Friday, March 11, 2016

More of the Disciples' Thoughts

Scripture Reading: John 14:15-22

Focus Verses: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. John 14: 15-17 (NIV)

“If you love me, you will obey me.”

What does the Teacher mean? Of course, we love him. Haven’t we followed him as he traveled through the land and spoke to the people?

“And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.”

Does our leader have that kind of power? Can he really ask His Father and then promise that we will have someone stay with us forever?

The other disciple named Judas listened to the Master and asked, “But Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”


The disciples still did not understand what they heard. Now, Jesus tells them that He and His Father will send someone new to be with them forever.

We have an advantage over the disciples. We know what Jesus meant by saying He would send someone to them. He sent the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of truth) to guide them. Because He did this for them, and for us, we have an open line of communication to God; we can communicate with Him because of what Christ did on Calvary.

Dear Father God: Thank You. You gave us Your Holy Spirit to guide us through the difficult times of life. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Thoughts of Thomas and Philip

Scripture Reading: John 14:1-14

Focus Verse: “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’” John 14:5 (NIV)

What is the Teacher saying? Thomas looked down at his feet and haltingly asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Philip chimed in, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus looked deeply into Philip’s eyes and said, to him, “I and the Father are one.”

Huh! What does Jesus mean? I look at the others. They all have the same blank look on their faces. None of us understood what we heard.

Sometimes, we receive direction or instructions from Jesus we do not comprehend. We ask, again, for God’s Will and we hear more words we do not ‘get’.

When we encounter words from God that puzzle us, what can we do to learn what they mean? One way we have is to study the Word. Another avenue we have is to pray and ask God to show us what lies ahead.

When we study God’s Word, we should apply what we learn to our hearts. We have to search our hearts to see if we harbor in our hearts anything, of which He speaks.

 As we pray, we should take the time to listen to how God responds to our pleas. We should not pray ‘on the run’. (It is very easy for me to fall into that practice.)

Dear Father God: Please let us learn to listen to You and understand Your words to us. Help us when we question what You tell us. I ask this out of Your grace for me. In His Name, I pray. Amen.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Love One Another

Jesus' Statue at our church. 

Scripture Reading: John 13: 31-36

Focus Verse: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 (NIV)

               After the betrayer left, Jesus tells the remaining 11 to “love one another.” He continues by telling them to: “Love one another as I have loved you.”   The teacher loved these men in the following ways: 1

1. Selflessly-He never thought of himself. Do       we always think of the other people involved in circumstances in which we find ourselves? As I          write this, I think of a friend who very recently went to be with Jesus. This woman exemplified           what it meant to be a follower of Jesus.

2. Sacrificially-He did not set limits to how much he would give or where it would go.
     Jesus gave His life for our sins. He became sin for each of us. This is a sobering thought to me as      I read my Lenten devotionals. I realized recently that I hurt someone with a reply I made to her.           All I have been able to do is pray and ask God to forgive me.

3. Understandingly-He knew the disciples through and through.
    We know God knows us—every part of us. David wrote in Psalm 139 that God knew us before He      formed us. We have to keep this thought in our hearts, especially when we feel we have lost touch      with Him.
4. Forgivingly- He held nothing against them.
    Jesus forgave completely. He forgave the disciples for abandoning him in his last hours. In our           21st   Century world, we see a lot of dysfunction and estrangement in families. Some of these              issues have gone on for many years. Might we have seen harmony, had we learned to forgive one        another? 
1. Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of John-Vol.2, William Barclay pp. 149-150. Westminster Press, Philadelphia

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 ...