Category Archives: John

“Do you remember the time He …… ?”

“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 45-47, Psalm 105, and John 21.

To think that Jesus did nothing beyond what is written in the Bible is pure folly.

John, suggests, in today’s verse that there was plenty more that could have been told.

When will we hear those stories?  I imagine in the next life there will be time to hear the stories of what God/Jesus did.  I’m hoping we’ll see the “replays.”  What glorious times those will be!

I grew up in a church where the weekly prayer meeting usually involved testimonies.  The meetings were weekly and as I now think about it there should have been plenty of material available for each attendee to present.

But if we’re not paying attention, we lose track of God “in our midst.”  I drove today on a road where cars/trucks were traveling 70-80 MPH in tight quarters.  No accidents.  That is God in the details.  The recollections of just today provide many God-interventions that were noteworthy.

Jesus was involved with crowds.  So much happened within them.  Just imagine the reaction in the families of those healed.  Not much is recorded about that.

I like stories and I’m looking forward to hearing believers, past and present, sharing what God/Jesus did for them.  There surely are endless numbers of sharings ready to be given.  What a day that will be!

“I am so limited by earthly perceptions.  You have impacted millions of lives including mine.  Help me to see the many ways You impact in my life each day.  To take note of Your grace to me.  I deserve nothing.  I am totally indebted to You.  You have endlessly blessed me. I love You, Lord.”

There is no way you and I can imagine the quantity of other things Jesus did beyond what is recorded in the Bible.

 

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Scared to be a Christian

“’You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?’ she asked Peter.  He replied, ‘I am not.’”  John 18:17.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 24, Jeremiah 22, Psalm 112, and John 18.

Troubling line.

Of course, Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples.  Under the circumstances that existed, however, he felt it was better for him to abandon that relationship.

There are times in our lives when being connected to something or someone is dangerous.  Try being a vocal Red Sox fan in Yankee Stadium or a vocal Yankees’ fan in Fenway Park.

I watched a game from Fenway this year in which a fan caught a foul ball.  The usual routine of holding the ball high and turning to face the cheering crowd didn’t go so well because the young man had a Yankees’ hat on.  The applause quickly turned to boos and insults.

For those paying attention, being a vocal Christian in the United States can now be considered costly.  The days of tolerance are over.  Attempts are underway to silence Christians.

Am I committed even to God to weather such adversity?  Will I cut and run if confronted?  That is what Peter did when the darkness of Gethsemane turned into the firelight near where Jesus was held. God cannot be pleased with closet Christians.

If I am not filled with God then I will be filled with fear upon confrontation.  Filled with God, I have His Words and His Wisdom to guide me.

“Your Word is never out-of-date.  The fears of Peter are my own fears when the conversations about You turn rough.  I need You for every word/thought that I have.  I will mess things up royally if I abandon You.  You are my God for all seasons.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

The godless are never going to be tolerant of active Christians.  Plan according.

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I have no friends

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:15.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 13-15, and John 15.

A believer is never friendless, according to today’s verse.  That’s good enough for me!

I do not have many friends.  I have a cellphone that receives few calls.  Message are rare except for solar panels and things like that.

But I do have One certain friend: Jesus.  I am not out of His “loop.” I am an insider.

Friends know each other’s business.  They know habits and family and plenty in between.

I am bonded to God.  I have committed my life to Him.  I am His follower.  I know of His behavioral patterns. That’s because we are friends.

BUT could I know Him better.  Certainly, but how?  Spend more time in active communion with Him.  I think of how often I am unaware of Him.  How dare I ignore my best Friend?

“Lord, forgive me for lessening my pursuit of a better friendship with You.  I need that friendship.  I need an awareness of Your closeness to me and of Your interest in me.  You are watching what I do.  You are looking for devotion from me.  A casual acquaintance is not a friend.  Forgive my casualness, I beg.  Help me to work harder at improving our friendship. I love You.”

What a friend we have in Jesus………..

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Regular cleaning required

“He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’  ‘No,’ said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’  Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’ ‘Then, Lord, ’Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’” John 13:6-9.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 7-9, and John 13.

I need to be clean before God and He has done that for me.  How?  He had Jesus die for my sins.  My sins and their consequence no longer exist.  I am completely in the clear on Judgment Day.

But life on earth goes on and so does my sinning.  I must not be oblivious to my need of on-earth cleansing of my ongoing sinning.  What should I do?  When I sin, as a believer, I am almost always conscious of it.  An example for me is that I know that I shouldn’t have responded the way I did.  I recognize it for what it is, sin, and ask God to forgive me…….which He promises to do.

If I allow sin to fester within me, then I am unclean before Him and I know it.  Jesus is telling Peter that he needs to routinely cleanse himself before God.  He needs to own up to his sinfulness and seek forgiveness (washing).  If Peter chooses not to do something about his sinfulness, then he is behaving as someone would who doesn’t even believe who God is.

“Alert me, Father, to my sins.  Some I know about and some I am unaware of.  I want to be clean before You.  I don’t want to carry any sin “baggage.”  I am still amazed by Your grace to me.  How You can love a sinner, and an ongoing one at that, defies logic.  Thank You, Father.”

Regular cleaning before God is the best hygiene.

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Did you hear that?

“’Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’  The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.  Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine.’”  John 12:27-30.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 5-6, and John 12.

Ears to hear and ears to understand what we hear.

God spoke to Jesus but most of the folks present missed it.

They heard something but what was it?  Some figured it for thunder, other said it was angels.  Why didn’t they assume that it was God?  I am suggesting that they were unfamiliar with what God’s voice sounded like.  The suggestion by some that it was angels speaking implies that words were heard not just noise.

Does God still speak?  I believe that God still speaks.  I have never heard His voice out loud but I have had thoughts, usually to do things or stop doing things, that I believe are from Him.

Many in the crowd from John 12 were ultimately uncertain who Jesus really was.  Hearing the voice of God confirming Jesus would help them understand that Jesus was the Son of God.  The writer of John caught this message and I suspect that there were others in the crowd who caught it as well.

I must be tuned to God.  My walk with Him must be “in step.”  When I function at my own pace I lose connection to Him.  Then I don’t know what I should be doing or not doing.  That pattern leads to trouble far too often.

“Lord, I thank You for Your Word.  I need to be within hearing range of everything You say.  I want You to lead me every step.  Forgive me for my waywardness.  It is inexcusable.  Your love for a sinner baffles me.  I can’t understand Your love and graciousness…………but I accept it thankfully.  I love You, Lord.”

How’s your God hearing?

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Now what?

“Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’”  John 5:14.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Nahum 1-3, and John 5.

The man had been healed physically now he needed a spiritual healing.

His body was now right.  His next task was to get his heart right.

Maybe in his illness he had been unpleasant and profane.  He could have been vile and loud.

That, if indeed true, had been his past.  He needed to become Godly.

How easy for us to behave badly and hope that others will make excuses for us.  Our conditions are not an excuse for godlessness.

People may have ignored this man because of his behavior.  He may have said regrettable things.  Now it was time for restoration of relationships.  He would have to go back and ask for forgiveness.

Jesus implies that if the man wouldn’t go back and clean up the messes he had made then some bad things could come his way.

I mess things up.  Do I want to wait until things get better or do I want restoration?  Waiting is the least embarrassing approach but it is not the Godly way.

God knows what we do.  He knows when we get things wrong and He pricks our consciences about those wrongs.  Now what?  Do my part to get things right and do it right away.  The discomfort of alienation needs to end.

“Lord, I need to move on with You.  I need to clean up messes instead of hoping they will disappear on their own.  I need You full-time.  Continue to prick my conscience when I get things wrong and get after me to seek restoration.  I want to live clean with You.”

What are we doing to clean up the messes we’ve made?   Waiting or taking initiative?

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What does following Jesus look like in real life?

“’Unless you people see signs and wonders,’ Jesus told him, ‘you will never believe.’  The royal official said, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’  ‘Go,’ Jesus replied, ‘your son will live.’  The man took Jesus at this word and departed.”  John 4:48-50.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33, and John 4.

The royal official in today’s story is a marvel to me.  Why?  He enters the conversation lacking faith in Jesus but leaves the conversation displaying tremendous faith.

The royal official believed that Jesus had to come to where the sick child was.  He also believed that if the child died there was nothing Jesus could do thereafter.

Further reading of the Gospel of John records instances where Jesus did not have to be where the sick were in order to heal them.  There were also several instances where Jesus brought the dead back to life.

Jesus spoke to the crowd as well as the royal official telling them that they needed to actually believe in Him.  Many were looking for signs and miracles to keep their faith in Him going.

The royal official figured out what Jesus was talking about because when told that the sick child was okay he dropped his request that Jesus come with him to his house.  He headed out BELIEVING what Jesus had said.

What a great God we have!  I read His promises and recall His history and realize that I am so blessed by Him.  He loved me (you) enough to die for things I’ve done wrong.  He cleaned me up and made me right with Him.  I do not need to trust visuals, I can trust the unseen God.

Like the royal official, I must take God at what I know about Him and live accordingly.  God is truly amazing!

“Lord, thank You for today’s story.  Enable me to transition my faith the way the royal official did.  To trust You in my actions.  To know that what You promise will happen.  Thank You for clearing away my sin problem.  For making me acceptable to You.  I must live as a prisoner to sin now pardoned.  I’m not on parole.  I’m no longer convicted!  Hallelujah.”

Do we believe in God enough to live like it?  He is a marvel.  What great things He has done……..and will do.

 

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