Re:Verse reading–John 1:1-18 (day five)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,” John 1:14
When you study religions and compare them to Christianity, there are important questions that show the differences. What are the holy writings? How is salvation accomplished? How was the world created? The most crucial question that must be answered is, “Who is Jesus?”
John leaves no doubt about the answer from the beginning of his gospel. Jesus is fully divine and fully human. Jesus is preexistent with God. Jesus is God. Jesus became a human.
Each of these statements is vitally important to the gospel message. How would you answer this crucial question, “Who do you say that I am?”
Re:Verse reading–John 1:1-18 (day four)
Our new study of the book of John is called “Grace and Truth”. Verses 14 and 17 tell us that Jesus was full of grace and truth and that they were realized in Him. John focuses on these two character qualities of Christ as being most closely associated with salvation. John’s focus is on Jesus’ full deity and full humanity…the truth of God’s plan for grace to mankind, resulting in salvation.
This week’s passage provides a prologue for the rest of the book. Jesus existed in heaven with the Father, came to earth in the fullness of grace and truth to bring salvation to man. The rest of the book of John expounds on how all this took place. No richer book can be found to deal with the person of Christ. Find someone to read this treasure with you this quarter. Read and discuss together under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Introduce them to the Christ!
Re:Verse reading–John 1:1-18 (day three)
“No one has ever seen God.”
On the one hand, we feel the necessity to author our own version of the Almighty, because, hey, who really knows? On the other hand, we feel scared to death that we’re missing something important because, again, who really knows? John tapped into that dichotomy with precision. It’s all exhilarating—until you really need some wisdom, until you can’t seem to stop who you’re becoming, until you’ve realized you’re in this all by yourself. Some will self-medicate, others will turn to innumerable diversions, still others will settle for cynicism. John acknowledges that we’re all in the dark. And then he makes a claim: God has come to us; he’s the Son. Is it worth considering that this claim might be true? Jesus’s way of life pretty clearly invites all drunkards, seekers, and scoffers to investigate.
Re:Verse reading–John 1:1-18 (day two) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. vs. 10
I marvel at the complexity of this verse. John almost poetically captures that seeming paradox of this Christ. He was indeed flesh and blood. He was also here before imagining. He was with God and himself God before. Before all. Lest you think this baby just a baby John reminds us that this child was the incarnate version of the almighty.
John Donne in his Holy Sonnets also tried to capture the both/and nature of God/baby.
Thou’ hast light in the darke; and shutst in little room, Immensity cloysterd in thy deare womb.
That image is so powerful to me. The power of the atom. All of creation, all of who God was and is, was put in that small baby. His choice, our gift.
Donne again: ‘Tis time that heart and voice be lifted high, Salvation to all that will is nigh,
Re:Verse reading–John 1:1-18 (day one)
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”–v 18
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.“–Hebrews 1:1
Are you confused, today? Got questions? God has a Word for you! What the heavens and the prophets have been declaring from the beginning of time, God is now clearly communicating in His Son. Got your ears on?
No one has seen God. No one can. The Son must explain Him. Interesting word. It literally means “to lead someone out or forward” (ex=out, hegeomai=to lead).
Do you hunger to know God? Do you want to get forward in your search for truth?
Jesus is the Word. God’s explanation and communication.
May God have a Word with you?
Re:Verse reading 2 Corinthian 12:1-10 (day seven)
Paul asking for relief in 2 Corinthians 12:8,
“Concerning this (thorn) I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.”
which sounds an awful lot like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane,
“And He (Jesus) withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me;’” (Luke 22:41-42)
which sounds an awful lot like us asking God for a different way. When we pray these same prayers of concern walking through difficult circumstances we are in good company. Where we begin to distance ourselves from them though, is in our response to God’s “no”.
When God told both, “no” they responded,
“not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22:42) and
“most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9)
How do we respond when God says, “no”?
Re:Verse reading–2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (Day six)
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
Christ’s power turns the world on its head. He is not desperately looking for the next celebrity, or highly positioned politician to advance the cause. Nor is he wringing his hands wishing another highly visible QB would pray in the end zone or mention his name during a viral press conference. He’s not going through a stack of resumes looking for the right pedigree and experience to pastor the next mega-church. The Kingdom of God does not advance on the shoulders of giants, but through the lives of servants.
He is looking for anyone who says, “For Christ’s sake.”
Re:Verse reading–2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (Day Five)
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Why was Paul thankful (glad) for the love of God? Because God’s love does what needs to be done in order to point us to and give us the greater/greatest thing- Himself thru a relationship with Jesus.
God worked in Paul’s heart until he saw enough of God the Father and enough of God the Son, Jesus Christ, that he knew and felt that God’s love was not ultimately for health in his body. It is to bring him into an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Are you thankful for that kind of love?
Re:Verse reading–2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (day four, Thanksgiving Day)
Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. Worship the Lord in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all it contains; let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the Lord, for He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness. –Psalm 96
Re:Verse reading 2 Corinthian 12:1-10 (day three)
To keep me from becoming conceited…
Can you be trusted with power? Whether it’s a car engine or a piece of exclusive news, the opportunities to exercise power over others exert a strong force on your life. What is it about seeing motorists recede in your rearview mirror, or watching others hang on your every word as you reveal something they’re dying to know? Horsepower and headlines will tend to convince you that you’re important—and then, more important than others. Those are relatively low stakes, but what happens when pride arises in matters of greater importance? Pride will render a heart incapable of love. And so, further questions: What would you do if you did not love? Why would you not view others as obstacles to your will? Paul isn’t talking about being “stuck up”. He’s talking about being deadly.