Dear all,

Some of you are reading this blog before my Sunday sermon. If so, please take a moment to pray for me. I will be preaching on John 9 and I find the text so deep, powerful and multi-faceted that I am having problems developing a sermon. Some of you are reading this after the sermon – maybe without having heard the sermon. That is great. Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to pray that I will preach and write well for the glory of God.

One aspect of John 9 which is important to Christians is that it teaches us to pray that the Lord will make us FAT. By that I mean that He will make us Faithful, Available, Teachable.

Faithful. The story is a wonderful example of the man born blind acting with faith in Jesus’ word that he will be healed when he washes off the mud from his eyes in the pool of Siloam. It is a snapshot of a man growing in faith until he confesses Jesus as the promised Son of Man and then he worships Jesus. It is a story that encourages us to be open to Jesus as the light of the world and, that by faith in Him, we will be delivered from blindness as Jesus opens our eyes so we can see. It is a story of maintaining faith in Jesus in the face of hostility and exclusion so we are encouraged to pray for greater and greater faith in Jesus – who He is, what He has done, what He is doing and will do.

Available. In verse 4 Jesus says, “we must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” This is the Christ-centred, grace-empowered, selfless God-glorifying version of the famous saying, “Seize the day”. The text is telling us that God will give us opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people for the glory of God. We are to make ourselves available to the Lord so that we will seize these opportunities when they arrive. Note how, in the verse I have quoted, Jesus says “we must work the works of Him who sent “me”. Jesus wants to include you and me in doing God’s works for God’s glory. So, our days are not one “dang” thing after another. God will give us opportunities. Pray that we will make ourselves available to Him, recognizing the opportunities as they arise and, by grace, walk into the opportunities with Jesus.

Teachable – in the story the man is teachable; the experts and elite are not. So, as the story develops, the man learns more and more that the elite refuse to anything at all. The man knows what he knows and knows he needs to know more. The elite only know they are the elite. Their conversation reveals that what they know is foolish and fashionable and empty. So the Lord is warning us about becoming like or remaining like the elite, impervious to learning. The Lord blesses and deepens the man who is teachable.

So friends, please pray for me, that I will desire to be FAT! Please pray that the Lord will grow in you the desire and the habits of the FAT person. Please pray that we, as a congregation, will always desire to be FAT; that being FAT is part of our DNA. Lord, keep us humbly FAT.

George +