Preparing the Way

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. – John 1:6-7

For most of us to hear the message of Christ, there had to be a “John” for us! Who was your “John”? Who prepared the soil of your heart to receive the Good News? Who taught you the truth of God and called you to repentance and to excited expectation about what God would do in you through his Son Jesus and through the powerful Holy Spirit? Why not take some time today to write that person a thank you note? Why not make a renewed commitment today to be “John” for someone else who needs to know the Savior? Father, thank you so much for the following people who helped prepare my heart to receive the message of Jesus. Please bless my efforts at sharing Jesus’ message with others. Matthew 3:1-6 – John 5:31-33 – Matthew 11:1

This Light Keeps Shining

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. – John 1:5

Sooner or later, lights go out. That’s just part of the realities of light bulbs and electric power sources. Sometimes, lights go out at the worst possible moment. That’s the reality of Murphy’s Law and lights. All lights that we know, eventually dim and go out over time — all lights except one: Jesus! He is the Light that keeps shining. Evil, Satan, and the forces of darkness can’t snuff out his light or hide his radiant glory. Jesus’ light is as inextinguishable as it is unfathomable. This Light, full of grace and glory, keeps shining. Nothing can stop him from shining. No one can put out his life-giving hope. No darkness can defeat our Light. So, let’s walk in this Light and find life in the radiance of his glow! Father, forgive me for the times I strayed away from your will. I know that on each of those occasions I pushed Jesus and the light of his grace and truth away from me. Forgive me for not living my life in the light of Jesus, seeking his truth, and wanting his will to guide my steps. 1 Peter 2:9 – John 3:18-21 – Matthew 4:14-16

Life That Is Shared

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. – John 1:4

So often, people want to sell us some formula, vitamin, exercise plan, marketing strategy, or business opportunity that will enhance our lives. Our email boxes are filled with spam about the newest, latest, and greatest ways to enhance and enrich our lives. The Bible offers one way to find life — not a few ways, just one way. This way to life is not a plan we have to follow or a product; no, the only real way to life is a person — Jesus, God’s living Word who took on human flesh! This Life, however, is not something we have to earn or pay someone else to receive. Instead, this Life was gladly willing to share everything that he had and has and is. This Life gives light. He shares grace and glory for our gain. And the offer? Well, it’s not to just a select few, but it’s for everyone. So the real question for us today is pretty simple: “Have I found life in Jesus?” If we answer yes, then the second question is, “Am I sharing that life with others?” Father, thank you! You gave me your precious life through Jesus. As I receive the blessing of his light, help me to share that light and Life with others who do not know you or your Son. Bless me especially, O LORD, as I try to reach out to. Forgive me for those times when I have been timid or reluctant to share your grace with others. John 14:6 – John 8:12 – 1 John 5:11

He Created Even You and Me

Jesus, the Word existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. – John 1:2-3

The things you see in creation that are beautiful, the things you find marvelous in nature, and the things that astound and bewilder you in our universe came into existence through the one who allowed himself to be born as a human baby and placed in a manger. His fingerprints are on all of creation. His power gave birth to the universe, and his ongoing word sustains it. Ponder that last phrase, and then realize both the enormity of it and the personal connection to it: the Word, Jesus, God who would come in human flesh, made everything in the universe — including you and me! He is great, awesome, and beyond description, and yet he made you and me! He is incomprehensibly powerful, yet he cares enough for us to come to earth and die for us. The Creator is also the one about whom we sing: “Jesus loves me! This I know”. Precious Jesus, thank you for knowing me and caring for me. You know my flaws, yet you died to redeem me from them. I know you made me special to serve in your Kingdom, so please help me be able to identify those things that I should be doing to fulfill your purposes for my life. Father God, please accept my undying gratitude and praise for your plan and for the love that it took to send Jesus to earth for me. 1 Corinthians 8:6 – Hebrews 1:2 – Colossians 3:10-11

The Message That Was There All Along

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1

What a strange way to begin a story: “In the beginning the Word already existed.” But that statement’s true because that Word is Jesus! When God wanted to tell human beings about himself, when he wanted to give us good news about salvation, when he wanted to give us a message about his love for us, he sent Jesus. Jesus is God’s Word — his Message. And this Word was with the Father all along. In fact, he was “in very nature God” (Philippians 2:6). Jesus is God come to us as Savior, in human flesh. He is God with us, the Messenger of all messengers and the Message of all messages. Thank you, Father in heaven, for giving me a message that I can understand. Thank you for giving me a message that I can see in action. Thank you for Jesus and all he is to me. Thank you for your message of love, salvation, and grace. Colossians 1:15-17 – Titus 2:13-14 – 1 John 1:1