The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Do You Need a Sign to Believe in God? - Kevin A. Thompson

John was a Jewish man who had gone from being a “son of thunder” (Mark 3:17) to a disciple that spoke of love. Many of his fellow Jews had a preconceived idea of what Messiah would be and Jesus didn’t match it. This is why so many had rejected Jesus as Messiah. John wanted them to know the life that Jesus gave; it was his purpose for writing his Gospel. John 20: 30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. [1]

Signs or miracles that Jesus did were always about leading people to faith and for people to continue to believe that He was the Messiah. These signs showed the power of God. They showed that Jesus spoke the truth. Moreover, these signs told us Jesus was who He said He was: “The Son of God.”

Are you waiting for a sign from God?

God can send signs in many ways: healings, miracles, or visions. Most importantly, God provides signs using His Word. I cannot stress enough how important it is to confirm all perceived signs by the Bible. You must ask yourself, does this sign agree with what the Bible teaches? For the devil would love to counterfeit a sign and lead you astray.

One of the ways God communicates to His people is by His word. Therefore, we can be sure that the guiding principles outlined in the Bible are signs of what we should do. Let’s look at three times in the New Testament writers used passages in the Old Testament to confirm their beliefs:

Are you searching for discernment from God? Perhaps, you want to go in a particular direction, and you want to make sure. During your prayer time, ask God for clarity, dive into His Word and trust in His promise to give you wisdom. Proverbs 2:6For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. [2]

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for being willing to communicate with me. Thank you for being clear in Your word about the ways You give signs. Help me to know for sure when a sign is coming from You. Give me a discerning eye and continue to guide me through this Christian journey. Amen.

To hear more of the beloved disciple’s encounter with Jesus, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-beloved-disciple


[1-2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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John 1:13 Not Born of Man's Will But Of God (black)

John begins his Gospel with Jesus being present at creation. Everything that was created was created through Him. This takes place in Genesis 1 and 2, but by Genesis 3 humankind had sinned and corrupted creation. Humankind’s relationship with God was broken. But God had promised a solution then and John presents this solution to his readers.

Reborn

John 1:12But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. [1] Why do I need to be born again and what does that mean? Have you been born again?

 A Jewish religious leader name Nicodemus asked Jesus that same question. This was Jesus’ answer. John 3:Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” [2]

Rebirth is the Solution

In John 1:13 and John 3:5-8, we see the need to be born spiritually. This is the answer to the corruption of sin. It happens as we place our faith in Jesus as our Savior.  The relationship with God is restored and we become part of His family. We are adopted in His family and can spend eternity with God.

The new spiritual beginning that Jesus offers is so complete, so all-encompassing, that He called it being born again. It’s not enough to follow a few new rules. Jesus offers us something better: a fresh start. As he did for Nicodemus, Jesus offers you the joy of being born again, the joy of a fresh start at life because of God’s amazing forgiveness and love.

Prayer:

Jesus Christ, I praise you for coming to save me and to give me new life. By your Holy Spirit, give me new birth that results in a life of faith, hope, and love. In your name, Amen.

To hear more about being reborn, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-beloved-disciple


[1-2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

John 1:11-12 — Berea Project

Have you ever been rejected by another person or a group? As a child, did you ever feel alone on the playground? Life can be very cruel and we long to fit in and be accepted. No one likes to be rejected and even Jesus experienced rejection. It is hard to believe that the only sinless person was rejected.

The Jews Rejected Jesus

John 1:10 speaks about Jesus being rejected. Jesus came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people (the Jews), and even they rejected him. [1]John, the beloved disciple, doesn’t comment on why His own people would reject Jesus. The Jews had and knew the Scriptures that pointed to the Messiah, but still they rejected Jesus. It seems that people then, as now, preferred the darkness to the light.

People still Reject Jesus

I just listened to a man’s testimony of how he had rejected Jesus and how that impacted what he did and the words that came out of his mouth. In a time of great desperation, he cried out to Jesus to have mercy and to rescue him from the spiritual darkness he was in. God, in His grace and mercy, answered his cries. What does this story tell us about God? Even when we have walked away from God, He is still working on our hearts. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom in life before we come to our senses and look up to God.

Jesus does not force Himself upon us by twisting our arm until we place our faith in Him. God does not work that way. The Lord is the Good Shepherd who is always working in our life, and always calling us to come back to Himself. If we come to faith in Jesus, the Lord gets all the credit for His work and His calling. The Apostle Paul experienced this firsthand. He had rejected Jesus until Jesus revealed Himself on the road to Damascus.

Is Jesus Calling You?

Paul tells about God’s patience as He draws us to Himself. Romans 2:Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? [2] Is Jesus calling you today? Do you need to answer His call for faith and trust? Perhaps He is calling you into a deeper relationship with Him. The question is: Will I reject Him or embrace His call? Take time to reflect on your call from Jesus. If you quiet yourself before the Lord, He will speak to you. “Speak, your servant is listening.” [3] 1 Samuel 3:10.

To hear more of the beloved disciple’s encounter with Jesus, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-beloved-disciple


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

John 1:5 - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net

Have you ever fallen in the dark or found it difficult to find your way? As people, we love the light. We enjoy sunny days that lift our spirits and make everything better. We have many expressions about light versus darkness and the light is always positive. In addition, we feel safer in a strange area in the light. It is easy to stumble and fall when walking in the dark. Good deeds are said to be done in the light while evil is done in the darkness.

The Apostle John, known as the beloved disciple, uses this imagery of light and dark throughout his Gospel. In the opening lines Jesus is described as the light. John 1:The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. [1]

Jesus is our Light

In a spiritual sense, without a relationship with Jesus as our Savior, we are walking in the darkness of the world. I had a friend that came to faith as an adult and he indicated it was like walking around in the dark before he met Jesus. The world and its ways look great in the dark, but when the light is shown on them, they don’t look as good.

My priorities changed as I grew in faith. What I used to think was important was important no longer. Why the change? It was the light and wisdom of Jesus that revealed the value of what I was chasing. Much of what the world tells us is good is revealed for what it is when Jesus opens our eyes. It is easy to fall into a trap in the dark, but we can avoid it in the light.

Later in the Gospel of John, Jesus calls Himself the Light of the World. John 8:12Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” [2]

Prayer for Light

Dear Jesus, please open my eyes further to the truth of what is right and what is wrong. Open my eyes so that I can see with truth and righteousness. Open my eyes so that I will know when someone evil is standing before me, that I may be protected with discernment. Open my eyes to know when I am doing something wrong. Open my eyes to know what to do. The whole world is falling apart and losing the ability to discern between truth and lies. Let me be apart from them, and know what is right, and what is wrong. Reveal your word to me Jesus. Thank you, Amen![3]

To hear more of the beloved disciple’s encounter with Jesus, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-beloved-disciple


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[3] http://www.onechristianministry.com/truth-233.html

Hope Mishmash | This Thing Called Life

John, the author of the Gospel of John, was a simple fisherman until he met Jesus and his life was never the same. Why was John’s life never the same after encountering Jesus? His life was transformed by his faith in Jesus as his Savior. John had a greater purpose in life after his encounter with Jesus. Along with this, he had the hope of eternity and grew in fruits of the spirit. In addition, he wanted to desperately share the Good News of Jesus with others so their lives, too, could be transformed.

In his Gospel, John simply tells what he witnessed with Jesus. As the Gospel of John begins, another witness, John the Baptist, is spoken of. John 1:6bGod sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.[1]

Our World Needs an Encounter for Hope

We live in a world that is desperate for hope and spiritual transformation. Covid 19 and political problems have created many difficulties across the world. But amid chaos believers can have hope. In today’s verses, John the Baptist was a witness about Jesus so everyone might believe in Jesus as their Savior. Who told you about Jesus? How has that affected your life? Have you been able to witness to others about Jesus?

Jesus has called all of us to be witnesses for Him. He told His first disciples, Mark 16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.[2] The word translated “preach” simply means “to proclaim.” Unfortunately, many of us struggle to witness and that is why we need to pray. For this reason, we can pray two different prayers to become more faithful and effective in this area.

Prayer to spread Hope

Pray for open doors. When Paul ministered, his ministry was characterized by a search for what the Bible calls “open doors” (1 Cor. 16:9 and Acts 16:6-10). In the realm of personal witnessing, an “open door” is simply an opportunity to share the Gospel. On one occasion, Paul’s pursuit of evangelistic opportunities resulted in the salvation of a businesswoman (Acts 16:11-15), a demon-possessed girl (Acts 16:16-24) and a Roman jailer (Acts 16:25-34). Just ask the Lord for someone to share what you know about Jesus.

Pray for eyes to see. Jesus’ ministry was driven by a heartfelt compassion for the souls of the people He met (Mark 6:34). He saw every person young or old as a person created for a forever relationship with God. Pray that God would give you a passion for souls.

To hear more about an encounter of hope with Jesus, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-beloved-disciple


[1-2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

John 1:4 | KCIS 630

Have you ever seen a small baby and were amazed at such a marvelous creation? Did you know when a baby is formed in the mothers’ womb there are over a million nerve fibers that have to be connected to the right circuit just so the eyes function? That is a very complex wiring job. This example screams there is a God who gives life. The Gospel of John tells us in John 1:4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. [1] Creation needs to receive life from the Word (Jesus) for He is the source of life. Jesus gives physical life to all. But he also gives eternal life to all those who believe in him. [2]

Have you ever spent much time thinking about eternity after this life?

Eternal life means having faith in Jesus as our Savior and eternity in heaven upon our death. That is a long time, and I can’t begin to get my mind around eternity. Have you ever spent much time thinking about eternity after this life? There are many people in the world who do not think about the end and are only concerned about the present thus miss having a relationship with Jesus. If you miss that, you miss out on having real life.

Real life is when we are connected to Jesus as it says in John 15:5Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”[3] A branch cannot live on its own if it is not connected to the vine or the trunk of the plant. When you are connected to Jesus by faith, you have spiritual life. You are spiritually dead if you are not connected to Jesus. If you die when you are spiritually dead, you will be separated from God for all eternity.  God is not pushy, if we don’t want a relationship with God while here on earth, God doesn’t force us. However, He honors what ever choice you make for eternity.

How can my view of eternity change things now?

The way which we view eternity shapes the way we live each day. For example, how do I spend my time and my resources? Faith in Jesus as our Savior is a gift from God, and He blesses us every day in so many ways! We must enjoy this gift while keeping a right focus on who gives us spiritual life.

To encounter Jesus and the life He gives, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-beloved-disciple


[1,3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] Barton, B. B. (1993). John (p. 5). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.

Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?

Have you ever thought about the question “Is Jesus God?” This is a question people have asked through the centuries. Yes, Jesus is God as we see in John 1:In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. [1]

Jesus is the Word

Who is the Word? The word is Jesus as we learn in John 1:14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. [2] Jesus, God Himself, stepped into time and came into this world as the baby as we read about in the Christmas story.

Matthew 1:23“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ ” [3]

Why is it important that Jesus is God? Sin had corrupted the perfect world God had created. Humans couldn’t fix it. God, Himself, stepped into time to fix the sin problem. Jesus began the re-creation and the possibility for new life. He came into this world to pay the price for our sins which was something only God could do. Jesus paid for our sins so you could be forgiven, called to faith and, as a believer, spend eternity with God.

Jesus was Our Sacrifice for Sin

Blood sacrifices of animals had provided a temporary way to cover sins. It would take a perfect man, a remnant of one, to live a perfect life and through His death to break the curse of sin and death. Jesus was the Lamb of God who was sacrificed on the cross. As Jesus died, He spoke the words “It is finished.” (John 19:30). What was finished? Paying the price for our sins was complete. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:4“And he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.[4]

Is sin weighting you down? The burden of sin can weigh us down causing us to be discouraged and depressed, but because Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins we can be forgiven. Come to Jesus in prayer and confess your sins letting Him take your burdens from you. He is waiting now to hear your prayers. To hear more of the beloved disciple’s encounter with Jesus, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-beloved-disciple


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

50 Effective Teamwork Quotes To Spur Unity & Collaboration

Recently we moved to a different community and it took teamwork to make that possible. It would have been almost impossible to move by ourselves, but with teamwork it became very manageable. Some people packed boxes, some carried boxes to the truck, others put the boxes in the right place in the truck. Finally, another person drove the truck to the destination while others unpacked it when it arrived. Have you ever been on a team? How did that affect you? What did you learn?

Biblical Teamwork

Ecclesiastes 4:Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.[1]  When individuals work together, they can double their strength and get much more done as a team. They also reap the value of having worked in unison, thus creating harmony instead of disorder. Working as a team begins with the efforts of each person, as they cooperate.

1 Corinthians 12:14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.[2] In essence, this is the simplest and clearest statement about teamwork in the Bible. The body of Christ is a team. The body is not supported by one person, but by all of us. We are strongest working together in unity. Teamwork is the key to living life in harmony, so that we can do God’s will.

Even the Apostle Paul Needed a Team

Paul couldn’t reach people with the Good News of Jesus on his own. Acts 17:13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15 Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him. [3]

What does our story tell us about teamwork in the body of Christ? Other believers took the initiative to send Paul to the coast. God wants us to work together and there is no room for lone rangers. Believers escorted Paul to Athens to assure his safety. These same people also returned to Berea to give instructions to Timothy and Silas. Timothy and Silas could finish the work in Berea and then join Paul in Athens. Paul was a great Apostle, but he would not have been successful if it had not been for others helping him along the way. The same is true for us. We may be overwhelmed by a task if we are working alone. Teamwork gives us hope that it can be accomplished. When we work as a team in the Kingdom of God good things happen!

To hear more about Paul and teamwork, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/hope-in-persecution


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

persistence – The Reflecting Pool

Have you ever observed a child who was trying to walk? They are always very persistent, even when they fall down literally hundreds of time. They get back up and try again. Eventually, each child learns how to walk, which is the fruit of persistence. A child can teach us a lot about not giving up even when they are struggling.

Sometimes life is like that. We fall down and we have to get up. The Apostle Paul was very persistent in regard to proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. Time after time Paul was run out of town because of pushback from Jews who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. Time after time, Paul would pick himself up again and keep going. At each of Paul’s stops, people had an opportunity to hear about Jesus, and many of them believed.

Fruit in Berea

Acts 17:10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men. [1]

What was the fruit of Paul’s persistence? Many people both Jew and Gentile became believers. Many souls were saved. The lost are of immeasurable worth to God. This becomes astonishingly clear as we read through Luke 15, where Jesus shared the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law despised the fact that Jesus welcomed tax collectors and sinners. Jesus knew this, and told three stories to help them understand God’s heart for people the Pharisees considered unworthy. In each story, Jesus told of the great lengths to which each person went in order to find that which was lost.

Where are You to be Persistent?

Paul went to great lengths to save souls on each mission trip. He did not give up even when he was abused, beaten, and jailed. When Paul picked himself up there were more souls that needed saving. What is the Lord calling you to do right now? How will be persistent and calling on the Lord to help you make that possible? What will be the impact on you and those around you? How can your persistence bring hope to others? To hear more about the persistence of Paul, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/hope-in-persecution


[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 17:10–12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

The Holy Spirit Has Been Given To Us

I remember reading a quote from an unknown author that said, “The same sun that bakes clay melts ice.” For some people the Holy Spirit melts them and their heart are open, and they are teachable for all that God has for them. They are good soil for God’s work and His word. Others have hearts as hard as baked clay and resist the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives at every step.

How about you? Is your heart open to the work of the Holy Spirit?

Paul had been run out of Thessalonica because many of the jealous Jewish people who did not accept the message of Jesus. They were jealous because others received the good news of Jesus in great numbers and they did not believe Jesus was the Messiah.

Acts 17:11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. [1]

What were some of the characteristics of the people from Berea? They were open minded, which meant their hearts were open to Paul’s teaching about Jesus. They tested what Paul said to make sure it lined up with God’s word to make sure they were not led astray.

Discerning the Holy Spirit

What can we learn from the people of Berea today? We need Godly wisdom when confronted by unfamiliar Biblical teaching. James 1:If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.[2]

Also, we read from 1 John 4:1, “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” [3]

As we follow the advice of the two verses it is all part of being led by the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.[4] We have hope for discernment in this confusing world through the power of the Holy Spirit. To hear more about Paul and Berea, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/hope-in-persecution


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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