Week Four – “Blue Plate Special”

Monday

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. John 1:1, 2

“Jesus: Eternal, God”

The Word is Jesus.  John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”  Before He became flesh, He was pre-existent with God.  In fact, He was with God at the beginning of time.  Jesus is co-eternal with God.  This is an amazing truth!  Jesus has always been!  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8:58).  The Jews of the time knew what He meant by this.  They tried to stone Him for heresy.  In their minds, Jesus couldn’t have physically been alive prior to Abraham.

John 8:58 also brings us to the second critical point: Jesus is God.  The phrase “I am” had serious implications.  When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am,” the Jews immediately thought back to an event involving Moses recorded in the book of Exodus.  God appeared to Moses in the burning bush.  Let’s listen in on this conversation, “God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14).  “I AM” is one of the names by which God identified Himself.  When Jesus said, “I AM,” He was calling Himself God.

Jesus is part of the Trinity, the three parts of God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  An analogy is water.  It can be solid (ice), liquid or vapor.  However, this analogy breaks down in that all three states do not exist simultaneously.  However, God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all at the same time!

*Jesus is eternal.  Jesus claimed to be eternal.

**Jesus is God.  Jesus claimed to be God.


Tuesday

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16, 17

“God Gave Us Jesus”

John 3:16 is the most familiar verse in the Bible.  It may be the most profound verse, as well.  The Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation deal with this theme: “Without Jesus Christ, we are lost.”

We are separated from our Holy God due to sin.  Yet God loves us anyway.  “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).  God loved us so much that He gave us His most precious possession, Jesus, to sacrifice His perfect life for us that our sin may be forgiven and we may have eternal life.  This is absolutely profound: through belief in Jesus (who He is and what He did) that we have eternal life and are justified before Him.  Jesus blood covers our sins before the Father.

God’s plan is to save the world, not to condemn it.  “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.” (John 3:18).

*Consider your relationship with Jesus today!


Wednesday

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over death into life! John 5:24

“Eternal Life”

God loves us and wants us to fully experience the peace and life that only He can give.  His plan is covered in the devo on John 3:16-17.

Being at peace with God is difficult because human beings are by nature separated from God.  Romans 3:23  says, All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  We cannot bridge this gap by anything that we do ourselves.  Good works, charity, kindness and love don’t make it.  “All of our righteous acts are like filthy rags to God.” (Isaiah 64:6).

When Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the grave, He defeated sin, paying the penalty for us.  It is through Jesus that the gap is bridged: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

In order to understand the validity of the “gift,” you must acknowledge your sinfulness.  You must then repent of your sin, which means desire to go the opposite direction. Believing in Jesus means accepting Christ’s death on the cross as payment for your personal sin. THEN, you are made right with God and have eternal life.

At this point, an amazing thing has happened.  It couldn’t have occurred any other way.  It couldn’t happen without Jesus!  You have crossed from death to life never to return!

*Remember, you can’t lose this gift: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28).


Thursday

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. John 14:21

“Love = Obedience”

Today’s devo is one of the simplest concepts of Scripture: Love equals obedience.  Unfortunately, man has confused the issue.  He has created a set of do’s and don’ts in order to please God.  He has exchanged the freedom of the Gospel for the Law.  Man’s problem is that he wants his own way rather than God’s.  The result is a set of “hoops” to jump through that do not please God.

If we truly desire a relationship with God, we must “give up ourselves.”  We must have the humility to approach God according to His standards: Loving God is obeying Him.  If we do not obey Him, then we do not truly love Him.  “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15).

Our spiritual fulfillment comes by this process: If we love Him, we will obey Him.  If we obey God, then we will have a true relationship with Him and He will reveal Himself to us.

The lack of obedience signals an impaired priority system.  Something is getting between you and God.  Is it pride?  Is it materialism?  What is it?  Remember this, love = unrestrained obedience.


Friday

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world. John 16:33

“Overcomer”

Life without tribulation is nonexistent.  There is a constant struggle in the physical, mental, moral and spiritual areas of our lives.  We should expect trials as we seek to emulate the holiness of God.  “Be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16).  The pursuit of a holy life is the opposite of the natural or worldly life.  There is tribulation because you are going against the powerful flow of the world.  Consider yourself a salmon, swimming upstream!

So, don’t be surprised.  As you know God better, you will view things as He does.  This life, although it is all we know, is not the end of the matter.  In fact, it is the beginning of eternal life in the presence of God.  Physical death is merely a door into God’s presence.  Jesus’ death and resurrection made this transition possible for us.  Spiritual death was defeated.  Jesus has overcome the world.  He is in control.  The ultimate victory is ours.

As a child of God, we will not be delivered from adversity.  In fact we are told it will come.  Strive for things that are important to God – set aside treasures in the world to come.  Then your struggle will not be self-imposed.  It will be pure and God appointed.  You will not be delivered from adversity, but will be delivered in adversity.  Jesus will show us the way of the “overcomer.”

HE IS NO FOOL WHO GIVES WHAT HE CANNOT KEEP TO GAIN THAT WHICH HE CANNOT LOSE: Jim Elliott