BACK TO THE BEGINNING
BELIEVING IS THE BEGINNING
SUNDAY JAN. 7, 2018
Scripture To Consider:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [the Word] was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him [the Word], and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John [John the Baptist]. This man came for a witness of the Light, that all through Him [the Word] might believe. He [John the Baptist] was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of the Light [the Word]. That was the true Light which gives light to every man [woman, and young person] coming into the world. He [the Word and the Light] was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He [the Word of God] came to His own [His own creation], and his own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of man, but [born] of God.” John 1.1-13
Something To Consider:
Going back to the beginning is basic in unveiling a lifetime of lessons just waiting to be gleaned from any leader’s life who is worthy of our learning from. The life of Jesus of Nazareth is certainly no exception. Beginning and going beyond the basic training that is made available in a chronological study of His life is extremely important, helpful, and abundantly fruitful. Drawing the curtain back to the beginning exposes all the drama of the life of Jesus and is revealing as well as enlightening, and for some, a world shaking event.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” Now fast forward with me into the future to Revelation chapter 19, beginning with verse 11, which brings us to a heavenly scene to implant into our memory a portrait of the end as we begin a study into the life of Jesus! The apostle John, exiled to the Island of Patmos for his testimony of Jesus, gave us an eternal biblical picture of Jesus that we must not allow to be erased from the monitor of our minds as we approach what may very well be end time events.
John declared, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse [not to be confused with the counterfeit of Revelation 6.2]. And He [Jesus] who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He [Jesus] judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name that no man knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him [Jesus] on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself [Jesus] will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
This same Jesus of Revelation 19 was in the beginning with God and was God. This same Jesus that will in the end rule the nations with a rod of iron is the same Jesus that came unto His own and His own did not receive Him. But, according to the Word of God, as many as received Him, Jesus, to them God gave the right or authority to become children of God; who were born not of blood, nor of the will of man, but truly born again by the will of God.
Something Else To Consider:
John, the writer of the book of John and of Revelation, was an early disciple of Jesus. John was a leader in training trained by Jesus for approximately three years. John gives us in our text a brief introduction to John the Baptist, who was sent by God upon the stage of history to bear witness of Jesus the Light of the world. The religious atmosphere at that time was distorted by the darkness of man-made rules and restrictive, religious regulations. John the Baptist’s witness was for the purpose of pointing people to Jesus, the true Light and true leader of God’s people.
The writer of Hebrews begins his book by proclaiming; “God, who at various times and various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son [Jesus], who He has appointed heir of all things, through who also He made the worlds…” The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3.26, “For you are all sons [and daughters] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
This is must know information as we begin our life long journey into the study of the life of Jesus. John wrote in our Scripture to consider, “He [God] gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe [present tense believe] in His [Jesus’] name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of man [not humanly persuaded], but [born] of God.” The apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1.22-23 wrote; “Since you [present tense believers] have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever.” How are we doing in obeying the truth of the Word of God? Do we rightfully love one another in Christ fervently with a pure heart?
Something More To Consider:
Jesus chose to be born into this world in order to take on the form and likeness of humanity. Humankind was His most miraculous creation, made in the image of God, and for the most part the human race did not believe or receive Him. Jesus was indeed a leader that was much misunderstood by most. But the invitation for us to receive Him, and the invitation for us to believe in Him, is still nailed to an old rugged cross just outside every human heart. Yes, believing is basic to beginning with God. Believing is beginning! Believing that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth by the Word of God is an essential first step to our beginning to truly believe.
This biblical knowledge of our text coupled with the futuristic understanding of Revelation 19.11-16, helps us to see more clearly as we go back to the beginning to discover that believing in Jesus is indeed the beginning. Present tense believing is crucial according to the Word of God and therefore must be of utmost importance in our lives as we attempt to live our lives in accordance with all the teachings and examples left us by Jesus.
A Few Final Words:
John the Baptist came for a witness of the Light of Jesus. He came to bear witness of Christ’s Light. John was a man sent from God and by God, as we too have been sent from God and by God into a world full of darkness and in need of the Light of Jesus. So the question becomes, what have we been sent into the world to accomplish while alive here on planet earth? Do our lives bear witness to the Light of Jesus? Do our lives reflect the Light of Jesus? Are we present tense believing in the name and in the person of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords?
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth by the Word of God. Believing in that one single truth sets the stage for our beginning to believe in God and in the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word [Jesus] was with God, and the Word [Jesus] was God.” A true ordained journey with Jesus takes us back to the beginning while we are challenged with the biblical fact that believing, present tense believing, is the beginning of our journey to and with Jesus.
As we approach what the bible declares as the last days, what better lesson to study than the lessons of a lifetime that focus on the life of Jesus. How important is our growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus when we know that every day brings us closer to the last day and nearer to the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to return and to gather His enduring to the end true believers to Himself? Let us be found looking up and unto Jesus, for our redemption is drawing nearer every day!
Our Father in heaven, as leaders in training, open our eyes to the many lessons to be learned from the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In Him Always, Amen!