Note from Jesus
The Bible is a precious treasure. Don’t neglect it. Use it and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through it. Remember! It is a tool that the Spirit uses to shape your life and to point you to Me. Even the best of religious people can get so caught up in trying to prove themselves right by the Bible that they lose sight of the goal and the gift.
The goal of the Scriptures is to find Me! That’s why My beloved disciple John identified Me as God’s Message, the Word, that became flesh (John 1:1-18). That’s also why the apostle Paul could say that faith in Me was necessary to unlock the salvation promised in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15), that I am the “yes” to God’s promises and the One through Whom every “Amen” can be spoken (2 Corinthians 1:18-20). I am the goal of the Holy Spirit’s transforming work in you (2 Corinthians 3:18) and the goal that the apostles were trying to reach in their work with you (Galatians 4:19; Colossians 1:28-29). I am the Father’s ultimate, greatest, and clearest Word (Hebrews 1:1-3).
The gift you receive when you understand that the Bible points to Me and when you follow Me is life! I came to give you full, abundant, and purposeful life (John 10:10). I want you to experience true life, which is life in Me (John 14:1-6; John 17:1-3). I want you to have life through faith in Me (John 20:30-31; 1 John 5:13). So let the Bible bring you to Me and find the life I long to share with you!
Appreciate the Bible, use the Scriptures, and learn the message of the word of God. But, don’t worship the Bible. Worship God — Father, Son, and Spirit. Seek Me! Love God with all you are. Don’t substitute the Bible for the Holy Spirit. Seek the Father to Whom the Scriptures point and from Whom the Scriptures come.
Sadly, many of the religious people in My days on earth were so caught up in looking at tiny little arguments over the Scriptures, so caught up in trying to prove themselves and their traditions to be right, that they missed Me — the very One to Whom the Scriptures point.
I am so glad you are taking this year to journey with Me through the New Testament. So I want to encourage you to continue this spiritual exercise to help you along your journey this year, and every time you open the Bible going forward. As you study the Bible, pray this simple prayer:
Father, thank You for Your Scriptures. Open my heart to hear Your truth. Holy Spirit, please open my eyes to the message Jesus wants me to put to work in my life. Jesus, conform me to Your will and help me find true life in You. Amen.
Verses to Live
There are a couple of big points made in this passage, but notice especially the message with bold emphasis. This point is the one I want you to see… to be your focus… and to help you find life in Me!
The Father does not exert His power to judge anyone. Instead, He has given the authority as Judge to the Son. So all of creation will honor and worship the Son as they do the Father. If you do not honor the Son, then you dishonor the Father Who sent Him.
I tell you the truth: eternal life belongs to those who hear My voice and believe in the One Who sent Me. These people have no reason to fear judgment because they have already left death and entered life.
I tell you the truth: a new day is imminent — in fact, it has arrived — when the voice of the Son of God will penetrate death’s domain, and everyone who hears will live. You see, the Father radiates with life, and He also animates the Son of God with the same life-giving beauty and power to exercise judgment over all of creation. Indeed, the Son of God is also the Son of Man. If this sounds amazing to you, what is even more amazing is that when the time comes, those buried long ago will hear His voice through all the rocks, sod, and soil and step out of decay into resurrection. When this hour arrives, those who did good will be resurrected to life, and those who did evil will be resurrected to judgment.
I have not ever acted, and will not in the future act, on My own. I listen to the directions of the One Who sent Me and act on these divine instructions. For this reason, My judgment is always fair and never self-serving. I’m committed to pursuing God’s agenda and not My own.
If I stand as the lone witness to My true identity, then I can be dismissed as a liar. But if you listen, you will hear another testify about Me, and I know what He says about Me is genuine and true. You sent messengers to John, and he told the truth to everyone who would listen. Still his message about Me originated in heaven, not in mortal man. I am telling you these things for one reason — so that you might be rescued. The voice of John the Baptist, the wandering prophet, is like a light in the darkness, and for a time, you took great joy and pleasure in the light he offered.
There’s another witness standing in My corner Who is greater than John or any other man. The mission that brings Me here, and the things I am called to do, demonstrate the authenticity of My calling which comes directly from the Father. In the act of sending Me, the Father has endorsed Me. None of you really knows the Father. You have never heard His voice or seen His profile. His word does not abide in you because you do not believe in the One sent by the Father.
Here you are scouring through the Scriptures, hoping that you will find eternal life among a pile of scrolls. What you don’t seem to understand is that the Scriptures point to Me. Here I am with you, and still you reject the truth contained in the law and prophets by refusing to come to Me so that you can have life.
This kind of glory does not come from mortal men. And I see that you do not possess the love of God. I have pursued you, coming here in My Father’s name, and you have turned Me away. If someone else were to approach you with a different set of credentials, you would welcome him. That’s why it is hard to see how true faith is even possible for you: you are consumed by the approval of other men, longing to look good in their eyes, and yet you disregard the approval of the one true God. Don’t worry that I might bring you up on charges before My Father. Moses is your accuser even though you’ve put your hope in him….
Response in Prayer
O Father, I pray the words of the old hymn* today:
Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!
O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes, and make me see:
Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see the Lord.
I pray this in Jesus’ name and to be conformed to His will. Amen.
* Mary Lathbury from the hymn, “Break Thou the Bread of Life,” 1887.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.