1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)
The opening passage this morning is John 1:1-5 came to me as a reminder of the true King. When I began my prayer and study it seemed a bit off and I was a bit distracted. I was muddling over the political events of the past couple weeks and the anger held by so many. Contempt seems to be the prevailing emotion of both sides. Though I kept John 1 in my thoughts, I was reminded of Psalms 2:1-4
1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
All the ugliness of the past few weeks seemed to be vying for my attention. I remembered the man that I used to be, filled with anger at the condition of the world consumed by my emotions. But as I struggled with these things the Holy Spirit reminded me that I am no longer that man. I turned to Ephesians 2:1-10
” 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
And then, 2Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. “
These words filled my heart with thanksgiving. I remember the joy of my new life and the hope that I have in Jesus; the light of the world… my hope and Savior.
I turned from the worldly distractions. I was reminded of a passage that Terry Cooper, my preacher, shared one Sunday. He even suggested that we add it to our prayer time. I could not remember it all so I googled what I remembered. I think it was just Luke 21:36 but I chose to include a couple additional verses this morning, beginning at verse 34.
34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
As I read that passage it talks about drunkenness and cares of this life weighing you down. As I read that first verse I did not think of alcohol as much as being distracted by the news and the anger that permeates this world. This thought hit me… “Don’t be so caught up in the world that we are surprised by Jesus and His return.” “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (verse36)
Keep My Eyes on the Things of Heaven
As I pondered all this I realized that I have an obligation to obey the laws of this land and take my responsibilities as a citizen seriously. But I cannot be consumed by them. Instead, I must be vigilant and keep my eyes on the things of Heaven and place all my trust in God. After all, He promises to provide all we need. I am reminded of Luke 12:22-26 (ESV)
22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
Trust in Jesus
And that takes me back to John 1:1-5 and I give thanks for my Savior Jesus Christ. My King and Lord.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
After all, Paul reminds us…
“The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7 (ESV)
What joy there is in God’s Word. What hope we have in Him. When the worries of the world begin to seep in I give thanks that He turns me to His Word for comfort and peace. To God be the Glory!!