Jesus is the Light of the World

John 1:7, “7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.”

There are many luminaries in our world today, so when we see the “Light” referenced in verse 7 it doesn’t always jump off the page.  But, consider for more of human history humanity has lived in literal darkness.

Today we think of the dark as romantic or curious, but for most of human history you live in a hut or a cave trying to survive, and when the sun went down it was scary.  Yes, you had fire, but you couldn’t take fire to your bedside table.  It was just dark.

In fact, studies have shown that until the 1700’s  a days wage would get you about 10 minutes of light, so it was incredibly expensive and difficult to create. Then, whale oil was discovered, which got you up to an hour in the 1700’s, then kerosene in the 1800’s got you about 5 hours, and the in the 1900’s Thomas Edison changed everything, so that a days wage could produce 20,000 hours of light. It changed everything.

So in AD 90 when God is described as LIGHT in verse 7 it would have been incredibly significant. It would have been reminder of Genesis 1 when God spoke creation into existence and said, “Let there be light.”  It would have been a reminder of Israel being led by the light of a fire in Exodus. In Psalm 119, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”  In Isaiah 60, “The Lord is our everlasting Light.”  Psalm 27, “The Lord is my Light and m Salvation.”

It is why Jesus Himself says, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12, 9:5)

Which means the world is in darkness, and Jesus has come to bring clarity into creation.  When you know Jesus you are living in advance of the great day that is to come.  You will see purpose in your pain. You will find comfort in your chaos. You will see wisdom in His ways.

Before Jesus there would be darkness, duress, confusion, chaos, but now in Jesus there is clarity.  Therefore, we must ask ourselves, “Am I seeing the “LIGHT” of Jesus today?” Am I “witnessing” the glorious good news of Jesus today?

Do you see His goodness in your life today? Do you see His grace in your life today? Are you in awe of His creation today? Is He bringing healing into your soul today? Do you see the glory of the cross today? Are you believing in Jesus today?


Persecution in the local church

We are teaching through Acts in our church family and been breaking Acts into sections:

Acts 1-3:  The Church Begins

Acts 4-7:  The Church Persecuted

Acts 8-10:  The Church Scatters

Acts 11-17:  The Church Specific

In Acts 11-17 we see specific characteristics of the local church, and on Sunday we looked at Acts 12 to see Persecution is a specific characteristic of the local church.  We see persecution in Acts 4, Acts 7, and Acts 12.  But, we also see Christians being fed to lions and the Roman Emperor Nero dipping Christians in tar and lighting them on fire at his evening parties.

But, it didn’t stop there.  In the 500’s there were over 20,000 Christians killed for their faith in Yemen.  In 1500 people were imprisoned and burned alive for reading their bible in public.  In the 1700’s the French Revolution tried to remove Christianity from their culture by deporting clergy, destroying churches, and outlawing public worship.

Even today we see over 300 Christians killed every month, over 200 churches closed or destroyed every month, and over 700 violent crimes committed against Christians every month.

It is a constant reminder that persecution is a characteristic of the local church, and in Acts 12 we see no matter how bleak it might look the God of Scripture cannot be stopped.

Acts Teaching Series

Right now we are teaching through Acts at North Village Church, and we are reading through Acts as a church family.  You should read through Acts with us!  Just TEXT NVC to 24587 and you will get a link to our reading plan.  It has been awesome!

Acts 1-3:  The Church Begins

Acts 4-7:  The Church Persecuted

Acts 8:  The Church Scatters…so far we are seeing God move the name of Jesus outside of Jerusalem.  God is no longer a temple religion for a particular people group.  God is available to all people, at all times, throughout all of history.  You just have to call out the name of Jesus!

Acts 1: The Church Begins

Acts 1:8, “8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

In verse 8 you see the anchor for the book of Acts. You should memorize verse 8 because when Jesus lists off Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth He is broadening the scope of Christianity.

When you look on a map you see each of those areas expand larger and larger like Austin, Texas, the U.S, to the remotest parts of the world, so that Jesus is telling the Apostles, “The Holy Spirit is coming. Power is coming. Don’t just keep this in Jerusalem. Take this message to the world.”

That means Christianity isn’t just a message for some people that grew up in the south and kind of think a certain way. It is a message for all people, all places, and all times, and it is a message being empowered by the Holy Spirit.

It is why verse 8 Jesus says, “I am not going to tell you about times and places, but you need to know when the Holy Spirit comes there will be power.”

It isn’t the beginning of power, a dose of power, a hope for power, or a sample of power. There is power in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Therefore, when you think about the Christianity in your life you need ask, “Do I see power?” Do I see the power of Jesus in my life?

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Biblical Marriage

We are going through a 4-week series on marriage at North Village Church. In the series we are covering 4 parts:

Genesis 2: Marriage

  • God created marriage as a gift.
  • There are roles in marriage.
  • One flesh.

Genesis 3:    The Fall of Humanity

  • We have an enemy who is still deceiving.
  • We have a God who is still inviting.
  • We are a people who are still making excuses.

Ephesians 5:  The Biblical Role of a Husband

  • Take responsibility for your relationship with God by surrendering to Him everyday.
  • Take responsibility for your marriage by leading your wife to God.
  • Take responsibility as a husband and speak God’s Word over your wife.

1 Peter 3:  The Biblical Role of a Wife

  • The prize isn’t marriage.  The prize is Jesus.
  • Respect the role of a husband as you respect God.
  • A gentle and quiet spirit isn’t a personality, but the result of trusting God.


Prepare and Enrich

On April 23, 2016 North Village Church is going to set aside a Saturday to strengthen our marriages, and you are invited!  We are inviting all of our friends in Austin, TX to take advantage of this opportunity.

North Village Church will provide childcare, lunch, and facilitators to walk through practical lessons on how we can strengthen our marriages, and it will all come from the relational data we provide.  What a great opportunity!  Here’s what you need to do:

Meditating on Scripture

Psalm 1:1-2, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”

In verse 2 you see Scripture calling us to “meditate on Scripture day and night.”  To be clear:  When you see the word “meditation” it isn’t Eastern Meditation that we see in our culture today that largely encourages you to remove all thoughts and center your soul on nothingness.

It is biblical meditation so that you are sifting God’s Word through your soul.  Here are a few observations of what it looks like practically to meditate on Scripture:

  1. Reading Scripture:  We must begin with Scripture, and we must expose our heart to all of Scripture as the authority over our life.
  2. Regular:  It says “day and night” because meditating on Scripture is a regular part of our day that we build into our lives.  You will get the most out of meditating on Scripture when it is a regular habit.
  3. Reflection:  Meditating on Scripture will shape the content of our prayers, therefore, we have to not only read Scripture, but get below the surface to ask questions about how that truth applies to our life.
  4. Repetitive:  It is to look at the verse over and over and over.  Most will illustrate a cow chewing on grass over and over, and studies show a cow can chew on grass up to 890 times in an hour.  But, I think a better illustration is to think about how we interact with songs.

Song Illustration:  We don’t listen to a song and then put it up until we are ready to listen again in a year or two.  We listen over and over.  We put the song on repeat.  We study the lyrics.  We study the author of those lyrics to better understand why she would write those lyrics.  We memorize the song.  We watch the video.  We go to the concert.  We tell our friends.  We talk to our friends about the song.

And, we do all of that without even trying.  Why not do that with God’s Word!