Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mark of Jesus - I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6 NASB

This is the sixth of seven "I AM" statements that Jesus gives us about His deity. Jesus clearly states that there is one way to the Father and that way is through Him. Jesus is the way to God, and Jesus is the truth of God. Jesus is the true and everlasting life. Scripture tells us the way is "narrow" and the "broad" way leads to destruction. There will be those who only pretend to follow Jesus, but the Truth knows the heart. Jesus is the only way to salvation; He is the bridge back to God. 

I AM the righteous road, the truth-fulfilled Savior, the life-giving Spirit that leads to eternal life. Jesus said, "Follow Me!" We are to walk the righteous, narrow road of integrity, humility, and compassion. We are to share the truth of Jesus, the Son of God, with love, with gentleness, with encouragement. We are to live in the presence of the Spirit, finding His peace and joy and rest. 
  • Do you know the way, the truth and the life that only Jesus offers? 
  • Have you shared this Jesus with anyone? Will you?

Savior, lead me to the quiet waters of Your refreshment; open my mind to Your will. Fill my soul with Your Spirit; empower me to share Jesus. - dho

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mark of Jesus - I AM the Bread of Life

Jesus replied, “I am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in Me will never thirst. . . I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live.” John 6:35,58 NLT

Jesus uses bread to explain the difference between meeting the physical needs of hunger and the spiritual needs of redemption. Our physical life requires ongoing nutrition to survive, while our spiritual growth requires an ongoing relationship with Jesus. The greatest difference between bread and living bread is that in Christ our souls know permanent nourishment, everlasting sustenance. 

How does one eat living bread? Believing that Christ’s death and resurrection brings each one new life and trusting the Holy Spirit for guidance is the beginning. Continuing to grow in our knowledge and faith sustains us. Sharing the Good News of Jesus, sharing the living bread with others gives an even deeper satisfaction. Christ came down out of heaven, and Perfect Love offered Himself so the world may live.
  • Hungry? How much time do you spend feeding your soul with Gods word? 
  • Will you commit to spending time with God - daily?
Living Bread ~ I am fed by an offering I cannot explain. Bread of Heaven, feed me ‘til I want no more. My God-story is full! – dho

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mark of Jesus - I AM the Vine

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. . . By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:5, 8 NKJV

From these words, we understand Jesus to express the necessity of abiding with Him. Another way to say this is ‘to remain in fellowship with Me’. This kind of fellowship is personal and daily and suggests to stay in close contact with Jesus. How is this demonstrated? Characteristics of trust and prayer, obedience and joy are the marks of abiding with Jesus. 

Another outcome which is included in the same sentence as ‘abide’ is ‘bears much fruit’. Fruit refers to the good works and servant lifestyle that honors God and furthers His work in the world. The key to being able to produce fruit is completely linked to abiding in Christ; He is the Vine and we are the branches. Don’t miss the last part: without Me you can do nothing. Living a fruitful life comes from abiding in Christ. These inward and outward characteristics together mark us for His service and our service for His Glory!
  • Read John 15:1-9: Who is the vinedresser? Who is the true vine? Who are the branches?
  • In John 15:9, what kind of love is described? 
Lord, I believe that without You, I can do nothing; yet I fail to seek You, ask You or listen to You time after time. Forgive my inconsistent abiding. Help me improve my daily, personal relationship with You that my life might give honor to God. - dho

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Mark of Jesus - I AM the Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . .I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. . . they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father. John 10:11-18 NRSV

Reading this passage in John, we learn about the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep, about thieves and flocks in need. Jesus says I AM the good shepherd. He knows His sheep; His sheep know Him, know His voice. Jesus is the good shepherd who protects and provides for His flock. Unlike the thieves who are unreliable, Jesus even lays down His life for His sheep. He will never abandon them.

The metaphors of sheep and shepherd help us understand our relationship with Jesus. As His sheep we are totally dependent upon His care, His guidance. He is our security. Jesus voluntarily chooses us as His sheep then gives His life for us. Jesus says I AM the good shepherd. This Divine Love exceeds our capacity to understand. As we journey through Lent, it is the sacrifice of such Divine Love that overwhelms the soul. For me, for this sheep, I know Jesus lay down His life and took it up again. New Life comes to me because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. 
  • Is Jesus your good shepherd
  • How do you express your total dependence on the good shepherd?

Good Shepherd, I need you in every way. Your leading is the path I choose. My praise for such Divine Love shouts wordless Hallelujahs! - dho

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Mark of Jesus - I AM the Door

Then Jesus said to them again, Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. . . I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. John10:7-10 NKJV

As Jesus uses the example of shepherd and sheep, the people try to understand the analogy. At that time, in the evening, shepherds would frequently guide their sheep into enclosures usually made of stone walls with no door. A shepherd would lie down across the opening to prevent any predators from harming the sheep. Jesus tells them I am the door of the sheep. He is trying to convey that no one can get into the fold unless they first go through Him. What does this mean to you and me? Jesus came to give everlasting life and only through Jesus can we find grace and communion and peace. To be able to walk in His Presence we must come through the door! Jesus is the way in

As the door, Jesus protects those who choose to follow Him. This security is found in His wisdom and power and goodness. We enter the door by faith, and find Jesus to be our Mediator, our Savior. Through the door our prayers rise to God and His blessings fall around us. As a world of darkness threatens to consume us, it is the door that offers refuge. Can you see the door? Jesus is the door that welcomes all who choose to come inside. 
  • Have you found the way in
  • Will you share the abundant, everlasting life of Jesus with someone? Show them the Door!

Jesus, You mark the way into the Kingdom of God. How blessed I am to know the sweetness of Your Presence. Help me share You with the world and lead the ones in darkness to The Door. – dho