10 Facts About Jesus From John 1:1-18

As we move into the Christmas season, it is critically important to remember what Christmas is all about. Many people would acknowledge that this season is about celebrating the birth of Christ, but how many of those same people truly know the Christ of Christmas? The prologue to John’s gospel is an excellent place to start when it comes to understanding who Jesus is and what He came to do. What follows is an outline of a message I preached at a local community event this past Sunday.

  1. Jesus is eternal

“In the beginning was the Word…He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2)

  1. Jesus was (and is) the Creator

“All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3, cf: John 1:9, Col. 1:16)

  1. Jesus was (and is) God

“and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 cf: John 10:30 and Titus 2:13)

  1. Jesus is the life giver

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4 cf: John 14:6)

  1. John the Baptist bore witness concerning Jesus

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light.” (John 1:6-7)

  1. Jesus was rejected by the Jews and by the world

“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” (John 1:10-11)

  1. You can become a child of God by believing in Jesus’ name

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

  1. Jesus became a man

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 cf: John 1:9)

  1. Jesus came into the world to give and to bear witness to the truth

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17 cf: John 18:37)

10.  Jesus reveals the Father to us

“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known (John 1:18 cf: John 10:30, 14:9, 17:26)

10 Purposes of Marriage

1. Companionship: “Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” (Amos 3:3).

 

2. Enjoyment: “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18). “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4).

 

3. Completeness: “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man (Adam) said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:22-24).

 

4. Fruitfulness: “And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28). “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed” (Psalm 112:1-2).

 

5. Protection:

A. The husband is to protect the wife by laying down his life for her. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).  B. The wife is to protect the home. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:3-5).

 

6. Typify Christ and the Church: Marriage is to be a human object lesson of the divine relationship between Christ and believers. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:31-32).

7. Sanctification: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) It will be readily acknowledged that living in close proximity with another person has a way of exposing our warts and bumps and bruises (in short, our sin). We see our own pride and selfishness in ways we can’t when isolated. God can and will use this to make us more like Jesus and to give us victory over indwelling sin.

8. Support and Trust: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil….a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9,12). “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain” (Proverbs 31:10-11).

9. Mutual Honor and Respect: “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7). “Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).

10. The Glory of God: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). “in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). This is the goal of everything, including marriage.

10 tips to increase your effectiveness

  1. Learn to say no
  2. Do “first things first”
  3. Get up early, go to bed early
  4. Drink more water
  5. Enjoy a big healthy breakfast
  6. Keep the Sabbath
  7. Plan out your week in advance
  8. Stop watching TV, or at least cut back
  9. Make sure to plan a vacation at least once a year
  10. Set aside time each day for prayer and Scripture reading

10 Reasons Why Every Christian Should Long For Heaven

1. A longing for heaven is an indicator of genuine salvation.

Luke 12:34

2. A longing for heaven produces Christian character.

Titus 2:11-14

3. A longing for heaven brings joy and comfort in trials.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

4. A longing for heaven is a preservative against sin.

Romans 8:5-8

5. A longing for heaven is a catalyst for spiritual service.

Matthew 6:19-20

6. A longing for heaven honors God above all else.

Isaiah 66:1

7. A longing for Heaven indicates that we see the world as God sees it – in bondage to sin, in rebellion against God, and under the power of the evil one.

1 John 5:19

8. A longing for heaven demonstrates that we want to see clearly.

1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2

9. A longing for heaven indicates that our hope is grounded in biblical truth.

John 14:1-3

10. A longing for heaven shows where our true citizenship can be found.

Philippians 3:17-21

10 Secrets to a Successful Marriage – by Mitch Temple

Here are ten principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.

2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.

3. If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.

4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.

5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.

6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth – i.e. someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.

7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope – almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.

8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” – when it feels good and when it doesn’t.

9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges, bringing up the past and remembering that they married an imperfect person – and so did their spouse.

10. A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

Let me just add one more principle to Mitch’s Temple’s list, which is clearly the most important: Keep God at the center of your marriage.

The 10 Commandments of Mentoring

To quote John Donne and to disagree with the song by Simon and Garfunkel, “no man is an island.” We need one another and that is the beauty of the Body of Christ. The mature Christian who has walked with the Lord for some time has the responsibility of finding and then mentoring/discipling the young Christian. In the same way, the young Christian has the responsibility of seeking out mature Christian(s) who they can learn from and grow together with. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must constantly seek out mentoring relationships both in terms of mentoring others and being mentoring ourselves. I met a man yesterday who told me that we really don’t need to attend church because church is anywhere you go where you meet with another Christian. Of course there is some truth to that, but often people who hold to such a view are not willing to commit themselves to a local body of believers because they don’t want the accountability and commitment that comes along with church membership. I won’t belabor this point, but to put it simply, we need the church and we need one another – meaning, we need fellow believers in our lives. The author of Hebrews put it this way. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) If you are interested in a mentoring relationship, here are some general guidelines that I have adapted from chapter 13 of “The Mentoring Relationships You Need To Succeed In Life,” by Paul Stanley and Robert Clinton.

1. Establish the mentoring – meaning, develop the relationship.

2. Jointly agree on the purpose of the relationship – this could be something like “to grow together in the knowledge and obedience of Christ.”

3. Determine the regularity of the interaction – you have to make this a priority or other things will inevitably creep in.

4. Determine the type of accountability – how will you keep each other accountable?

5. Set up communication mechanisms – make sure you are free to challenge one another – even the mentoree to challenge the mentor. Often we need to be rebuked and corrected.

6. Clarify the level of confidentiality – make sure both parties understand what is confidential and what is not.

7. Set the life cycle of the relationship – most mentoring relationships don’t last for years and years and as you know our lives are constantly changing.

8. Evaluate the relationship from time to time – is the purpose of the relationship being realized?

9. Modify expectations to fit the real-life mentoring situation – unfulfilled expectations can damage the relationship quickly, so make sure you are on the same page and make adjustments as needed.

10. Bring closure to the mentoring relationship – this is a new opportunity to seek out other mentoring relationships.

10 STEPS FOR DEEPENING YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

Adapted from Andrew Murray’s (1828-1917) book, A Deeper Christian Life, and appeared in a Decision Magazine article (November 2009).

The first and chief need of our Christian life is fellowship with God.

1. Begin each day by waiting before God and letting Him touch you. As I need every moment afresh the air to breathe, so it is only in direct, living communication with God that my soul can be strong. I must every day have fresh grace from Heaven, and I obtain it only in direct waiting upon God Himself.

2. To this end, let your first act in your devotion be a setting yourself still before God. In prayer or worship, everything depends upon God taking the chief place. I must bow quietly before Him in humble faith and adoration. Take time, till you know God is very near.

3. When you have given God His place of honor, glory and power, take your place of deepest lowliness and seek to be filled with the spirit of humility. As a sinner, you are not worthy to look up to God; bow in self-abasement. Sink down before Him in humility, meekness, patience and surrender to His goodness and mercy.

4. Then accept and value your place in Christ Jesus. God delights in His beloved Son and can be satisfied with nothing else in those who draw nigh to Him. Enter deep into God’s holy presence in the boldness that the blood gives and in the assurance that in Christ you are most well pleasing. This is the great object of fellowship with God; that I may have more of God in my life and that God may see Christ formed in me.

5. Christ is a living Person. He loves you with a personal love, and He looks every day for the personal response of your love. Look into His face with trust, till His love shines into your heart. Make His heart glad by telling Him that you love Him. He offers Himself to you as a personal Savior and Keeper from the power of sin.

6. Christ is to be formed in us so that His form or figure – His likeness – can be seen in us. Bow before God until you get some sense of the greatness and blessedness of the work to be carried on by God in you this day. Say to God, “Father, here I am for Thee to give as much in me of Christ’s likeness as I can receive.” The God who revealed Jesus in the flesh and perfected Him will reveal Him in you and perfect you in Him. The Father loves the Son and delights to work out His image and likeness in you.

7. The likeness to Christ consists chiefly in two things – the likeness of His death and resurrection (Romans 6:5). The death of Christ was the consummation of His humility and obedience, the entire giving up of His life to God. In Him we are dead to sin. As we sink down in humility and dependence and entire surrender to God, the power of His death works in us, and we are made conformable to His death. And so we know Him in the power of His resurrection, in the victory over sin, and all the joy and power of the risen life.

8. All this can only be in the power of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in you. Count upon Him to glorify Christ in you. Count upon Christ to increase in you the inflowing of His Spirit. As you wait before God to realize His presence, remember that the Spirit is in you to reveal the things of God. Seek in God’s presence to have the anointing of the Spirit of Christ so truly that your whole life may every moment be spiritual.

9. As you meditate on this wondrous salvation and seek full fellowship with the great and holy God and wait on Him to reveal Christ in you, you will feel how needful the giving up of all is to receive Him. Seek grace to know what it means to live as wholly for God as Christ did. Let every approach to God and every request for fellowship with Him be accompanied by a new, definite and entire surrender to Him to work in you.

10. “By faith” must be the keynote. As you wait before God, let it be in a deep quiet faith in Him, the Invisible One, who is so near, so holy, so mighty, so loving. Just yield yourself in the faith of a perfect trust to the ever-blessed Holy Trinity to work out all God’s purpose in you.

Begin each day thus in fellowship with God, and God will be all in all to you.