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John 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Here we see God’s great reboot. Where have we heard the words, “In the beginning…” before? At the creation in Genesis 1, the first words of the Bible, in the Old Testament. Now, in the New Testament, we hear these same words again, “In the beginning…”
John, the author of the Gospel of John, is telling us this book is about the God of creation acting in a new way with his creation. What has begun in Genesis is going to be fulfilled by the creator God acting in a new way within the world he creates.
Reboot. It is all about the Word.
The word, “Word,” is an interesting one. Our words take on life of their own. When we speak we use breath and the sound that comes out is received by the hearer. Our words take on meaning.
“He is a man of his word.”
“I give you my word.”
And words have power.
“I love you.”
“I’m sorry.”
“We have the test results…”
God’s Word takes on a life of it’s own. From eternity, God’s Word is Jesus. All of existence comes through his Word.
ME
How do you use your words best?

Psalm 105

This is the covenant he made with Abraham and the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant: “I will give you the land of Canaan as your special possession.”

Who are the people of Israel? Anyone who calls on the name of Jesus inherits what Jesus did when he became Israel for good on the cross. Through Jesus, “Israel” rescued the world, and now God is restoring the world through those who love Jesus.

This new creation that God is completing is our special possession. This goes back to what I said last a couple of weeks ago about creation. We are called by God to care for all of creation. We are called by God to be a blessing to everyone. God owns everything and he asks us to take care of it. Some of you will recall I call this babysitting.

When we have the Holy Spirit working through us, we are like God’’s best babysitters. God trusts us with his most precious things, the whole of creation and, in particular, God trusts us as those who take care of his most precious creation- people, yes, the people who live next door to you.

We don’t rule in other people’s lives like dictators or tyrants, we care for others as tenderly as a good babysitter. By living this kind of life we are blessed tremendously. And we are a tremendous blessing.

ME

What does it mean to you to be a key part of God’s plan to restore his creation? Think about yourself this way and see how this changes the way you live.

Friday, February 5

Gratitude

Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.

Word

Revelation 2:17

To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.

Content

Most of our labels have to go. But not all of them.

Yes, labels hurt others when we use them and we are hurt by labels. 

Starting from childhood. 

Stupid. Ugly. Mean. Bad.

And as we grow, our labels get more sophisticated.

I think of two recent adult labels we use:

Alien.

Radical.

Funny, these labels can be used against Jesus.

He is an alien who escapes to Egypt for political asylum from his homeland.

Jesus is a radical who is advocating the overthrow of many of the laws of the state and religion. 

But, here’s the thing:

Jesus is asking us to dig deeper.

Jesus is not about his label, he is about his presence. Emmanuel- God with us.

Jesus came to be close to us and he has given us new labels. Here is what the Bible says Jesus thinks about us. His labels.

Chosen 

Beloved

Royalty

Dearly loved

Forgiven

New Creation

Friend

And God has one more label left for you. One more name. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what my own name will be for eternity. But my label is waiting.

Revelation 2:17.

In the meantime know you are precious and you are worthy. God is with you now and will be forever.

Me 

Carry a white stone with you throughout the week. Touch it occasionally. What might God be saying to you at these times. Ask him.