truth, letting the word truly abide in me. “Abide” is translated in other places as to be present, to dwell, to be held, or be kept continually. In the morning, when I spend time with God through his bible, I want to allow that word to be lived out throughout the day rather than left at home.
I am able to live out my faith with substance; not just going through the motions
This past year, God has been teaching me a lot about actually sharing my faith with people – not just desiring for people to be saved, but expecting open doors and being willing to share the clear gospel with confidence when the opportunity comes. This starts with having intimacy with the Father and recognizing that (1) I can do nothing without the Lord, and (2) it needs to be His will that I’m seeking, not my own (5:19, 30). After these things are in place I am able to live out my faith with substance; not just going through the motions, but genuinely walking in the Spirit by the grace and power of God and getting to see the fruit of that.
Bearing witness unto the truth has to be modeled after the examples of John and Jesus (John 5:33-36). I need to be speaking and living the words and works that the Father has given me to finish, and I can’t know what those are without being in the word and letting the word be in me. Through Jesus’ example in John 5, I can see what it looks like to be prepared to speak the truth. Jesus constantly gives glory to the Father. He verbally acknowledges that he only has life because it has been given him from the Father. Out of this assurance, he is able to freely and confidently preach the truth.
No matter how much I get to confidently preach the truth to people, they still have a choice to cling to that truth or not. Jesus tells the Jews in John 5:39-40, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Through this part of the passage, God reminded me that, in addition to intimacy with God and confidence in his word to preach it to people, I need to be praying for their hearts to be softened to come to Jesus. Anyone, lost or saved, can read and hear truth all day without a willing and humble heart to submit to it.
God gave Jesus life in himself, a mission, and was with him always. The works that the Father gave Jesus to do, bore witness unto the truth. Now, Jesus has given us life, a mission, and is in us and with us always. The works that he has given us to do bear witness unto the truth that will give others life. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 it says that the minds of them who don’t believe the gospel of Christ have been blinded by the god of this world (Satan). The verse right before that says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” We have the greatest news to share with the people in our lives. We need to be ready to preach it and be praying that they are ready to receive it.