Posts Tagged ‘Jn 3:16’

Becoming Flesh

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)

This verse is arguably the most profound and exciting statement in the Bible. We know Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but the good news goes much farther than that. Salvation is not merely the removal of our sins, it is access to life as a new creation. Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us to offer a radical transformation of what it means to be human.

Christmas is not only about Jesus; it’s about you and me!

True Humanity:

When John wrote that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, he used an ancient image the Jews were familiar with. The word he used that is translated “dwelt” literally means “to pitch one’s tent”. It was a reference to God’s dwelling among the Israelites in the tabernacle, a special tent that was the precursor to the temple of Solomon (Exod. 40:34-38). The difference is that the Word, “Jesus” didn’t just dwell among humanity, He became human. He actually put on flesh and became like us… in our frailty and our vulnerability.

As the perfect human, Jesus comes to define everything it means to be human. Whatever Jesus is, that is what He has made humanity to be in Him. To be fully human is to know God (Jn. 17:3)! To be fully human is to live in the knowledge that He loves us, wants us, and will never let us go. Jesus heals and restores our full humanity, becoming for us the Glorious Revelation of how God feels about humanity.

“For God so loved…” (Jn. 3:16).

Jesus shows us what life is all about. It’s about walking in communion with God, being in relationship with the One who created us, loves us, dwells among us, and adopts us as His own precious children. In becoming flesh, Jesus showed us the Father’s love and compassion toward us. He “pitched His tent” among us, because He wants to be with us… to identify with us. God didn’t turn His back on sinners, He came to live among them, to love them and to heal them.

Truly Human

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)

This verse is arguably the most profound and exciting statement in the Bible. We know Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but the good news goes much farther than that. Salvation is not merely the removal of our sins, it is access to life as a new creation. Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us to offer a radical transformation of what it means to be human.

The Christian holiday of Christmas is not only about Jesus; it’s about you and me!

True Humanity:

When John wrote that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, he used an ancient image the Jews were familiar with. The word he used that is translated “dwelt” literally means “to pitch one’s tent”. It was a reference to God’s dwelling among the Israelites in the tabernacle, a special tent that was the precursor to the temple of Solomon (Exod. 40:34-38). The difference is that the Word, “Jesus” didn’t just dwell among humanity, He became human. He actually put on flesh and became like us… in our frailty and our vulnerability.

As the perfect human, Jesus comes to define everything it means to be human. Whatever Jesus is, that is what He has made humanity to be in Him. To be fully human is to know God (Jn. 17:3)! To be fully human is to live in the knowledge that He loves us, wants us, and will never let us go. Jesus heals and restores our full humanity, becoming for us the Glorious Revelation of how God feels about humanity.

“For God so loved…” (Jn. 3:16).

Jesus shows us what life is all about. It’s about walking in communion with God, being in relationship with the One who created us, loves us, dwells among us, and adopts us as His own precious children. In becoming flesh, Jesus showed us the Father’s love and compassion toward us. He “pitched His tent” among us, because He wants to be with us… to identify with us. God didn’t turn His back on sinners, He came to live among them, to love them and to heal them.

Followers of God

“Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Eph. 5:2)

To become a follower of God – we must love! The first dimension of understanding love is to become aware that you cannot give what you do not have. God’s love is from God not from ourselves… therefore it must be received to be given (1 Cor. 13). We do this as we walk in faith and see spiritually, finding ways to embrace God’s love for ourselves. We love because He first loved us (Rom. 5:8).

God’s Love Overcomes Fear:

Fear drives our need for self-preservation, our need to prove and to promote ourselves. We are trying to preserve our own life. A true vision of God’s love will overcome our fears. The “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom and understanding. God’s love overcomes the need to be In control! The need to prove, promote, and preserve our own life is a poverty spirit that destroys our sense of safety and security in all of our relationships. Fear is a spirit (2 Tim. 1:7) that has not come from God. It aims to intimidate and terrorize so we live producing its fruit… selfishness, anger, pride and lust. We become like Lucifer; wanting to exalt ourselves to the position of god, when we allow fears to rule our lives. Wanting to be “in control” can become like a drug. We learn subtle ways of getting what we want. We slip into counterfeit spiritual authority and manipulation, which the Bible calls witchcraft. God’s love overcomes the fruit of fear, by first transforming the heart so that it has the potential to see spiritually. Seeing and embracing a revelation of the love of God will break the power of fear.

5 Truths about God’s Love:

  1. God’s love preserves life. We are kept by the very power of God, a power generated by His love.
  2. God’s love overcomes rejection, the wounds and corruption of sin.
  3. God’s love is the provision and the promise of abundant blessing.
  4. God’s love sustains life by the supply of the Holy Spirit.
  5. God’s love removes all that would separate us from Him, because fellowship is love’s objective.

God is Good and His love is fresh and embracing every time I meditate upon it. Because He is the Lord Most High; He is above only and below no one, His love causes me to sense His triumph in everything I do. He is transcendent and radiant in His Glory. He speaks and acts in order to release His good pleasure. He gives, invites, cares and celebrates our delight in His love. He carries our burdens and establishes His Promises. He has not left me as an orphan or fatherless in any way. He is My Comfort and My Stronghold in the storms that come. He infuses my path with light, strengthens my soul with His counsel, and refreshes my heart with His abiding Presence. This is the life of love and I am captured at the thought of Him… My King – Jesus!

Let Me Tell of His Love…

His love energizes, motivates action and releases the true life of God. His love sets us free. It heals, because He is healing. It binds up wounds, because He has been wounded. It renews our thinking, because His thoughts toward us are all good. Love covers our sin, because mercy is clothing us with the rich robe of Christ’s righteousness. It restores a right heart within us, because God creates in us a brand new heart. His love is pure, peaceable, powerful, more powerful than death itself. He has reached out to connect with us in words, with eyes, with touch and the fragrance of grace. His love is the energy of communion. It is completely sufficient, holy and clean. It is selfless, given by sacrifice and poured out like a waterfall. It has been shed abroad to reach the least or the greatest of humanity. It transforms us. It conforms us into the image of true Son-ship. It enables us to take on, not only the Name, but the nature of Jesus Christ.

God’s Love is Visible!

The love of God embraced, is like the ocean that overwhelms or the river that reaches to the lowest place. And when released into our world, it becomes a tangible anointing. God loves us tangibly and so it becomes our beauty when it is seen on us. Therefore, the anointing which you have received of God abides in you and it instructs (1 Jn. 2:27). It abides in us- as we abide in Him. Love enables us to behold Him and become what we have been embraced by. God has lavished His love upon us and enabled us to be called the sons of God (1 Jn. 3:1). God’s love causes us to live. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love! We are enabled to love our brothers as He has loved us (1 Jn. 3:10-14). We esteem others as greater than ourselves and forgive our enemies as God has forgiven us. These are the marks that prove His love abides in us, that we love in word and deed and that we see as the Heavenly Father sees… in giving ourselves away.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn. 3:16)

Confident in Love

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 Jn. 3:1)

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:5-8)

How can you know that God loves you?

To become confident in the love of God, we must see it and experience it!

Confidence is a soulish reality… kinda like a knowing on the inside, in your heart of hearts. A person feels confident when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they are experiencing is reliable and trust worthy. When we become confident in the love of God it becomes the truth that stabilizes our belief system and strengthens our hope. The Apostle John says, “Behold” or look intently, at the kind of love the Father has bestowed or lavished upon us… see and experience its quality, its depth of passion and its supernatural power. It will transform how you see yourself and others, because you will see His beauty and extravagance toward all people… sinner and Saints alike!

The 2 Ways of Seeing & Experiencing Love: 1st) It is demonstrated in the Cross! 2nd) It is poured out by the Holy Spirit!

  • The Apostle Paul tells us that God reveals His love in two different and complementary ways. The demonstration of the cross is public; the work of the Holy Spirit is private and personal. The demonstration of the cross is historical; the work of the Holy Spirit is contemporary. The demonstration of the cross is objective; the work of the Holy Spirit is subjective and experiential.

1st) God demonstrates His love at the cross… sending His Son in our place!

To “demonstrate” something is to make a show of it openly, even to prove it as the truth that matters most. God demonstrates two important things with the cross: His justice (Rom. 3:21-26) and His love (Jn. 15:13). In the cross, He shows all of humanity that He would not allow sin to go unpunished, but in that same cross; He also demonstrates His unique love for us… by giving an immeasurable gift, the Sinless Lamb of God. It was the richest gift heaven could offer, given for those who had lost their way.

Now according to the Bible, the essence of love is giving… “God so loved… that He gave us His Only Son” (Jn. 3:16). And love is measured partly by the cost of the gift to the giver, and partly by the unworthiness of the person receiving it. Since man was hopelessly lost in sin, it helps us recognize the price of this gift. Mercy, the compassion to not give us what we deserve; was involved in the demonstration. How could any sinful man deserve forgiveness… only God would love so much as to pardon the sinner, without a guarantee of any remorse or reconciliation. It was an act of love and tender mercy… and when we behold the manner of love God gives, it moves us to make some kind of decision. We can embrace the gift and let it change how we see or reject it and live with the counterfeits of lust, pride and selfish ambition.

2nd) God “pours out” His love through the Holy Spirit!

There is a unique reality to the love of God… and its the reality of relationship! God communicates His love toward us, because He is passionate about our fellowship. God not only “demonstrates” His love by having sent Christ to die for us; but He also “pours out” His love for us to experience – Him, in all His fullness. He does this through the Holy Spirit!

*The Holy Spirit teaches us by revelation. The Holy Spirit speaks into our hearts about God’s love for us (1 Cor. 2:12 & Eph. 1:17-18). He opens our hearts to understand that Christ’s death was not just some abstract gift that God gave to humanity, but that Christ died for “me”, because He loves me. He takes passages from the Bible and opens them up to our hearts so that they nourish our confidence in God’s love and goodness.

*The Holy Spirit helps us to relate to God personally. The Holy Spirit creates the open door of fellowship, so that God is not perceived as a distant “judge”, but as a warm and loving Father, with whom we share in very personal and intimate ways. He helps us communicate with God in prayer (Rom. 8:26-27) and He assures our hearts that we really are God’s sons and daughters (Rom. 8:15-16). Our confidence increases by our familiarity with His heart toward us!

*The Holy Spirit comforts and strengthens us. God’s hope and peace and joy are made available to us in the midst of painful and anxious situations (Jn. 14:26-27, 2 Cor. 1:3-7 & Eph. 3:14-19). The Holy Spirit not only works through our sufferings to produce God’s character in our lives; but He also assures us of an abiding love in the midst of trials and tests. This is why, while non-Christians point to suffering as the proof that God is not loving, Christians point to suffering as the context in which they experience God’s love in deeper ways!

*The Spirit expresses God’s love to us through His people. He is moving in the Body of Believers, the Church; so we experience forgiveness, encouragement, affection and favor in spiritual and personal ways (2 Cor. 7:5-6 & Eph. 4:29-32). They speak His Word to us, pray with us, communicate His peace and offer forgiveness and hope. And we get to experience the Holy Spirit moving in us for others, as well!

Perhaps the greatest reality of all is that we were made to receive and give love… “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 Jn. 4:16).

Recovering Lost Glory

God’s Amazing Adventure:

When God created Adam, He made a powerful decision. He asks Adam to name the animals. In doing this He was teaching Adam a basic principle about Glory. He was demonstrating to Adam, that when you look into the nature of something it will eventually reveal its character and purpose. When these things are discovered, “naming” it becomes simple. But it also creates a platform for relationship with the animal being named. Adam would need to discover how a porcupine was unique to the elephant, lion or bear.

The Point:

This training would serve to help him value the Glory of God.

In this process God was making Himself vulnerable to the desire of Adam, because this training would serve to help him value the Glory of God, and recognize when it was lost. Adam would sin and fall short of the Glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and all would be lost except the memory of God’s heart toward Adam. As God returns to the Garden of Eden to find the man hiding himself, it was not man who could not find God… it was God who could not find man (Gen. 3:9-10). Oh, God knew where he was, but his sin now created desire for separation and spiritual death. It would now become impossible for man to have fellowship with God, because disobedience stood as a barrier between the perfect and the fallen. God calls this man to Himself and clothes the man with the garment of a lamb, shedding innocent blood and forever revealing the pattern of recovering lost Glory (Gen. 3:21). Something would need to die… a sacrifice sufficient to cover the nakedness of man’s condition.

The Power of Love:

God takes the initiative because of the power of love. It was love in the Garden that made all the difference and it will always be love that restores Glory… “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). Like a Lamb lead to the slaughter, the sinless Son of God became the ultimate offering for sin; so that all who would call upon Him for mercy and forgiveness of their sin might live. Everyone who calls upon Jesus now receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Promise of the Father and adoption into the family of God (Acts 2:38-39).

…where Glory becomes the atmosphere of a restored garden within the heart (Jn. 20:19-23).

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