The Sign That Opens Eyes

I don’t know about you, but this was one song that always seemed to get stuck in my head. Were you ever tormented by Ace of Base?

The word signs is one of several keywords in the book of John, describing both miraculous and non-miraculous displays. His gospel is full of these symbolic acts designed to teach spiritual lessons about Jesus. These aim to produce faith and life (i.e. salvation) within you by bringing you face to face with Jesus and his demonstrated power.

The resultant hope is that you will take up the challenge to respond to Jesus because man cannot live spiritually without him (20:31). As you go through this gospel, remember that these signs will demonstrate that Jesus is Lord, and can be the Lord of your life.

If you have not made Jesus your Lord, will you consider the signs? Will you consider the simple switch?

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World’s Strongest Man’s Source of Strength

Lance Armstrong inspired cancer patients everywhere. He inspired athletes worldwide. His bright yellow wristbands inspired countless people to “Livestrong.”

For some, he was more than an inspiration. He was not only an example of strength, but a source of strength.

Paul, however, tells Timothy that Jesus is the source of strength (I Timothy 1:12-17). Here, Paul says Jesus “considered him faithful” (12), that he was “shown mercy” (13), and ultimately, that the grace, faith, and love of Christ was at work in his life (14).

Paul got his strength through Jesus. The way to enduring strength is through eternal power (16), not self-generated power. The path to glory is through the eternal King (17), not self-appointed lordship. The way to strength is through weakness.

Weakness in self. Strength in Him.

*This does not mean you are to remain weak in order to be made strong by Him, but that since you remain weak (i.e. finite people), you are made strong…in Him.

In a day of weakness, remember to make the simple switch from weakness to strength. Be strong…in Christ. May you be like Paul, and be used by Jesus as a demonstration of His power.

-Which of you will be strengthened? Which of you will be strengthened in Christ?

Which of you will live strong?

Clean Clarity Makes All the Difference

While I’m no expert in politics, I can identify when something is not clear. I cannot begin to count how many State of the Union addresses I’ve heard that ultimately left me saying, “Wait…huh?” or, “What is his point?” Did you ever have the same questions?

Maybe it was your English teacher who asked you, “Are we clear as mud?” What kind of question is that?! Surely you and I can get along best with those who are clear with what they are intending to say. Here’s one such example:

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Surprising Discoveries People Find Through Investigation

To this day I still remember a time I was late for school because I spent fifteen extra minutes looking for my backpack. As I searched, my mom asked me why I hadn’t left 15 minutes earlier. When I told her why, she told me my backpack was on my back. Can you relate to this? Please say you can. Well, even if you can’t, I know someone who understands seeking and finding.

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Man Convinces Others of Extraterrestrial Encounter

I heard a story about two men who skipped work one day to go play golf. To their surprise, the both of them were able to get a hole-in-one for the first time in their lives. Then, as if that were not enough, they continued to get holes-in-one at the second hole, the third hole, the fourth hole, and all the way through hole 18. Finally, one of them asked the other, “So…who can we tell?”

Have you ever witnessed a fantastic event? Did you ever see a famous celebrity in some random, unexpected location, only to have no one believe you? Did you realize the importance of an eyewitness testimony when you described your story? I know of someone who can relate.

Who is it?

What You Know or Who You Know?

What does he want me to know? After John introduced his gospel, his encounter with the priests and Levites helps the reader to know that “among you stands One whom you do not know” (1:26; cf. 1:10), and that this ‘One’ is He who came after John (1:27), the One who is the Christ (1:20), the One who is the Lord (1:23).

Why does he want me to know that? John wants his readers to see (know) Jesus for His high and mighty nature (1:27); this same verse supports the claims John made in his introduction, where in verses 10, 12, and 14 he said the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (14), and yet the world did not know Him (10). Those who did not know Him could not receive Him if they had wanted to (12). Would the conclusion be wrong to say that if you do not know Him, you cannot receive Him even if you want to?

What am I to do? You must see (know) the capabilities of Jesus. (John saw Jesus, 1:29).

Why am I to do that? You must know His capabilities because He is able to take away the sin of the world (1:29, i.e. your sin).

What must I remember? You should always remember that John was witness to Jesus (1:19,29) and that was all he had to say for himself (1:22). He saw Jesus and knew that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (1:29). John was not self-serving, and he elevated Jesus as the Savior…for you…for all.

The question(s) after all of this is, “Do you know the One who became flesh and dwelt among us?” Do you see Jesus through the testimony of John? Do you know that Jesus can take away your sin? Will you make the simple switch from sin to salvation through Jesus?