“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 The older I get and the more that I learn about God and the world, the more I stand in amazement. The God that created everything and is the ruler of the universe, came to earth to dwell with us. To be a part of every human that will accept Him. He came to pay for our foolishness. Our foolishness in sinning and rebelling against Him. I know that I did not want any part of God when I was out in sin, but He still loved me. He still wanted me, just me. How amazing is that! “And dwell (tabernacle) among us.” Jesus pitched His tent on earth for thirty-three years. This is a reference to the tabernacle of Israel in the wilderness. When they traveled through the wilderness God was with them in the tabernacle. If they wanted to communicate with God they had to go to the tabernacle. The tabernacle was unattractive in appearance. It was not anything like the costly and magnificent temple of Solomon. It was just a place to meet God. The woman at the well asked Jesus, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” (John 4:20) Jesus answered her, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) Jesus came so that we could worship God anywhere. Jesus came to dwell within us. The Church of Jesus Christ is not a building; it is every believer.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John 1:13-14 John is telling us that Jesus came so that we can become children of God. Without Jesus we cannot be adopted into God’s Kingdom. All men are not children of God. Only those that believe and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior will become children of God. We are not Christians by natural birth. We cannot pass our new birth to our children. Everyone has to come to God on their own. Everyone has to be born of the new birth that comes only from God. The first part of this scripture tells us the human side of the new birth. What we as sinners must do to have this life that Jesus Christ offers. Then it tells us God’s side of our relationship. He will provide the new birth so that we can be adopted into His family. “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” (Galatians 3:26)
“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:10-12 C.S. Lewis expressed the sense of the divine pursuit: “God was the great Angler playing His fish, and I never dreamed that the hook was in my tongue. He likened God to a cat chasing a mouse. He stated that God was the divine chess player, gradually moving him into an impossible position.” What love God has for us that even as we rebels against Him He still pursuits us. There was a beagle that lived in our neighborhood. When he barked you would think that he was a huge blood hound. When I first saw him, I was shocked. He would come through our yard and sometimes he would stop and you could pet him, but most of the time he was on a hunt. When he was on a hunt, he might look at you. but he did not have time for you. He was persuading something. God is that way, He is on our trail and He will not stop until we come to Him. He is the hound of heaven. This scripture tells us that God came to earth and His own people rejected Him. Even with this rejection, God came and continued the pursuit. “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.” (Ezekiel 34:11-12)
“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.” John 1:6-8 John the Baptist was the opening act for Jesus. If Jesus was preaching at a football stadium, do you think that John the Baptist would be the opening act. I don’t think that most people would think that he would be the top choice for the job. To say that John the Baptist was unique would be an understatement. He was a wilderness man; a man who from childhood lived in the wilderness. He wore clothing made of camel’s hair and ate locusts and wild honey. His message was not polished, but blunt and to the point. Rather than receiving all that came he verbally attacked some of his audience. And yet this man was chosen by God for this mission. This man was God’s voice crying in the wilderness. He was successful in attracting large audiences. His message had a great impact on all who would listen to him. He was a humble man that listened to God and he knew that at some point he was to back out of his ministry so that Jesus could take the main role. He knew without a doubt that it was not his message but it was God’s message. What an example for us today. We think that we cannot work for God if we are not educated and our message is not polished. We think that we have to put on this great show if people are going to come to our church. As we can see with John the Baptist, God brings the crowds and God gives the message; not […]
“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.” John 1:6-8 John the Baptist was one of the most significant and well-know figures in the Bible. John was known as “the Baptist” because he was baptizing people. He was the first prophet called by God since Malachi. This was a period of over 400 years. John’s mission was prophesied by Isaiah some 700 years before he came. “Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” (Isaiah 40:3-5) John’s mission was to make the way for the coming of Jesus. He was to let everyone know that Jesus was the Son of God. The coming of John the Baptist was just one more thing that proves that Jesus is God. God has this master plan and it is working out just as God planned it to work. “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:5) It is amazing that God’s plan always works out. God has a plan for your life and it will work out if you just give it to God.
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:4-5 Because of Jesus Christ, we can be fully alive. Our life comes from our walk with God and our trust in Jesus Christ. What is it to be fully alive? “Fully alive human beings are alive in their external and internal senses. They see a beautiful world. They hear its music and poetry. They smell the fragrance of each new day and taste the deliciousness of each moment. Of course their senses are also insulted by ugliness and offended by odors. To be fully alive means to be open to the whole human experience. It is a struggle to climb a mountain, but the view from the top is magnificent. Fully alive individuals have activated imaginations and cultivated senses of humor. They are alive in their emotions. They are able to experience the full gamut and galaxy of human feelings—wonder, awe, tenderness, compassion, both agony and ecstasy. Fully alive people are also alive in their minds. Fully alive people are always thoughtful and reflective. They are capable of asking the right questions of life and flexible enough to let life question them. They love much. They truly love and respect themselves. This allows them to love others without judging. They are glad to be alive and glad of who they are.” (John Powell) They enjoy life and they are open to God and His world, but they are also open to pain. They have many questions and some answers. They are open to success and failure. In failure they are open to what they learned in the experience. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; […]
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:4-5 “The torch bearer sheepishly ascended the golden stairway that led to the massive altar. Trembling in absolute awe of the consuming fire that blazed ahead, she extended an unlit baton into the inferno. Drawing it out after a number of moments, she beheld the torch in amazement, as it now illuminated with an indescribable, unquenchable fire. Looking away from the torch to gaze once more at the altar, she stood speechless and oh so still. The atmosphere was silent, almost too much so. Then, an audible voice, not just a voice, but the Voice, shook the environment and commanded with unquestionable authority, run with the vision, run with the vision, run with the vision. The runner was to race with the touch held high. She was convinced that her mandate was not about her, but about the light she carried. In response to the divine command that continued to echo vehemently within her heart, she ran down the stairs with strength and purpose, with the torch raised high. As she raced swiftly into a path saturated in deep darkness, she found her pace accelerating. Her feet were seemingly bound to an ordained roadway. A powerful presence of supernatural grace propelled her along the route. Her focus was undisturbed. She experienced a sense of weightlessness and inner rest as her body vigorously ran through darkness toward an unknown destination. No sign of fatigue or weariness bore upon her, only the essence of exhilaration. Her mission was clear and simple, hold the touch high and run with the vision.” (Patricia King) We must let the light of Jesus Christ shine in […]
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.” John 1:1-3 “Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God spoke and it was done. God spoke the Word. As we look at the story of creation in Genesis, we see that all God created was by His spoken Word. This is what John was talking about when He wrote, “The Word was with God. Jesus Christ is God’s Word reveled to us. A Word is composed of letters. “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” (Revelation 1:8) There are many names of God in the scripture, the Word is just one of them. The Word was Jesus’ divine title. “And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.” (1 John 5:20) John continued in 1 John making sure that we know that Jesus is God and He came that we may know the one and only true God. God accomplished three things by Jesus becoming human. It was now possible for Him to die. He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He left an example that we could follow in His footsteps. Do you believe that Jesus was both human and divine? If not, I pray […]
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2 Many people like to ride the fence when it comes to Jesus Christ. They believe that Jesus existed. They believe that he was a Galilean Jew who lived and taught in the first century. They even go so far as to believe that he was martyred for His teaching. They believe that His teachings was radical and influential. But they deny Jesus’ miracles and reject even the suggestion that he was deity. I believe that Peter cleared this up in Matthew. “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” (Matthew 16:13-17) There has been many great men in the history of the world. None has changed the world like Jesus Christ the Messiah. In the years between AD 33 and AD 64 a new movement was born. In those thirty years it got sufficient growth and credibility to become the largest religion in the world. It has had an impact on civilization, on culture, on education, on medicine, on freedom and on the lives of countless people worldwide. It all started with a dozen men and a handful of women. Then Jesus Christ sent the Holy […]
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2 Think about this for a moment. Our Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ, existed before God made the world. He loved us and He was planning on coming to this world to give us life before anything in the world existed. I find that totally amazing. I find that very humbling, that the God that formed everything, loves me. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day understood all Bible. They understood that Jesus was coming. They has studied the book Isaiah and what Isaiah had said about the coming of Jesus. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.” (Isaiah 61:1-2) They knew this yet they rejected the Son of God. They rejected Jesus because they would not humble themselves and lose the power and influence that they held in the religious world. Don’t we see the same thing today? We don’t want to be servants as Jesus told us to do. We don’t want to give up our influence and power. We don’t want to humble ourselves before Jesus and serve the creator of the world. God wants us to know Him; because knowing God is the most important thing in the world.