Monday – John 1:14 “The Word became flesh”, is an extraordinary statement. Not only did Jesus create everything that is, as co-creator of the world, (John 1:1-4) but Jesus took a physical body and became a part of that creation. “He took up residence among us”. To fully understand all the implications of that is very difficult but just look at your closest neighbors house. Imagine if Jesus had come in our day and He had just moved in next door. He would have worked just like us. He would have accidentally cut himself and bled just like us. He would have experienced everything we experience. Then unexpectedly, He would have begun doing miracles as if they were easy and commonplace. That is what it means when the Bible says, “The Word became flesh and took up residence among us.” Read Heb. 2:14-18. He became like us so that He could set us free from sin. Praise God that He is indeed able to “help those who are tested.” Take a moment and thank Him for becoming like us so that He could free us from sin and death.
Tuesday – John 20:28–29 Thomas had an unbelief that defied every report, every story of Jesus’ Resurrection. No matter how many people testified that they had seen Jesus alive, Thomas refused to believe it. One of the things that we can learn from Thomas’ steadfast refusal to believe is that Thomas’ was absolutely sure Jesus was dead. There was no doubt in Thomas’ mind that Jesus had been horrifically murdered on a cross. Some doubters today will say that Jesus’ never really died but He “swooned” and later recovered. When He was later seen alive, those who believe the “Swoon Theory”, say He had simply recovered. Thomas however, knew that he knew that Jesus was dead. So no matter how many friends came to Him to say they had seen Jesus alive, Thomas refused to believe them. When Jesus appeared to Thomas, Thomas immediately acknowledged that he recognized Him as the one who had been walking with them for three years. So He called Jesus, “Lord”. But Thomas did not stop there. Thomas also called Jesus, “My God”. That was an acknowledgement of the deity of Jesus. By extension, it is also a recognition of the Resurrection. Only someone who was fully God could have come back from the dead. For three years Thomas had acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Only after Jesus’ Resurrection did Thomas also acknowledge Him as God.
Wednesday – 1 John 5:20 Only One is true. Only Jesus is the true One. John is careful to make that distinction. In the day when this was written, there were many competing systems of truth. The Greeks had their wisdom. The Romans had their many Gods, one of which was the current Roman Emperor. A major religion called Manichaeism would start around 200 ad. It was very similar to our Universalists of today. Manichaeism influenced all of the later Eastern Religions. They believed in a God that was equally good and evil. As long as the two were balanced, then there was balance in the universe. There is literally nothing new under the sun, except Jesus. The birth of Jesus, the one event that changed the world, because of it’s uniqueness. Jesus came as the True One, the Son of God to give us understanding so that we can know Him. So that we can know His character, his traits. So that we can know what to expect from Him. He gives us understanding when we ask for it. Read Mt. 7:7-11. If you want to know Him more, ask, seek, knock and the door will be opened for you.
Thursday – Philippians 2:5–11 Paul does not give an option. He uses the word, “Make…”. And that is what he means. Make it happen. Make your attitude like that of Christ Jesus. Jesus, when he was here was equal with God but Jesus emptied himself. In other words, Jesus “made” Himself nothing. He forced Himself to become obedient, even though it meant the God of all Creation stretching out His arms to be nailed to a cross. Jesus had to “make” Himself to do that because He had the power to not do it. That is why Paul calls you and I to exalt Jesus by making our attitudes like His. Pray with me. Make me Lord. I submit myself to you and say with all my heart, Make me like You. Take my hard heart and replace it with your tender merciful heart. Make me think like You. Make me be like You. Make me forgive like You. You’re name is above every other name and You are worthy of surrender and worship. In Jesus Name I pray Amen.
Friday – Matthew 1:23 “God is with us.” What the Father God had created man for in the Garden has been restored to us. If we read in Gen. 3 we see that God was accustomed to walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden every evening. Today, at any moment, at any time, we can walk with God. We can pause and be aware of His presence. We can listen to Him and learn from Him. Whether we are driving down the road or sitting at our desk, “God is with us”, is a reality in our lives. God announced such a thing in the most unique birth in the history of the world. A child was born of a virgin, by the movement of the Holy Spirit. Never before has it happened, never again will it happen. God announced to the world centuries ahead of time in Is. 7:14 that He would send His son to be born of a virgin. It was confirmed in Matthew 1:23. And He did it so that today, you could know that God Himself is with you, all the time.
Saturday – Luke 8:39 Jesus had been resistant to fame for the first part of His ministry. At first, when He did miracles, He said to, “Tell no one.” Then, at a given point He reversed Himself and began saying exactly the opposite. Why? Because the triumphal entry to Jerusalem on the back of donkey was supposed to happen on a certain day. All the way back in Daniel, the Messiah’s final week of living among men was foretold very specifically. That is the reason why Jesus waited to begin publicizing His ministry and His mission. The timing had to be exactly perfect. Jesus had cast many demons out of a man. The man was totally healed and in his right mind. He wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus told him to go back to his hometown. And he did exactly as Jesus told Him. His testimony was evidently powerful because, when Jesus returned, they were expecting Him and looking forward to seeing Him. You have a testimony. If you are following the Lord with all of your heart and praying for your family, you are the best sermon they will ever hear. Write down the names of those you know who need Jesus. Then pray specifically for their salvation. God will hear you, in Jesus Name.