love and grace

The Gospel according to John – The greatness of God’s love and grace

love and grace

God’s love and grace – this is what Jesus showed on the cross. – John 1

How much do you know Jesus Christ? Do you know Him enough to build a relationship with Him – to trust your life with Him?
 
Do you know Him enough to let Him love you, scars and all? In retrospect, what is your personal take as far as the word Jesus Christ is concerned?
 
Now, if we look closely, there is a difference between knowing about Jesus, and knowing Jesus – having knowledge about Him, and having a relationship with Him.
 
So, how do we move from just mere knowledge to a relationship?
 
We read the Bible. We study it. Why? Because the more you read and know about Jesus, the bigger He is in your life.
 
As Pastor Serge said,
 
“Your maturity, commitment, and willingness to be a disciple largely depends on how deep and wide your knowledge is of Jesus Christ.”
 
Pastor Serge invites us to study the book of John. In the other 3 gospels, the authors focused on what Jesus taught and did, while in the gospel of John, it focuses on who Jesus is.

As we start the sermon series on the gospel of John, we pray that you will know Jesus on a deeper, more personal level. And may this bring you to a wonderful relationship with Him.

The Greatness of Christ (vv. 1-3)

Among the four gospels, John started with “In the beginning was the Word…”- a parallel to Genesis 1:1.
 
When God created everything, He only needed to speak for creation to happen. Everything took place because of the Word of God. Now John uses the “Word” as the same level as Jesus Christ.
 
This describes Jesus as identical to God and co-creator with God. This teaches us that –
  • Jesus pre-existed with God.
  • God was with Jesus.
  • Jesus was God.

What Jesus taught, and what He did, are tied inseparably to who He is.

John teaches us that Jesus is the “Word” of God, using the Greek word ‘logos’ (Logos means word, discourse, or reason).
 
Jesus is the message from God, in a language we all understand: RELATIONSHIP.
 
Right from the very beginning, God wanted to have a relationship with us. And through His Word, God wanted to reach out to us.

The Greatness of Christ’s love (vv. 4-9)

Ever since the beginning of time, Christ has always sought to reveal Himself to us. As it is said “In the beginning was the Word,” it shows that Christ has always wanted to communicate with us, to show us His love.

In verses 4-5, Jesus was described as the light. And where darkness is, light conquers. Therefore, just as light reaches out to every nook and cranny, Jesus reaches out to the very depths of our hearts and shines His light there.
 
This shows how much He loves us: no matter how much we have sinned if we let Jesus shine His light in our hearts, we have life in Him.

The Darkness rejects the light (vv. 10-13)

However, we find in verses 10-11 that the world that was made through Him rejected Him. How is that? It is because man’s heart was filled with darkness.
 
As Pastor Serge said,
 
“If you want to see the light, there will be more than enough life to see the light. But if you don’t want to see the light, then there will always be enough darkness for you not to see the light.”
 
As a believer, where are your eyes fixed now? Is it towards Jesus Christ who gives light or is it towards the world that had rejected Him?
 
Nevertheless, God still made a way for us to be in the light as it is written in verse 12. All we have to do is to receive Jesus Christ and believe in Him and we will become one of His own.
 
We will be called God’s children. We must contemplate this truth: Jesus, who existed before the creation, came to earth and became man. He was crucified and died, conquered death, and rose again. He did all this for you.
 
Only when we invite Jesus into our hearts and dwell in the light can we see how much God loves us.
 
Do you truly believe that He came for us? That He died for us?

The Greatness of Christ’s Grace vv. 14-18

The grace given by Christ will never be exhausted. Grace upon grace. What does this mean?
 
This means that wherever you are right now in your journey of life. And this further means that God’s loving-kindness, His forgiveness, His mercy, His acceptance towards us will never be empty.
 
God can always give us another chance and He can always give the light that He has promised us.
 
In verse 18, we learn that through Jesus, we can see God. He is the explanation of the Father. The greatness of Christ explains the greatness of the Father.
 
The greatness of Jesus’ love explains Father’s love. And the greatness of Christ’s grace is the explanation of Father’s grace.
 
If you want to come to the Father, come to Jesus.
 
Accepting Jesus is accepting God. And if you ask for forgiveness, God will forgive you because Jesus died for our sins.
 
We’d love to pray with you. Message us at +1 (707) 600 – 6010 or leave us a message on our Jesus Reigns Ministries Facebook page or DM us on Instagram @jrmvallejo.

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road to Emmaus

Walking with Jesus on the Emmaus Road: Fear, Faith and the Glory of Christ

road to Emmaus

“Luke 24:13-35 – Walking with Jesus on the Emmaus Road: Fear, Faith and the glory of Christ”

Have you ever tried praising and worshipping God when things went well? It was quite easy, wasn’t it?
 
What about in times when we are in trouble and it seems like help is NOT on the way? Or that things did not happen the way we expected them to?
 
Do we allow doubts and lies about God’s power and presence to cloud our thoughts? Do we draw near to Him, or move away?
 
In today’s sermon, Pastora Noreen Santos shares with us how Jesus proved that everything will fall into place according to the Scriptures. He showed it to those who were saddened and depressed by the events that took place a few days ago, on the cross.
 
And even when we go through the Emmaus road, Jesus will catch up with us and bring us back to the fold.
 

On the Road to Emmaus – Luke 24: 13-23

mountain road
 
One of the most loved stories after Jesus’ death and resurrection is found in the book of Luke.
 
This is the story of how Jesus appeared to two of His disciples who were on their way to Emmaus (a village 7 miles away from Jerusalem).
 
In another translation, Jesus ‘caught up with them. This means that Jesus had a reason why he appeared to them. He was interested in them and wanted to minister to them – just as he would want to do with us.
 
In the middle of their journey, Jesus joined them and struck up a conversation with them. But the disciples were so saddened and so lost because of Jesus’ death that they failed to recognize who it was.
 
And the dream of gaining freedom, albeit that is what they gained, died with Him at the cross. They thought they have lost. But it is the opposite. Jesus overcame death; and though we will die, we too shall rise with him.
 
This message should have brought joy to these disciples, but they were blinded by their unbelief.
 
This here reminds us that just because we don’t see or feel the presence of God, does not mean that He is not there. God is always there. He knows our hearts and hears our prayers. He will minister to us.
 
Does this ring true to you?
 

The power of focus – Luke 24:17-24

woman right fist
 
In these verses, we can see how the disciples were towards Jesus. They cannot believe that this stranger, who looked, acted, and talked like someone from Jerusalem, did not know what happened. They shared the event to Him but made this ‘Jesus’ a thing of the past, after his death.
 
If you look at the verses, the disciples knew the scriptures very well and they believed in the word of God – but only partially.
 
Ptra. Noreen quoted T. Robbins, “be careful on what you focus on… Where focus goes, energy flows.”
 
The disciples here focused on the negative side, their dream of redemption through Jesus died when He died on the cross. They have disregarded the good news of his resurrection. The very thing that would have made them glad, made them sad.
 
Do we do this too? Sadly, yes.
 
Ptra. Noreen says,
“Sometimes, we are overpowered by selective faith. We choose what to believe. We choose what to accept.”
 
But this should not be. The enemy may use the very word of God to discourage us, but we must hold on tight to His word. And whatever happens, He will fulfill his promises, in His perfect time.
 

The revelation of Jesus – Luke 24:25-27

 
This is where Jesus reveals himself through the scriptures. He expounded it and explained how these pointed towards Him.
 
This is where we see that in due time, Jesus will explain everything. God is ever so patient with us. He will wait for us until we fully understand what and why things are allowed to happen.

In connection to what he said “what things?” in Verse 19, Ptra. Noreen said, “as far as our God is concerned, He has already done what is best for us. We only have to wait at the right time.”

Wouldn’t that give us joy instead of sorrow? Confidence instead of fear? That instead of living a life with doubts and worries, we can live a life full of confidence in His promises.
 

God is waiting for us to invite Him – Luke 24:28-29

unknown person standing indoors
Here we see the verse “seemed…” and in another translation, “as if He (Jesus) was going farther…” and how did the disciples respond to this? “…they begged Him to stay.”
 
The disciples had invited him over. If we carefully look at John 3:16, we see there “… That whosoever believes in Him…” God may be the creator of the whole universe, but He still waits for us to invite Him into our hearts.
 
The late J. Hampton Keathley III said that “The Lord Jesus seeks to come into our lives, He stands at the door and knocks, but He does not force Himself in. we must invite Him and respond to His plans and methods.”
 
If we only know about Jesus, we would still be troubled and remain unchanged. But if we know Jesus and have fellowship with Him, our lives and perspectives will change.
 
Are you willing to invite him into your life?
 

Jesus broke the bread – Luke 24:30

 
Jesus was the one invited, but when they were at the table, He was the one who broke bread.
 
Instead of being the guest, He became the host.
 
This is how it would be when we invite him into our hearts. He will not be a guest, but the unseen host that would bring us to a fellowship where he would lead, teach, minister, feed, and sustain.
 
In our daily walk with Jesus, are we allowing Him to lead us? Do we allow Him to minister to us? Do we see him as our companion in our journey through life?
 

From despair to Faith – Luke 24:31-35

person standing on hill
At the start of this story, Jesus ‘caught up with them and started a conversation. He gently rebuked them for not fully believing the scriptures that they know so well. In their journey, he began a fellowship with them. And when they invited him in and He broke bread and gave it to them, the disciples finally saw Jesus for who he really is: the risen Christ!

In the intimacy of fellowship with Jesus, He reveals Himself to us – His provision and leading becomes clear.

And when the disciples recognized him, He disappeared. This is to show that fellowship with Him would not depend on our ability to see him but to take him up on His word.

When the disciples realized who he was, they immediately returned to Jerusalem and shared their testimony that they had fellowship with the risen Christ. They had doubted, but their minds were renewed. They had fear, but they received new courage. And they despaired but their faith was renewed in his resurrection.

Alfred McBride says that the Emmaus narrative concerns “the evolution of the awareness of the two disciples from despair over Christ’s death to faith in his resurrection.”
 
On the road to Emmaus, they have regained their hope in Jesus. In our journey, we also despair due to certain circumstances. We lose heart when things don’t happen as expected. But we must keep in mind that every trial is an opportunity to discover what God wants to reveal to us.
 
Like the two on the road to Emmaus, you don’t travel alone. God is with you. Even when you don’t see and feel His presence, He is always there. Are you willing to see Him?
 
We’d love to pray with you. Message us at +1 (707) 600 – 6010 or leave us a message on our Jesus Reigns Ministries Facebook page or DM us on Instagram @jrmvallejo.

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