“If we can lose our peace and joy when our circumstances turn bad, the peace and joy we were experiencing were not fruits of the Spirit; they were fruits of good circumstance.”
Without Christ, we can’t do anything. Jesus says, “for without Me, ye be able to nothing do.” Nothing. Let that word ring in your head until your ears shake from the emptiness of the word – nothing.
Actually this is a hard concept to grasp – that without Jesus Christ, I can’t do anything! I can’t become His; I can’t “be made His disciple;” I can’t “bring forth full much fruit.”
Jesus is the vine; I’m a lowly branch. I’ll die if I become disconnected from my life source.
“In this thing My Father is clarified.”
Jesus speaks in analogy or parable quite often, but before asking Lazarus to wake up from death and come out of the tomb, He tells Martha, Lazarus’ sister: “I am again rising and life; he that believeth in me, yea, though he be dead, he shall live.” Jesus does not tell Martha a story meant to represent something else; rather, He tells her the truth – that He is eternal; that, despite death, He lives forever; that, belief in Him results in this same eternal life.
Don’t you wonder how Jesus stays out of the pits where the lepers live? How is it no one throws Him in with those society hates? Well, yes, His neighbors do attempt toss Him over a cliff; but in general, especially today, Jesus is called “a great teacher.” A great teacher? Jesus is not a great teacher if He is not God. He claims to be God, the One and Only God. Jesus either tells us the truth – that He is God – or He’s crazy. Why does anyone listen to an insane man?
Jesus gains the ears of modern theologians – who may or may not believe in His divinity – because He demonstrates God’s glory and displays God’s power of “again-rising and life.”
Several doors exist to a legendary walled garden. The wall is massive, taller than any you’ve seen before. Behind the wall is a pasture filled with wildflowers and massive trees with golden waterfalls and still, sweet water lakes. You’ve not been inside yet, but you know the garden exists; you hope it does. Here on the outside, the grass has long died and dust kicks up from the ground into your eyes. The odor of the dead surrounds you, and you want to escape.
All the doors in the walled garden speak – very strange. All tell you they are the only way into the garden. Only one door stands open, however. This door has a Name because it is a Person rather than a thing. The other doors shout or whisper, “You must find the key and hope it fits.”
But, the open door says:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door. If any man shall enter by me, he shall be saved; and he shall go in, and shall go out, and he shall find pastures. A night thief cometh not, but that he steal, slay, and destroy; and I came, that they have life, and have more plenteously.”
If you speak to your child through someone else, through – let’s say – a sitter; you mean what you say but your words have less of an impact than if you speak directly to your child. When God speaks to us through His Son, He speaks directly to us. He no longer uses a prophet to show us who He is. Instead, He shows us His very self by revealing Himself through the “heir of all things,” through the One “by whom He made the worlds” – that is, Jesus Christ.
“God, that spake sometime by prophets in many manners to our fathers, at the last in these days he hath spoken to us by the Son; whom he hath ordained heir of all things, and by whom he made the worlds.”
Interesting how the Bible refers to God at the beginning as “the word.” “God was the word,” says John. God was a voice speaking in the emptiness surrounding the word. As God spoke, things came into existence so that we recognize that God’s spoken word is all powerful and the creative force inside as well as outside the universe as we know it. The Big Bang may very well have been the voice of God speaking – for something can not be made from nothing. Of course, the particle sparking the mighty explosion that began our universe must have been God’s word.
The Bible also tells us – through John – that God’s word at the beginning was God’s Son so that we understand God’s creative force, the word, is “the glory of the one begotten Son of the Father.”
Later, inside time and space, this word “is made flesh, or man” so as to live among us. In this way, “we have seen the glory of him, the glory as of the one begotten of the Father, the Son full of grace and truth.”
Therefore, grace and truth created the universe. “The word was at God.”
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word. [In the beginning was the word, that is, God’s Son, and the word was at God, and God was the word.] This was in the beginning at God. And the word was made man, and dwelled among us, and we have seen the glory of him, as the glory of the one begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and of truth. [And the word, that is, God’s Son, is made flesh, or man, and hath dwelled in us, and we have seen the glory of him, the glory as of the one begotten of the Father, the Son full of grace and truth.]”