From Rockford to LaCrosse and Madison in between; From Green Flag to Checkered Flag; Chapter One to Twenty One;
If you missed a week or just want notes here is a brief overview of the survey we did of the Book of John this season. I want to thank Gregg at Rockford and John at MIS for allowing us to have chapel and cover this great book of the Bible. As in most cases there was a tie in to racing. I am not going to include that. You can find several of the devotionals and the ties to racing on www.teamjrm.com and I would be glad to share more detail from the messages. I will give some of the verses (please look them up as God’s words have true power in them). These are just quick notes. If this leads you to questions you would like to ask, please do.
Chapter 1 – Get Started Right
We focused on John 1:1-5; 11-18 and stopped at the following words: beginning; Word; God; Light; Receive; Believe in His name; Full of grace and truth; Law. It established that Jesus’ deity is clear from the first verses of John. Jesus is God! “v18 – declared God again; God and salvation is made known to us, we have no excuses (Romans 1:20). So start the season right! If you have never turned to God in repentance, do so now.”
Chapter 2 – Jesus, Soldier for God’s House
John 2:13-25, Jesus goes to a place of worship and is not pleased with what He finds. He knows what is really going on. He knows what real, true, worship is and looks like. What does He find in you and in your church? Second, in verse 18 they ask to be shown a sign – really! A sign from the One that created the world! And third, “v 25 Does it scare you that Jesus knows everything about you? There is no place to hide from sin. Ouch! He knows every thought, every action, every heart, and every word”. I reminded us that we all fall short and need to repent, to confess sin and He is faithful and just and will forgive. “God knows our heart and nothing can be hidden from Him, not in church or in our life”.
Chapter 3 – Some Things Really Matter
John 3:30-36, As important as John 3:16 is, there are verses are just as vital to us. We are to live out v30 “He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less.” This verse is easy to say, but much more difficult to live out. V33 “certified that God is truthful”. We are allowed to certify by accepting the truth about Jesus and telling others. V36 is a great echo. What we conclude, what we believe about Jesus really does matter more than anything else in life. We cannot afford to get this wrong. That is why we are in the book of John. John gets it right, Jesus is LORD, He is God, He died and rose from the dead to pay for our sin so we can be saved and live a life of obedience filled with hope and faith.
Chapter 4 – Looking for…
John 4:4; 10; 19-24 We talked about looking for a little more speed. God is looking for things too. He wants to see true worship in us. The woman at the well was looking for water, acceptance, a family and she found through Jesus the living water, acceptance, and a family (the LORD’s) all if she would accept the words of Christ as true and surrender to them and Him. In v10 we see a gift of God. In v 19-24 we see the Lord looking for and describing true worshipers 1) the only way we can be a true worshiper is to be saved; 2) We must worship in spirit, and our worship must not be driven by feelings or emotional, but driven by the Spirit; 3) We are to worship in truth. It cannot be performance driven (preaching or music) it has to be driven by the Word. Will you be found as one, a true worshiper?
Chapter 5 – Wonders and Warning
Back to chapter 4 to catch one more thing. 4:46-54. V48 Wow, really? Think of the miracles we have seen. I know I have in my family from those that should have only lived a few days to those that were not supposed to walk or talk like Rayna and I. In John 5 we stopped at 5:2-6; 14; 16-18; 36-40. In v6 there is a great question (that is a super study to do, “Questions asked by Jesus” one of my studies from years ago still great today). Jesus says, “Do you want to get well?” The easy answer is, “yes!” but many times we are comfortable in our illness, or our sin and do not really want to get well. V14 “stop sinning”. V18b “He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” V40 is a strong statement that leads us to a warning. Do not refuse to place your faith and trust in Jesus.
Chapter 6-8 – Echoes Continue
John 6:30 “so they asked Him, “What miraculous sign then will you give…” The Book of John is a book of echoes – deity of Jesus; people demanding signs and wonders; worship; etc… Here we see again they ask for a sign. By now they had seen many miracles and yet they wanted more. V63 is an I am statement which is a study in itself. Chapter 7 there is a debate of who Jesus is and it continues today. John 7:7 answers the question why is Jesus hated? Because He points out and takes a stand against sin. In chapter 8 we ask the question ‘are we walking in the light or darkness?’ In verses 24, 28, 58-59 Jesus hammers home that He is God. We are also reminded that without Jesus we die in our sin. John 8:30 we see Jesus, and only Jesus sets us free from sin when we repent and we are not to just return to sin.
Chapter 9 – Displaying Now, who or what is on display in your life?
John 9:1-4 there is a clear statement explaining why some ill-health happens – “this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life”. It should be our goal to display God in our life to others. In John 9:23-41 we focused in on v38 where the man believes and worships Jesus. Jesus would have stopped him if He was not due worship.
Chapter 10 – Your name is Important and so is His!
John 10:1-5 We are the sheep and Jesus calls us by name! His sheep know His voice and obey. How are you doing at knowing His voice and obeying? Then in John 10:7 and 10:11 we see more “I am” statements. Jesus is the gate (door) and the good shepherd. The gate provides protection from those trying to get in and harm and those trying to run off. He is strong and stable which is much needed in today’s world. In John 10:27 we see Jesus saying, “no one can snatch them out of My hand”. It is security and then it is followed by another deity verse 10:28-30, 33 where Jesus declares equality with God the Father. This is an echo and it is foundational! It is of utmost importance that we have this right.
Chapter 11, 12 – Think about the Things you TRUST in.
When we study John we see the echoes and this is another of them – trust. Who do we trust? In what do we trust? As racers you have to trust the brakes, the belts, the seat, etc. If you do not, you do not get in a car and drive that fast and that close to each other. John 11:4-6 is an echo of a sickness that is for God’s glory and for God’s Son to be glorified. There is also the continuation of “I am” statements. This time Jesus says He is the resurrection and life. Jesus asks another profound question. This time it is, Do you believe this?”(whoever lives and believes in Me (Jesus) will never die).
We stopped at John 12:23-26 where Jesus says “The hour has come”. We talked about how we have the benefit of Scripture and time and that those around Jesus had to wonder what He was talking about. The emphasized v26, “Whoever serves me must follow Me.” Who do you follow? In John 12:35-36 we talked about “Put your trust in the light.” We can either walk in darkness or light, be a fool or be wise, trust ourselves or trust God. I pray you are trusting in the LORD.
Chapter 13 – Example, Echo and Edict!
How is a good example for you? What characterizes a good example, a good friend? Jesus says in John 13:13-15 that He has set an example for us. It is the foot washing scene and one of the clear pictures of true humility. Think of it, dirty feet being wash by deity! Next, in John 13:31-32 we see an echo again as Jesus draws attention to the One that receives glory – God. This had to bug the Israelites and it bugs people today, that Jesus declared Himself Lord and God. Third, the edict, a command is given in John 13:34-35, Love one another. Not a human type love but a God type love. How are you doing on this command?
Chapter 14 – !One Way!
There are many things that are one way only. Think about the Interstate. Go south bound on the north bound and you get pulled over and most likely more than just a ticket. In Chapter 14 of the Book of John there is a clear declaration about the way to Heaven but first we stopped at John 14:1 and echoed, “Trust in God!” Jesus says trust in God, trust in me. That is, place your trust, your faith, your full weight, in the LORD Jesus. He continue this theme in John 14:6 Jesus says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The items in “bold” are things we stopped and talked about. Think about the people listening to this thinking, how dare He say this? We have the privilege of looking back to the cross and knowing what Jesus did to open the way for us.
If we obey and trust Jesus as LORD then in John 14:15 we see the echo of how we are to live. This is followed by John 14:16,17 stating we are given the Holy Spirit as the Counselor. We see in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit will teach and remind us what we are taught by the Word and that then bears the fruit of peace (John 14:27) What a great progression we are shown in chapter 14.
Chapter 15 – LRG FO C BE AL
In chapter 15 we memorized the above. I will explain briefly below:
L – we are back on “love”. God loves us, we are to love Him and others (v9)
R – remain in love (v9b)
G – the greatest of love is laying down your life (v13)
F – we are called friends by Jesus! Wow! That is cool (v14)
O – friends obey commands (v14)
C – we are chosen by God (v16a)
B – we are to bear fruit (v16b)
E – we are to bear fruit that is eternal, that lasts forever not just…
A – the Father gives when we ask in His name within His will (Conditional) (16c)
L – in case you missed it – LOVE God and love EACH OTHER! (v17)
Chapter 16, 17 – Twin message: Who’s at the Door; Prayer
Sometimes we have twin 50’s. Today we study twin messages. First in 16:1 we get a good reminder. Read it and think about it. John 16:33 – This encouragement comes from Jesus Christ our LORD! We move into chapter 17 where Jesus is praying. He prays for himself, He prayer for the disciples, and He prays for all believers. That includes you and I if we are saved! In v6 and v17 we noticed an important word used – “sanctification”. It is the setting apart, the dedication to the LORD. We are sanctified by His Word, by truth. Jesus prays for unity in v23. It reminds us of Hebrews 7:22-25 where Jesus is the guarantee and He intercedes for us.
Chapter 18 – Finish the Season Right
John 18:4-8 has another set of deity statements – In v6 and in v8. Both times Jesus says, “I am”. It is clear and refers back to Exodus 3:15 and “I am Who I am”, God’s name. This echoes the clear, definitive, declaration of Jesus. He is God. In John 18:27 we see an “ouch!” We can say it is Peter but we too can try to run when we are to stand firm and strong in the LORD. John 18:38, “What is truth?” We finish with this. It is a great question if Pilate was really looking for truth. But he was not looking for truth. Too many ask questions hoping for an answer that suits them, that makes them comfortable but Jesus always answers with truth and calls us to repentance. So as we get towards the end of season and the Book of John we want to be on the right side of the finishing line. Have the right answers and seek the truth and Jesus.
Chapter 19 – What is Really Going on?
Sometimes we do not have a clue what is really going on, weather that is in racing or on the job or in a marriage or with our kiddos. Do you know what I am talking about? Well, we are getting towards the end of Jesus’ life and there are still people wondering what is going on. He has carried out miracle after miracle. He has shown His compassion, His kindness, His love, His greatness and yet there are those asking for more and not seeing what is in front of them. We can be like that. Do you have questions about who Jesus is or what He has done or what He offers? I would be glad to study more with you. I hope that you have followed along and discovered the truth about Jesus and solidified the fact that Jesus is LORD, Master, God.
John 19:1-7 Again we have an echo of deity! The Jews knew that Jesus was claiming to be God. We have seen no less than 12 times that He claimed to be God. We also see there are those who came to the wrong conclusion of who Jesus is. We see the powerful in both the government and in the religious leadership getting it wrong. Stop and really think about that. (really I meant it, pause, lean back and think about that) We see Pilate trying to wash his hands of it. We cannot think that we can just ignore what we think and conclude about Jesus and that He, it (judgment) will go away.
John 19:23-24We see an echo of “that the scripture might be fulfilled” and then in John 19:35-37 and an example of crediting the LORD and testifying to see others believe and trust Jesus.
Chapter 20, 21 – Great Maneuvers! Who do you say Jesus is?!
We saw a lot of great maneuvers on the race track this year. We have maneuvered through the book of John and have seen how people have reacted to Jesus and His questions. We are going to see some great ones in these two chapters.
John 20:26-29 has one of the greatest statements in all Scripture as Thomas declares “My LORD and my God!” WOW! He declares two of the most important principles. Jesus is LORD and He is God! Notice Jesus does not refute Thomas.
Now on to Peter and chapter 21. John 21:4-7; 15-19 — Peter says, “it is the LORD” but then Jesus challenges his words digging into Peter’s heart. He wants to show Peter and us the difference between loving God in a friend way and in an “agopao” way, a God type love. He finishes with John21:19 — “Then He (Jesus) said to him, “Follow Me!”
After studying this survey of John let me ask some questions. I hope you take some time to really think about them:
Are you following Him (Jesus)? Would you like to follow Him?
Who do you think Jesus is? How do you live that out in your life?
21:15ff Ask yourself, someone else and God, “Who and what is important in my life?”
What do I love most? What do I put the most effort or investment into?
This is a huge deal – the LORD needs to be that most important thing and love in your life. We can easily just say the right words and have the wrong thing coming out of our heart and life. Don’t do that. Live in the truth and freedom of Jesus and His salvation.
What a great study of John.
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,