John Chapter One

Indeed, the first chapter of the Book of the Gospel of John is enlightening, refreshing and emboldening. It explains salvation, declares Jesus and sets the heart right. Hearing it read aloud is a very healthy thing.

God’s continued blessings to you as you reflect his light. You are his creature and he is gracious. Peace to you in Jesus Christ the Lord.

God Cares About The Stress In Your Life

God cares about the stress in your life. This may seem like a weak statement if not fully considered. Note the words “God”, “cares” and “your”.

Cares: The attention provided by God concerning you is not naïve. But, as God looks ahead in time he is removing obstacles in the present. He sees what will happen, and he ensures that you will not become trapped beyond his reach. The care that he provides for you is that of a shepherd who guards his sheep. The 23rd Psalm describes all that he does: including the restoration of the soul.

Your: To be sure, God cares about the stress in your life, in addition to that of the lives of all people. Though the qualities of God may at times seem far away, his all-knowing an all-mighty attributes, one can see his qualities in the man Jesus Christ, God the Son. The highest expression of God’s love is in the substitution of himself to receive the punishment due the sinner: hence there is freedom for the one who trusts this real fact about God. He is integral to the restoration of the soul. And while this was done for all, it was done specifically for you too, because while God knows all things, he also knows you specifically, and he loves you in this way: specifically.

God: Not just anyone cares for you or deals with your stress pre-emptively, but God, your Creator, cares for you. All other beings are of limited power and attachment to you. God is not. And while he knows that suffering builds perseverance, and character, his own suffering on the cross gained you the everlasting life which you now live already. He has ordained works, good works, to walk in, in order to reflect the light of his gospel when you tell what he has done for you: loving you with the cross of suffering he endured, gaining freedom for to slaves to sin. The Son of God sets free.

God cares about the stress in your life. The words “your”, “cares” and “God” make such a statement worthwhile. Peace to you in Jesus Christ the Lord. He is your Resurrection. He is your Life.

 

 

 

One Day Closer

You are one day closer…to the fullness and blessing of the glory of God.

I stumbled there a moment, thinking about what you are one day closer to. Eternal life? You already have it. The forgiveness of sins? You have that too. Many of the things you will experience in eternity you already have. And yet you long to be there.

You long to be where there is no suffering, no pain, and no conflict. Why aren’t you there? God has chosen to have you reflect his spiritual light in the darkness of this world before the eternal day that will dawn with his coming.

He knows things are difficult and troublesome, painful and grievous. But unless your neighbor in any spiritual darkness turns from his ways towards God, trouble, pain and turmoil will be all that your neighbor has.

You are at a nexus. You are on the front line of God’s kingdom. You are in this world but are not of this world. You have been buried with Christ such that you will be in the likeness of his resurrection: glorious.

Shining in the eternal day glorifies God but perhaps, reflecting his light in the perishing night glorifies him more. God wills all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

It is not your perfection or imperfection that matters, but the perfect forgiveness of wrongdoing God gives freely which does matter. When you confess the work Christ did for sinners you are a mirror for the gospel of God. And this does matter.

It matters to anyone fleeing the darkness. He or she can not bear the wrath of God, and the grace of God, the grace of God will bear him or her into eternal life. The grace of God will carry them forever.

So if you hold the gospel to be true, praise God, and see the darkness recede. And if you’ve been directed to speak the word of God, tell it, and watch the night fade and fly away.

You are one day closer to the fullness and blessing of the glory of God, but eternal life and the forgiveness of sins are already yours.

An Advocate With The Father

“My little children, these things I write unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (First John chapter 2, verses 1 and 2)

You are not alone. You are not doomed. You are not beyond God’s grace. Someone speaks on your behalf with the Father.

The sacrifice Jesus Christ made, in history, on the cross is effective for all time. All who came before, all at that time, all who have come since, have had their sins paid for by him, in that sacrifice. This includes you.

The workings of your mind are nothing to the workings of God. When it seems that terror or heartache are on every side, you are not lost. You have overcome such things in Jesus Christ.

If you do wrong, Jesus speaks for you. This one, speaking to the Father, his Father, is the one on whom justice for wrongdoing was carried out. You are free. You are free from blame, guilt and shame. In Jesus, blame, guilt and shame are not things to take up, but things from which you have been freed.

I encourage you to get as much of God’s words as you can because only they will fortify you. Though men at their best are all together vanity, God is the advocate of such men.

 

Why You Are Here

You are in the exact place you are to give glory to God. And it is not about what you do, but rather it is about what he is doing in you and through you that you glorify him. You are a strand in the rescue rope that he has thrown to the world. Speaking his gospel provides the muscle and the strength to be pulled out of the deep hole the people of the world have fallen into.

Your Father is patient, he loves you, he loves his natural Son Jesus Christ and he loved the world. And his love for all these is in perfect balance. He has given you life in a fallen world to be a conduit of his grace in it. Some will fear and rejoice in what you say, others will ignore or deny it. Regardless, the opportunity God makes in you remains his opportunity.

You will have sorrow and little joy, but this is because your joy is to come. Evildoers have their joy first and then sorrow. God’s chosen have their sorrow and then joy.

It is enough to hear. Believing provides sight. Belief that comes from sight is not belief. Sight that comes out of belief is true sight. When you believe the truth you truly see.

Your Father is waiting for you and all his children in the world, even any children to come. As his promised Son would not snuff out a smoldering wick neither will he abandon a faith that is newly catching flame. Don’t let your wrongdoings be greater than his absolution. Your reality is God-determined. He has claimed you in Holy Baptism. He sees no sins on you, that which he washed away.

What you do now is praise him. You glorify him. In your silence and in your speaking, you are and have been a recipient of his grace.

That is why you are here.

You Are God’s Desire

From eternity God saw you: his precious creature. You were in his mind and your being was in his thought. In time you were made by him exactly as you are. Whatever corruption might have marred your surface the essence of who and what you are is dear to your gracious maker.

God hasn’t let you go and he has promised to be yours. He has sworn upon himself and bought you from disaster. He has made you his own by trading his dear possession for you. He traded his Son. That which marred you his Son took up. He became cursed for your sake and for his sake you have been blessed. Jesus Christ is the solution for every problem you face because he has faced those problems for you and in your place. And he has taken you up and carried you into his everlasting house.

Your baptism means God’s name is on you. And if on you, you will last into to the next world. No fire will burn you and though fire might purge you, you will not be burned. You are God’s gold and he is refining that which is precious to him. You are God’s desire.

Destiny and God’s Decision

The decisions of others may leave you in a position that is not helpful to your work and responsibilities. Sometimes you have to make the best of things.

Wrongs committed against God make it so he faces things for the wrong doers. He did forebear the punishment due wrong doers until he himself came in human flesh to die in the place of wrong doers, exacting justice upon himself and relieving mankind from rightfully earned punishment. God decided to save and placed the ungodly in the position of his holiness. He made the best of things: he took away sins from the world.

It is hard to live in triumph. It is difficult to remember that we are conquerors through him who loved us (The Book of Romans chapter eight, verse 37). But in triumph we nonetheless live.

We have no control over the decisions of others. But God has control over our destiny: he has set us with his Son Jesus Christ to overcome death and destruction. We live forever in blessedness because of his Son’s triumph over sin.