Come and See God


GodReflection: Come and See—God Saved the Best for Now

“Come and see,” said Philip (John 1:46). “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (John 2: 10).

gary-2015Preston Massey, my esteemed colleague from our years in Brazil, just published the Branch. He reminds us the writers of the Gospels each address a specific audience andGod1 respectively present one of four lines of Jesus. Matthew shares Jesus as king, Mark shows his servitude and Luke presents Jesus as descendant of man.

John’s message is unique—come see Jesus and you will see God. The best has been saved till now. God walks among us as love, as Sustainer, as Protector, as Guide, and as Life.

The account of Moses was familiar to all Jews. They knew the story of their deliverer. From childhood they would have known of God’s call from the flames of fire from within a bush and of the Almighty’s self-identification as “I AM WHO I AM . . . you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me” (Exodus 3:14).

Well over a millennium later the story has transitioned to a beach seventy miles north of Jerusalem. There a young fisherman received the invite to “Come, follow me.” He couldn’t God5have imagined all that he would see.

I don’t believe it to be an overstatement that Creator God orchestrated events so that this boy—not much more than an adolescent—was to be an eye witness to the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and work of God in human form.

From his account as a participant he invites Come and see God, truly this is the best saved for now.

God10He wants us to see the one who could declare “before Abraham was born, I am (8:58). He is the one who revealed I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (14:11). And to bring reality to his claim he steps under the umbrella of “I AM WHO I AM,” reminiscent of God who addressed Moses.

So, John invites me to come and see the one who affirms “I AM the Bread of Life . . . I AM the Gate . . . I AM the Resurrection . . . I AM the Life . . . I AM Lord . . . I AM the Way . . . I AM the Truth . . . I AM the True Vine.” John invites me to come see Jesus the I AM who is God.

Here is why I think this is important to my now.

When I read Old Testament Scripture I read of a God who loved deeply His created ones. I also read of a God self-declared as Holy. His Holiness was such that the imperfection of humankind had to maintain a respectful distance to keep from instance death.

birth10Sinful humanity did not have direct access to Holy God because Jesus—the perfect lamb—was yet to be sacrificed. Holy and unholy could not survive in close proximity.

Jesus came to open the door of access to God.

When Jesus came as human and willingly laid his human/God self on the cross the debt of my sin was fully paid. Jesus made it possible for me to stand in his shadow as perfectly sinless in the presence of Holy God.

Because I see God sacrificed—I am able to see God who I can call Father. With the excitement of new revelation John calls out to come and this God we can call Father.

God7Come and see Life; come and see Bread that sustains forever; come and see Resurrection; come and look through the Gate and see God. Yes, come and see Truth like you have never experienced; come and see the Way that removes all fear and leads to God.

It is God’s best saved for my now. Each day I can awake to see God as Father because Jesus brought me into His house.

It’s worth a new look. Let’s go with John and see God.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Come and See God

Gary@Godreflection.org     www.GodReflection.org

www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

Hands On Life


20161004_150844 (2)…and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” -James 1:16

There is a universe in each of verse of God’s precious letter to us.

This verse reminds me that every human is rich, robust and giving is more than money. Money is a very real help, but emotional & psychological support are essential as well, and take much less time than making and giving money.

It’s one of the reasons I write for this blog; to offer support in areas, and point to areas where we can not only know, but feel God’s rich presence in our lives and in this world.

Binding the wounds of those hurt in unseen areas; the mental and spiritual areas, with more than Bible verses. The acknowledgement of this type of pain is step one, but step two are kind hugs, encouragement and directing the hurting to an appropriate practitioner if necessary; going with them if necessary and checking in until they are truly well.

Who needs God’s mercies today through a check-in? Where do we need to let others know our needs that we may be healed?

Hands on is real life. Virtual is next, but it is not the same as voice-to-voice, eye-to-eye, and real human contact. God cares enough to be this way spiritually in our life and wants us to be in community where we can feel His presence more fully through others and offer His presence to others as well; whether we are strong or needy.

Amazing!

 

Come and See Light


GodReflection: Come and See—God Saved the Best for Now

“Come and see,” said Philip (John 1:46). “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (John 2: 10).

gary-2015Light shows are a multibillion monetary industry. As a small child I was invited to participant in the annual production of a light show on the family Christmas tree. When Independence Day appeared on the national calendar we went to see a light show decorate the night sky.light8

Laser shows are sought-after events on the twenty-first century tourist routes.  Vacationers are enticed to come and see light.

My Bible opens with the Creation Song.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

light9And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night” (Genesis 1:1-5).

The Fourth Gospel begins with a creation prologue that reflects the Genesis account. The apostle John wants me to see a light that is greater still than the one called day. It is The Light that created light.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (From John Chapter One).

light12About midway through John’s Gospel he introduces a man who was blind from birth. His purpose is to invite me as a reader to come and see light. Surely, John’s spirit must have glowed when he started to record as he reflected upon the events that surrounded Jesus and a blind man. Truly, God saved the best for now. Jesus declares:

“. . . I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So, the man went and washed, and came home seeing (John 9:5-7).

Like the unnamed Banquet Master (when Jesus made water become wine ) we are not given the name of the blindman. John wants all who read to self-identify as the recipient light13of Jesus’ sign. He invites readers to come and see light.  I meet real light when I encounter Jesus. I meet the light that is greater than all displays of illumination. I meet the light of the world.

I can’t help but add John’s inclusion of Jesus reason for him own self-description as light. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness (John 12:46).

I would love to hear your description of your own encounter with the light of the world. How does that encounter continue to play out in your daily walk? How does it continue to be a display of light?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Come and See Light

Gary@Godreflection.org    www.GodReflection.org

www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

Fully Divine Fully Human


20161004_150844 (2)So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  -Hebrews 4:14-16/NLT

For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. -Colossians 3:13/NLT

Iēsous/Yeshua/Jesus, the name above all names revered in Greek, Hebrew, English and globally points to the God-Man, fully divine, fully human. He was The Good Gift coming from the Father Of Lights, bringing Good and Light into the icons of humanity.

In my weakness I am strengthened by the fact that my life is hidden in the person of my big brother, who not only stokes the fires of divinity in me through the work of His Good Spirit, but gives me leave to fully find myself in this world by boldly embracing my humanity.

I live in a divine dance with the Holy within as wholly human.

wedding-443600__340

My High Priest wore human skin, experiencing all of humanity’s flavors; each color on the spectrum of emotion, capturing every thought, ambulating his temple (which I picture as being the perfect physical exercise), socially adaptable everywhere, nourishing his spirit, propelled by a divinely pure heart.

I have a learning curve because the Perfect infused the atmosphere with forgiveness before I was born, and grace & mercy are the brokers and bearers of this good news, breathing Life into me each morning I awake, and every night as he seals the thoughts of the day in preparation for the next.

I am free to be fully divine and fully human because The Firstborn of the Resurrection has granted me this beautiful privilege and simply asks that my faith and works grow to reflect this truth.

Amazing!

Come and See Life


GodReflection: Come and See—God Saved the Best for Now

“Come and see,” said Philip (John 1:46).

“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (John 2: 10).

gary-2015Life is both tough and complex. One survival tactic is signs.

I need signs to navigate my day. The name of my city is designated with a sign. Signs are also for direction. My city is laid out with street signs, neighborhood signs, traffic signs, numerical signs for homes, businesses, churches and a gazillion other public places. Signs point.

In the Fourth Gospel, John uses sign terminology as a label for miracles. Thus, Jesus first sign of water changed to wine is there for a reason. It points to God’s best saved for now.

life11John has a second sign. It reads, “Come and See Life.” For us human types there maybe no greater symbol of life than a child. Kids explode with life. They are not only vibrant but their life represents hope and future. So, John takes us to see a father on the verge of the loss of life. It’s his son.

Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.

When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death . . . “Sir, come down before my child dies.”  “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed . . . When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed. This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee (John 4:46-54).

Come and see life!To come and see Jesus is to see life. The second sign of John is to teach me this reality: to see Jesus is to see life as God designed me to be.

The fullness of this truth still needs to sink into my soul. Perfect Jesus walked this earth so that I might see how I could have been if Eve and Adam had trusted fully their Creator and refused serpent-Satan’s temptation. Jesus demonstrated life.

Just as a faith encounter with Jesus by the royal official caused his son to live, Jesus calls me to envision restored life through my own trust confrontation so that I might live.

I am reminded of a promise of Jesus on another occasion, “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live” (John 5:25).

life19Here is what John invites me to come and see in Jesus’ second recorded sign. To meet Jesus is to see life. It is restorative now. I have one thing in common with the old churchman Martin Luther and the patriot Benjamin Franklin. No matter how hard I might try, I cannot make it through a twenty-four-hour day with perfection intact. That’s solved with the miracle of life found in Jesus.

To see life is to experience every step—even the missteps—covered by the grace of His (now our) Father. Although I’ve never been overly life24comfortable with the word, there is something rather mystical about the experience. The longer I walk with Jesus and observe his perfect walk through earth the missteps lessen in frequency.

That is how I was meant to be. I begin to shadow what I will become in the next reality. I will awaken not only to life eternal, but to life in perfection as God designed me to live. It as if Jesus said to my own dad, “Go, your son will live.”

Can you still hear the echo of the voice of the one who invites to come and see life? I would love to hear your story.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Come and See Life

Gary@Godreflection.org    www.GodReflection.org

www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Are A Miracle!


20161004_150844 (2)How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!Psalm 139:17-18

In the movie “Cheaper By The Dozen,” there is a scene where one of the middle sons Mark (fourth from the right) says he feels like he does not fit in. His mother played by Bonnie Hunt says, “You fit mister!” She takes him and puts him under her arm as she hugs him tenderly and looks him in the eye, “You fit right here”!

cheaper

Whatever has happened to us, what we are going through or where we imagine we are going, we neither have the right to create emotions or thoughts that would create angst or confusion about how someone fits into this world under God. Neither does anyone have a right to create such feelings in us. Apologies as soon as possible, even years later, can salve a hurting soul.

I can only imagine perfect God shaking his head as he looks down on those who not only have created pain in others, but refuse to budge to create harmony and ask for and give forgiveness with the following excuses…

“We live in a fallen world”

“People aren’t perfect”

Or whatever pat answers are given, it is good to stop making excuses for creating feelings in others, and refraining from interposing interpretations of Scripture that may create anxiety rather than the peace of God in the minds of another.

No one but God knows exactly what another person is going through; expect the best, but prepare for the worst as sometimes bombshells may be dropped on us that require dignity, kindness and a shoulder to cry on.

Being silent like Job’s friends did in the beginning is better than trying to use words that may confuse or compound the suffering of another more. In fact, people usually find their solutions in loving environments, silence and a helping hand.

Harshness and tough love never work, unless you love pain. And no one does. Pain is not of God, and the reduction and obliteration of pain is more Godly than the administering of pain.

If you or anyone reading this is dealing with any such feelings and wonder if you fit, you do! You fit right in the arms of Abba Father who loves you and all of us dearly. You are a miracle, known by God, loved thoroughly inside out regardless of any feeling of unworthiness that approach.

To not fit is a lie, and the father of lies breathes them out constantly; it is up to God in us to stop them within us and in the minds of others when one is in distress.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. -1 Peter 2:9

Imagine God smiling when helping another not only survive but help them step up into thriving beyond pain.

Amazing!

 

Come and See New Water—One Drink will Last Forever


GodReflection: Come and See—God Saved the Best for Now

“Come and see,” said Philip (John 1:46).

“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (John 2: 10).

gary-2015I’ve never been thirsty—I mean like the experience of days without a drop of anything liquid. Were I able to step outside of my body and observe myself, I would probably be astonished at how often I go for water. I’m talking anything that drips or pours.

My water world isn’t dependent upon wells, open springs and muddy water holes. Long trail hikes with empty containers in search of water is not my reality.

water2We humans must have repetitive water intake to survive. God used this reality, a thirsty woman and a distant well to setup an attention getting invitation. What if someone offered water with the guarantee, “One drink will last forever?”

In my last post John introduced a Jewish God follower named Nicodemus. The apostle wants us to come and see a Water-Spirit birth. This one who comes through Water and Spirit is God’s best saved for our now. However, the Water-Spirit gift was not limited to insiders. It is a God gift offered to all creation.

So immediately after the introduction to the religious ruler, John takes us to Jesus who stands ready to meet a foreign outcast at a well. The Nicodemus conversation is repeated with a woman who Jews would envision as outside the reach of Holy God. She too is invited to come and see God saved the best for now.

water3The conversation begins when a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4: 7-10).

In the beginning God’s Holy Spirit hovered over the waters ready to create (Genesis 1:1). Now, the Gospel of John pictures God’s Holy Spirit as a resident in living water ready to create eternal life from within.

water10 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14)

There are times I wonder if the grandeur of God’s gift fades behind the glaze of familiarity with the generosity of Holy action. Jesus’ claim is dramatic. I can give you water that satisfies forever.  I echo anew the woman’s request, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty” (John 4:15).

Millions of Christ followers have tested his claim and found it to be true. As I struggled for words to express this promise of Jesus I came across a hymn written almost two centuries ago by the Scottish poet and horatius-bonarchurchman, Horatius Bonar. It’s a hymn I remember from childhood.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold, I freely give.  The living water; thirsty one, stoop down, and drink, and live.” I came to Jesus, and I drank of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him.

God saved the best for now. Come and see new water. One drink will last forever. If you are thirsty why not stoop down and take a free drink?

Come and see.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Come and See New Water—One Drink will Last Forever

Gary@Godreflection.org      www.GodReflection.org

www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com