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The Gospel writer John is here describing the hard-heartedness of the Jews, who expected their Messiah to fit into their ideas of what the Christ was to do. Many of the Jews were impressed by the miraculous signs Jesus did. Many had moments when they even worshipped Him--on His entry to Jerusalem, for example. Yet many missed knowing Him for who He was and what He had come to do, because they didnít receive Him. They didnít welcome Him and didnít want Him to change them; rather, they wanted to change Him into what they thought He should be. They felt they knew what had to be done, and tried to get Him to help them in their endeavors. They missed hearing and receiving Him for what He had come to do--to save them from continuing to live in their own will, in the will of their ancestors, and in the will of their fellow men, and to bring them into living in the will of God. They didnít seek His nature or His character to be a part of them. They didnít receive Him for Who He was and what He had revealed to them; rather they tried to explain what they saw in terms of their preconceived notions of what the Messiah should be.
In the passage cited, John goes on to declare the right of those who receive Jesus: if they receive Jesus for Who He is, they have the right to become sons of God.
John then describes the nature of a "son of God": one who is not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. A "son of God" according to John, is one who is born of God. He is living in Godís will, wanting to follow Godís leading in all situations. He is in continual communion with God, following His directions as they are revealed to him. This is the lifestyle into which God wants to lead all who receive Jesus. This was the lifestyle of Jesus, who was "THE" Son of God, and it is to be our lifestyle if we are to be "a" son of God. THE Son of God showed us how to live to be "a" son of God, and as He lives His life in and through us, we can live like He did and become sons of God, led by the Holy Spirit as He was.
God has promised to make the nature of Christ available to us as we receive Jesus. Christís nature, which is offered to us, loves the will of God. It is dedicated to seeking Godís direction and doing His will in all situations. When Jesus came into the world, He said, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." (Hebrews 10:9 KJV)
When the Jews questioned Him, He said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise." (John 5:19 KJV)
This is what Paul says about the "sons of God": "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14 KJV)
Receiving Jesus gives me the right to have God begin to change me--to take me out of doing what I want, when I want to do it. He will bring me into an attitude that wants to do what God wants, when He wants me to do it. This process continues as I continue to receive more of Jesus and let Him expose and cleanse more of me. I become born anew.
I am no longer just a product of my ancestry--I am born not of blood but of God. The Bible indicates that we are influenced by the actions and attitudes of our forefathers even before we were born. The writer of Hebrews, when describing the story in Genesis in which Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, makes the point that Melchizedekís priesthood is above that of Levi. The basis for this argument is that Levi, who came four generations after Abraham, in effect had paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham; Leviís priesthood was therefore inferior to Melchizedekís.
We have been influenced by the will and behavior of those in our bloodlines--but, in receiving Jesus, we can become sons of God, receiving our attitudes and character from THE Son of God.
By receiving Jesus, we can also be set free from the will of the flesh and enter into Godís will. We have spent much of our life seeking to do our own thing. Some of us have become enslaved to lust, greed, overeating, drunkenness, drugs, and other sins. Some of us have become slaves to fear, anger, self-pity, anxiety, and other destructive thought patterns. We have become enslaved to our "old will"; all our efforts to change ourselves have failed. However, we can be saved from the bondages of our old will by receiving Jesus and letting God convert us into a life of living in His will, doing what He wants, when He wants it.
Even as Christians, we often try to get God to do our will, rather than surrendering our will to Him and only doing what we see Him doing. If we become aware of a new truth, we try to get others to follow our new direction. We use our plans and methods to get people into what we perceive to be Godís will, rather than seeking and participating in Godís plan to bring all His children into His will.
We can be saved from seeking our own pleasure and from becoming angry when others donít do what we think they should. By receiving Jesus, we can be saved from the will of our flesh.
We can also be set free from seeking the will of men. Too often, we live with one eye on others, wanting their approval. We end up pleasing no one--not even ourselves--and feeling empty because the affirmations of people are flimsy, fickle, and ultimately unsatisfying. We can be saved out of the bondage of living to please people. By receiving Jesus, we can enter into a life that loves, desires, and walks in Godís will.
Receiving Jesus is a continuing process. The Holy Spirit will continue to open us to more and more of the holy, perfect, beautiful nature of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will reveal to us attitudes and desires within us that are not from Christ. We can bring these things to the cross of Jesus, where we can receive more of His righteousness.
Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said:
As we receive more of Jesus, we will want to receive even more of Him; we will want to let Him do His complete work in us and through us. We will want to show the world the blessedness of being a child of God, living in His will.
We can live a lifetime in receiving Jesus. We need to continue to pray:
Holy Spirit, help me to know all about Jesus--His character, His roles. Help me to know Him as my Lord, my Savior, my Christ, my Shepherd, my Captain, my Redeemer, my Righteousness, etc. But help me, O Holy Spirit, not to merely give mental assent to these roles and attributes of Jesus, but to see my need of them, to want them for my own, to accept them when offered to me, and to embrace them. Help me, O Holy Spirit, to receive Jesus--ALL of Him.
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RECEIVING JESUS--PERSONAL MEDITATION
I. Jesus is revealed through the names given to Him in the Bible. What are some of them, according to the following passages?
a) John 6:35
b) John 10:2
c) Matthew 1:23
d) Luke 4:34
e) John 1:36
f) John 9:5
g) John 10:11
h) 1 John 1:1
i) Hebrews 12:2
j) John 14:6 (3 names)
k) Isaiah 9:6 (many names)
II. How did Jesusí actions show forth these names? (i.e., what did He do that demonstrated His fulfillment of each of His names?)
How have you seen Jesus continuing His ministry in each of the above areas? How would these ministries of Jesus apply to you today? Reflect on His names, and make a note about each name in the spaces below.
In your own way and time, thank Jesus for being those things described by His names.
III. THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST
Jesus is also known by His character. What are some of His characteristics, as shown in the following passages?
a) Luke 1:35
b) Isaiah 53:11
c) 2 Corinthians 5:21
d) Matthew 11:29
e) Hebrews 2:17
f) Philippians 2:8
g) Luke 23:34
IV. In prayer, thank Jesus for each of His characteristics. Confess your need of His character, and ask the Holy Spirit to impart these attributes into you and to let the life of Christ work in you.
V. THE MISSION OF CHRIST
Jesus came to fulfill a specific God-designed and God-inspired mission. Portions of His mission are identified in the following passages. What are they?
a) John 6:38
b) Luke 19:10
c) 1 John 3:8
d) John 10:10
e) Acts 5:30,31
VI. How is Jesus fulfilling each of these areas of His mission in your life?
In prayer, thank God that He has commissioned Jesus in each of these missions. Ask Jesus to fulfill each of His missions in you. Ask Him to make you willing to let Him train you and use you as an instrument of fulfilling His mission in the lives of others.
In the next section, we will consider in depth one of the names of Jesus, and look at how receiving Him in that role will affect our life.
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Jesus Christ is our Savior from sin.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Savior from sin. God is our Savior, in the Person of Jesus Christ. All of Godís power, wisdom, and love is dedicated to saving us, through Jesus Christ.
He saves us from the punishment we deserve from God because of our sin. He bore that punishment for us.
He saves us from the power of sin. He can take away our desire to continue in sin. He can free us from the bondages we live in, unable to stop sinning and turn to God on our own.
He saves us from the guilt and shame of sin. He died the most shameful of all deaths--crucifixion--so that we would no longer have to suffer guilt and shame from God or from others because of our sin or that of our ancestors.
He saves me from the sickness, pain, sorrow, and brokenness in my body, soul, and spirit.
Jesus is our Savior from our flesh, the world, and the devil.
Jesus is our Savior from our flesh. Because of our old ways, we have wanted to hide from the light of Jesus. Before knowing of the complete saving power of Jesus, hiding our sin, hurt, and pain is the only way we have known to cope. The world encourages us to hide our inner nature and our feelings. Our old nature wants us to continue to be self-dependent and managed by our mind, doing what we think we should do rather than listening as the Holy Spirit reveals things to our spirit.
Jesus is our Savior from the world. He can give us victory over the pressures, temptations, and behavior patterns that come to us from the people and the spiritual forces at work in the world.
Jesus is our Savior from the devil and his demonic forces of evil. Jesus has defeated these spirits, and He calls us to stand against them also.
Jesus saves me--from sin, my flesh, the world, and the devil--into Himself.
The purpose of Jesus saving me from the things discussed above, is that He can save me into Himself. Jesus wants me to come into Him--into His Presence, His life, His nature, His dwelling place at the right hand of God, His abode in the Holy of Holies.
The key for the Christian is to focus upon what he is being saved into. The light will reveal the darkness, so that we can bring it to Jesus and be freed from it. We need to focus on looking at the Light and letting the Holy Spirit bring us into a loving and trusting relationship with Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. Jesus will save us completely. He will show us past sins, hurts, generational attitudes and spiritual forces that have held us and our families in bondage. He will free us. He will save us completely. He will use us to free others and to stand against the works of darkness. However, our focus must be on Him and His plan for us and for those around us. He will save us, and He has a plan for reaching and saving completely those around us. Our need is to focus on Him and on His calling to be the Savior of the world. The more we let the Holy Spirit reveal to us the glorious nature of Christ, the more we fall in love with Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Lord Jesus, I need you to be my Savior. I receive you as my Savior and my Lord. Save me from the guilt and shame of my sins. I receive the truth that because You have died for me, God forgives me as I confess my sins and receive You as my Savior. Save me from the sinful desires and the power of sin that still live within me.
Help me to put to death--Your death--the sinful passions that try to hold me in bondage. Save me from the temptations of the world and from all demonic influences and temptations that satan would bring to me. Thank You, Jesus, that You are called, are willing, and are able to be my Savior--to save me completely, and to put Your righteous desires within me. Amen.
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About Cyrus Ministries International
Rich and Kay Fick are the directors of Cyrus Ministries International. God has anointed and called them to this ministry. Rich, an ex-alcoholic, has personally experienced Godís love, forgiveness, power, healing and restoration. Their ministry involves helping others come out of their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical bondages into the fullness of the Holy Spirit, enabling them to know and live in Godís plan and purposes for them. They minister to individuals, equip churches for ministry, and disciple others in breaking down spiritual bondages over individuals, families, generations, communities and nations. Their calling and vision is to see Godís people living in the spiritual presence and reality of Godís heavenly kingdom as Jesus manifests His life into them and through them on earth.
The ministry has taken them to churches and groups locally and to many locations in the USA, as well as other nations. (Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Romania, India, Israel, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Bolivia). As they travel, Rich and Kay minister healing, train leaders, and teach and disciple, as well as establishing ongoing networking relationships. Cyrus Ministries provides oversight to ministries and churches in other nations, helping them to come into their calling and destiny. Leaders from other nations are invited to come and spend time at the Big Rock location for training and impartation.
The Big Rock Ministry Center offers a meeting place for both small and large groups.Ü There are regular times of prayer, worship, teaching, impartation of the gifts of the Spirit, and fellowship.Ü
Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ
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