"But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you..." 1 Corin. 12:9

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gleanings - John - Chapter 3

v2 Your miracles proved Your veracity.  (v33 “God IS True.”)

vv3,5,11 “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the Truth...’”  79 times in the NIV Bible.
    ...must be born again. ...must be born of water and Spirit.  He speaks of what He knows and sees.

    Then He says, “But you do not RECEIVE our testimony.”  (ESV)

    Even as a believer, I find myself guilty of this.  He states many things clearly in His Word that I do not believe enough to step out in faith on.  Still I am guilty of worry which is the opposite of true God-honoring faith.  Every time I do not believe Him UTTERLY, I am not truly RECEIVING His testimony.

    receive–to take or acquire something offered; to meet with, experience; to take in, hold, or contain; to perceive or acquire mentally; to regard with approval; to be a recipient.
        acquire–to gain possession of; to get by one’s own efforts.
            possess–to own or master something; to have as a quality, characteristic, or other attribute; to gain or seize; to be controlled by another force or Spirit.

v8 “The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (NIV)

v11 “I tell you the Truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen...” (NIV)
    Jesus knows what He is saying because He makes up all the rules.  He came to reveal Himself to men and every Word He speaks is True.

    He gives us something to believe in because He knows people believe what they see.  He works in our lives and gives us evidence of His guidance.  We have to be looking for it.

v12 “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things.”  (ESV)

    I don’t, even yet, take His Word as complete truth.  I seem to choose some things as things that I can camp on.  And other things, my spirit is still wobbly and unsure on.  NUTS!  That makes COMPLETELY NO SENSE.  Either He is 100% True or 0% trustworthy.  I KNOW that the first is right.  Yet I do not act like it.  Grrr!  Romans 7 in action here.  And I say, along with Paul, “What a wretched [wo]man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?”  And having been increasingly encouraged by my study,  I, too, rejoice in Paul’s hope that Jesus can and WILL do it!

    Also, Jesus seems to be saying that He desires to reveal more and more to people as they believe, and I surely want that as well!

v22 Jesus took time to be with the disciples alone.

    Message “After this conversation, Jesus went on with His disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there.”

v27 “To this John replied, ‘A man can receive only what is given from heaven.’”
    Message “It’s not possible for a person to succeed–I’m talking about eternal success–without Heaven’s help.”

    God allows my circumstances to orchestrate the change necessary in me to become more like Jesus.  Romans 8:28-29   He began this good work in me and will complete it.  (Philippians 1:6) I know He is orchestrating this study and leading me through it.  And hope and trust are building in me that He WILL do the transforming work in me to believe Him FULLY!

v29-30 “That’s why my cup is running over.  This is the assigned moment for Him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.”  (Message)

    John was overjoyed to give glory to Jesus instead of himself.  This should be my attitude as well.  Like John, it is my continual job to point people to Jesus and to, then, step out from between them and let Jesus become their everything, just as He is mine.  No Savior-complex for me anymore!  I KNOW that I am NOT the One Whom they need.  They need the One Who can actually effectively transform them!

v30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  (ESV)
    His Spirit must take over dominion in me, and my flesh must give up the control!

v33 “The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.”
    Amplified: “Whoever receives His testimony has set his seal of approval to this: God is True. [That man has definitely certified, acknowledged, declared one and for all, & is himself assured that it is Divine Truth that God cannot lie.]”
        seal–to grant, certify, or designate under seal or authority; to establish or determine IRREVOCABLY.

    Message: “anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.”

    When I come to the place where I trust every Word You say, worry will have no place in me because I will be believing You will provide through every circumstance!  Trust will mend the chink in my armor that has been allowing the fiery darts to get through and pierce me.

    Titus 1:2 (Amplified) “Resting in the hope of eternal life, life which the ever-truthful God Who cannot deceive (‘Who does not lie’ NIV), promised before the world or the ages of time began.

    God alone provides for me.  “For your Maker is your Husband–the Lord Almighty is His Name.”  Isaiah 54:5

v34     “For He Whom God has sent utters the words of God...”  (ESV)
    I’m glad to know He gives me the words I need to help others when I need them as well. 

    “...God gives the Spirit without limit.”    without bounds!

v35 “The Father loves the Son extravagantly...”  (Message)
    I love this translation of that statement!  It reminds me of 1John 3:1, which says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on US that we should be called children of God!”  (NIV)

    And Jesus says that it is the same kind of love.  John 17:23 “I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.” (NIV)  (This FLOORS me every time I read it.  Think of it!)

v36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the truth will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.’  (NIV)
    ESV/NASB    ‘does not obey’
    KJV        ‘believeth not’
    AMP        ‘disobeys–is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to’

    Now, I believe and am saved; but, as I already said, I have times where I am unbelieving toward something God has said.  My GOAL is to grow to the point where, in Christ’s strength,  I have complete and utter trust in every Word out of the mouth of God, just as He deserves.

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