Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 2 November 2022:
1 Kings 13:6 — And the king said to the man of God, “Entreat now the favor of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” And the man of God entreated the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before.
The king was only concerned about his arm, his physical health and comfort, rather than his relationship with God and God’s anger over sin.
1 Kings 13 and 14 tell us about two terrible kings, Jeroboam and Rehoboam, and God’s judgment upon them. However, 1 Kings 13 primarily focuses on a somewhat puzzling account of an unnamed prophet sent by God to prophecy against Jeroboam. God uses this prophet in an amazing way, complete with signs and wonders, but then God judges the prophet, seemingly more harshly than he did wicked Jeroboam, for what might appear to us an understandable mistake.
The prophet was commanded by God, “You shall neither eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came,” and, therefore, the prophet refused Jeroboam’s offer to feed him. (1 Kings 13:9) However, another prophet lied to this prophet saying, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (1 Kings 13:18) The first prophet believed the lying prophet and ate and drank in opposition to God’s command, and the Lord said, “Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD and have not kept the command that the LORD your God commanded you, but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, ‘Eat no bread and drink no water,’ your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.” (1 Kings 13:21-22) Shortly thereafter, the prophet is killed by a lion on the road, and he is buried in the lying prophet’s grave. What in the world are we to take away from this story?
We must not deviate from the Lord’s calling for any reason, and we must not deviate from His clear, unchanging word. Though many people in the name of God might tell us God has changed His word or has given them a new or updated revelation from God (supposedly more relevant for today or enlightened), He has not changed His word, His will, or His plan. God expects us to be faithful, and He holds us to a much higher standard than He does others. (1 Peter 4:17) Be faithful with what God has entrusted to you, and don’t let anything or anyone distract you or deceive you.
Note: Here is a link to a short video overview of John chapters 1-12: https://youtu.be/G-2e9mMf7E8
John 1:1-5 — 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 was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Today, John begins his epistle by stating that Jesus is the Word. Below are some comments on the significance of that statement:
“One of the most intriguing titles for Jesus is found in a passage that theologians have studied for millennia and have yet barely scratched the surface of its meaning. The title of which we are speaking is ‘Logos,’ and it is found in John 1:1–18.
As is common in English translations, the Greek term logos in today’s passage is translated as ‘Word.’ This is perhaps the simplest meaning of logos, and we find its presence in several English words. For example, we have the disciplines of biology (a word about living things) and theology (a word about God). In ancient Greek, however, logos had far richer connotations than just ‘word.’ Ancient Greek philosophers, in particular, had special uses for the term logos.
Philosophy is concerned with addressing the ultimate questions of reality, and the ancient Greeks who pursued this discipline were always searching for ultimate truth, the final reality that lies behind everything visible and invisible. As the Greek philosophers considered the questions of truth, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and more, they began to use the word logos to describe the ultimate reality they were all pursuing. This logos was an organizing principle, that which gives life and meaning to the universe. Consequently, the ancient Greeks thought of the logos as an impersonal force, as bare rationality that cannot love or interact with the world.
John the Apostle had to speak the language of his day when he wrote his gospel, so it is not surprising that he used the term logos. Yet the Apostle did not simply copy the word as it was used in Greek philosophy, but he transformed it, investing it with biblical content. His logos is personal and can be received or rejected by human beings (vv. 11–12). This was scandalous enough for Greek minds, but what was even worse, from their perspective, was that John said the logos could become incarnate as a human being (v. 14).
The logos is God Himself, more specifically, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, who shares fully in the one divine essence. He is the One who was there ‘in the beginning,’ before all things (1:1; see Gen. 1:1). The logos — the organizing entity behind all things — is the personal Creator who loves His people.
The idea that God is personal is a radical one indeed. Ultimate reality in Hinduism and Buddhism is impersonal. Islam and Judaism know something of a personal God due to the influence of the Bible on Muhammad and the rabbis, but the God presented in these religions is not consistently personal. Our God is personal, and we can have a true relationship with Him because He came to us in the person of Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ligonier Ministries online)
This Logos loved you so much that, despite your sin, though you didn’t even ask for It or want it, He died for you that you would have eternal life and the fullness of joy (Romans 5:8; Colossians 2:14; Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 8:1; Isaiah 53:5; John 17:3). How does this truth change your outlook, how you respond to people and circumstances, and how you live your life?
- Romans 6:6 — We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
- Romans 12:1 — I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
- Romans 6:8 — Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
- 1 John 3:1 — See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
- 2 Corinthians 5:14 — For the love of Christ controls us….
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- Luke 9:23 — And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
- Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
- 1 Peter 1:13 — Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
- James 4:7 — Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 — So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
John 1:1, 14 — In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 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.
How we view, approach, receive, and respond to God’s written word reveals our relationship with the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
John 1:7 – He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.
John the Baptist modelled an important part of our life mission – bearing witness to Jesus that others might believe in Him, not in “goodness” or vague concepts of “god,” but Jesus Christ. However, God’s intention for our lives goes much further: We are not called just to tell people about Jesus, we are to be image bearers of Jesus, to become Christlike:
- Romans 8:28-29 — And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 — And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
- 1 John 3:2 — Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
- John 9:5; Matthew 5:14 — As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world…. You are the light of the world.
Through Christ, we have been both commissioned and empowered with the Holy Spirit to be like Christ, to be the embodiment of Christ, and to make disciples, other people who are Christlike, by being examples for them to copy –
- 1 Corinthians 4:16 — I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 — Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
- Philippians 3:17 — Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
- 1 Thessalonians 1:6 — And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit….
Do people see you as just like Jesus? This is God’s expectation for you. If people copied your life, would they be just like Jesus? Don’t sell your calling short. You are not called to just be a good person. You are called to be just like Jesus and to dedicate your life to helping others do the same.
John 1:8 — He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
Your life mission is to bear witness to Jesus by being the embodiment of Jesus while you proclaim Jesus. Never point to yourself or to anything else but Jesus. Always point to Jesus. As mentioned above, John wasn’t the Light, but Jesus said, with the Holy Spirit within you, you are the light because as new creations, you no longer live but Christ lives in you.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- Galatians 2:20 — I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
John 1:9-13 — The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 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.
What have we done with our right to become “children of God?”
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” The religious reject Jesus when they proclaim Him theoretically, but follow idols practically.
You must be born of the Spirit through Jesus to be truly alive. Those without the Spirit are the real walking dead.
John 1:14 — “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
When you read the Bible honestly, empowered by the Holy Spirit which convicts you, you cannot help but fellowship with the Living Word of Jesus. The Bible is the collection of thoughts of the One you need to know, and it is alive through the Spirit, speaking directly to you though written long ago. Read the Bible to draw closer to Jesus.
John 1:19-30 – To accomplish your life purpose and mission, you must know who you are and who Jesus is. Truly understanding this changes everything. Even most Christians don’t understand these basics.
John 1:29, 32, 33 – The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!…” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’”
Your mission involves getting rid of sin and guilt and being Spirit-led.
John 1:38-44 – Your mission involves following Jesus and leading others to Him.
John 1:39, 46, 50 — Come and you will see…. You will see greater things than these.
If you are truly willing to follow Jesus, He will show you things you could not possibly imagine. Jesus is sovereignly revealed to people by the will of the Father, but in His sovereignty, He gives them the choice to follow.
John 1:41 – He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).
Mission begins with your own family.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 2 November 2022: Today, meditate upon your personal relationship with the Word and rejoice. Live out your day today with the reality of your relationship with the Word as your primary inspiration, motivation, vocation, and proclamation. Guard your heart and set you heart on seeking and serving the Lord and Him only. Do all things today to the glory of God, and don’t deviate from your calling as an Ambassador for Christ.