We begin the New Year with our focus on the earthly ministry of Christ and what He taught us about knowing God and living for Him. It was Jesus Himself who introduced the message of grace and truth that offers an abundant life of peace, joy, and righteousness that we find completely in Him. (John 1:17 and John 10:10)
The abundant life literally means - superabundance, excessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, more than sufficient! (Strong’s Concordance #4053) The Gospels contain the words of Jesus that proclaim the Kingdom of God and teach us how to become His followers as true disciples. The ministry of His disciples is to teach others. He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20 NIV
Jesus reminded his disciples that the “Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 The Holy Spirit would bring back the remembrance of Jesus’ words which would be important to follow throughout the book of Acts and into the writings of Apostle Paul. Acts 1:1 states “I remind you O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach.”
So, the words of Jesus in the Gospels are for all time and for all who believe on Him. His words never bring shame nor condemn those who obey His commands. Abiding in Him and obeying His words are tied deeply in His love. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 Jesus said in verses 8-11 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
This is the path to joy! We are not running from the words of Jesus. Throughout the teachings of the book of Acts as well as in the later epistles, the teachings and commands of the Gospels are carried out. This fulfills Jesus’ statement repeated three times in the Gospels, that, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 Let us embrace everything that Jesus taught, and be brought to our knees in utter dependence on Him. That is the place of grace. Happy and blessed New Year!