John 1:16-17 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
I get happy every time I read John 1! It’s so familiar, I knew I was to write on this part of it before I even opened my Bible. I’m not sure, but this chapter may actually be one of the reasons why John is my favorite Bible character, short of Jesus Himself. He was intensely aware of being loved by Jesus, (John 19:26 and several more) and he responded by opening himself up to the Holy Spirit fully, writing words that penetrate and remain in the mind and heart. I could do no better! To get back to the passage, John isn’t negating the Law of Moses, but he is putting it in proper perspective in relationship to the grace and truth of God. The Japanese expresses verse 16 as, “Out of His overflowing abundance we have all received grace upon grace.” I like that! God is gracious to all, whether we recognize it or not. The devil does all he can to get us to focus on negatives, to complain and feel resentful, because then we will fail to give God the praise and thanks He deserves and our own peace and joy will evaporate. After all, he “comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10) The more and better we grasp the overwhelming grace of God, the better off we are in every respect. Jesus warned us that “In this world you will have trouble,” (John 16:33) but understanding how much worse it could be, and how gracious God is being toward us, helps us avoid getting into a pity party. Those never help anyone!
Of course, if all of this remains just nice-sounding words in my mind and heart, it does me little if any good. I’ve got to apply it! I like John, but other people have compared me more to Paul. Paul had a high IQ, but John had a high LQ – Love Quotient. That’s what I want! Both apostles were extremely faithful and persistent in their obedience to Christ, and I certainly desire that in my own life. I can’t say that I desire the persecution that each of them endured, but as Paul said, “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) I’m not to fear opposition of any sort, visible or invisible, but place my full trust in my Lord, knowing that He is far greater than anything that can come against me. (1 John 4:4)
Father, thank You for this joyful reminder. Help me live it out indeed, in each moment of my life, as an example for all who see me and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!