May 26, 2012

Today you should read: John 2:1-12

I’m so excited for us to be reading through John together!  It’s one of my favorite books in the Bible!  We return to studying John on Sunday mornings very soon too!

Today we read all about Jesus’ first miracle – turning the water into wine at the marriage of Cana.  Adam Dixon taught on this last summer – this story is fascinating.  After reading it again today, I have several observations…

Jesus loves people.  Jesus also likes people.  This is so important.  His love isn’t mechanical or “just because He has to”… He loves me and likes spending time with me.

Mary knew who Jesus was and had faith in Him – faith that He could do a miracle.  She told the servants to do whatever He tells you…  She knew He could fix it.

God always does things all the way.  With Jonah, it was a rescue on “dry ground” – with the children of Israel – no mud on their shoes crossing the Red Sea – with Naman – skin like a baby.  Jesus blew their minds making the BEST wine!

This miracle (and all others for that matter) were to reveal the glory of God (v.11).

What does all this mean to me?   …well

Jesus wants to spend time with you.  He likes you.  Do you have time for Him?  Come on, the God who created the world wants personal time with you.  If it were the mayor or the governor or the president – you’d change your plans to accommodate.  What about the Creator of the world?

How’s your faith?  Do you believe that Jesus CAN heal?  CAN free from addiction?  CAN save?  Your faith has power.

How is your life revealing the glory of God to those around you?  You’re a miracle aren’t you?  Do you bring Him glory by what you say – what you do – how you live?

So…today live like a miracle – because you are!


Posted by: Tim Parsons

May 25, 2012

Today you should read: John 1:35-51

FREEDOM AND LIBERTY!!

Wow… wow… WOW!  This is great stuff!!  The truths in this chapter are amazing.  Look close…there’s more than meets the eye!

In verses 43-46, we see Philip basically tell Nathanael that they have found the Messiah, Jesus.  Nathanael wonders and questions whether or not it could be true.  Then we see something remarkable.

In verse 47-48 Jesus shows Nathanael that He is the Son of God!  Wait a second…how?   All Jesus says is, “when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”  How does this lead to Nathanael’s next statement of, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God!  You are the King of Israel!”  That’s weird.

Actually it’s not weird, it’s amazing.  In the Old Testament, the vine and fig tree symbolize liberty and freedom.  And here’s what Jesus is referring to:

Micah 4

1   It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, 

2   and many nations shall come, and say:“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths. ”For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

3    He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation,  neither shall they learn war anymore;

4    but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

5   For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

This is how Nathanael was convinced!  He knew the Old Testament, he knew this passage that was about the Messiah, he knew that one-day the Messiah would come and everyone would “sit under His fig tree” meaning they would sit under the freedom of the Lord and be free from sin and punishment!  So when Jesus said this, Nathanael knew exactly what He meant!  Freedom has come!  And it is through this man…this Messiah!

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

So, as weird as it sounds, let me ask you:  are sitting under His fig tree?  Are you free from sin, and punishment, and guilt, and shame?  Then rejoice!!  The Messiah has come and freedom is only found in His coming.

But for my specific application, I want to go back to Micah 4.  It says that everyone will sit under His fig tree, and “no one shall make them afraid.”

If you are anything like me, fear can be crippling.  It can be paralyzing.  Fear of failure, of death, of consequences, of man, or of whatever it is, fear can infiltrate seasons of life and rob joy.  This fear comes from Satan and our own lack of trust in a sovereign God.  But it’s time to let it go.

This verse in Micah tells us that when the Messiah comes, we will sit under God’s freedom and no one shall make us afraid!  Well, the Messiah has come, Hallelujah, and now we can experience liberty and freedom from fear!  Don’t be afraid.  God has freed you from ever being afraid, ever again, because He has united us to Himself through Christ.  Because of this, He will never leave us or forsake us.  And because He is with us, we shall not be afraid.

Psalm 27:1

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

May 24, 2012

Today you should read: John 1:19-38

John the Baptist knew who he was and what his place was in God’s plan. He was given ample opportunity to take for himself a higher or better position than what he had. They asked him if he was the Messiah, or Elijah or a prophet. All of these positions were highly regarded and he could have easily said yes to any of them. That would have, no doubt, increased his audience and influence over them.

But John was content to be who he was made to be and hold the position he was given by God. He tells us his position in verse 23. His job was a simple and humble one; tell everyone the Lord is coming. That’s it. There was no big ministry to run with, no mega church to lead, no high and lofty position to hold. He was to just be a “voice in the wilderness”. He knew who he was and who Jesus was and so he understood the importance of the job. Many people would have thought they deserved a better, more important position. John describes to us his feelings of what he deserved in verse 27. John says he is not even worthy to be a slave and untie Jesus’ sandal straps.

So what about you and me? Do we feel a right to entitlement? Do we feel like God owes us something? Maybe it is a position or a job. Maybe we feel God owes us some kind of blessing or good thing. How many of us have the humility of John? How many of us live our lives as though we are not worthy to be Jesus’ slave? If we were honest, many of us live as though He is our slave. We feel that Jesus should listen to us, accept us and do what we ask and give us what we want. Many of us treat Jesus more like a genie in a bottle than our Lord in Heaven.

Today’s challenge is this: Humble yourself before Jesus. See yourself for who you are.

When we humble ourselves then Jesus will exalt us. (See Luke 7:28)

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

May 23, 2012

Today you should read: John 1:1-18

Summer time is here and that means it is time for the summer blockbusters. I love movies and I especially enjoy the super hero genre of movies such as the Avengers, Spiderman and Batman which all have movies opening this summer. These movies have the good versus evil plot that every Bible believing person can appreciate. It did occur to me when I watched the new Avengers movie that no matter how good the story is or how powerful the heroes are they are still a cheap imitation of the original “super hero” or savior as we know him.

John introduces the reader to Jesus better than any movie introduction that I have ever seen. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.” I can see these words fading in on a black screen with everyone on the edge of their seats with anticipation. John goes on to point out that everything that we know about was made through him. Christ is the light and he cannot be overcome by any darkness or evil. This is our savior, the most powerful King, and the son of the living God.

John goes on to say that Jesus came to dwell among us, his creation, and was rejected. However, those who did receive him became children of God. Jesus came to deliver all those who believed in his name. Jesus being full of grace and truth showed us the image and character of the father.

Verse18:

“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

John’s introduction of Jesus is one of epic proportion. Jesus is the God-man sent to save the world by giving himself.

I hope as you read this you begin to really understand that in a world of evil, suffering and sin we have a REAL hero. He is better than all the imitations and he lives!

So why is it that movies like the Avengers can make grown men dress up like superheroes just to sit in a movie theater but Jesus our true Lord and savior can’t seem to get us to sit quietly for 5 minutes to read his Word?

Why does fantasy attract us more than reality?

Challenge:

The old saying goes, “Show me your bank account and your calendar and I will show you what you worship.” I challenge us a church to sit down and look at what we spend our money on and what we spend our time on. Then I want us to ask this very simple question, “Based on what I see, is Jesus Lord?”

Posted by: Chad Wiles