“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!
A question occurred to me recently that I had never considered before.
The Holy Spirit has always been active in the realm of men. First mentioned in Genesis 1:2, the Spirit has been involved, faithfully doing the will of God in whatever way He was needed (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 51:11, et al).
In addition, the Holy Spirit directed the Word of God to men so God’s will could be taught and obeyed (2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit has been active in various ways since before time began.
With that in mind, Jesus teaches the Apostles in John 14-16 that the Holy Spirit would come as a Comforter (John 14:16) and as a Teacher (John 14:26). Later, He hastens the arrival of the Church (Acts).
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, cf. 14:16).
Considering the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout Scripture…
- How is it that the Spirit could not come until Jesus left?
- In what way had He not come, considering He had always been here working for God?
- Why had He left in the first place?
- In what way had He left?
Had the Spirit not been a Comforter and Teacher already in His role as a carrier of God’s will and word?
I find this an interesting thought question and I look forward to your answers.
On my left, I have my commentaries for the Gospel of John [for sermon preparation] and Revelation [Wednesday night Bible class]. On my right, my New Testament and a a pack of Sugar Free Werther’s. Ready for action!