Friday, December 18, 2015
Background: John 3:16-21
Focal: John 3: 18-19
Familiarity with a verse of scripture or a favorite hymn can help us to recite or sing them often without the full thought of the implications of those verses. Most know John 3:16-17 and are familiar with it, but these verses are meant to be looked at with the verses around it.
John 3:18 tells us that whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever doesn’t believe is condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. It is a more pleasant thought to think choosing Jesus makes us better but I am a good person without him. Scripture does not indicate that we start at neutral but we start as condemned, guilty, and separated from God.
The judgement is that the light of God has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light. John’s gospel goes on to say that loving darkness keeps us from coming to the light because we do not want our deeds of darkness exposed.
God loves us. Do we love him or the darkness? We must let loose of the darkness and our love for it to embrace the light. Do we love the light of the world come to us that we might believe and have life?
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Background: Zechariah 4:1-14
Focal: Zechariah 4:6
Then then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
It seems to be part of the human condition to think that we are self-sufficient. We think we can do and accomplish so many things. We try time and again to get along in the world by our own power and might, trying to do what can only be done by God.
In life we believe that we can manage, get by, and even conquer all that life has to offer. In reality when we carry that to the extreme we are proclaiming that we are enough and we don’t need God. After all, we are tough and can do so many things. We run the risk of believing the lie that we can make it without God.
All it takes is a crisis or tragedy to set us back and then we start realizing how fragile we are. Life is not about what we can accomplish but what God can accomplish through us. It is humbling to realize that we can’t accomplish much in our power or might.
How much more should we be encouraged and allow the power of God to work in us and through us for his will and purposes? How much could be accomplished for his kingdom? Trust the Spirit of God and live by its power.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Background: Revelation 3:14-22
Focal: Revelation 3:15-16, 20
For many of us we prefer a comfortable life. We do not like very warm days when the heat climbs into the 100s and just as many do not care for the days when the temperatures dip way below freezing. We want to be comfortable. We have heaters and air conditioning in our homes and vehicles. It is an attempt to have comfort in life. I too shy away from the extremes in life and prefer to live comfortably and safely.
Jesus says he would prefer that we are hot or cold. If we are hot (on fire) for Jesus we are of a benefit to him as we proclaim and live out his will in our lives. IF we are cold, we may more easily recognize our need to repent and turn ourselves back to Christ. We recognize we are not where we need to be. Being warm is about comparison and relativity. We say things like “I’m okay” or “I’m a good person” and we are always better than a cold person but are not one hundred percent given to Christ. The good is the enemy of the great and acknowledges we want to change God’s standard.
Christ knocks and calls out to us, thank God. If anyone hears Christ’s voice and responds (opens the door), Christ will come into their hearts and dine with them creating a relationship, and fellowship with our Lord who lives, moves, and breathes in and through our lives.