Saturday, July 19, 2008
I believe that the most important verses that born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should know, before they try to share their faith with others, are found in the third chapter of the Gospel of John. We start with verse 3:
John 3:3 (KJV)
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The Amplified Bible says this:
John 3:3 (AMP)
3 Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.
These aren't just words made up by modern day believers! Jesus Himself said this when He was fulfilling His ministry on the earth! The next most important verses for us to know, BEFORE we share the Gospel with others, are these:
John 3:14-17 (KJV)
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
God sent Jesus for a purpose! He wants us to have Life, His Life! The Amplified Bible says it very well:
John 3:14-17 (AMP)
14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must [so it is necessary that] the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross], [Num 21:9.]
15 In order that everyone who believes in Him [who cleaves to Him, trusts Him, and relies on Him] may not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever!
16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
Notice that these verses tell us that God DID NOT send His Son, Jesus, into the world to judge or condemn the world! And neither should we! We are not sent to tell the world that they are sinners, but that they can have Life! We're not to tell the world how bad they are, but how good God is! Get that on the inside of you until it permeates your being! Understand how very much the Father loves each and every person that He gave His Son for them! He wants that NONE should perish! He wants us to share our enthusiasm for the the things of God, the Life of God, the Word of God, with hurting people so they can know the same hope that we have!
Be a DOER of God's Word today! Tell someone the great Good News! The Good News that God isn't holding ANYTHING against them! Tell them that God SO greatly loved and dearly prized THEM that He sent Jesus so that they could have Life and belong to Him too!
Shalom in Him!
Monday, July 14, 2008
I want to look today at John 10:10 from several translations. We'll start with the King James Bible:
John 10:10 (KJV)
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
We see here that Jesus Himself is identifying where all bad and negative things in our life come from! He says that it is NOT God, but THE THIEF who does all of the stealing, killing and destroying that we see taking place. Then He goes on to say that HE, HIMSELF, came for another purpose! That purpose is to bring us life! HIS life! That is the Greek word, zoe, which refers to life as God has it in Himself! His very life! And as if that were not enough, He says that He wants us to have THAT kind of life in abundance! That's the Greek word, perissos, which means: (in the sense of beyond); superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); by implication, excessive!
Let's look at some other translations:
John 10:6 (Wuest )
The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I alone came in order that they might be possessing life, and that they might be possessing it in superabundance.
John 10:10 (Complete Jewish Bible)
10 The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.
John 10:10 (Amplified)
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
I especially like the Amplified Bible for this verse! Our heavenly Father sent Jesus for the very purpose of providing the means for us to have HIS very life inside of us! And then He wants us to be able to enjoy that life. To have that God kind of life in abundance, to the fullest, until it overflows in our lives! When His life overflows in our life it reaches others! That's God's perfect plan! He wants us reaching others with the great Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour, then you have no access to that life. The Bible says this:
1 John 5:11-12 (Amplified)
11 And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12 He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.
You have to receive Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour in order to receive this God kind of life in you! Is there any reason you can't receive Jesus as YOUR Lord and personal Saviour right now? Please go the The Spoken Word Church website through the link at the left of this blog and find out how you, too, can receive this life!
Shalom in Him!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We will be looking at the first Epistle of John today:
1 John 1:1-5 (KJV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Let's look at a few other translations:
1 John 1:1-5 (The Complete Jewish Bible)
1 1 The Word, which gives life!He existed from the beginning.We have heard him,we have seen him with our eyes,we have contemplated him,we have touched him with our hands!
2 The life appeared,and we have seen it.We are testifying to it and announcing it to you — eternal life!
He was with the Father,and he appeared to us. 3 What we have seen and heard,we are proclaiming to you;so that you too may have fellowship with us.Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Yeshua the Messiah. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him — none!
Here is another:
1 John 1:1-5 (Wuest Translation)
1 1-2 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard with the present result that it is ringing in our ears, that which we have discerningly seen with our eyes with the present result that it is in our mind's eye, that which we gazed upon as a spectacle, and our hands handled with a view to investigation, that which is concerning the Word of the life-and this aforementioned life was made visible, and we have seen it with discernment and have it in our mind's eye, and are bearing witness and bringing back to you a message concerning the life, the eternal life, which is of such a nature as to have been in fellowship with the Father and was made visible to us.
3-4 That which we have seen with discernment and at present is in our mind's eye, and that which we have heard and at present is ringing in our ears, we are reporting also to you, in order that as for you also, you may be participating jointly in common with us [in our first-hand knowledge of the life of our Lord]. And the fellowship indeed which is ours, is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. And these things, as for us, we are writing in order that our joy, having been filled completely full in times past may persist in that state of fullness through present time.
5-7 And it is this message which we have heard from Him and at present is ringing in our ears and we are bringing back tidings to you, that God as to His nature is light, and darkness in Him does not exist, not even one particle. (from The New Testament: An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest Copyright © 1961 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)
And here is the Amplified Bible:
1 John 1:1-5 (Amplified)
1 [WE ARE writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.
2 And the Life [an aspect of His being] was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw [as eyewitnesses] and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life [in Him] Who already existed with the Father and Who [actually] was made visible (was revealed) to us [His followers].
3 What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
4 And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and your joy may be complete].
5 And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].
As you can see, the Bible was written for US! For those who have received Jesus as Lord and personal Saviour so that we may come to know Him more each day! Our joy will be and stay full when we understand that God's Word is Truth, His promises are sure, His ways are wonderful, His Name is powerful and His plan for us (individually and as the Body of Christ) is perfect! The first step in understanding the nature of God is to realize that HE IS LIGHT! There is NO darkness found in God whatsoever! Therefore the dark things of the world are NOT from God, and He always provides a way of escape for His people.
Continue meditating on the Word of God. It IS our survival manual!
Shalom in Him!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Now that I have my new computer up and running, we can get back to mediating on God's Word through this blog! Let's look at Proverbs 22:6:
Prov 22:6 (KJV)
6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
"Train up" is the Hebrew word, chanak, which means: to initiate, to discipline, to dedicate, to train, a child in "the way", the Hebrew word, derek, which means: a course of life, a mode of action, a direction, a manner, a habit, he should go and "when", the Hebrew word, kiy, which means: certainly, when, because that, therefore, indeed, he is old, "he will (not) depart", the Hebrew word, cuwr, which means: to turn aside, to depart, to remove, to take away, to cause to turn aside, to be removed from it. The Amplified Bible says this:
Prov 22:6 (Amplified)
6Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
I've always loved how the Amplified Bible says "in keeping with his individual gift or bent". It is very important that parents allow their children to become who and what God intends for them to be! We've all seen parents who try to relive their own lives through their children, sometimes forcing them to be involved in things in which they not only have no interest, but also have no gift for or inclination towards. The very best thing that we who are parents can do is to spend time in prayer daily for our children and to teach and train them in the Word of God. Train them how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and to recognize His leading in their lives. Support them, teach them, train them, encourage them, but most of all, love them! The promise is very clear! They WILL eventually serve the Lord! We have God's Word on that!
Shalom in Him!