Grace and Truth 2.0

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9The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 

10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 

11He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 

12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 

13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 

14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

15(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 

16For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 

17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 

18No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:9–18 ESV) 

The world that we are living in is crumbling. Physically, the earth is dying. Due to human ignorance and selfishness, we have caused global warming and its destructive effects are irreversible. Spiritually and morally, humans are at a sad state. Because of sinful nature, humans keep on sinning against God and others. Moreover, as we are living in a postmodern world, some people don’t believe in absolute truths. In our dire situation, we desperately need to have God’s grace and truth.  

1) The World Didn’t Know Him (John 1:9–10)

True Light

9The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. John, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, he addresses his teacher as the true light. Jesus is called the true light, that is to say, He is the real and genuine light. On the other hand, there are false lights existed throughout the centuries. There were false messiahs in the past. False prophets, false teachers and false messiahs will appear in the last days.

False Lights

Do you trust the traffic lights when you cross the streets and when you drive a car? When the traffic light is green, it means it’s safe for you to cross or drive through the intersection. 


Have you heard the song My Lighthouse? 

Don’t worry! I won’t sing the song to you. The chorus goes like this:

My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse

Shining in the darkness

I will follow You 

My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse

I will trust the promise, 

You will carry me safe to shore 

The Story

In the interview, the songwriter told the story behind the song. The songwriter is Northern Irish. In his own words, the songwriter says, “Living in Northern Ireland, lighthouses are something we see quite often on our coastline. For us, it has become a picture of the faithfulness of God and His constancy in our lives. He is this unshifting Light. We all go through seasons of storms, troubles and sorrows, and we can count on Jesus to be that Fire before us the same way He led the children of Israel in the desert by Fire. He still is that Fire before us today, like a lighthouse.” He also stated that Jesus is the Light of the world. Jesus is the Lighthouse, who gives the dependable light that guides people to the harbour of safety.


Jesus Christ appears as the true light, which is a way to speak of His incarnation. Let me explain briefly about the term incarnation. Jesus Christ is said to have “come in the flesh” (1 John 4:2). He has also “suffered in the flesh” for sinners (1 Pet. 4:1). He “died in the flesh” (1 Pet. 3:18); and reconciled with believers in the body of His flesh (Col. 1:21–22).

God Appears in Human Form

If you like, incarnation speaks of the truth that God appears in human form. The Scripture says, 18No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:18 ESV)

The Song

According to my understanding, songs are poems in music. I like the artistic conception of the song “Mary, Did You Know?” 

Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
That your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God? 

Isn’t it awesome that Mary could kiss Jesus? When she did, she kissed the face of God. 

Not Universalism

9The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:9 ESV) This verse doesn’t imply universal salvation or general revelation or even inner illumination. On the contrary, it means Jesus Christ as the Light shines on people either in salvation or in illuminating them with regard to their sin and coming judgment (3:18–21; 9:39–41; cf. 16:8–11). I must emphasis on one thing, the Bible clearly refutes the idea of universalism. What’s universalism? Universalism is the belief that everybody eventually will be saved. According to an old survey, it’s surprisingly that almost 1/3 of all born-again Christians stated that all good people will go to heaven, whether they have believed Jesus Christ or not. It’s sad to know most so-called Christians are ignorant of the Bible truths. 

The Meaning of World

When John speaks of the world, his idea isn’t the universe, but human beings who are in rebellion against their Maker. In essence, God loves a world of bad people.

Bad Driving Habits

I first learned to drive in England. Although it happened a long time ago, I can still remember the name of my driving instructor, Mr Shrimpton. He always reminded me never cut in sharply on other vehicles. Numerous drivers have bad driving habits. I had many horrible experiences with angry drivers. When they cut in sharply on me, occasionally I gave them a friendly honk. My intent was to warn them not to do it again in the future as they could end up in nasty accidents. However, many lousy drivers gave me the finger instead. It’s sad to say, we are living in an unfriendly world!

Family Feuds

If you go around and ask your friends whether they have ever encountered any family feuds. If they are honest with you, the answer is probably yes. Families often fight. After a loved one dies, instead of grieving for their loss, family members begin to fight for family inheritances. Brothers and sisters share the same bloodline and DNA, instead of protecting and loving one another, they choose to fight instead. 

Human Conflicts

On a broader scale, all ethnic groups and races share the same bloodline and DNA, as all humans are the descendants of Adam and Eve. Instead of love, people choose to hate. As God is our Father, it hurts Him when people choose to hate. 

Sad Reality

This world is full of hatred and lack of forgiveness. Politicians fight among themselves. Policymakers fight with citizens. Family members fight with one another. Churches fight and split apart. Mind you, we are all brothers and sisters. If we choose to hate and fight, we choose to hurt our Father in heaven.    

2) The World Didn’t Receive Him (John 1:11)

Rejected by His Own People

11He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. Jesus came to the world and appeared to the Israelites as their Messiah. Sadly, they didn’t receive Him. As a matter of fact, many Jews and non-Jews chose to reject Jesus. Even now, many people still reject Christ straightaway. Isn’t it sad that Jesus was rejected by His own people?


How do you define family? What do you expect in your family? I think it isn’t too much to expect acceptance! The heartbreaking reality is that numerous families don’t practice acceptance. Families aren’t political arenas. We don’t have to be too careful with our words. Supposedly, we are free to share our opinions and dislikes. If we made a mistake, we expect our families to accept us as we are. Of course, we should apologise for our faults, but our family members should exercise forgiveness.

Pastors Being Rejected by Their family Members

Over the years, I’ve heard some unbelievable stories as a pastor. Two pastors openly told me that their families disliked them. When I heard it, I was very shocked! I said to myself, “Weren’t they Christians? Did they do something unchristian at home?” According to my observation, they were good Christians and pastors. Oftentimes, people reject us because we’re followers of Christ.

Reasons of Rejecting Christianity

Why is that people rejecting Christianity? Let me give you a few reasons. 

Cultural Reason

One of the many reasons is culture. People are born into their own culture. In some cultures, individuals are hostile to Christianity. In many parts of the Western world, the name of Jesus Christ is being distorted or ignored.

Moral Reason

The Bible is God’s Word. As the moral standard of the Bible is very high, people abhor it. 27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27–28 ESV) Many married people keep on committing adulteries. The usual grave consequences are sour divorces and lifelong hurts to their former spouses and children. The standard of not committing physical adulteries is high, but the standard of not committing emotional and spiritual adultery is even higher. As many people are offended by the moral standard of the Bible, they reject Christianity altogether.

3) The Believers Who Know Him (John 1:12–14)

12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 

13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 

14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

His Name (John 1:12)

The concept of “name” in the ancient Middle East included everything a person was. The name of Jesus Christ isn’t magical, but it speaks of what He really is.

Believe in Him (John 1:12)

According to verse 12, to receive Jesus is to believe in His name. To believe in a person’s name is to believe in the person, because the name stands for the person. Receiving Jesus Christ involves accepting the teaching and revelation of God that He brought. The most blessed thing is that Jesus gives believers the right to become children of God. The Greek word “children” (tekna) is equivalent to the Scottish bairns — “born ones.” It stresses on vital origin and is used as a term of endearment (cf. Luke 15:31). Believers are seen as God’s “little ones”.

My Daughter

There are many women who are important in my life and one of them is my daughter. When my daughter was a kid, I often called her my precious one.

Believers in Christ

All Christians are God’s “little ones”. They are important to God.

Extraordinary Rights and Freedoms (John 1:12)

In the New testament times, most people are slaves. In the city of Rome, there are more slaves than free people. As people commit their faith in Christ, they would attain extraordinary rights and freedoms. As Christians, we have extraordinary rights and freedoms. Do you have a servant at home? I don’t. What are the differences between a servant and a child of the household? I am sure you know the differences. Believers in Christ are God’s children. We have special rights and freedoms.

Supernatural Birth (John 1:13)

Verse 13 speaks of the supernatural births of Christians. The Apostle John underscores these births aren’t controlled by human effort but only by God. These new births don’t come from human passion or plan. In a simple sentence, believers have no power over the process of their supernatural births because they are from God. As children of God, believers in Christ attain new status and authority. When we trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, we would have experienced the second birth. It’s a unique experience that every believer should have. 

Divine Life (John 1:13)

Because of the supernatural birth, we have divine life.

A Horse’s Life

Once I drove by an open field full of horses, I said to myself, “Aren’t they bored? They do nothing but keep on eating grass all the time!” Well, I think humans would get bored, but not horses, as they have a horse’s life.

A Divine Life

As Christians have divine lives, they live differently than non-believers.

Loves What God Loves

As Christians, we should love what God loves. I must testify to one thing – after becoming a Christian, I have become a more compassionate and tolerant person. Because of the new life or nature that I have in Christ, I love what God loves.

Hates What God Hates

As Christians, we should hate what God hates. Racism is against God’s heart. I am quite sure God dislikes violence. Therefore, as children of God, we should go against racism and violence. 

Glorious Presence and Experience (John 1:14)

14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV) 14The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 HCSB) The author chooses a very special word here, which means he has “pitched his tent” or “tabernacled” among us. Verse 14 depicts the glory of the Word (1:14) and the “shekinah glory” of God that filled the Tabernacle and the Temple. In the Book of Exodus, the shekinah or presence of God was seen in the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day (Exodus 13:21). John wants to tell us that Jesus is God’s presence on earth. If you like, this verse is about the glorious presence of Christ in our lives. If we’re genuine Christians, we would have experienced and continue to experience His glorious presence in our daily living.

Being Moved by His Presence

Preaching can be mechanical and cold. Preaching can be personal and inspiring too. I can preach without even being sensitive to Christ’s presence. Preaching at weddings and funerals can be cold and mechanical, but I often try to prepare tailor-made messages. Amazingly, when I wait before the Lord, He often inspires me with something special. Sadly, my father has gone with the Lord recently. I am honoured to officiate his funeral service. While waiting before the Lord for the message, He inspired me with a special message. 

Intimate Relationship with God (John 1:14)

The word “Father” is more personal than the expression “God”. Because of the incarnation of Christ, all believers enjoy an intimate relationship with the Creator. God is our Father and we can enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. God isn’t a distant Father but a Dad who stays close to our hearts. He understands our struggles. He can feel our hurts and joys.        

Experiencing His Grace and Truth (John 1:14)

As Christ came to the world, He exhibits grace and truth.

No Grace in This World

If you watched the news now, there are sad stories about people hurting one another. If you go around and ask, you would find out that many family members are fighting with one another. What the world needs now? We need God’s grace.

No Truth in This World

We are living in a postmodern world. One of the traits of postmodern society is that people don’t believe in absolute truths anymore. In the Western world, we claim to uphold rule of law, but in fact, it isn’t the case. If you go around and ask, you would be surprised that most Christians no longer believe in absolute truth, standard or rule. How do most people see truth in this world? Concerning the modern perspective on truth, I have come up with an acronym of PCs. PCs stands for personal computers, but my PCs represents something else. “P” stands for “Personal”. According to numerous people, truth is a personal thing. It might be truth to you but not for me. “C” represents “Changeable.” In simple terms, many individuals don’t believe in eternal truth anymore. According to many folks, truth is changeable. Lastly, “S” symbolises “Situational”. As for numerous people, truth is situational. Let me give you an example. Numerous people regard hurting others might be wrong in this situation, but could be okay in another circumstance. As most people don’t believe in absolute truth, it creates confusion and chaos. In simple terms, we are living in a chaotic world. Jesus came to the world, revealing to us His grace and truth, and that’s what we need now!

My Gift to You

As I conclude, let me give you a gift. I will launch a new resource in 2020. It’s a daily devotion for believers and non-believers alike. It’s called i365. The full name is “The Insights of the Moment for 365 Days”. There are four steps or 4 Ps that I would like you to pay attention to every day. The first P is: “Ponder”. The second P is: “Pose”. The third P is: “Practice”. The fourth P is: “Proclaim”. If you are interested to know more about. Please check it out on my website at

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