He Is The One

Screenshot (1694)

“You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”  (John 8:23–24, NIV 1984).

My Musings – To stand before a righteous and holy God in our sins is not something we want to do.  There is nothing we can do to avoid appearing before Him. For it is appointed to man to face Him and be judged.  If we appear before Him on our own merits we stand condemned for all eternity.

My Advice -Believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be — the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except though Him.  We can be summoned by Him (and we must appear), but we cannot come to Him, except through Jesus.  Then we can boldly approach the throne of grace.

Look To The Son

Screenshot (1683)

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:37–40, NIV 1984).

My Musings – The theme of this passage is hard to miss – those that God gives his Son. And who are those that are given to the Son? “Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him.”  And if that is not awesome enough, the Son “shall lose none of all that [God] has given [Him].

My Advice – Feeling a bit insecure these days?  Look to the Son.  Believe in Him.  He’ll give you eternal security.  It’s the “Father’s will.

You Would Have Asked

Screenshot (1673)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  (John 4:9–10, NIV 1984).

My Musings – “If you knew…you would have asked.”  Let that thought sink in.  “If…you would.”  Why is it that so many do not ask for this “living water?”  Because that’s all you have to do is ask.  What could be more simple than that?  Actually nothing.  But the problem is that people either do not take the time to know, or they refuse to know.

My Advice – Get to “know” Him.  A relationship with Him is yours for the asking.  Even if you are a “Samaritan.”

 

Wait Until Your Father Gets Home

Screenshot (1670)

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:17–18, 36, NIV 1984).

My Musings – Ever hear those words?  Probably most of us have.  How many of us, after hearing these words, just couldn’t wait?  I thought so.  After messing up this world so much, we should have been in great fear of God’s visit.  But when He sent His Son, He sent Him to save not to condemn.  Whatever condemnation we receive is from not believing in Christ.  Not believing in Him is rejecting Him and the One who sent Him.  And “God’s wrath remains on” all who do not believe.

My Advice – Don’t wait until our Father calls you home to believe.  Then it will be too late.

Want A Miraculous Sign?

Screenshot (1662)

Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.  (John 2:18–22, NIV 1984).

My Musings – “Then they believed.”  When? “After he was raised from the dead.”  In other words, after He did what He said He would do — rise from the dead.  Want a miraculous sign?  It doesn’t get more miraculous than that.  Up to that point, His disciples had only seen Him turn water into wine.  Perhaps its not surprising that they didn’t catch on at this point, but eventually they did believe.  Sadly there’s no indication that those who sought the miraculous sign (the religious leaders, apart from Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea) ever did.

But what about us?  We have the four Gospels, recording all sorts of things that occurred in His life that were prophesied hundreds of years earlier in the Old Testament.  Just what the prophecies said would happen did happen.  Impossible to orchestrate.  The only way they could have all been fulfilled is if He was exactly who He said He was.  Yet many still choose not to believe.  But if He is exactly who He said He is, then we need to believe everything that He said.

My Advice – And He said, we must be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God (Heaven).  Don’t wait to see how things play out.  They’ll play out exactly how Jesus said they would.  But then it will be too late.  Now is the day of salvation.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Read the Gospel of John.  It’s just as good in telling you all you need to know to be saved (born again) as it was in the good ol’ days.

The Rest Of The Story

Screenshot (1659)

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.   (John 1:10, NIV 1984).

My Musings – John packs a lot into his Gospel, of which this verse is only a sample.  I invite you to read the entire chapter.  But first, let’s unpack this verse.

He Was In The World – “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:14, NIV 1984).  The Son of God left the side of His Father, left the splendor of Heaven, where He had spent eternity past, to become a man and live among us.  Not merely a man, but “a man of sorrows.”  Not just to live among us, but to die for us.  “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”  (Philippians 2:8, NIV 1984).

The World Was Made Through Him – “Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”  (John 1:3, NIV 1984).  Though the world, even the entire universe, was created through Him. He entered into and became part His own creation.

His Own Did Not Recognize Him – “Don’t you know me…even after I have been among you…? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?”  (John 14:9–10, NIV 1984).  His own, the very ones He created failed to recognize who He was.  Despite the fact that the entire Scriptures up to that time pointed to Him.  They were expecting Him.  They were looking for Him.  Yet when He came, most missed Him.

His Own Did Not Receive Him – “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.  (John 19:14–16, NIV 1984).  Despised and rejected.  They had their own idea of who they were looking for.  A temporal king. A temporal restoration of the kingdom of Israel.  In the process, they failed to receive the eternal (Alpha and Omega) King of kings.  They failed to enter into the eternal Kingdom of God.

My Advice – That was then.  Now we know…the rest of the story (see below).  Many continue to reject Him.  “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:11-13, NIV 1984).  “Born of God.”  Sound rather surprising?  “I [Jesus] tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  (John 3:5–8, NIV 1984).

The Rest of the Story was a Monday-through-Friday radio program originally hosted by Paul Harvey. Beginning as a part of his newscasts during the Second World War and then premiering as its own series on the ABC Radio Networks on May 10, 1976, The Rest of the Story consisted of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line, “And now you know…the rest of the story.” (Wikipedia).

Don’t be satisfied with merely knowing the rest of the story.  Become a part of the story.  Be born of God, born of the Spirit, born again.  Possible all because “once upon a time” “the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”  But He really came to die for us.  And that is the “rest of the story.”  Yet there is no living “happily ever after” unless we are born again.

 

The Mind of Christ

Screenshot (1657)

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’  But we have the mind of Christ.”  (1 Corinthians 2:10–16, NIV 1984).

My Musings – We have received “the Spirit who is from God.”  We also have been given “the mind of Christ.” Without these, the things of God are foolishness.  “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  (1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV 1984).  With them, we have spiritual discernment with the ability to understand what God has freely given us. “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  (John 15:15, NIV 1984).

The world in its wisdom may consider us to be the foolish ones. They simply do not understand us.  But we are “not subject to any man’s judgment.”  And we need not be “ashamed, because [we] know whom [we] have believed, and [are] convinced that He is able to guard what [we] have entrusted to him for that day.”  (2 Timothy 1:12, NIV 1984).  How is it possible for us to be so convinced?  Because “we have the mind of Christ.

My Advice – Does it seem foolish to you?  Are you unable to understand? Would you like to understand what God is freely offering?  You can.  See my musings on “The Born Again Experience.”