THE BLAME GAME: It's often one of the first questions that get asked whenever something terrible happens: is God punishing a specific sin with this disease / financial setback / death? One of the reasons that our minds are so quick to go to that question is that deep down we know that we deserve terrible things because we've sinned, so we just assume that all terrible things are the result of particular sins.
Certainly the fact that bad things happen in this world is a result of sin in general, but Jesus makes in clear responding to the disciples opening question about whose sin caused the man to be born blind makes clear that there's no connection between particular terrible incidents and particular sins.
THY WILL BE DONE: We've been learning in our evening services that perhaps the most important part of our prayers is the second 'A': Aligning our lives with God's will so that we want and pray for the things God wants. Chapter 9 reinforces this concept in a couple of ways:
v3 - All things happen so that God's will might be accomplished (see also Romans 8:28)
v31 - God listens to the godly person who does His will
WHY DID JESUS COME? This simple question has multiple correct answers. Just these past few months we've seen a couple of different perspectives, all of which are fully true. Jesus came to announce and invite people into the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:15). This Christmas season we celebrate that Jesus came to bring peace on earth (Luke 2:14, Romans 5:1). Paul writes in 1 Tim 1:15 that "Jesus came into the world to save sinners." But today we see that while salvation and victory were the primary reasons that Jesus came, they were not the only reasons. Jesus gives a glimpse of this in v39:
For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.
Praise God that Jesus brings you salvation and peace and new sight, and not the judgment we read of hear and which we just finished reading about in Revelation.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who displays His glory and works in all things (v3)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Echo what the blind man told the Pharisees in v31 - God's will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: