Meditation and Devotional from David Niednagel, Pastor/Teacher, Evansville, IN. (David uses the S.O.A.P. method for his morning devotional: study, observe, apply, pray. (Friends: David’s recent morning study has been to focus on passages in the Bible that proclaimed that God would establish His King and Kingdom in the earth. That God would send a Messiah. Jesus is that promised Messiah. We will continue to follow David on this subject.)
John’s Christmas account
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …
John says that Jesus is more than a prophet or miracle worker — He is the Eternal God who created everything. In Him is LIFE and LIGHT. This is more than physical life and light, but inner, spiritual life and light, which everyone longs for. And even though Jesus died, was raised again and has ascended into heaven, John wrote about 60 years later that His light still shines. Nothing had been able to overpower or extinguish His light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
And although nothing is able to extinguish His light, it can be refused. He came to the world that He made and to His own people, the Jews, yet they did not recognize Him. He did not force them to believe in Him, but gave them the capacity to doubt and reject Him. Even so, He gave enough evidence that some did recognize that He was more than a prophet, that He was the long promised Messiah. And they did believe in Him, receiving the gift of light and life, becoming “children” of the true Creator/God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. … 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
The Creator came into the creation and took on flesh. He lived among them long enough for them to recognize He was the True God. They saw him rejected, but they also saw His glory. They got a new understanding of the nature of God, more than they had realized from the Law of Moses. They learned that though God knows all truth about us, good and bad, He delights in showing grace to failing human beings. Usually the more we know a person’s failings, the less gracious we are. The more we feel justified in criticizing and even condemning them. Jesus knew all truth, but also displayed grace. Jesus taught us more about God than anyone or anything.
Dear Lord Jesus, I praise You as Creator, and for revealing LIGHT. Thank You that You did not leave me in darkness, and that You revealed Yourself not only as Creator, but as the source of LIFE – a SAVIOR. Thank You for the privilege of being a child of God! You came as the most wonderful gift ever, and now allow us to share that in that gift with You. There could be no gift more valuable than You!!! I praise You for knowing all truth, and for being full of grace instead of punishing us. Amen