Nancy Taylor Tate
What is the Lord’s desire today? What is our calling? Our message? What hope can we bring to others?
The Book of John speaks of a fullness of life which Jesus came to bring. Interestingly, John’s gospel is the only gospel that begins with describing the eternal existence of Christ rather than the time He appeared on earth, as the other gospels do.
As you study John’s gospel, you see that the intention of this book is more a presentation of who Jesus is and His purpose rather than an historical account of His life, as is given in the other three gospels.
John first establishes the deity of Jesus. Then he speaks of the light that Jesus came to bring into the world for mankind, and of the life He not only demonstrated but offers to us.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1.
The Amplified says it like this: “In the beginning (before all time) was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.”
John goes on to say, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). The word “life” is used in one form or another fifty-two times in John’s writing. John’s goal is to lead people into a faith that would lead them into life—the fullness of life that Jesus came to bring.
This life is defined in John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
As Jesus proceeds to make Himself known through His Word, there is potential for two reactions. Today, as back then, we can accept or reject the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. We can believe or have unbelief.
The belief John looks for is an inner, personal faith in Christ and His Word which will grow into a personal relationship with God. We see this in many today and are encouraged by their walks with the Lord.
Yet as this inner, personal faith develops and deepens in some, we are seeing an increased fervor of emotional hostility and deliberate rejection of the person of Christ in others.
An ever-increasing struggle is developing between flesh and spirit, as Christ, His Word, and His ways are rejected, causing good and evil to battle. In His first coming, that rejection led to His crucifixion and resurrection. In His second coming, it will lead to His intervention and return.
The gulf between those who believe and those who don’t believe is prominent in media and society today. Faith grows in some. Arguments, fixed opinions, and hate grow in others. Still others, disturbed by the hate and dark deeds taking place, are looking for truth, hope, love, and purpose. These are part of the end time harvest.
Those who, having some measure of faith, seek truth and reach out in a spiritual sense to believe or to receive and welcome Christ and His Word and His ways into their hearts and lives, to them He gives the authority or power, right, and privilege, to become the children of God.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” John 1:12.
Ingrained in the disciples was an expectation of a political deliverance. Even after the resurrection and before Christ ascended, they asked Jesus “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
Jesus’ answer was that it was not for them to know the times or the seasons, but they were being given power so they could be a witness unto Him, in every place and circumstance (Acts 1:7–8).
The Lord’s desire today is still for salvation, not of a system, but of a people within the system, who will believe. We are called to believe and to share our belief with those who are searching. What a calling! We have a message of hope, peace, and love we can live by and carry to others.
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” Acts 2:21.
May our focus be on the Lord Jesus Christ, who He is, and His power to save. May we pray to “be” or “become” the witness He is so willing to empower us to be. May all those whom the Lord is calling “out of darkness,” “come into His glorious light.”
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9.
May the Lord bless you and strengthen you today! As you reach out to Him in faith, receive Him into your heart and life situations. May His life and power be appropriated in and through us. May we “be” that witness the Lord desires today! An end time people—marked by His presence, His nature, and His character—through whom He can work and move.