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By: Larry Shaffer
The Epilogue of John
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
When we began our study of the gospel of John, I wrote the following:
For the next couple of months, we have the joy of soaking in Jesus and all that He is as revealed by the elder statesmen of the apostles, John. What it all comes down to is Jesus is the beginning and the end. To read of Him, think of Him, understand Him and follow Him is life transforming. We will be changed. We will be amazed. We will be enriched. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
To dive deep into one of the gospels and to spend months reading, reflecting and writing down my thoughts and insights, chapter by chapter, soaking in the life and words of Jesus is to enter into an activity that transforms ones soul. To simply read it through is good; encouraging and enlightening. But to read and reflect, ask questions, ponder the answers, and connect the dots of the flow of the message, key words and themes, research and cross-reference, is to go where few go. When you put the extra effort in to go where few go you will experience awakenings that few have.
I don’t mean to sound mystical. It’s not mystical but it is a mystery of God and His Word. His Word is so brilliantly written with consistent themes that blend together in the most perfect manner of power, love, perseverance and abiding joy. There is life-transforming power in the Word of God. Your prayers become more spirited, your praise more vibrant, your relationships more meaningful and your awareness of God more dynamic.
In my experience, to add writing to our personal reading and reflecting is to open up your heart to Jesus in a manner that bears your soul in humility and opens up a floodgate of joy upon joy and peace beyond peace. My journey beyond reading the Bible into prayerful reflection and thoughtful writing is to be an encouragement for you to begin to do some same.
So, start small. Several years ago when I began writing, my initial writings were just a few sentences and very basic and raw. But that was the beginning of the journey. Take baby steps in your own devotional life. My goal is not for you to use my blog as a replacement for your own devotions but to encourage you in your own journey.
Let’s close out John today. In ending, it’s always good to accomplish what one sets out to do and John does just that. Accomplishing one’s purpose in a project or endeavor is always satisfying. Well, John’s purpose for writing this gospel was two-fold:
But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31
For me, John accomplished his purpose in my life in this recent study of John. My confidence and knowledge of Who He is has been intensified and hardened. My faith and belief in my Lord and Savior have been empowered and multiplied. How about you?
So, I’m ending my time in John sensing that the words of John 1:16 are my song for today:
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
For those of us who receive Him, we receive grace upon grace upon grace. I am undone Lord, apart from your grace. Thank You that you give the gifts of gifts, the wonders of wonders and the fullness of all that we need. Amen!