Introduction - Boy, are we all different! The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests. Aren't we glad we are not all the same--dull...
And Special Thanks Goes To...
The crowd was on its feet as the hero entered the winner's circle. After thanking the usual friends, he offered his most heartfelt appreciation for the ones who "believed in me." What did he mean by that?
Many had believed in him. They had believed he would most likely do it. They thought he was the greatest, read all about him, and had a generally positive impression. They may have placed bets, challenged others, and had a restless night worrying about it whether or not he would win. So was it all of them the hero was thanking? What made the difference between believing about him and believing IN him?
The ones who had "believed in him" had invested themselves in him. They had trusted that he would do what he said he would do when nobody else knew his name. They had seen in him something they chose to hold on to, regardless of personal sacrifice. They may have given up money, time, emotional energy, or more to show their hero they were in it with him. They refused to give up even when it seemed they had reason to do so. There is a vast difference between believing about someone and believing IN someone.
Jesus talked a lot about believing in Him. John 3:16 says that "whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." But many people simply believe ABOUT Him. They are part of the crowd that cheers the hero but has never undergone personal sacrifice for him. They like what they see, enjoy much of what they hear, and toss a few wagers His way. But they don't really believe IN Him.
Those promised eternal life are those who are all in. They trust Him even when no one else does. They believe He will do what He said He will do and hang on until they see it happen. They face obstacles and offer personal sacrifice for their Hero. And He reserves His special thanks for them.
Are you part of the cheering crowd? Or are you in the inner circle? When you face Jesus at the Judgement Seat, will He offer special thanks to you?
Or will you be one of the throng who believed about Him but never really believed IN Him?