Wednesday, February 25, 2009

John Chapter 19 - February 25, 2009

Read the chapter. What more is there to say? God loved us so much that He came to earth and endured unexplainable torture so that we would not have to pay the ultimate price for our own choices and sins. There has never been a greater example of love. Thank you God.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

John Chapter 18 - February 24, 2009

18:5 - Look at the power Jesus has. A group of armed men come to arrest him and when he utters, "I am he." They fall back on their faces. He is in command of the situation...he could have done anything, but he orders them to do what they have come to do. He gives them permission to take him. He accepts the will of his Father.

18:11 - Peter tries to use force to change the course of the situation, and Jesus rebukes him. Jesus is fully ready to do what he came to trust in God's plan.

18:27 - Shame on Peter...and shame on me for the times that I have denied Jesus through my words, thoughts and actions.

18:31 - They are so corrupt and twisted that they will use the power of a government they despise to do their own dirty work. They know that murdering Jesus is unlawful according to their laws, so they just get somebody else to do it. Their hearts scream murder so they are just as guilty.

18:36 - If we are a part of the kingdom of God...if we are going to help to bring the kingdom of heaven crashing to earth, then we will stand up for the name of Jesus Christ...we will honor him with our lives.

18:37-38 - From this conversation, we can tell that Pilate is not a man of "the truth." He doesn't even believe that truth is definable.The Jewish leaders that captured Jesus believed that the truth was a lie. Both groups are deniers of truth and vile in their own unique ways. Today there are a million ways to deny truth, whether you want to call it wrong or say it doesn't exist or say that everyone can have their own truth...any way you cut it Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and people without him are not people of truth.

18:40 - Release the robber - kill the savior of the world, God in the flesh, creator of galaxies! That my friends is twisted!

Monday, February 23, 2009

John Chapter 17 - February 23, 2009

17:6 - Jesus is the manifestation of God's name...he is the Word walking in the flesh.

17:8-26 - Whoa...hold on there, is Jesus only praying for certain people and content with leaving others to be hell bound? No, he is thanking God for the remnant of Jewish followers he has been able to gather to the truth (The disciples). He goes on to explain that since he is imparting the truth into their lives, his disciples will be taking the truth to the rest of the world. (So don't worry, God still longs for every man to be drawn to Him). This really shows how important it is that we share the truth with the lost when we have it...we are the plan.

17:23 - This is a great picture of the church...this is what we're supposed to look like.

John Chapter 16 - February 23, 2009

16:2 - Prophecy or no, this is fulfilled in the lives of people like Paul who felt perfectly righteous in their persecution of Christians.

16:7ff - Jesus says it is better for us that he leaves, because we then have a chance to have the Spirit of the living God within us! Inside of us...a reservoir of strength and knowledge that we cannot even begin to fully understand.

16:21 - While a woman is pregnant there is discomfort and pain and stress and fear...just ask my wife. Yet when the child is born, the joy is so intense that it completely blinds her of any pain she experienced before...there is only light and rejoicing for the child that has come into the world. This is a great picture of what will happen when Jesus comes will experience such joy that you will be unable to remember any hardships you experienced on this earth. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

John Chapter 15 - February 17, 2009

15:2 - Jesus is all about simple and clear truths. Branches that don't produce fruit get tossed away - people whose lives don't bear anything truly good are not a part of the kingdom of God. It's also interesting that he says that those who do produce good are going to be pruned. Doesn't pruning involve being cut back? That sounds painful...sometimes even in the midst of honoring God through our lives we will experience hard things - try to look at those situations of ways in which God is preparing you to be even more fruitful.

15:5 - Without Jesus is the mix - any good we do is not truly good. It is good for our sake or good to get something we want. Jesus has to be central to the life of someone who is producing selfless goodness.

15:7 - Before you get too excited...Jesus is not saying that you can have whatever you want (If that were true I would already have a Toyota FJ). He says, "If you abide in me" you get what you want...and people who are living in step with Jesus are not going to ask for selfish things...they are going to ask God to help them expand His kingdom and serve others.

15:12,13 - Such a simple command - love one another, yet this is so freakishly hard for us to do. He shows us what real love looks like. He says that love is about laying your life down for someone else. This for sure includes dying to save someone else (Like Jesus himself did), but it goes beyond that I is about living a lifestyle of laying your life down for others - putting people ahead of yourself. That is what a loving life looks like.

15:18,23 - Hey if people are hatin' on you because you are a a follower of Jesus - you have some good company...Jesus himself. If people don't think you are weird at probably have some issues with making Jesus central to your life. Verse 23 seems to assert that these people who are persecuting you because of your allegiance to Jesus are people that hate God himself...probably not the kind of people to have as friends anyway!

Monday, February 16, 2009

John Chapter 14 - February 16, 2009

14:1 - Simple, beautiful words...Jesus has everything under control.

14:6 - I don't think this is only a reference to getting into heaven, although Jesus is definitely the only way to get there...I think it is deeper than that. Even in this life, you don't get to enter into the presence of don't get to connect with the creator that you have been made to worship and be in community with, unless you come through Jesus Christ.

14:12 - How could we possibly do more than Jesus did? Well, you're never going to be able to top given your perfect life to offer forgiveness to every human who has ever existed...sorry. BUT, since Jesus is not a liar, what does he mean? Maybe he means that a whole bunch of people a.k.a. "the disciples" can do a lot more healing and sharing of the gospel and taking the message of Jesus into all the world, than he can all by himself (his human side anyway) in one-on-one conversations. Just a guess.

14:15 - Pretty cut and dry...loving Jesus - following his commands.

14:23 - It is really comforting to know that we are not alone as followers of Jesus. We have a helper to teach us and to hold us accountable. That's pretty cool, huh?

14:27 - Peace...incredible has been a a rough day at work and this is what I have been praying for - peace. Jesus says this is not a peace like the world offers up. The world makes peace through war (weird, huh?), through dominating the chaotic elements of a conflict. Jesus made peace by selflessly sacrificing his life for ours. |That is a peace that is different...a peace centered on indescribable love. Very cool.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

John Chapter 13 - February 11, 2009

13:1-11 - Powerful story. We can learn a lot from Jesus through his actions here. Though he was the master of the universe, he made himself a slave (Slaves were the foot washers of the time). Through Peter's dialogue, we can see that not only are we called to serve, but we are called to allow people to serve us sometimes. We learn that humility reflects love. What other lessons do you see in these verses?

13:14 - Jesus set up a great leadership model here...leading by example. He also uses his example as a call to service for us. If you want to walk in his footsteps, this is what it looks like.

13:16 - We really need to understand this. Am I greater than Jesus? No. So wash feet - serve. What right do I have to ignore service when my master was a servant. Am I a better man than
Jesus? No. So seek humility. Jesus says, if we understand these things we will be blessed.

13:35 - This is how the world will know who we serve and who we our love. Looking at your life...what does it say you serve?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

John Chapter 12 - February 10, 2009

12:6 - I think it tells you something about the corruption of Judas. He has been around Jesus...he knows Jesus has been reading people's minds...yet he still has the audacity to steal from the disciples money. Sometimes when people are trapped in their sin, they will continue on no matter what the consequences. Jesus knows everything I do and everything I often do I have the audacity to knowingly sin anyway?

12:24ff - Interesting imagery - life comes from death. Without the death of the wheat more wheat comes. Without the death of tomatoes and jalapenos - no salsa (thanks Rob Bell). Things have to die so that we might live. Jesus had to die so that we might live. He calls us to come and die to our old selves so that we can experience life.

12:42ff - How true is this passage? It says that many religious leaders of Jesus time believed in him, but they refused to admit that they did because they loved the glory of men instead of the glory of God. How many Christians still live like this? How many times do we refuse to live out our faith because that doesn't impress the people we're around? In the Hebrew world, belief = action. If you believed, then you acted on that in that sense, these guys didn't believe. How about you?

Monday, February 9, 2009

John Chapter 11 - February 9, 2009

11:4-6, 14 - Jesus could have healed Lazarus at any time, but he wants people to finally start understanding who he is. Because he loves them, he allows Lazarus to die so they can see his true they will understand just who he is and what he has to offer. I believe that sometimes God allows us to go through hard things that He will use for His draw us near to show us how much we need Him.

11:9 - Great advice here. If you walk in the light, you have a much better chance to stay standing. Meaning that if you focus on godly things and stay away from tempting situations, you are going to be much more likely to live live a God honoring life.

11:16 - I love that the disciples were willing to die alongside Jesus (They knew Judea was dangerous, but they went along with him anyway). Unfortunately, we know that their great intentions dissolved quickly when Jesus was arrested...the disciples scattered. The best intentions mean nothing if we don't follow through with faithful actions. We gotta finish strong.

11:22 - I love Martha's faith here. May I have a faith that stays strong no matter what.

11:35 - Beautiful. Powerful. A picture of the love of a father, broken hearted over the pain that his children experience in their fallen world.

11:51 - I think it is interesting that the high priest actually prophesies accurately about Jesus. What the other religious leaders took as an okay to seek out Jesus and destroy him for their own selfish reasons...God will use to offer salvation to the entire human race. Ironic, huh?

Monday, February 2, 2009

John Chapter 9 - February 2, 2009

9:3 - When bad things happen in our lives, we have a choice about how to react. We can curse God for putting us through such trials. We can assume that we have some kind of sin in our life that brought on the bad stuff. Or we can trust that God's will is being done in the world and that God will be glorified through our brokenness and weakness. HINT: I would choose the last one if I was you. 

9:25 - This is the ultimate answer to end any theological debate you ever get caught up in. People can go round and round, arguing about who is right and who is wrong and why God is logical or not...but as followers of Christ you have an answer that cannot be contested. "I once was blind, but now I see. I once was lost, but now am found. I once was empty, but now I am filled."

9:34 - Arrogant self righteousness blinds people to the glory of God that is being reflected into the world through the lives of twisted sinners that find the grace of God. If we keep the "sinners" out of the church, we are shutting out the beauty and power present when the broken find hope and forgiveness at the foot of the cross.

9:39 - Jess came to open the eyes of the world - to literally heal the blind and give hope to the sinful. For the people who have it "all figured out" (i.e. the Pharisees, who saved themselves through the law), Jesus brings blindness because they cannot see the truth through their own quest for man-made salvation.