Turn Towards Jesus

John the Baptist called people to repentance.

For most of my life I thought that to repent meant saying sorry or asking for forgiveness. I did just that. I would regularly ask for forgiveness for the things that I was doing wrong. But then I started to question myself, why did I keep doing the same things over and over, and then praying the same prayer of forgiveness, for the same sins, over and over? I know that God will forgive me ‘seventy times’ – that He does not count my sins against me and that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; but there must be something else.

Repentance does not mean asking for forgiveness and John the Baptist was not calling people to simply ask for forgiveness. His call to Repentance was rooted in the actual meaning of the word repentance – ‘to turn away from’. We are called to turn away from our sin, from our behaviours and from our habits. We are called to head in another direction completely. Turning away from sin only leaves one direction available. John the Baptist was calling for us to turn away from sin and to turn to Christ. Saying sorry is a start but it will never be an end. If we want to see real transformation in our lives – real transformation brought through the Holy Spirit and then manifested in our lives producing the Fruit of the Spirit, we must turn away from sin, yes but, more importantly, we have to turn to Jesus.

Today, I will think deeply about my behaviour, my attitudes, my habits, how I spend my time, how I spend my days, where I am headed. To be honest I fail dismally. But today I choose to repent. To turn to Jesus. I encourage you to do the same thing, to be set free through Jesus Christ. Free to live the life He planned for you. The life you desire eagerly.

Look at how you spend your time today.

Are you spending it with Jesus or are you spending it with the world. I know that you are reading this on a social media site but think about how much time you spend online, in the world, soaking up the message of the world and compare that to the time you spend in prayer and in the Word, soaking up the message and blessing of Jesus.

And turn away. And turn towards Jesus.

Repent.

 

I pray this in the name of Jesus.

John 1 : Who is Jesus?

I am not sure that I ask myself the question enough, but as I read John 1 today I realised that I must ask the question every day.

‘Who is Jesus?’, not to everyone else or anyone else, but to me. As I thought about it this morning, I realised that the revelation we receive through the first chapter of John’s Gospel is inspired and inspiring. How often do I take Jesus’s presence in my life for granted? Probably every second of every day. And yet the picture of Jesus in John 1 should remind me that He was, is and always should be, the most important person in my life. The first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, the Aleph and Tav.

John tells us that Jesus was there from the beginning. He created everything with the Father, through the Spirit. Jesus created you and me. He knows my thoughts and my cares. He knows my worries and my deficiencies. He knows the best things about me and, despite the worst things about me, He loves me.

John reminds us that Jesus is Light and that the darkness has not overcome the Light. As we walk through our fallen world we often think that there is no hope. And yet, John reminds us that there is indeed! Jesus has overcome the darkness and as we seek Him, speak to Him and listen to Him hope finds us. As I ask myself who Jesus is I am reminded of what He has done in my life, the many (often forgotten) miracles of healing, growth, sustenance and direction. Jesus saved me when no-one else could. Who is Jesus in my life?

John reminds us in verse 17,

‘For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.’

What is grace and truth?

It is love, real love. It is a love that calls me back when I wander off, like the prodigal son, filled with pride and self-sufficiency – and when I return He speaks of nothing but grace and forgiveness. The truth hurts but grace is always there. The truth is unavoidable, grace comforts. Grace is loving me despite what I have done, what I have allowed into my life, into my thoughts, into my eyes, into my heart and out of my mouth. Grace is forgiveness; despite the truth of what I have done.

Grace is taking my sins and nailing them to a tree, making a way for me to a Father who loves me, forgiving me when no-one else could.

Grace is Jesus.

If you haven’t asked the question yet, perhaps it is time. Think about it, pray about it – Who is Jesus in your life today? If He is not the Alpha, the first thing that you do, the first person you speak to, the first place you go – then who is Jesus to you? If he is second, third, fourth – or perhaps you have shut the door and you only let him in when times are tough, blaming Him for absence when in fact He knocks on the door to your heart, persistently – perhaps it is time to ask the question and to face the Truth and to receive the Grace that is Jesus.

I pray that you will make Jesus Lord of your life. He has saved you. Now let Him sanctify you. Make Him the Aleph and Tav.

I pray this, with you and for you, in Jesus name.

FTW

John 1

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I have always loved the Gospel of John because of who wrote it and who he was writing about. I have a deep love of Jesus and to read about him from one that he loved is a beautiful experience.

John is writing from a perspective that is unlike the other, synoptic Gospels, because he had a different and unique perspective. John explains very clearly why he has written his account of Jesus, it is so that we will believe!

On my journey with Jesus I found the work of David Pawson extremely useful. Mr. Pawson’s work has been powerful and Spirit-filled and I have learnt so much by reading his book ‘Unlocking The Bible’.

The Gospel of John : Overview Part 1

The Gospel of John : Overview Part 2

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FTW

The Gospel of John

FindingThe Word

The Gospel of John was written by the ‘beloved’ one, the one who Jesus loved. This is an eye-witness account from the Disciple who sat next to Jesus, who spoke to Jesus, saw Jesus, lived with Jesus and believed.

He wrote his account for a specific purpose – ‘That we may believe’.

John 20:30-31

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Join us as we read and study the Gospel, in search of our King Jesus. As we read the Word in search of Jesus we stand in the promise of James 4 :8, ‘Draw near to God and he will draw near to you’.  As we read the Word of God, we experience His presence and His power. The ~Word of God is alive!

Please join us as we go Finding The Word.