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Weekly Devotion – John 8:31

By Mike Caton

John 8:31, To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”

Not everyone believes in Jesus. That is a strange statement to begin with. I suppose if you asked ten people today, every one of them would tell you they believe in Jesus. But what does that really mean? I suppose they would believe Jesus exists or existed, that he was real. Some might even go so far as to say he was God’s Son. But does that kind of belief make a difference? James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.”

But Jesus adds a qualifier to his statement. He speaks to those who also hold to his teaching, continue in his word. He is speaking to those who actually put into practice the things Jesus has said. You see, the belief Jesus has in mind is not just a mental agreement, an acknowledgement of the facts. It is an entrusting of yourself to the thing Jesus has said, it is basing your life upon them, it is living those words out each and every day. It is a conforming of your life to the standards that God has set. It means you live your life with the belief, the knowledge, the assurance this is truly the only correct way to live. That sounds exclusive, and it is. But that’s what a true disciple is, and exclusive follower. Someone who commits themself to one teacher, someone who sets out to learn all he can and to become just like the teacher.

So, the question demands to be answered. Do you really believe? Do you really hold to Jesus’ teachings? Are you really his disciple? Those are questions we all need to think about. And we need to allow those answers to make a difference in our lives. Do you really believe?

Father, help me strengthen my belief. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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