RSS

Category Archives: John

My God is…Washing John 13:7-9

John 13:7-9 – Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter Regular or Decaf Coffeesaid to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 

Story of my life! Have you ever felt that way? That you don’t know what God is doing, but in retrospect you can see His hand at every turn? Some of you might still be waiting for later to arrive. Waiting can be hard. Even when God explains it to us, sometimes we still don’t get it. Kind of like Peter in these verses.

You will never wash my feet

At first Peter didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet. He felt it wasn’t Jesus’ place. Being the most honored guest, someone should have offered to wash Jesus’ feet. Peter was sort of saying, “I’m good, I don’t need you to do that for me Jesus.” Peter’s intentions were good (not wanting to put Jesus out and all), but Peter wasn’t quite getting the point. Sometimes we’re put in situations like that too, aren’t we. We think we know what is the good and proper thing to do. We don’t like it when people rock the boat. Imagine sitting at restaurant, and you’ve been seated near the waiting staff’s station. Your waiter or waitress is swamped and hasn’t been able to refill your cup. Someone at your table gets up and grabs the coffee pot and pours some into the first cup. You might say, “I’m good”, because you don’t like how the normal way of doing things has been changed up. We don’t like when things go differently than we expect or is “normal”. We’re not always willing to “go with the flow” as my mother would say.

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”

I know my coffee analogy has some holes, but work with me for a minute. Suppose you’ve just refused the cup of coffee poured by your friend. Your friend says to you, “Unless you let me serve you this coffee, you won’t get any.” That’s sort of what Jesus was saying to Peter. If you don’t let me serve you (not just coffee, but offering up His life), you’re not going to share in this salvation. If we want to do things the “normal” way or “our” way, we may find that we’ve missed the whole point. What is the point? To give glory to God. If we keep trying to do things the same way over and over again, we’re going to get the same results. When we trust God, we can be sure to be pushed out of our comfort zone, but we will also be enriched by a life spent focused on the Lord, and bask in the glory of our promised eternal life.

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

So your friend with the coffee said you might not get another chance to get more coffee. If we responded like Peter, we might get out our thermos and say, “not only in the cup, but fill up my thermos too”. Again, not a perfect analogy, but hopefully you get what I’m trying to say. Peter was vacillating between not wanting God to do anything and not believing what God was going to do was enough. At first Peter didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet, but to prove how much he was part of Jesus, he wanted Jesus to wash all of him. What God does for us is enough. Sometimes we try to augment our salvation, what Jesus did for us on the cross. We think yeah, that’s good and all, but I’m pretty sure it comes down to me being a good person too. We don’t like it when things don’t go the way we’re used to. In the world, it does often come down to being a good person. But fortunately for us our salvation is not based on that. We don’t have to do more to earn our salvation. Jesus died on the cross, and that was enough. Even the martyrs who gave up their life to tell people about Jesus didn’t up their chances of being saved by their immense sacrifice. It was only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that has provided us with our sharing in His kingdom.

Sometimes we just go over the top.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My God is…Received John 1:12-13

John 1:12-13 – But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

receiving-departmentBut to all who received him, who believed in his name

When Jesus came into the world, the world He created, He was not received or believed in by many of the people to whom He actually was promised. The same is true today. Jesus Christ, true man and true God, came to earth, lived perfectly, died and rose again, so that I would be able to have eternal life with Him in Heaven. Many people hear that as rubbish. They have heard, yet they don’t believe. They haven’t received Him.

Definition of RECEIVE

transitive verb
1: to come into possession of : acquire <receive a gift>
2

: to act as a receptacle or container for <the cistern receives water from the roof>

   b : to assimilate through the mind or senses <receive new ideas>
3

: to permit to enter : admit

   b : welcomegreet
   c : to react to in a specified manner
4: to accept as authoritative, true, or accurate : believe
5

: to support the weight or pressure of : bear

    b : to take (a mark or impression) from the weight of something <some clay receives clear impressions>
    c : acquireexperience <received his early schooling at home>
    d : to suffer the hurt or injury of <received a broken nose>
Did you receive the message? 
So many times in this technology driven world, we find ourselves out of sync with others. We go the wrong place, bring the wrong thing or forget an appointment all together. Often we hear our friends, family and coworkers say, “Didn’t you get my text?” The information was out there, but either I wasn’t paying attention, ignored it, silenced my phone or left my phone at home. I didn’t receive the information I truly needed. Many people are the same way with the Word of God. They aren’t paying attention, they’re ignoring it, silencing those who want to tell them about it or are truly out of tune with the Spirit all together. They’ve missed the message.
He gave power to become children of God
Those who have gotten the message, who received Jesus and believed are promised that they become children of God. Not because of anything anyone did (themselves or those around them), but through God’s will. Through His Holy Spirit He changes hearts, minds and souls, so they might receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
(looking at the definition of receive)
Receiving God
When you receive God, you will come into possession of His Holy Spirit and become part of the family. You only have to open yourself up and

act as a receptacle for God’s Spirit. As you grow to know God more, you will change and

assimilate or become more like Him through your mind and senses. Because you receive Jesus’ Spirit, you are 

permitted to enter heaven, you gain admittance. The Lord will be there to greet you, He will meet you where you are. You may

 react to in a specified manner, full of power as part of God’s family. When you receive God into your life you accept His Word as authoritative, true, or accurate. You believe in Him.You may have bear some hardships because of your faith. As God makes an impression on your life, you will have a whole new experience. He suffered and died for you so that you may receive all He has for you.

Did you get the message?
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My God is…Preparing a place for me

John 14:1-7 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house therereserved are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

“I’ve got to clean the house, my parents are coming into town.”

These are the words I have often said just before a visit from my parents. I want everything to be just right for them when they come to my house. I want them to feel at home or better yet comfortable. My house is their house. I want them to want to spend time with me in my home.

I go and prepare a place for you

Jesus too wants us to come to where He is. He doesn’t want us to come and visit, He wants us to move in. He’s making sure everything is ready for us and is preparing a place specifically for you and I. What kinds of things do you do to get the house ready for someone to stay with you? Maybe you clean, dust, change the sheets, clean up the bathrooms, clean up the yard, maybe even spruce things up with a new coat of paint. We want to pay attention to the details. What makes you comfortable when you go to spend time with people? Maybe it’s the extra soft towels, the bottles of water in your room, the toiletries in the bathroom or something else. Often those things aren’t even necessary, because spending time with the people you came to see is the most important. Jesus knows that too. He wants to have us where He is, because He wants to be in relationship with Him.

I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

“Let us catch a cab from the airport.” I don’t like it when I hear someone say that to me. I love to pick people up from the airport. I love the exciting drive home getting to chat with one another and rekindle our friendships in just a few minutes. I want to go pick them up myself, so that I can spend as much time with them as possible. When Jesus returns, it’s the same thing. He is coming back to get us, so that where He is, we will be. He doesn’t want to waste a single second of that time we could have together. He’s preparing a place for us, and He wants to personally escort us there. He has so many blessings for us waiting in Heaven, but the biggest blessing that will outshine them all is being fully in God’s presence, and knowing fully with our hearts and mind that Jesus cares for us and is honoring our relationship with Him. Not because of anything we’ve done, mind you, but because of who He is.

A place is being prepared for you!

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

My God is…The Lamb John 1:29

John 1:29 – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God,who takes lamb-of-godaway the sin of the world!”

John the Baptist bears witness to Jesus being the Christ

John the Baptist had a lot of followers. He was a well-known and respected Jew. He was a teacher and leader. So much so many people of the day thought that he might be the Christ. John the Baptist was always quick to point them away from himself and back towards God. He loved the Lord and knew that he would one day meet God.

Look the Lamb of God

In these times in Jewish history, lambs were common place. The lamb was used in meals, festivals and as sacrifices. There are many different theories on what John the Baptist meant when he said “Lamb of God” in reference to Jesus. I don’t claim to be a scholar or theologian, but I have always thought that in this instance that John was pointing to Jesus as the Messiah. The one who was sent to save the people of Israel. Whether it was as a triumphant lamb, sacrificial lamb, passover lamb or whichever, John the Baptist was clear that this was the Messiah. This is the one who was more important than him. He was the one who they had been anticipating. In verse 30 it reads, “This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” Those who were following John knew that John had been sent by God. He was the closest they had ever seen to the Messiah. Many kept asking him if he was the Messiah. John would remind them, that there was one who would come after him who was the Messiah.

Bearing witness

This whole section of scripture is amazing, because we get a first hand witness to Jesus. Someone who saw Him, confessing that He is the messiah. Clearly telling people this is the one that is more important than him. Why does this matter? It’s one more piece in the puzzle of our faith. We have witnesses telling us the truth about Jesus. John the Baptist was well respected. His word was not in question. That’s why it mattered that he was the one bearing witness to Jesus.

Selflessness – to God be the Glory

One of the things that I love about this verse is the way John the Baptist gives us an example of always pointing back to Jesus. Everything we do should be a reflection of our lives in Christ. The way we behave, the words we choose, the kindnesses we share are all opportunities to shine for Jesus. Pointing back to Him as the one who is greater than us. John the Baptist was doing that in these verses from John. He says, I’m not great, God is great. Now that Jesus was on the scene, John the Baptist was pointing people to Jesus. He wasn’t worried about the fact that his followers were now following Jesus. He was glad. He knew that Jesus was the one. The one true “Lamb of God”.

Who takes away the sin of the world

This is an amazing part of the verse. It shows that John the Baptist truly knew what the goal of Jesus was here on earth. That Jesus was truly the Messiah sent to take away the sin. Like the sacrificial lamb or the passover lamb, Jesus was going to be sacrificed, shedding His blood on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to suffer after death. What a blessing to have John the Baptist as a witness to our Lord. We can use his strong testimony to strengthen our faith. We can stand assured of Jesus role in our salvation.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 24, 2013 in John, My God is the Lamb

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My God is…above all John 3:31-36

John 3:31-36 – He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks

God should be above all!

God should be above all!

in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

He who comes from above is above all

Whether we admit it or not, God is above all. Whether we act like it or not, God is above all. God is the ultimate, the big cheese, the big kahuna, the master of the universe. Sin, He’s above it. Kings, above that too. Nature has got nothing on God (He created it after all).

He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. 

We can’t fathom it. We’re from the earth, God is too big to fully understand this side of heaven. He is beyond our comprehension how He is so far above us. Some times we say that His above all things in our lives, but more often than not we put other things in front of our relationship with God. We don’t put God in His proper place above everything else. We watch TV instead of doing a Bible study or praying. We go out with friends instead of helping our neighbor whose lawn and soul desperately need your attention. We put our needs above God and others. But even if we don’t act it, God is above all. He is most important.

Just because we act a certain way doesn’t make it true (or false). 

We say we eat healthy and then go out for french fries. We think of ourselves as kind and then talk behind someone’s back. We act as if we have it all together, while at home we’re crying our eyes out. Even though we don’t act like God is above all, He is. He is above all, no matter how we act, whether we acknowledge Him or not. God is above all.

What’s the big deal? 

Why does it matter that God is above all? Because your God, who is above all, chose to save you. He died on the cross, not because you deserved it, but because He loves you. He saved you not because you would always put Him above all, but because He knew you would fail and wanted to live with you in heaven anyway. He loves us and even though He is above everything else in the Universe (and beyond). That is amazing and miraculous. It is something we need to remind each other of, while we’re working to keep God above all else in our lives. To God be the glory.

Above all by Michael W Smith

Above all powers
Above all kings
Above all nature
And all created things
Above all wisdom
And all the ways of man
You were here
Before the world began

Verse 2
Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones
Above all wonders
The world has ever known
Above all wealth
And treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure
What You’re worth

CHORUS
Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 23, 2013 in John, My God is above all

 

Tags: , , ,

My God is…giving eternal life John 10:28

John 10:28 – I give them eternal life,and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. hope-clouds

I give them eternal life

Jesus gives us eternal life. What does that mean? It means that because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we’re able to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Though we die bodily, we’ll live on with God. Why does this matter? It’s what gives hope to the hopeless. Without the promise of a better existence after this one, our lives would have little meaning, and our actions would be temporary and futile, but because we are not thinking of this time alone, we can also think about the time that is to come. We don’t have to be stuck in our current circumstances, but instead focus and cling to the promise of a better future with our Lord.

Perhaps your health (like mine) is not all you would like. Perhaps you have something medical going on right now that scares you half to death. Perhaps you’re afraid because of death, or the threat of death. Cling to the Lord, knowing that this earthly life is temporary, and when you get to heaven you will have a perfect body.

No one will snatch them out of my hand

God has you in His hand. You put your faith in Him, and He doesn’t fail. Those who put their faith in the Lord will not perish (at least not their souls). We will forever be with the Lord in heaven. There are so many things in our lives that the devil uses to try to draw us away from the Lord, but with our eyes firmly fixed on Him and our faith and hope resting in God, we need not fear. God never deserts us. He is with us always. Even the word Immanuel reminds us of His omnipresence. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a](which means “God with us”). (Matt. 1:23)

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 2 Corinthians 3:12

Because of the love our Lord has shown us by sending Jesus that we might forever be in a close relationship with Him, we are able to be bold in our faith. Each moment of our life is an opportunity to do things differently than the rest of the world. To choose the way of the Lord over the worldly ways. Some of it seems like nonsense to those who don’t know Him, but don’t be dismayed, for you are storing up your treasures in heaven.

Are you bold?

 

Tags: , , , , ,

My God is…My Friend John 15:12-14

John 15:12-14 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to

Love one another

lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

You are my friends if you do what I command

I know, I know, I have said it time and time again. God’s love is unconditional. It is not what we do, but what He does. And even though at first glance this verse would seem to contradict that, I believe it doesn’t. Here’s why: It is not that he would not be our friends, it’s that doing what he commanded is evidence of our friendship with Him.

So what is Jesus commanding us to do? 

I included verse 12 in our reading for today to make it clear what command Jesus was talking about when He said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” Verse 12 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” He is telling the disciples (ahead of time) that they will see evidence of His love for them as he dies on the cross, and here He is calling them, and us, to “Love each other as I have loved you.”

A tall order

Jesus is calling us to love others as He has loved us. Yeah, but wait – he died for us. That’s a pretty tall order. I’m pretty sure most of us will not be called to lay down our life for someone else, but perhaps it also includes putting other people’s needs before our own. It reminds me of the JOY method my boys learned at their school in St. Louis. The Joy method is putting Jesus first, Others second, Yourself third.

Loving others is a response to knowing Jesus

In Bible study on Tuesday night, in preparation for studying Philippians, we went to Acts to learn about how the people of the church at Philippi came to know the Lord. We heard about Lydia and her family. How the Lord opened her heart and she believed. As soon as she believed she was moved to be baptized and then showed the others that she loved and cared about them by inviting them into her home. We also learned about the jail guard who was present when God opened the jail doors and loosened the chains around Paul and Silas. He thought they had escaped, but when he saw they were still there, he asked, “What must I do to be saved?”. They told him Believe in Jesus. He and his whole household believed. Then he cleaned their wounds (they had been beaten badly before ending up in jail), and as soon as they were cleaned up, the guard and his family were baptized. Then he gave them something to eat. But then guess what…Paul and Silas returned to their cell.

Loving Others isn’t always easy

Sometimes people make it really hard for us to love others and be their friend. They treat us poorly or worse yet treat someone we love poorly. It makes us angry and blocks our relationship with them and Jesus. Only when we focus on what is most important, our relationship with God, can we treat others with love, even when they don’t deserve it. Let’s be honest, most of the time, I don’t deserve other people’s love. I can be cranky, unkind and self-centered. But others love me despite my faults. I pray I too can do that with others.

Is loving others easy for you?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 15, 2012 in John, My God is My Friend

 

Tags: , , , , ,