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John 1:1-18

It is so important for every person on earth to know who they are having any kind of relationship with. For example, too many people get married to a person only knowing the nice parts about their character, or thinking that their partner is perfect (whatever that is). Then they get a real shock as they learn more and more about that person and do not like what they find. In Acts, chapter seventeen, the apostle Paul is in Athens and discovering that the people there are very religious. (That is, they are trying to work their way towards God. Christianity, on the other hand, is about God revealing himself to human beings, through His son, Jesus Christ). Paul finds an altar dedicated, "To an unknown god". It spurs him on in his desire to make the one true God known to them. God wants us to know Him really well. He wants us to have more than a general impression about Him; He wants us to be on intimate terms with Him. So, He sent His son, Jesus, who said:

Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work.” (John 14:9-10)

The apostle, John, who recorded these words of Jesus, added his own comment: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only son, who is at the Father's side, has made Him known.” (John 1:18)

Finding God is the beginning. Getting to know Him is the journey. Many people have found Him in salvation, but haven't set out on the journey and still do not really know Him.

  • He spoke - and galaxies whirled into place, stars burned the heavens and planets began orbiting their suns - words of awesome, unlimited, unleashed power.
  • He spoke again - and the waters and lands were filled with plants and creatures: running, swimming, growing, and multiplying - words of animating, breathing, pulsing life.
  • Again He spoke and man and woman were formed: thinking, speaking and loving - words of personal and creative glory.

Eternal, infinite, unlimited - He was, is, and always will be the maker and Lord of all that exists. He came in human form to a speck in the universe that we call "planet earth". The mighty creator became part of His creation, limited by time and space, susceptible to age, sickness and death. But love propelled Him and He came to rescue and save the lost (even though they didn't realise it) and to give them the gift of eternal life.

He is "The Word" - He is Jesus, "The Christ"

John's gospel (good news) is not just a record of a small part of the life of Christ; it is a powerful record of the incarnation - a conclusive demonstration that Jesus was, and is, the very heaven-sent son of God and the only source of eternal life.

This can sometimes cause problems for Christians, but the Bible makes it very clear that there is only one God. (Isaiah 44:6-8) The Father is God (John 6:27), the Son is God (John 1:1-3; John 1:14; Colossians 2:9) and the Holy Spirit is God. (Hebrews 10:15-17) The relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one of co-existence: three uncreated, eternal, co-equal persons with the same indivisible, divine nature. We may not understand this doctrine that Christians call the "Trinity", but we can see that it comes from God's word and accept that word, by faith, as being true. It reminds us that we do not (and cannot) know everything there is to know. Neither can we bring God down to the level of our own mentality. By simple definition, God is bigger than our minds!

God's worth-ship

When we come to worship the living God, we need to know who we are worshipping. This is what inspires us to come boldly before His throne and offer up all the praise and worship in our hearts. We believe that He will receive all that we have to give Him, as we worship Him, in truth, through the Holy Spirit. (John 4:24)

He is described as being awesome (Hebrews 12:29), infinite (Psalm 145:3), faithful (Psalm 36:5), sinless (1 John 3:5), truthful (1 John 5:9), strong (Psalm 145:14), eternal (Revelation 1:8), powerful (Psalm 104:1-30) full of forgiveness (1 John 2:1), light (1 John 1:5), love (John 3:16-17), compassion (Psalm 145:8-9), grace (Psalm 145:8), justice (Psalm 145:20), righteousness (Psalm 145:17) and laughter (Psalm 2:4). He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) but slow to anger (Numbers 14:17-18) and abounding in mercy (Luke 1:50).

Because of His character and who He is, we are drawn to want to lift up our eyes from our own problems and to fix our eyes on the one and only person who can genuinely resolve them.

If we have a wrong picture of God, we will not trust Him with our personal concerns or look to Him to provide answers for our questions about matters of life and death. Look at the list of the characteristics of God above. Don't they look just like Jesus? We will see, as we work our way through John's gospel, that all these points are easy to identify in the person of Jesus - provided we do the study.

Praise and worship

This is a major part of our love-walk with God and is a part of the collection of weapons that we can use in our victorious battle against our enemy. Praise is not simply about wonderful songs, hymns or music with the best of voices and instruments; it comes from the inner, born-again spirit. It is the expression of a deep longing for God, born out of love. The best text-book on the subject of praise and worship, with many examples, is the book of Psalms.

Praise

  • The means by which we can enter His Presence. (Psalm 100:1-5)
  • Exuberant, outward. (Psalm 63:1-8)
  • Builds faith.
  • Extols God’s character. (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 50:23)
  • Silences the lies of the enemy. (Psalm 8:2; Psalm 50:14-15)
  • Whole-hearted. (Ephesians 5:4; Psalm 9:1)

Worship

  • Adoration. (Matthew 2:11)
  • Intimate surrender. (Psalm 95:6)
  • Drawing close. (Hebrews 10)
  • Totally focused on God's qualities. (Romans 12:1)
  • Deep within the spirit. (John 4:24)
  • Awesome, full of reverence. (1 Chronicles 16:29)

So make a decision today that, as the pages of John’s gospel come alive to you and you begin to see Jesus, that you will also see the Father and begin to praise and worship the one, true, living God in the power of His Holy Spirit.


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