Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3.16
God loved the world. God is so much greater than my finite self. He has the capacity to love everyone equally and unconditionally, without any kind of prejudice. So hard to do. At times, I find myself deciding whether or not a person would be open to the Gospel. Something I need never do since I cannot know what is in a person’s heart. Then there is the way in which God showed his love for everyone. He gave Jesus to die. As a mother, I can only begin to understand how difficult that must have been. Romans 5.6,8,10 tells us that he did this while we were helpless, sinners, and his enemies. That paints a picture that is priceless! God’s love is unconditional. It is extended to all. However, there is a condition to eternal life. Eternal life is for those who believe in Jesus. Do not be tricked into believing otherwise. May I learn to love as God does and believe in the one who makes eternal life a reality.
#risingjoy #John #love
Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children – children not born by human parents’ or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God. John 1.12-13
I am born by God. That is such an awesome thing. To think that the Creator of the universe takes such an interest in me. I am so small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but God gave me the right to become His child. Let it be noted that it is not something that I automatically have the right to become. He gives me the right. I have to receive what He gives. I have to believe in Him. To receive what He gives I have to obey Him. Many people have the belief that God wants me to be happy. It is true that He wants me to be happy, but not at the cost of doing something that will cause me to turn from Him. He knows better than I what will make me happy! God adds me to His family when I receive Him. What a remarkable thing!
#risingjoy #John #new-birth
“I can guarantee this truth: A single grain of wheat doesn’t produce anything unless it is planted in the ground and dies. If it dies, it will produce a lot of grain. Those who love their lives will destroy them, and those who hate their lives in this world will guard them for everlasting life.”
John 12.24-25 GW
Jesus often spoke in paradoxes. We live by dying (to self, to the world). Death occurs through attempts to preserve one’s life. Eternal life is the greatest prize.
How do I practice this necessary death today? How much do I value eternal life? Where do I go to learn to hate my life in this world?
#votd #John #self-denial
“Why wasn’t this oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?”
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus used their wealth to serve Jesus. They freely gave to the Lord. Mary showed her love by anointing Jesus, but Judas could only criticize and count pennies.
The miserly spirit may hide the sin of greed. Churches with big bank accounts often talk about the need to be prepared, but are often trusting in their bank balance.
#votd #John #money
“Nicodemus replied, ‘How can these things be?’?
The teacher of Israel was in the dark. He failed to understand what Jesus said, because he looked at the physical side of life, rather than the spiritual.
Much of Christendom today looks for the physical and misses the spiritual. Jesus wants to change the inner person and eternal destination, not our present situation.
#votd #John #understanding
“And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment— concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
These are the subjects of the Holy Spirit. He revealed the word of truth. Awareness of wrong is necessary to put one on the road to righteousness.
Jesus had to return to heaven in order for the Holy Spirit to come. We are blessed to have his truth in Scripture. How precious is that truth to me?
#votd #John #Holy-Spirit
“But Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’”
Jesus delivered himself to the opposition. He came to earth in order to give up his life and suffer on the cross. There would be no defense, no protection, because his time had come.
The cup here represents Jesus’ suffering on the cross. Jesus accepted it willingly. What sufferings does the Lord call on me to undergo? Am I willing to bear them?
#votd #John #eternal-purpose
“They are judged by this fact: The light has come into the world. But they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things.”
John 3.19 ERV
God’s light causes different reactions among people. Those reactions to God’s revelation in Christ are the basis of judgment. The judgment against those who refuse the light is condemnation.
Am I drawn toward God’s light? Do I welcome its presence in every part of my life? Am I willing for the light to expose my wrongs?
#votd #John #light
“Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the deceased, replied, ‘Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, because he has been buried four days.'”
Ever the practical one, Martha thinks of what is, not what can be. She has no idea of Jesus’ intent. She deals with a dead body; he plans to revive.
Am I so caught up in the problem of the hour or the reality of the moment that I cannot see what God desires to do in me and through me?
#votd #John #potential
“Now this is the will of the one who sent me—that I should not lose one person of every one he has given me, but raise them all up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father—for everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him to have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The Father’s will looks past the present, to the last day, to giving eternal life. He is interested in saving every single person. He does so through faith in the Son.
Believing in Christ means trust, faithfulness, and obedience. It means full commitment to the Lord. Does he have that from me?
#votd #John #will-of-God
“They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world.”
In his prayer to the Father, Jesus mentions this truth as the basis for much of his petition. Our Lord came to this world, but was not a part of it. The world sought independence from God; Jesus sought to do his will.
As the Lord’s people, how does not belonging to the world, but to God, define our motives, thoughts and actions? What makes us different?
#votd #John #discipleship
“But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves.”
Jesus prayed to his Father before his betrayal. He looked forward to returning to the Father. He also desired to fulfill his mission of revealing the Father’s will to mankind. He knew it was the source of true joy.
Do I desire, like Jesus, to go to the Father? Do I desire to hear Jesus’ words? Do I desire the full joy that lasts? Do I know how to receive it?
#votd #John #prayer #joy
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.”
God’s revelation was not left to chance. Jesus sent the Spirit to reveal “all truth” to the apostles, who in turn preached and wrote it for all people to follow.
If God gave us all truth, we ought to obey and follow it all. Part of the truth is no truth at all. Partial obedience is disobedience. Let’s be guided by all God’s truth.
#votd #John #truth
“Some people said, ‘This is the man!’ while others said, ‘No, but he looks like him.’ The man himself kept insisting, “I am the one!'”
After Jesus healed the blind man, there was confusion about his identity. Even people who knew him were unsure if it was him or not.
Human powers of observation are limited. People often don’t pay attention to what goes on around them. Failure to notice surroundings leaves us open to mistakes.
#votd #John #observation
Here’s a bare bones sermon outline but there’s plenty of room for you to add the meat that’s missing. I may see if I can upload the sermon I did with it here in TFR, I don’t know. Any who, here you go:
Title: The “Beginning” of John’s Gospel
John 1:1-5: The Genesis of Genesis
John 1:6-9: The Genesis of John
John 1:10-13: The Genesis of Rejecting Jesus
Preach the word!