Jesus is There if You Want Him

Recently, I started reading and studying the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John marches to its own drum, different from the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Like the writers of the three other Gospels, the author of John does not name himself within the text. There is evidence within the Gospel itself and in the writings of the church fathers that the writer was the Apostle John, one of the original Twelve, that accompanied Jesus on during his earthly ministry.

According to Eusebius, John probably wrote the Gospel while he was ministering to the church in Ephesus, sometime during the 30-year span between A.D. 65 and 95. At the time, Ephesus was one of the largest centers of Christian activity in the Gentile world.

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Compared to the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John places a much greater emphasis on the deity of Jesus. This can be problematic to some who are willing to accept that Jesus existed solely as a historical human teacher and religious prophet. Naturally, the Synoptic Gospels speak to the divinity of Jesus also, but John’s emphasis on Christ’s deity covers the beginning and end lying at the heart of the message: Jesus is God. Many faiths, including Islam and Judaism, accept that Jesus lived. Only Christianity touts Him as the Son of God, from the beginning of time through the end of history. The Gospel of John boldly points to the divine nature of Christ, the Son of God and second person of the Trinity.

In Chapter 1, verse 11, the Scripture makes it clear that Jesus, the Christ, came to His own people and they failed to receive Him. In verse 12, the writer of John declares that all who believe in Jesus as the Son of God, are given the right to become children of God. In verse 13, the author points out that this is not because of our doing, but solely by the grace of God.

11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did  receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Gospel of John (ESV) Chapter 1, Verses 11-13

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So there it is in plain sight. Jesus stands at the door knocking. He wants you to receive Him. He stands before you ready for the taking, if only you will have Him. Yes, you can accept Jesus as being a man. He was, after all, fully human. But to stop there and deny His deity leaves you standing alone at the altar. It is not enough to say Jesus was a great man or magnificent teacher or extraordinary healer. In order to receive the full benefits of the Kingdom that God himself has prepared for you, you must receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. Nothing less will do.

Jesus is there if you want Him. Will you receive Him today?

Be blessed and be a blessing.

TDG

 

References:

Constable, Thomas J. (2017). Constable’s Notes: John. Retrieved from Bible. org

Thanks to the artists at Pixabay for sharing their images.

Remaining Vigilant on the Road of Recovery

Recovery is a total overhaul of our mind, body, and spirit. It is a constant, ongoing process. You can graduate from a program, but you never graduate from your recovery. Even after you overcome your habits and hang-ups and find healing from your hurts, the work of recovery continues. Like the process of sanctification, the journey of recovery transforms us daily, correcting our skewed inner navigation system. We are all flawed. We are all a little damaged. No one drives life’s highway without getting dinged up. At the end of the road, none of us even get off the highway alive.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

 addiction

Recovery is about living. Addiction is about dying. As addicts, regardless of habit or hang-up, we die to self a bit every single day. The longer we remain embroiled in the turmoil brought on by our darkest demons, the more of our self we lose. We find ourselves wandering aimlessly off-course, struggling to find our way home.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

But, the good new is that recovery works if you work it. We avoid getting too far ahead of ourselves and certainly we must not get ahead of God. His desire is for us to walk with Him, just as Adam and Eve walked with Him in the Garden (Genesis 3:8). When we walk with God, it fosters closeness, intimacy and fellowship. Spiritual growth occurs. Our spiritual growth and transformation help us remain in a state of recovery. Recovery is not a stagnant but ever-developing, altering states just like water forms into ice and ice evaporates into a gas.

Vigilant

Our recovery requires our active participation, monitoring our thoughts and behaviors, continuing to learn and practice new skills, developing and growing our support system, and being alert and watchful to triggers and temptations to use or return to our addictions of choice. We must stay vigilant, guarding against relapse.

Step 1: Honesty

“Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.”

The work of recovery is hard but it is also rewarding. The work we do in the rooms and through our programs helps us rebuild broken relationships. Recovery brings new people into our life as well, providing us with friends who walk with us, mentoring us, and most of all, holding us accountable. We can experience happiness because we learn to quickly forgive wrongs and readily admit when we messed up and need to apologize and make amends. This keeps the list short and our burdens light, replacing pain with joy. Through recovery we can live the abundant life our Creator intended for us to experience this side of Heaven.

Open Door

 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10 (ESV)

My friend, continue to press on, one day at a time, and even sometimes one moment at a time.

RBantau_072017 Devo Guy