Faith, Action, Reward (John 11:39-40)

John 11:39-40

 

39     Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40     Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

 

            When Jesus gives the command to remove the stone from the entrance of the tomb, Martha is aghast.  Thinking that Jesus just wants a look at her brother’s body, Martha moves to stop Jesus from opening the tomb.  She knows it has been four days.  She believes that Lazarus’ body will be in a state of decay.  Simply put, she warns Jesus not to open the tomb, because the rotting body will stink.

 

            But Jesus turns to Martha and asks her if she remembers what he has taught her.  If she will believe in him, having genuine faith in him, she will see the glory of God.  He does not tell her how she will see it.  He does not tell her what he is up to.  But he does ask her to display genuine, true faith in him in order to see something marvelous.

 

            What will happen if Martha believes in Jesus?  Two things will occur.  First, if Martha believes in Jesus, she will take action.  She will not simply hear Jesus’ words to have the stone removed, she will go along with that command and order those around her to do what Jesus said.  This teaches us something:  true faith in Jesus always requires action.

 

            Second, if Martha will truly believe in Jesus, she will see the glory of God.  If she believes, she will experience the highest of possible human joys.  Simply put, true faith in Jesus always reaps a reward.

 

            The same faith that Jesus commands Martha to have is the faith he commands you to have.  Do you believe in Jesus?  Do you have the kind of faith in Jesus that God commands you to have?  If you do, two things will be true.  If you really have faith in Jesus, you will take action in your life.  You will live differently because of your faith in Jesus.  You will desire to know God more.  You will study God’s word.  You will attend church regularly, joining in worship with joy.  You will learn to love others.  You will share your faith.  You will give of your resources to the ministry of God’s kingdom.  You will turn away from sinful activities and thoughts and you will turn to right living and right thinking.  If you have genuine faith in Jesus, you will take action based on that faith.

 

            Also, if you have genuine faith in Jesus, you will reap a reward.  You, like Martha, will see the glory of God.  If you have the kind of faith in Jesus that changes your life and saves your soul, you will experience the highest of possible joys.  You will live for the joy of experiencing the glory of God.  You will joyfully find that your life exists for God’s glory.  You will live to get more and more of the joy of glorifying God.  And, when you go to the grave, you will find ultimate fulfillment, eternal life in Jesus Christ. 

 

            True faith in Jesus requires action and reaps a reward.  Have such faith, and you will live differently and find true joy for your heart.

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