Friday, March 31, 2017

My World in March

This month has been different. Hubby and I enjoyed the warm days we had in February; March has been a different story.  We have enjoyed the days at the end of last week. Last Friday, the temperature got to 75 degrees. (I call that Florida weather.) I got to spend some time on my porch over the weekend.
Because of the downturn of the weather, I have felt sort of listless. I have begun a book proposal for the collection of meditations I have assembled. Figuring out the target audience is going to be interesting. I also am slowly working the competitive title analysis has been daunting.
A group of people at our church have been working to put together a presentation for Good Friday. I have been assisting the director with some of the plans and the staging. But we hit a glitch with one of my ideas. We will work around that speed bump. When I discovered a problem with what we wanted to do, I talked to the director and we decided we could backup and start again.

April looks to be a bit brighter for me with the Good Friday drama, an evaluation meeting, a Sunday school class party, and a possible trip with Hubby. I will find time to do some work on my de-cluttering and my book proposal. And I hope to get in some quality porch time.

Some scenes from our Good Friday drama
Watching Jesus enter Jerusalem
                                                 The servant girl and Peter in the courtyard

                                                  A Jewish sign painter and a Roman Soldier

                                                               John comforting Mary

                                                   Tying the scenes together, our narrator,

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jesus’ Prayer for Us

Image result for jesus high priestly prayer

            In this passage, Jesus prays for those who will believe in Him in the future, that’s us, you and me. Just think about that for a second. Jesus prayed for you and me.
            He asks the Father that we be unified in love for one another. Jesus requests this so that the people we meet in the present day will believe that God sent Him.

             In our world, we have many different groups, each with their own views on the way to worship God. Barclay tells us we should love and respect one another. 1.

            Our Lord gave those who believe in Him glory, the glory the Father has given Him. Jesus prays that we receive future glory in proportion to our temporal sufferings while we are on earth. Yes, we will suffer for Jesus while we go through life here on earth.

            Our Lord wants us to be with Him and to see His glory. Jesus speaks not of His crucifixion but of His glorification. The Cross would bring Him glory.

            As 21st Century Christians, we can remain close to Jesus by studying God’s word, spending time in prayer, sharing the scriptures with others, and yielding to Him when we face trials and tribulation. When we practice these ways, we honor Him.

            You may ask, how can we do these things? Have you considered joining a prayer or a Bible study group? Do you have a set time for your personal devotions and prayer time?  

1.      Daily Study Bible, Book of John, Vol.2 © 1975 Westminster Press, Phila, p.271 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jesus’ Prayers to the Father

Jesus Prays for Himself
Image result for John 17 Prayers
Pastor Mark
            We see here a very intimate time between our Lord and His Father. Barclay states this degree of intimacy can only happen because of Calvary.1 Also, He describes the Cross as the gateway to everlasting glory.2
            We realize Jesus obeyed His Father by going to Jerusalem. He could have turned back at any time.

            Jesus had spoken to the disciples in what we call straight language as He prepared them for what lay ahead for them all. Here, as He talks with the Father, Jesus speaks of his being glorified and returning to the glory He had before the world was created.

            In our own relationships with God, we have times when we have times of deep prayer about issues looming on our horizons. We look forward to being able to converse with our Father and tell Him what is in our hearts. Personally, those times are the best times of prayer for me.

His Prayer for His Disciples

            In this passage. Jesus shares his feelings about His disciples. He tells the Father that He, Jesus, knows that these men were given to Him and they had obeyed the Father’s Word. Jesus prays for them because they belong to God. All things belong to God and to Jesus.
            In our prayer times, we ought to feel we are able to share our deepest thoughts on any subject with God. Maybe these thoughts are not things we dare share with even our closest friend or even our spouse. The hurt might be too deep for anyone but God.
            The Master asks not that they be taken out of the world but that they be protected from the enemy. William Barclay states, “He never prayed that they might find escape; He prayed that they might find victory.” 3
When we pray for someone who finds themselves in a crisis, we do them a disservice if we ask God to take them out of the circumstance. If we asked God to take them out of that situation, God may want that person to learn a lesson that he or she would not otherwise learn. Instead, we should ask God to guide him or her through the problem and give them the strength they need to get through it.
            Jesus prays for the disciples’ protection and their unity, “so that they may be one as we are one.”(Verse 11c) We should do likewise.
        1. Daily Study Bible, Book of John, vol.2, Westminster Press Phila. © 1975pp. 206-207
          2. Ibid. p. 207                                                                                                                        
           3. Op Cit.  p. 215


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 ...