Day One – There is absolute victory in Absolute Truth
What is Truth? I believe this is a question that we ask ourselves every day. We are constantly receiving information through TV, Social Media, and word of mouth. How are we supposed to siphon through all of it?
One of the toughest situations we are put in as a young kid is being left in a dark room. There might be enough light in there that we can kind of make out what’s going on, but it is really up to our minds to fill in the gaps to decide what exactly is going on in the room. As we get older, it seems that the dark room starts to take different shapes in our lives where we are put in situations where we can slightly make out what is going on, but it is up to our minds to figure out what is true and what is a false reality. That stuffed bear can look like a scary person in the corner just as much as a phone call can seem like the end of the world. Darkness gives a false reality that can bring hurt, pain, discouragement, and isolation.
The amazing Truth of our Savior is that when He enters the picture, He can illuminate the path of Truth. The Truth will stand the test of time and will bring life to us all.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. He was with God in the beginning. In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The comfort here is that the Truth that God brings gives power and life.
1.What is going on in your life that is a false reality?
2.Darkness can bring many negative emotions and feelings. What has it brought you?
3.What is the Truth that God says about you? (Look up Esphesians 2:4-5, Colossians 2:13-15, Romans 6:6, 2 Corinthans 5:17)
4.How can the Truth that God brings shine light on your current situation?
Day Two – He must become greater as I become less.
Something that many of us struggle with is the difference between personal gain and giving glory to God. Many strive for the attention, the spotlight, and getting recognition for things they do. We will even go as far as doing good things “In Jesus’ Name”, but turn around and post it on social media so everyone can see. The reality is that good things get the most attention. The better you do in life, the more people want to praise you.
I learned a valuable lesson when I was younger. We were at a baseball tournament and it came down to the final inning. We had bases loaded, two outs, and the winning run up to bat. The first pitch he smacked the ball into the fence. The batter decided that he was going to try to stretch his very easy double to a triple and ended up being tagged out at third to end the game. Being on the losing team, I was devastated because I wanted to win the tournament so bad. At the same time, I was happy that the other team had a chance to represent Kentucky in the Little League World Series and some of my friends were on that team. I was also proud of what we had accomplished as a team. What started as a celebration quickly became a bench clearing argument when one of the players on the winning team came over to our bench to throw it in our faces. I remember getting back in the car and mentioning to my parents that it was sad that neither team got to celebrate what they went through the entire year because all the attention suddenly was about the one kid who wasn’t a good sport.
When we draw attention to ourselves in light of the good we are doing for God, we can quickly divert the eyes of others to looking at us rather than God.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.
To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”
1. John spent his entire adult life preparing the way for Jesus and encouraging others not to look at him but to the one to come. How do we have a heart like John’s?
2. Have you ever received glory for something that was supposed to be for God?
3. Is it possible for both God and ourselves to become greater or can only one body truly become greater?
Day Three – We are not meant to be of this world
Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt like you didn’t fit in? It could have been the way they dressed, the conversation they were having, the mood of the group, an age gap, or just the interest you were given when you walked in. In early 2021, I was meeting a minister friend of mine to catch up and he recommended this “Great Coffee Place” on the college campus to meet at. Due to my schedule, I ended up showing up a few minutes before him and when I walked into this coffee shop I instantly felt like the old guy. I am not that many years removed from college, but everything about this place put me in unfamiliar territory. The music was nothing I recognized, I was 10-12 years older than the next person, I didn’t understand the lingo of the person selling me coffee, and the way others were dressed I could only describe as “Cool” (which I am not).
Many people feel out of place when they give their life to God because what they used to do, what they used to say, and who they used to hangout with does not follow the mission that God has sealed on their heart. At first, many only find true comfort within their church family community and feel lost within the world. This is by design. To those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. God desires us to be born again, starting with him and not of the world. When we start with Jesus, everything changes.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
1. Where do you feel most comfortable? Where do you feel most uncomfortable or out of place?
2.We feel the most comfortable around things that we value. What do you value?
3.As Christians our desire is to walk with Christ but sometimes we don’t realize that our values do not match up with those of Christ. Take the list of values above and compare them with the values of Christ. (Proverbs 22:9, Joshua 1:91, John 4:19, 1 Peter 2:17, Proverbs 23:18, Romans 14:19 Galatians 5:22-23)
4.Today, as you meditate on the Values of Christ. Ask God to replace the things of this world with the values of Him.
Day Four – John 1:14 Jesus Became Flesh, Loving people where they are
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
There really is nothing in this world like Christianity. There are plenty of other people in the Bible all the way up to current day 2021 that decide to worship other gods. Many people in America have lifted themselves up to say I am where it stops, I am the God of my own life. Many create their own gods to fit their own personal needs/values and some put their faith in man alone.
Our God did something that no other god has done. Our God desired the relationship with us so much that He came to us first rather than waiting for us to come to him.
My entire life I was told in life you only get what you put in. If you want to receive something, you have to work for it. This mindset ends up making us put all this hard work into life hoping that we will receive a return with some blessing to make our life more enjoyable and give us something to live for.
With our God there is no “Work” involved; He did all the work for us. He saw where we were and made a hard B-line spring for us.
Here is where the rubber meets the road. Have you decided to follow Jesus? If so, do you still play the positive and negative game with life? Do you still feel like you need to do more good things than bad things each day for God to love you?
For today’s devotional we all need to decide to put our full trust in Jesus Crist and the Grace He gives us. It is not our good deeds that get us to heaven or our mistakes that keep us from heaven but it is through Jesus who came to this world who gave us the FREE GIFT of eternal life.
1. Read Ephesians 2:8
2. How often do you act as though you can save yourself by trying to do more right than wrong?
3. Are you willing to put your full trust in Jesus? That he is more powerful than sin and no matter what we do in this world He will still love us?
Devotion 5: 1:15-18 Out of this fullness we have received Grace
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Grace is something the church always points to, but how many people truly understand it? We use the phrase, “You need to show Grace to others”, or “Please give me Grace during this period of time” but how many of us actually show true Grace that is demonstrated by Jesus on the cross?
When Moses brought the law to the people he brought them a way to life in right standing with God, a sinless life. The Israelites quickly realized that this was an impossible task and in order to become in right standing with God again they had sacrificed something. Something had to take the punishment to cancel the debt.
Romans 5:6-8 says this
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God is a just God, he stays consistent in all things, He is never changing. So if he followed through with the law of Moses we should all be punished, sentenced to hell because we so often choose self over God. But, God had a different plan, He sent his son to be that sacrifice for the past, present and future. IT COVERS ALL.
1.Do you feel like you are trying to save yourself?
2.True Grace is someone stepping in to take the punishment that you deserved. Have you accepted that Jesus did that for you?
3. How in your daily life can you show God’s version of Grace to the world, which is the greatest form of love? The bible’s definition of love is this:Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.