“Believing in God”, The Gospel of John with commentary from Nathan Bingham of Ligonier Ministries (belief, near to God, hope)

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Introduction from L.Willows: I need to “Believe”; to believe with all of my heart, my mind and to live it in the hours of each day. “This world” and “this life” need BELIEF in GOD as our leading value. Without this, we have no way to measure or direct our footsteps forward. Our hearts would lean upon circumstance for hope. We have been given more. In the Gospel of John, we are reminded that by the power of faith we receive the Son of God, Jesus Christ and become Children of God. 

This is what BELOVED is about. I celebrate, with you that at every moment we are blessed in the presence of The Holy Beloved, who is with us, whose Spirit is placed within our hearts, who intercedes for us and whose Father loves us with might that we can scarcely comprehend.

Remembering this, I’d like to highlight some passages from the Gospel of John with an introduction from Ligonier Ministries. (L. Willows

The Gospel of John from Nathan W. Bingham

A special challenge to interpreters of John’s Gospel is the relation between seeing “signs” and belief.

The author places great emphasis on the unique significance of Jesus’ miracles because they reveal much about His Person and work (John 20:3031). But some passages seem to suggest that belief based solely upon having personally seen the signs is not a good thing.

In John 4:48, for instance, Jesus rebukes His hearers, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

This passage brings to mind the statement of Thomas in John 20:25, “Unless I see … I will never believe.” Therefore, many readers have concluded that an ideal faith has no interest in miracles. The problem with this conclusion is twofold.

First, if faith resulting from miracles is not good, why does Jesus perform miracles? Second, why does John link these signs to faith in Christ (John 20:31)?

To believe in Jesus means not only to acknowledge His ability to perform miracles, but also to accept what those miracles as “signs” reveal about His Person and work.

The evangelist indicates that the written record of Jesus’ signs is sufficient testimony for those who are not eyewitnesses. This understanding is implied by what Jesus said to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Paul’s formulation gives a similar relation between faith and sight: “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7; cf. Rom. 8:2425).

Faith can be produced and encouraged by the signs Jesus performed. But the goal of this faith is to apprehend Jesus in His fullness, not merely as a miracle worker.

Jesus is revealed by His “signs” as the eternal Word of God, one in glory with the Father and the Spirit.

It is not necessary to be an eyewitness of the signs; the record of them is sufficient to convey their power for eliciting and strengthening faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

One of the most striking distinctives of this Gospel is the Prologue (John 1:1–18) that presents Jesus as the eternal Logos, or Word, the One who reveals the Father.

Christ reveals the Father because He shares in the Father’s deity. He is the One who made the universe (John 1:3).

He met the needs of the Israelites in the wilderness, and now He provides spiritual water and bread (John 4:13146:35). In short, He is one with the Father, the “I am” (John 5:188:5810:30–33; cf. Ex. 3:14).

From Nathan Bingham

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

John 1:1-51

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:18

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 5:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 6:35

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

John 10:38

But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

John 11:40

Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

John 14:1

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

John 20:31

But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

1 John 5:4

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

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“Here in the Midst of such Beauty, we Dive”, a worship poem from LWillows

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How this Love winds, throughout life’s line,
etching through lives, throughout all time.
The promise was given, of worth, at birth-
spoken in whispers, like a hush from deep earth.

Heaven bends to grant from gracious God’s gift
leaving such beauty, we gasp in love’s drift.

How can heart mother such moment as this,
born in time’s wonder, in the womb of such bliss…
Each of us, children; fostered and found,
fathomed by stillness in the wake of might bound.

Tender this Love as it winds through our lives
here in the midst of such Beauty, we dive.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Jerimiah 31:3

The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

“Joy Comes in The Morning”, the fullness of joy comes with the Light of God’s presence.

 

 

Psalm 30:5
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Our trials are temporal, they live in this world (they tarry) as we do- in a world that some might call yet living in another ‘night’. It is in great need of the Son, the Light that brings renewal, healing and the end of all weeping to mankind. Until that ultimate joy, we can find Joy because it seeks us and desires our hearts. Joy comes with the Light of the morning. It comes with the Light of God’s love in every hour that dawns right now, right here for each of us. It is in His Promises of Joy. 

John 16:22
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Born into this world of sin, we experience the sorrows of mortal life. When we are reborn in Christ by the power of Grace our hearts rejoice. We “see” Jesus. We witness the face of The Lord by seeing His Glory. This causes a joy, even here and now that does not fade, not even in this world. Nothing can take this away.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The Presence of Christ becomes a part of one’s life. It takes root at the core of the heart. The fullness of joy pours like water filling each heart vessel. We are His vessels overflowing with the pleasures of mercy for eternity.  His right hand is the Path of life that leads home to God.  

1 Peter 1:8-9
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The face of Christ is a mystery. The resurrected Christ is in Glory. We do not see him with our physical eyes yet many are witness to the glorious joy of knowing him with the eyes of the heart. We are told in scripture that we can see the glory of God in His word. Christ loved us sacrificially for the salvation of our souls. For me, the inexpressible and glorious joy is in loving the Christ that I see, the one that I witness so mightily in prayer and devotion.

Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

When we rejoice with our hearts full of grace – love, and empathy for those that are grieving or in trials is part of our command. Joy and weeping are part of the same love. Christ’s love for us was a sacrificial love. We learn about love, joy, and rejoicing from our Redeemer and the one that gave us Grace.

Philippians 2:1-2
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

So, if indeed we are encouraged by our experience of the love of God, let us move forward by being loving towards one another. Let us encourage one another, comfort one another and be healing agents in the world that we live in. May our participation in the Spirit complete our Joy by united us!

1 Chronicles 16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.

“Loves’ Answer, Loves’ Promise, The Holy’s Engrave”, a worship poem from L.Willows

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Loves’ Answer, Loves’ Promise, The Holy’s Engrave

Dear ones wrapped in loves’ sweetened prayer
hearts deepen, they appeal, they unite, they declare.
Kingdoms and gateways rising to swell
all from the glory of The Beloved’s indwell.

Dear ones held tightly and lifted with trust
calling with might, hearts emptied, cups thrust.
All given in prayer that One may save
Loves’ answer, Loves’ promise; The Holy’s engrave.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Isaiah 65: 24 ~ Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

Mark 11:24 ~ Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.