Although I am not Catholic, I went to a Catholic college and I remember being shocked when a nun told me "That there are many paths to heaven, and that all religions reach to the same one true god". Not according to John 14:6! Jesus said "I AM the way, the truth, and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through ME!". Jesus' "WAY" was the cross. He died for our sins. You have to accept what He has done on the cross for you to be saved. Jesus is the "TRUTH". All other god's and teachings are false. Jesus is "LIFE"! Believing in Jesus is the only pathway to the Father, the true God in heaven.
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Bible Journaling: My December Pages John 3 thru John 16
Once a month I like to share my Bible Journaling Pages and what God has been teaching me. In the month of December I continued my study of the book of John. Sometimes I just color in the preprinted images of the "Inspire Bible" (available on Amazon) and I also create my own pages.
For the month of December, I read the entire book of John. It was my favorite of all the gospels. I just felt that there was so much more substance in this gospel than in Matthew, Mark, or Luke which were more factual. Many people believe that every new believer should read the book of John before any other book in the Bible. I never understood why, until I did a thorough study of the book myself. You really understand who Jesus is when you read the book of John.
That being said, it's fitting that my first page that I will share is not only the most well known verse in the book of John, but also the most famous in Christendom itself: John 3:16. If you've ever wondered what Christianity is all about, or who Jesus was, this verse explains it all! Jesus is the son of God, who came down to earth to die as a sacrifice for our sins. If you believe in Him, you will live forever!
This next page is one I did myself. It is an illustration of the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman. If you've ever watched "The Chosen", they have an episode of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman that is excellent. It's one of my all-time favorite episodes of "The Chosen".
For this page, I painted a background with purple craft paint and added some brush-marked crosses. I illustrated the verse with a white gel pen in my own hand-writing. The image is a Digital image from "Keys of the Kingdom".
In John 5 Jesus claims to be the Son of God, infuriating the Jewish leaders of the time. I love verse 24 which confirms John 3:16: "...those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life".
There is so much discrimination going on in the world today. People are discriminated against because of race, sex, class, political views, and now even vaccination status. No discrimination is justifiable in God's eyes. Jesus does not discriminate! In John 7:37 He says "ANYONE who is thirsty may come to me! ANYONE who believes me may come and drink!" It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done, if you believe in Jesus you too will have the Holy Spirit living in your heart.
Many people have difficulty living the Christian life because they think there are too many rules to follow. They mistakingly believe that they are happy if they are free to do whatever they want. But the opposite is true. They are not free, they are slaves to sin. I've never met a happy alcoholic, a happy over- eater, or a happy adulterer...have you? No, they are miserable because their sin enslaves them!
True freedom is not found in being a slave to sin. True freedom is found by abiding in Jesus' word; knowing it, living in it, so that it becomes a part of our life and a permanent influence. The result of living in the word is that we truly become Jesus' disciples and we know the truth.
The past two (or six) years I have seen such division in the Christian community. I for one have had a hard time understanding how Christian's who think differently then I do can even think the way they do. I wonder, "Do they not read their Bibles?" "Are they so brain-washed by MSM and social media that they can't hear the Father's voice?" It really drives me crazy, because I see things so black and white that I can't understand how other Christians can't too. I have felt so uncertain because there hasn't been unity in the church for so many years. I keep asking God for wisdom, for direction, to know His voice. I don't want to be deceived like I think so many Christians are. I want to do what God wants me to do. I want to do the right thing. But when I look at so many Christians do what I think the wrong thing is, then I pray "Lord, am I wrong? Am I wrong in my thinking? Is it me that needs to change my thoughts?" It has been so difficult. But one thing that stays with me, that confirms to me that I am on the right path, is the verse "...they follow him because THEY KNOW HIS VOICE. They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't know his voice" (John 10:4 & 5). Through everything this country has been through the past two (or six) years, the one thing that has sustained me is knowing my Father's voice. You often hear the phrase "If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't". I have taken those feelings, along with God's word, and if it doesn't add up, it's not of God.
Jesus is our shepherd. Follow Him, not the world. Follow His voice, not the world's voice. But the only way you can do that is by knowing His word. By reading the Bible and praying every single day. Only then can you keep yourself from being deceived by this world.
John chapter 11 is the story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. I created my own page to highlight the beautiful verse John 11:25-26.
In this story, Lazarus really did rise from the dead. Jesus made this statement to present Himself as a champion over death. While we may never experience being risen from the dead like Lazarus did, we as believers will also never die. We will live eternally in heaven with Jesus!
Jesus' time on earth was not only to be a sacrifice for our sins so that we may have eternal life, but it was also to teach us how to live. Remember the "What would Jesus do?" bracelets that were popular a few years back? I certainly do. I never purchased a bracelet, but I've always asked myself that question when I was in a situation where I wasn't sure what the right thing to do would be. Jesus said in John that we should "Do as I have done to you." Jesus was a humble servant and was an example in both attitude and action that we should follow.
My next page I created myself. I painted the background using craft paint. Then I stamped a flowered vine and hand-wrote the scripture. The large flowers are paper die cuts that I colored in. The two medium flowers are stamped, colored, cut out and glued onto the page.
As a gardener, I always relate very easily to any scripture that uses plants or flowers to explain something. In Chapter 15 Jesus said that a branch cannot bear fruit if it's not connected to the vine, and we also can't do much if we are not connected to Jesus. Just like we produce good fruit in the garden by carefully weeding, tending, watering, and fertilizing our plants , we need to stay close to Jesus by carefully cultivating our relationship through prayer and Bible reading.
Oh, I LOVE this next and last page because I LOVE this verse. Reading this verse, reminding myself of this verse, has helped me so much the past few years. No matter what this horrible, sinful world throws at me, I need not worry, because Jesus has already overcome it through the cross. Yes, this world is full of trials and tribulations, but we can have peace because we know Jesus is with us and is waiting for us on the other side. And most importantly, someday soon He will be returning to this earth to make all things right again. True justice will finally be done and this earth will be "as it is in heaven". Amen.
I hope you enjoyed walking through the word with me this month. I finished the book of John in December so next month I will be back with the book of Acts! What an exciting book that is!
Have a Great Day! Amy
Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!