John Journal 1.4

Journal Entry Reflection: Write and reflect on how the true light enlightens everyone, even those who reject Him.

God is love.  That’s the first phrase that comes to mind.  He is not prejudice, not a racist, not one to show favoritism.  He loves the world, sent His Son to come into the world to save sinners.  I believe in the great doctrines of grace … I love the Reformers and the clarity with which they speak of salvation by grace, and yes, I believe God loves the world.  Bible texts always trump theological systems in my book, and thank you Lord, that Bible lovers of days gone by thought so too.  The Logos created the world, and the Logos was sent to be the Savior of it … how beautiful and poetic is that?  Just as everyone benefits from the Sun, so everyone benefits from the Son.  There is no other way to be saved!  Of course people can stay indoors and hide from the Sun, and so people can harden their hearts to the Son and remain in the darkness, but they are indeed without excuse.  Let me see everyone as loved by God and in need of being exposed to the Light of the Son.  Shine on me God, so I can shine on others!

What I Need to Pray About: Pray about the three great words of 1:12.  Thank God for how each of these words minister to your soul.

Thank you Father that I wear the title Child of God, I peel off the other name tags I’ve stuck on my chest and look so hard to find importance and meaning in … give me the rest that comes from staring into the mirror of the cross and seeing you give me the name Child of God.  May my insecurities flee as the Light drives them away.  I’m humbled that you gave me the right to be born a child of God!  Amen.

John Journal 1.3

Journal Entry Reflection: Write and reflect on a few characteristics of a witness of Jesus from the simple description of John the Witness in John 1:6-8.

It immediately jumps out to me – “sent from God”, and I can’t move past that characteristic.  I suppose it was easy for John to know he was sent from God with his mom telling him about his in-womb gymnastics and the stories of dad’s silence, but how do we know if we are sent by God.  As a pastor I immediately think of my calling, but honestly that one was a hard one for me to land on.  I didn’t have any visions, no stories of angelic visits, just a growing sense that God was using my gifts to serve others, and I kept falling more and more in love with the Word and the Church.  Years later I still have to preach to myself that God has sent me to serve his Church, it doesn’t come without doubt, but it increasingly comes with courage and conviction.  I suppose if I step back from my pastoral call a bit, it’s still just Bible truth that as a child of God I’ve been sent to be an ambassador of God to the world … we all have.  So I may not be John the Witness, but I do want to witness to the Light with the same firm conviction that God has sent me to this place for this time to hold up the candle for my world to see.

What I Need to Pray About: Pray about one or two of these characteristics that you would like God to develop in your life.

Help me God to not be swayed by public opinion, nor by the praise or criticism of men, but let me always operate out of the firm conviction that I have been sent by you to serve and bless others.  Of that I need not question, nor shy away from, but courageously move forward in the strength of the Spirit trusting you will use me in the ways you have planned.  Thanks Father for such a sweet calm and confidence that guides my days, months, and years.  Amen.

John Journal 1.2

Journal Entry Reflection: Write and reflect on the pictures of Life and Light.  What do each metaphor convey about the work of the Logos?

I find amazing comfort in knowing that the God who created Life and spoke Light into the darkness reigns over me.  I need life and need light … and I need the Word to not let me go anywhere else to find it than Him.  I think more than anything the message of the Work of the Word causes me to pay more attention to life around me, with a keen awareness that all of it finds its Life in Him.  Funny how I tend to forget that life is a miracle, the sustaining of the universe is a miracle, and the transformation of the human heart is a miracle.  I love John’s argument (or foundation at least) that if the Logos created all things, He can bring life to you.  “That you may believe … and in believing have life” (20:31).  I guess at the end of my reflections, it brings me to the call on my life to speak words of life to people, to hold up light in the darkness.  I’m certainly not the Life-Bringer and Light-Bearer, but because the Logos is, I can speak words of life to people, and hold up the light for all to see.

What I Need to Pray About: Write and pray about the power of the Light overcoming the darkness and where you need this light brought in your life.

May my life, Oh God, bring life to people … or I guess bring people to You who gives Life.  May the short days of my existence advance the society in which I live as I hold forth light in it.  Give me an ever increasing awareness of the sustaining power of the Logos in my daily living.  Give me a sense for the ways the Life you’ve brought should propel my life forward … and then give me the wisdom and strength to act!  You created me for a purpose, with a calling, and don’t let me fritter that away or forget what it is.  I’m looking for your power here God to make me an agent of life and light in the path of your Logos who brought it at creation and keeps bringing it in salvation.  Do it God, do it!  Amen.

John Journal 1.1

Journal Entry Reflection: Write and Reflect on Jesus as the Word.  What is the significance of this title?

I love reading, love words crafted together chocked full of meaning.  Unfortunately, I’m a rambler and for all that I appreciate about carefully crafted words, I write like I talk. I take 40 words to say what could be said in 4.  But, nonetheless, I like that words mean something.  I think it’s funny that we’ve invented words that mean nothing – yadda, yadda.  We have talk shows, and editorials, and well … blogs I suppose, where words get dump-trucked on us, and frankly come to mean very little.  But I love that God has a Word to give!  He reveals Himself with a Word.  He is not silent to the plight of the planet, His Word is His Son, Jesus.  Man writes volumes, God sends Himself.  Man speculates, God clarifies.  Man questions, God answers.  Before Jesus could be Redeemer, Reconciler, Substitute, He was the Word – Eternal, Triune, Divine.  That means something, it means I gotta listen to what He has to say.  It means I need knowledge, need to be taught, need to be brought to clear understanding.  This title – Word, Logos calls me to be a student of God’s Son.  He wants to be understood, do I seek to understand?

What I Need to Pray About: Write and Pray about God growing your faith through this study in John and coming to even stronger convictions about the person of Jesus Christ.

Give me understanding revealer God.  Grant me the grace to be taught, to receive, to listen.  Let me listen before I speak.  May the teaching by the Logos who saved me be unfolded to me in the written Word by the Spirit for my growth.  God, I know that I know things, and I know that I don’t know things, I just don’t know what all those things are that I don’t yet know, so open my eyes to see the wonderful things of your Son.  Help me see the rational, logical, reasonable truth that sets my feet on solid ground.  And help me to see the unseen, supernatural, miraculous wonder of a Savior who has done it all.  Let me never look for my own word, or the foolish words of men, but only the powerful and living words of the Word.  I know as a teacher I am held accountable for my words, so let them be Yours, let me study well, to teach well, to live well and help others do the same.  May this journey change my life oh God … reveal your Son to me like never before!  Amen.