Archive for the ‘John’ Category


John 1:1-18 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created,[and nothing that was created was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything] and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

Considering the time of the year this is being written (December), I have studied the birth of Christ from the two gospels that record it, Matthew and Luke and it would have been proper to focus on those passages but as you can see above, the passage I used is from John. Being a chronological thinker, I like to put things in perspective and this passage in John seemed to help put the first block in place of Jesus’ birth.

The birth of Jesus was a significant event at that time when it occurred and there was much that happened in and around His arrival. However, from reading this passage, it makes me wonder if we are right in saying Jesus was ‘born’ because He pre-existed before anything was ever created. This was merely Him taking human form to relate to us but He most definitely was not a new creation placed in the middle of humanity as an afterthought to save humanity.

John starts his gospel by stating that the word existed before everything, it was God and it was with God. He then gives the word personality by using the term ‘he’ (verse 2) and we see it transpose itself into a person, the person who created everything, gave life to everything and gave light to everyone. This person is the person of Jesus Christ who He came into the world He created (verse 10) by taking on human flesh and lived among us (verse 14) to reveal God’s glory.

Jesus’s life brought light to everyone and this light shines in the darkness, therefore dissipating it. Is it not interesting that darkness is the lack of light and only comes into existence when light is put out? Jesus in his later years on earth in human form dealt with evil doers by revealing the darkness in their hearts and they could either respond by receiving His correction or running away from it. Light always reveals things shrouded in darkness and so Jesus’ life brings the truth out in our dark world.

As we draw near to the day many Christians chose to celebrate Jesus’ birth, December 25th, let us now dwell on whether we got the date right or if we should be celebrating his birthday on one day or everyday but instead let us use this opportunity to receive the Word of God into our lives so that He can reveal the darkness in our lives and give us a way to be reconciled with His father so that we may have life and life eternal.

If you want a sense of the power or worth of this Word of God, read the passages below:

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. Psalm 33:6 (NLT)

He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Psalm 107:20 (NLT)

Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws. Psalm 147:18 (NLT)

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)

The Word of God is true (Psalm 33:4; John 17:17), it is flawless (2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 30:5), it is infallible (1 King 8:56; 2King 10:10; Psalm 103:20), it is obeyed by angels and it is eternal (Psalm 119:89,152; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Psalm 119:103), it is sweet and delightful (Psalm 138:2), it is exalted above all things (Isaiah 45:23), it is irrevocable (Ephesians 6:17), it is the sword of the Spirit (2 Titus 2:9), it is not chained (Hebrews 4:12), it is living and active (1 Peter 1:23) and It is living and enduring.

There is so much more we can study on the Word and I hope today’s passage has inspired you to seek Jesus Christ who came to live among us and die for us so that we might have the opportunity to be reconciled with His father and be called children of God and have an eternal inheritance no one can ever take away.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

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Genesis 28:1-4,18-22 So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. “Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham”… So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

What a volte-face for Jacob in terms of Isaac’s response to him and what a dramatic change in destinies! As we continue to journey with Jacob now, we see a new man.

Isaac blesses Jacob fully with the covenant blessing that was given to Abraham, his father and himself too.

Obviously the previous blessing Isaac had given to him thinking he was Esau was not as wholesome because both he and Rebekah were concerned for how Esau chose to live his life, forgoing his birthright, marrying Canaanites and living a carnal and sinful life.

The condition to the blessing however was the new life Jacob had to pursue by going away to Rebekah’s brother’s home in Paddan-aram and finding his own bride. That’s a contrast from what occurred in Isaac’s betrothal where Abraham’s trusted servant brought Rebekah from Laban’s home to Beersheba.

How could Jacob make a conditional covenant with God based on God’s provision to him? (more…)

Haiti Response

Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 in John, New Testament
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John 21:15-17
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep”.

On Jan 12, 2010, the tiny island nation of Haiti was shaken up by the largest recorded earthquake in it’s history with over 3 million people affected, over 170,000 dead and over 250,000 injured and homeless. This is a tragedy of epic proportions and it is wonderful to see the way the people of the world have supported the people of this nation and continue to do so. This morning, my classmate posted a link from the UK press which condemned Rev Pat Robertson who spoke on CBN’s 700 Club about the Haitian’s pact with the devil in 1791 in exchange for freedom from the French which might have been the reason for the country suffering to date. I was eager to respond to this but decided to reflect on God’s word to see what the Lord had to say.

When Jesus was crucified wrongfully, followers of Christ would have wanted to fight and rebel against the temple leadership and all those who caused this wrong. Even today, there are many who vehemently condemn the faith, Jesus and anyone who follows it and we would want to react. However, the Lord did not die but was raised from the dead as the scriptures foretold! Therefore, we have no reason to hurt and hate anyone because God was glorified. In the same manner, Christ visited the disciples 3 times after his death and dint ask them to avenge his death but rather to share the gospel with the world, to care for God’s children and to supply their spiritual needs. In the Haitian context, I believe we should be offering a hand through prayer, resources and any other support to show these people that the Lord loves and cares for them dearly.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Eyes Of Our Heart

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010 in John, New Testament
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John 20:21-23
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Last evening, we received a call from dear friends of ours that one of them had hurt himself and before saying anything more, I just knew I had to rush. I got there and got him to the hospital where we spent 5 precious hours together talking about the Lord and why God would permit this issue, knowing fully well it was for God’s glory. The Lord just confirmed to me now what we eventually discovered in the course of our conversation.

As humans, we generally believe only after we experience something through our 5 senses and this was the case for the disciples when they discovered Jesus’ empty tomb. However, with God, we are blessed to believe without seeing because we are to see with the eyes of heart and mind, which is an alien concept to most of us. This couple were hurt by a recent incident where they were not at fault. For some reason, I had the desire to tell them that they need to ask forgiveness from their oppressor for holding hurt within them because that is not what Chirst would want. It was such a treat to experience my good friend see through the eyes of his heart what God was speaking to him and those 5 hours were a real blessing. What is God speaking to you this morning?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 19:31-36
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs…These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

I love movies and the way they are able to weave stories that make it all seem real. What a lot of work it must take to write a script, cast the actors, chose the sets and locations, get the entire crew in place, shoot every last detail and hope that all of this adds us to a box office hit. Few become hits and many flop and so the story goes. As time progresses and technologies improve, we realize how the fine details are not so fine anymore as our eyes are now used to seeing things in better light. However, this picture of Jesus’ life and death painted in words in the gospels is unchanging and seems to be perfect in every sense. How is that possible? Were there some loopholes to the tale?

There are four cross references for verse 36 and they are Exodus 12:46; Num. 9:12; Psalm 34:20; Zech. 12:10. When you read these, you will note that the background refers to the passover lamb. Is it not amazing that Jesus is our passover lamb, perfect and unblemished in every way, sinless, righteous, and sacrificed for nothing but our sinfulness. How awesome is our God who is perfect in every way, and fulfills every requirement of the law to be our sin offering? For this God who is so perfect, don’t you think he does everything in a perfect way for his glory? Lets not grow weary when trials come our way because God will work perfectly in and through every situation in our lives for his glory.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 18:36-37
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

I’ve been enjoying following the Australian Open tennis tournament and have tried to watch a few matches over the last many days. One of the common themes I noticed was that commentators always tried to compare competing players by their previous history of games against each other and in the absence of that, tried to compare them in terms of a head-to-head analysis. Often, there is talk of revenge and today I read that a top seeded player actually expressed his desire for revenge. What’s that got in connection to today’s passage and is that right?

As I read Jesus’ response to Pilate, I noticed that with Jesus’ betrayal, his disciples felt the need to get back and react to the imprisonment of Jesus but Jesus stopped them. Jesus clarified to Pilate that neither he nor his people were opposing the arrest because this was not a matter of people not accepting his earthly leadership, rather it was his divinity that was opposed and therefore what was to take place was a battle of God versus Satan. This was the devil’s attempt at putting an end to Jesus’ life and ministry but the battle was won when Jesus beat death and rose up again and the devil and his ploys were quashed forever. We can rejoice in the fact that Christ rose from the dead to give us eternal life and we no more mourn his crucifixion or death!!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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To His Glory

Posted: Monday, January 25, 2010 in John, New Testament
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John 17:1-5
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

This morning will be my first day at work and for this, I give God the glory! Last evening, my wife were discussing how things have panned out for us here in this new land and we realized time and time again that it was God’s grace alone. He called us to move here and has started to establish us and we have already seen so many ministry opportunities and the one thing we kept thinking of is why? Why is God being so good to us because we certainly don’t deserve his goodness for our shortcomings? What can we do for God and is there any way to pay back??

This morning’s chapter was so loud and clear to me that we were chosen by God to serve him and to give him glory in everything. It took nearly 6 months for me to get this job but in this time, I have not felt compelled to leave, my wife and I have not had serious fights due to the tension, our resources have sustained and most importantly we were able to give God the glory. This is certainly not our doing but the Lord’s. We know that we are created to give Jesus glory like he gives his father and this father him. We can never repay God for his goodness because he does not need anything from us but our praise and love.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:22-23

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.