Day 69: Jesus: The Co-Creator

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being...

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’”...

The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’

John 1:1-2, 14-15, 29-30, NASU

 

One of the most important reasons that we read is that we might gain a full understanding of Who we serve. The apostle John, through inspiration, reveals a truth about Jesus that is critical to a full understanding of just who He is. So, the first thing that John reveals about Jesus is that He was with God in the very beginning, and that He was, in fact, a Co-Creator of this world.

 

Understanding that Jesus was with God in the beginning will help us to understand many of the things that are recorded in the Bible. For example, did you ever wonder who God was talking to in Genesis when He said, "Let Us make man in Our image:? 

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26, NASU

 

Now from John chapter 1 we are able to understand that it was Jesus to whom He was referring. There are many other passages that can only be understood in the light of Jesus being with God in the very beginning, and it is in John chapter 1, more that any other place, that describes this aspect of the One who was called the Son of God.

 

Aren't you glad you are taking the time to read the Bible?

 

Today's lesson is from John chapter 1, and it is only the beginning of the wonderful things that God wants us all to know from the writings of John the Apostle.

 

Day 68: An Opened Mind

Then he said to them, "These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled."

Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,

Luke 24:44-45, RSV

 

We talk a lot about having an open mind. Now having an open mind is important, but we do need to be careful that it is not so "open" that we accept every idea, no matter how ridiculous. There is a difference, however, between an open mind and an opened mind, and it is this that we want to look at today.

 

In the passage above, Jesus was explaining to His disciples about his death burial and resurrection, He revealed to them that everything that had happened to Him had already been foretold in the Scriptures and how these things had to be fulfilled in the exact way that the writers of the Old Testament had prophesied. Then, because prophesy is from God and can only been understood by those who had been enlightened, Jesus "opened their minds" to understand these Scriptures.

 

One of the results that we all hope to obtain by reading the Bible is that our minds may be opened. I'm not talking about having something miraculous happen to us as it did to the disciples when Jesus opened their minds, but I do believe that Scripture reveals we can understand everything that is necessary for our service to God and our salvation. The reason that we need to read with an "open mind" is so that we do not allow past prejudices and false understandings to prevent our minds from being "opened" by the truths that are plainly set forth in Scripture.

 

This is why we read!

 

Today's reading is the 24th chapter of Luke.

Day 67: The Corruptness of Politics

Okay, I know what you were probably thinking, but the corrupt politics I'm referring to in this article occurred 2,000 years ago. It seems some things never change, as is revealed in the following passage:

 

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.” So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd,

“I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

Luke 23:1-5, NIV

 

A wise man once said that while history does not always repeat itself, it does rhyme. I am amazed at how we fail to learn some of the most prominent lessons from history. This one in particular involves the framing of the one individual whom history reveals was truly innocent. In fact, everything about Jesus was good. Yet He was still seen as a threat to those in power... so they killed Him.

 

Even Pilate, who freely admitted that there was no basis for a charge against Jesus, took an active role in His death. In fact, it was Pilate who yielded to the pressure of other corrupt leaders in order to keep on their good side.

 

One of the reasons that this is such an important lesson is that if the corrupt politicians of Jesus' day would go to any length to falsely accuse, make up a crime and then frame Him for that made up crime, and then kill the Lord and Savior, then we shouldn't be surprised when they do the same thing in our day and age. Since this is the case, it would be good for all Christians to rely a little less on their favorite politicians, and start relying a lot more on their Lord and Savior.

 

The lesson for today is taken from Luke chapter 23. It helps to reveal the true nature of men, so that we can avoid being caught up in their schemes, and instead focus on what God has put us here for in the first place: To serve Him! 

Day 64 - 66: The Last Days of Jesus on Earth

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Luke 22:41-44, KJV

 

By now, most are familiar with Jesus' final days here on earth. Beginning with the familiar theme of the leaders opposing everything He did, to the last supper, to His prayer in the garden, we see a series of events unfold that would ultimately lead Jesus to the cross. It must have been frustrating to Jesus to have the very ones He came to save working so hard to see that He didn't. It's not that the leaders didn't want to be saved, they just had a different plan in mind. 

 

I think there are times that we also have a different plan in mind.

 

That's why it is so important for us to read the Word. It is vital that we know the exact plan that God has for our salvation, just as it is vital for us to know exactly how He accomplished it. And it is critical that we understand the price that Jesus paid to make sure that we have that opportunity to be saved, lest we allow our own thoughts and plans to get in the way of our salvation.

 

The reading for the next three days consists of Luke chapters 20-22. They reveal the love that Jesus has for us, the commitment He had to make sure that we have that opportunity to be saved, and the depth of love that He and the Father have for us. It is an important story, and one that is worthy of our attention. It cost the Jesus' very life to tell it. Will we listen?

Day 63: What Will We Do In Heaven?

As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants he gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’

When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’

Luke 19:11-17, ESV

 

This parable is a bit different from the more familiar parable of the talents, but it gives us some insight as to what may be awaiting us after this life is over. There are a number of things to glean from this parable, but it's the part where Jesus says, "You shall have authority over ten cities" that I want to draw to your attention.

 

You see, I believe many people have the wrong impression about heaven. That's alright, and partially understandable, because Scripture only provides a few glimpses of what awaits us in eternity, but what is not alright is this false idea that we will somehow be bored. I think that the non- Bible reading world has an idea that heaven will be boring, and that all we will do is sit around on clouds strumming on harps. The other end of the scale has people with the fanciful notion that we will be doing worldly activities like fishing, hunting and going to rodeos. I don't think that either notion is even close.

 

I think that's one of the reasons that Jesus told this parable. In it, we find two men hearing "well done", and then they are "given authority over cities". Now I don't know exactly what that means, but I do know that it gives us an indication that our eternity will consist of important, satisfying work. Whether that means we will have authority over literal cities or if Jesus is just giving us an idea of how vital our responsibility will be, we really cannot know for sure.

 

But we can know that heaven will not be boring, and we can hopefully also see that it will not be some sort of "recess" for adults. God has created us for important things, both here on earth and throughout eternity. Our duty (as always) is to serve Him to the best of our ability. And this service is interesting, important, and anything but boring.

 

Today's reading is from Luke 19.