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Friday, December 4, 2020

Pastor Nelda’s Notes for Sunday, August 25

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?I believe, help my unbelief …
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In the midst of the confusion and chaos of our lives, when people we love suffer or hurt, when the things we?ve worked hard for go unappreciated, or we see people treated unjustly, it?s hard to believe in God coming to our rescue, more or less, restoring our lives. {{more: continue ?}}
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What we experience in daily life gives us confidence in what we anticipate God will do
at the end of our life. In our reading, Jesus being raised from the dead is difficult for the disciples to get their heads around.
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Unless I see the marks…?

Thomas couldn?t comprehend what his friends told him. ?Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.? In many ways, Thomas was the first modern person. He wanted tangible, verifiable evidence. Who can argue with that?
While we may know about people being restored to life through chemotherapy, counseling, life saving surgery, or rehabilitation, we have not experienced anyone being raised from the dead. ?
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This defies logic…?
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Maybe that?s the point exactly. There is nothing logical about God. God is a God of surprises! We are created to enjoy God and all that God provides. God created the world and entrusted it to us. Our lives are a gift from God, and life is about risks, learning to trust another person and relationships. Faith is the way of the heart; it trusts what another person says is true. In this case, that person is God. Even if we cannot see it, perceive it, or even believe it, we trust God. We know God is always at work restoring life.
Our lesson reminds us that we cannot prove to anyone the truth of the resurrection. As Thomas discovered, resurrection isn?t just for the end of life. It can also be experienced in the midst of life.
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Resurrected life is about life being restored, second chances given, relationships reconciled and new life emerging out of disappointment and losses. Some would say this is simply the natural process running its course. From the perspective of faith, we see God at work doing what only God can do, breathing into us new life.
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Faith is not blind…?

Faith, as the Bible describes it, is not blind. Unbelief is blind. Faith sees a reality beyond what eyes can see, a reality that God reveals to us which is more important, in fact more real, than what we can see with our physical eyes (Hebrews 11:1). This is the blessed kind of seeing that enables us to ?walk by faith, not by sight? (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Inexpressible joy comes not by seeing Jesus now, but by believing in him now. Those who believe in Jesus in this age are more blessed than those who have seen him. Because believing is true seeing. And it is faith-sight, not eyesight, that results in eternal life (John 3:16).
Jesus forgave the other ten, Jesus forgave Thomas of his faith-failure and graciously restored him. But because of Thomas?s unbelief, Jesus made him a gracious example for us of the wrong kind of seeing to demand.
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If we find our seeing of Jesus is impaired, from Thomas we learn not to declare, ?Unless I see I will never believe,? but rather, ?I believe; help my unbelief?.
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See you on Sunday!
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“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”?
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Peace,?
Pastor Nelda?

Kennedale First United Methodist Church is located at 229 W 4th St, Kennedale, TX 76060 Find out more @ The Mission Store and @ First United Methodist Church Facebook?

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