New Year's greetings all! Happy New Year! Thank you for reading. I wish you each a blessed and safe New Year's celebration.
This is an interesting point in time for us. On this very day, we bring to a close the tumultuous year of 2023, with many of us breathing a sigh of relief.
Yet, at this same moment, we look forward to the new year of 2024, with hope for a year of miracles, new challenges, and revival for us, as individuals, and for our communities.
What defines our viewpoints, simply put, is this: What is your opinion of Jesus Christ? The defining decision that must take place in each of our hearts and minds is not simply about belief and faith.
Though belief and faith are very important to each of us regarding our relationship with Christ, our salvation, eternity, and our response to God’s call on our lives, it is not all that I am concerned about for today’s message.
I am interested in those who believe and what their relationship with Christ looks like. Do you believe that Jesus is a part of your life, to be managed in a way that you can control the relationship, allowing you to lead your life, as you wish, tapping into Jesus’ power when you need a little juice in your life, when you're feeling a little down, somewhat confused, maybe even depressed?
This is how much of the world views Jesus. They like to keep Jesus in a box. It makes their life neater and cleaner in a way. Because they control the box that they put Jesus in. Jesus allows it to be this way. This is us using our free will. If this describes your relationship with Jesus, I have one piece of advice for you heading into the New Year: Open the box and let Jesus out.
Allow Jesus free reign in your life. Trust Jesus, give him control of your life. Do not put Jesus in a box. If you have, confess it, ask for forgiveness, and let Jesus out of the box!
Which brings me to those of us who do not want Jesus in a box. Because Jesus is the greatest of all miracles. Why would you want to contain the greatest of all miracles in a box?
We have looked at many miracles this December, but the miracle of Jesus himself, as the Word, is never-ending. The miracle never stops, it is one long continuous miracle, forever. John 1:1,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Now, when John was writing this he used a word that in Greek referenced not only the spoken word, but also the word still in the mind, the reason, or the reasoning behind the word. When applied to creation and the universe the Greeks were referring to the rationale behind the governance of all things.
Jews, on the other hand, used this word as a word that referred to God. So John, led by the Holy Spirit, used a word that referenced the spoken word, the word of thought, and with the introduction of God’s written word, the Biblical record.
So, John uses two different ways to describe Jesus as the Word. While this communicates Jesus as the Word effectively to Jews and Gentiles, it also enhances our modern understanding of who Jesus really is, in totality. This is Jesus we are talking about. This is why Jesus Is Truth. Because Jesus Is the Word. Hang with me.
This is why so many secular scholars have been led to Christ by their study of the rational flaws of the Word of God. It all flows back to Jesus Christ.
You cannot debate, you cannot argue with, you cannot find fault with the rationale of Jesus Christ when HE IS THE WORD.
Now, you can choose to simply not believe but to do this, you must GIVE UP on proving Jesus wrong, and just claim your right of free will, which is granted to all of mankind. This is a cop-out though. Like a person addicted to sin, just wanting to continue in their sin. This is what many people do who desire their mud hole of sin more than Jesus. But a sincere student, seeking Truth by reason, chooses to believe in Christ because they discover the truth of Christ even as they study to disprove Christ.
Let’s read verse 1 again and add verse 2,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
The Word, who is Jesus, is distinct from God the Father, very much God, like God in many ways, but distinct and separate, from God the Father. Revelation 19:13, confirms this name.
“He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.”
Jesus is the Word of God. For those who choose to stand against him, the Word of Christ will be their eternal doom. Revelation 19:15, the Word of Christ will judge us.
“Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”
No one will escape the judgment of the Word of God. No nation, no people, not a single individual.
While the Truth of God is in Jesus, he is also true. True to his Father. True to his purpose. Philippians 2:6-7
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.”
There are no competitive juices flowing between Father God and Jesus. What tempted Lucifer has no impact upon Jesus.
In fact, Paul uses Jesus as an example for us to follow in service. The Word of God is to serve God’s purposes. John 1:3-5, the miracle grows.
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
The Word has been, is, and will always be the creative energy behind all that God creates. Nothing is made without the Word.
In addition, in the Word is Life. Eternal life is in the Word. We know this to be true. Eternal life is for those who place their belief and trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life.
Because of this close-knit nature between the Word of God and the Word of Life, they are all in Jesus, and all the spiritual illumination flows through Jesus. This is why HE IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
It is commonsensical then that The Word of Life (spiritual illumination and understanding) would also be the light of men. Eternal life and a relationship with God are the ultimate calling and, therefore, the ultimate goal of all mankind.
The Light of the World calls out to all of mankind.
Unless you choose poorly, in one of these ways:
You choose free will over truth.
You choose war with God instead of peace with God.
You choose slavery to sin over freedom from sin.
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
Through the Word comes the wisdom and understanding necessary to free us from the darkness.
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony Church