A Matter of the Will
"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself" (John 7:17, KJV).
At the conclusion of an address I gave at M.I.T., a skeptical young man approached me. He said, "I am a scientist. I can't believe anything that I can't see. I must be able to go into the laboratory and test a proposition or a theory. I must prove its authenticity before I will believe and accept.
"Religion," he said, "is a matter of faith. It has no substance and, as far as I'm concerned, no validity."
I turned to the seventh chapter of John, verse 17 -- our Scripture portion for today -- and asked him to read it aloud.
"Do you understand what Jesus is saying here?" I asked.
"Well, I'm not sure," he replied. "What is your point?"
"Your problem is not your intellect, but your will. Are you willing to do what God wants you to do? Are there relationships in your life that you're not willing to surrender in order to do the will of God? Are there moral problems, problems of integrity that you are not willing to relinquish?"
An odd expression came over his countenance.
"How did you know?" Then he said, "I'd like to talk to you privately." Later, as we sat together alone, he poured out his heart to me. He said, "I know that what you're saying is true. I know that there's a God in heaven, and I know that Jesus Christ is His Son and that He died on the cross for me.
"But," he said, "there is sin in my life. I have been living with a young woman without the benefit of marriage for the last couple of years. Today you have exposed me for what I really am - a fraud, a sham, a hypocrite, and I want with God's help to terminate my present relationship with this young woman and receive Christ into my life."
I am happy to report that, soon after, he and the young woman both surrendered their lives to Christ and were married. Together they are making their lives count for the glory of God.
Bible Reading: John 7:14-18
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: Today I will confess - and turn from - all known sin that keeps me from knowing and doing the will of God. I will also share this message with others.
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