Friday, February 26, 2016

Jesus Does Not Judge

Scripture: John 12:44-50

Focus Scripture: “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.” John 12:49 (NIV)

               John says this is Jesus’ last public teaching.1 He spends His remaining time on earth teaching the disciples.

               We hear from a young age that our last words tell others about our true selves. In this passage, Jesus tells his listeners, when one believes in Him, he or she also believes in God who sent Him.
               The Teacher tells them, and us, that He does not judge us, but God does. He also states that the words He speaks come from God the Father. Where do the words we speak have their source? Do they come from God or from our own angry hearts? We are the ones who have to decide. Only God can show us the source of our words and our emotions.

               We, who live in the 21st Century, need to pay closer attention to Jesus’ words as we face and work through our problems and those of our world. We should pray and, then, listen.

  1. Daily Study Bible, William Barclay, Book of John-Vol 2. Page 135;Westminster Press, Philadelphia

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Source of Praise

Warner Sallman  painting

Scripture Reading: John 12:37-43
Focus Scripture: “for they loved the praise of men more than praise from God.” John 12:43 (NIV)

               They Jews refrained from telling others about their faith experience with Jesus. They feared they would be put out of their house of worship. This is a very real fear in the hearts of a devout believer.
“They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

               I find these last words, our focus verse, very sad. Yet, in our 21st Century don’t we see people every day that also have this motive? We seem to see people who do kind things not from the goodness of their hearts but their motive is so they can boast to others. They choose to do this so those who hear of their actions will build them up.

               I recently was privy to someone’s kindness and sat in on an impromptu meeting where this praise issue came up. The members of this small group were of the same mind about being thanked by other people for certain acts of kindness. The praise of man, if we accept it, will be all we get.

               Dear Father God: Please forgive us for being in love with man’s praises. Remold us to Your liking so that we reflect You to those around us. We will give You the praise. We ask this out of Your grace for us. In the Name of
Jesus, we pray. AMEN

Monday, February 22, 2016

God Speaks

Scripture Reading: John  12:27-36

Scripture Focus:
“Put your trust in the light while you have it,
so you may become sons of the light.”
John 12:36a (NIV)

            The voice of God spoke. Some in the crowd thought it thundered; others said it was the voice an angel.

            In my allied reading, Barclays Daily Study Bible-the Book of John volume 2, I read that in Old Testament days God spoke to people who faced trying times. New Testament people seemed to get away from that belief. He ends the section with this statement:
            “Our trouble is not that God does not speak, but that we do not listen.”
            My thought after I read this was, “How true!”
I shared this lengthy passage from Barclay with two of my friends. One of them pointed out that we sometimes have the habit of giving something to God and taking it back. Then we repeat the process several times. Give and take back. Again, we repeat the process until we are weary.
            When will we learn to listen?
            Maybe this giving and taking back is something we need to fast as a part of our Lenten practices.
>Personal Update: I was released from in-home therapy last Thursday. In addition, Hubby checked me out in driving both cars. I drove to Kmart and stopped at CVS on my way home. I drove solo to church yesterday. I had a few errands to run this morning. People are glad to see me out and about. I am almost back to my active self. I will try to return to my three day a week posting schedule.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...