Friday, December 23, 2011

The Resurrection and the Life

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’” John 11: 26-27 (NIV)

Jesus is in Lazarus’ home. Lazarus has died; his sisters are in mourning. The Master comforts the sisters.

The Lord says something to Martha that she doesn’t fully understand. Her brother will rise again. She knows Lazarus will rise ‘in the resurrection at the last day.’

Jesus then explains that He Himself is that resurrection. He further states that any who believe in Him will live, although that person will die a physical death. He explains that ‘whoever lives and believes in Him will never die.’

What does this mean to us who live in this 21st Century world? I see several thoughts in this passage:

● “He who believes in me”- Belief carries with it the factors of trust and faith.

● “. . . will live,”-Those who believe will become spiritual beings. The will live with God in heaven.

● “. . . even though he dies;” The person, in order to gain the resurrected body suitable for heaven, must go through a separation of his or her physical body.

● “. . . and whoever lives and believes in me” Anyone who abides in Christ. All who live for Him and trust Him.

● “. . . will never die.” Those who live for Jesus will never die. The will live with God forever.

Jesus then asks a question- one that is as pertinent to us as it was in the first Century, “Do you believe this?” As I read this inquiry, I see the emphasis can go on three different words. “Do you believe this?” This reading points to us as individuals, and makes this personal. “Do you believe this?” An interpretation of the action we chose to take or what we do with the information. “Do you believe this?” The meaning here seems to direct us to the facts of who Jesus is. As I understand the question, we have to deal with each meaning before we can experience spiritual growth. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Alpha and The Omega

“‘Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me,

and I will give to everyone according to what he has done

. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the Last.”’

Revelation 22:12-13 (NIV)

Jesus Christ tells His children that:

●He is coming soon to right the wrongs of the world.

●He will reward those who wait for Him according to their faith and holiness.

●He has the authority to do these things because He is the author and finisher of the faith.

What does this mean for us who live in the 21st Century? Jesus is coming again to rescue His followers and to establish His kingdom on Earth. He will judge and reward those who have proven faithful.

Jesus came to earth to teach us about God. He willingly gave His life to pardon us from sin. Christ will return to live with us, forever.

Dear Jesus:

You came to sojourn with us on earth two thousand years ago, for this we thank You. You set aside Your will for that of the Father’s, for this we are most appreciative. You promised us You would return to earth and live with us forever. For these deeds, we give humble thanks. In Your name, we pray. AMEN

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Word, God

“In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.”

John 1:1 (NIV)

“In the beginning was the Word,”

By the time of John’s writing of his gospel account of Jesus’ life, the church had experience a large influx of Greek people who actually outnumbered the Jewish Christians.

John chose to begin his account by explaining who Jesus was. He began with the concept the people new to Christianity could understand- in the Greek language words were important.

John reflects on Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” By doing this he establishes that the word existed before God created the world.

“ . .the Word was with God,”

John boils down the intimate relationship Jesus and God had into five words. They were extremely close. We can barely describe this relationship. Matthew Henry states that Jesus coexisted with God.

Let me try to describe this connection between Jesus and God by drawing a parallel.

We all know of married couples who truly function as a team-they do most of their activities together. People who know them speak of them as a pair. This closeness of a man and his wife is a miniature picture of the relationship between Jesus and God.

“. . . and the Word was God.”

When we see Jesus, we see someone whose nature reflects God’s perfect being. The Son of God came to earth to allow us to know His Father’s love and nature to prepare you and me to live for Him during our time here. By living for Him here, we learn how to live with Him in heaven.

In our 21st Century world, people have forgotten about God and His Son. Their behavior has become unspeakable. In our state we read of events and circumstances that, even 20 years ago, would make us sick.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior, let us approach Him with humble hearts, give Him the concerns of our hearts, and ask Him to guide us through these fallen times. Let us also search His Word  for answers to how to prepare ourselves for what will come next.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...