Rhapsody of Realities Daily Devotional Pastor Chris Oyakhilome PhD Saturday, 30th September 2023 IT’S A MATTER OF THE HEART

_For neither did his brethren believe in him_ *(John 7:5)*

In John 7:3-4 MSG, we’re told something quite staggering about the siblings of Jesus: they were sceptical and didn’t believe in Him. They said to Him as they were getting ready to go for the Feast of Tabernacles, *“...Why don’t you leave here and go up to the Feast so your disciples can get a good look at the works you do? No one who intends to be publicly known does everything behind the scenes. If you’re serious about what you are doing, come out in the open and show the world.”* 

The 5th verse specifically says, *“His brothers were pushing him like this because they didn’t believe in him either”* (MSG). They were aware of the circumstances surrounding His birth, having heard the story from their mother, Mary, and their father, Joseph, who also had received angelic visitations about Jesus’ birth. Yet, they didn’t believe. 

That’s because believing is of the heart. And thanks be unto God, the perspective and opinion of the siblings of Jesus changed when they witnessed His miraculous ascension! That was when they believed. It was a most remarkable event! 

As they stood with the other disciples, the “Jesus, whom they had known all their lives,” didn’t suddenly vanish or disappear; rather, in His glorified physical body, He levitated before their eyes right into heaven. For once, they realized that the one whom they had the privilege of growing up with was truly God. 

This incredible event left no room for doubt or speculation in their hearts about His origin. Now, they really understood that the Lord Jesus was truly from above (John 8:23). If you study the book of Acts, Luke tells us in the very first chapter that His mother and His siblings joined the company of disciples and continued with them in fellowship (read Acts 1:13-14). Hallelujah! 

That’s why, no matter the stories you hear and how many angelic visitations you receive, you still have to make the choice to believe from your heart. It’s a matter of the heart, just as Paul puts it in Romans 10:10 NKJV, *“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”*

True faith stems from the heart. However, the mind must be open to receive the information, and a decision must be made to embrace it. Hallelujah!

_Dear Father, thank you for the opportunity of being regularly exposed to the ministry of your Word and to express my faith. Always, my heart is set in order, receptive, fully prepared to receive your Word joyfully. I experience the life-changing power of your Word as I align my heart, mind and actions with its truth, in Jesus’ Name. Amen._


*Romans 10:10* For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

*John 20:29* Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.

*Acts 1:9-14* And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. *10* And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; *11* Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. *12* Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. *13* And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James. *14* These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

*1 Year Bible Reading Plan :* Ephesians 5:22-6:1-9 & Isaiah 29-30

*2 Year Bible Reading Plan :* John 2:1-11 & 1 Kings 5

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