Browsing the archives for the John tag.


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John 19-20: Have Life in Jesus’ Name

Confidence, Encouragement, eternal life, Faith, Jesus, John, salvation, Victory in Jesus

Today’s reading is John 19:1-20:31.

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).

A disciple’s testimony. Evidence submitted for review and consideration. But submitted for an ultimate purpose. John, as tradition tells us, wasn’t simply telling us stories about some man. He was telling us about a Savior. He was telling us about the hope we might have of life. Over and over again he talked about the life we might have through Jesus. In fact, Jesus is the life.

I have been dead in my trespasses and sins. There is only one way to have life. That way is not to somehow pay for my sins. In fact, the only way I can pay for my sins is through my death. But Jesus has paid for my sins that I might have life if I will simply believe Him.

As John had just written, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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John 17-18: “Shall I Not Drink the Cup…”

Faith, Jesus, John, Patience, perseverance, relying on God, Waiting on the Lord

Today’s reading is John 17:1-18:40.

“So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?’” (John 18:11).

How many times have I read Jesus’ prayer in the Garden? How many times have I noted that Jesus said, “Nevertheless, not as I will but as you will”? And yet, saying that in a prayer is altogether different than actually following through with it. Here in John 18:11 I see that Jesus meant what He prayed.

It is easy to pray that God’s will be done in my life. It is a lot harder when I face the day and find that it didn’t contain the ease I had hoped. To be sure, many days are filled with obvious blessing from God. On other days, the blessing is blurred a bit. Those are the days that I have to ask myself if I really mean it when I pray that God’s will and not mine be done.

Today, I will drink the cup the Father has given me and respond simply by doing His will.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you today?

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John 15-16: Abide in Christ and Bear Fruit

Christian Living, Growth, John, perseverance, relying on God, Victory in Jesus

Today’s reading is John 15:1-16:33.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

What a promise. It is when I abide in Christ that I bear great fruit, surely a reference to the Spirit’s fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. For years I was trying to bear fruit on my own so Christ would let me abide in Him. It never worked. That only led to a ratrace of desperation, trying harder and harder but always coming up short.

What a great change of heart, mind, and spirit came when I realized that it worked the other way around. When I abide in Christ, He bears fruit in me. I don’t have to try harder to bear fruit. What I have to do is get into Christ, abiding in Him, in His word, in His love and allowing Him to abide in me. He will do the hard part of bearing fruit.

Today, I want to spend my time connecting to Christ. I’ll let Him bear the fruit.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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John 11-12: Speak by the Father’s Authority, Not Our Own

Christian Living, eternal life, Glorifying God, Growth, John, preaching, Scriptural Authority, Teaching

Today’s reading is John 11:1-12:50.

“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me” (John 12:49-50).

Imagine that. Jesus, God in the flesh, God the Son, incarnate deity, would not speak on His own authority. That is,  unless He had authority from the Father, He did not speak. He did not go out on a limb saying, “The Father is silent about this, I will speak.” He did not cross the Father saying, “The Father has spoken against this, but I will speak for it.” He did not say, “The Father has spoken for this, but I will speak against it.” He spoke only what the Father authorized.

How much more should we?

But why?

Because what the Father has authorized is eternal life. Jesus was not trying to be legalistic here. He was simply recognizing that what the Father had taught and said was the way that worked for those who wanted eternal life. When we go out on our own authority that won’t lead to life. That way leads to death. God’s way works. Ours does not.

Today, I want to simply speak where God speaks and be silent where God is silent. I don’t want to step out on my own authority. I want to be like Jesus.

Keep the faith and keep reading.

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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John 9-10:No One Can Snatch Me From the Father’s Hand

Christian Living, Comfort, Encouragement, eternal life, Good Shepherd, Hope, John, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, relying on God, Victory in Jesus, Waiting on the Lord, Walking with God

Today’s reading is John 9:1-10:42.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

I’ve spent so much of my time trying to explain what this passage doesn’t mean that I’ve often lost the great comfort it does mean. If I’m one of Christ’s sheep, hearing His voice, and following Him, I can’t be lost. I won’t stray. No one can snatch me out of His hand.

I don’t have to fear that somehow Satan is going to pull a fast one on me, trick me right at the end, get me out of Christ’s hand, then kill me. I’m a sheep of the great Shepherd. He is protecting me.

Of course, I’m not saying I’m perfect right now and nothing will keep me from being perfect. Rather, I’m saying that I’m growing in Christ and I don’t have to fear that Satan is going to stop that as long as I continue to follow the Shepherd. I don’t have to live in fear today that somehow Satan is veiling something from me or that somehow the people around me will keep me out of the fold. I can trust in the Good Shepherd who so wanted to save me that He laid down His life for me. I can put my eternal life in His hands. Where He leads is the way to go. I’ll just follow Him.

Today, I need to simply follow the Shepherd’s lead. I can’t possibly be lost if I do that.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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John 7-8: The Truth Will Set Me Free

Christian Living, Growth, John, overcoming sin, righteousness, the truth

Today’s reading is John 7:1-8:59.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

Jesus did not say, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you right.” For far too long that is how I’ve read this verse. It was as if the issue was simply knowing the truth. If I knew the truth, I’d be right and that was better than being wrong. But the point of the truth is not just to know the truth. The point of the truth is to be set free from my sin.

When I know the truth, it will set me free. I need to learn the truth not to be smarter than someone else, righter than someone else, better than someone else. I need to learn the truth or I will forever be in bondage to my sins.

Thank you, God, for revealing your truth. Sanctify me by your truth.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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John 5-6: I Can Do Nothing on My Own

Christian Living, eternal life, Jesus, John, relying on God, Scriptural Authority, The Next Right Thing, Walking with God

Today’s reading is John 5:1-6:71.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30).

When I follow my own path, pursuing what God has condemned or even pursuing what God has not permitted, I am seeking my own will. I am not following in the footsteps of Jesus. When I recognize the true impact of “I can do nothing on my own” my life has peace. In those moments, I know I am with God and He is with me. I know what I’m doing has the full weight of His authority and power behind it. No matter what happens to me because of seeking His will, I know I am abiding in Him and He will get me through.

I want to be like Jesus. I want to be in Jesus. I want the eternal life that comes from Jesus. I want that more than all the other things that I want. Therefore,  today, instead of going my own way or branching out under my own authority, I need to simply pray for the wisdom to know the Father’s will and the courage and strength to carry it out. Today, I need to place highest priority on drawing near to Jesus that I may have life in Him.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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John 3-4:I Need Living Water from Christ

Christian Living, eternal life, Jesus, John, Victory in Jesus

Today’s reading is John 3:1-4:54.

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water’” (John 4:10).

Have I ever asked Jesus to give me living water? Or am I, like the Samaritan woman, so focused on the material and physical day-to-day aspects of life that I can’t think past my own stomach? How many times have I read this passage and gotten into arguments about what the living water really is but missed the all-important point? If I knew the gift of God and who Jesus really is I would ask Him to give me living water and He would do it, “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

“Lord Jesus, give me the living water that I might have eternal life.”

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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John 1-2: Keep the Father’s House about the Father

Fellowship, John, Relationships, The Church

Today’s reading is John 1:1-2:25.

“And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out teh coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, ‘Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade’” (John 2:15-16).

Jesus was talking about the temple under the Old Covenant. Yet, I can’t help but remember that the church is the Father’s house now (I Timothy 3:15). What a great blessing to know that Christ’s church is not about business. When I gather with Christ’s church it is not about impressing folks so they will be my customers. I don’t have to put on a mask so they will buy my products. I can be me.

When I look at my brethren who are gathering in the household of God, they are not my customer-base. They are not folks from which I can take and take. Instead, I am their servant. This is the Lord’s house, not His business. This is about relationships, not bottom lines. When I let my involvement in Christ’s church be a business transaction, I lose the great benefit of the fellowship with other saved sinners who are overcoming the tempter.

Today, I need to remember who I’m looking at in Christ’s church. I’m looking at brothers and sisters; I’m not looking at customers and business partners. I’m looking at other children of my Father. I need to keep this relationship about Him.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

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Matthew 19-20: Even Jesus Didn’t Try to Do the Father’s Job

Christian Living, Glorifying God, God, Jesus, Matthew, relying on God, Surrender, The Next Right Thing

Today’s reading is Matthew 19:1-20:34.

“He said to them, ‘You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father’” (Matthew 20:23).

I once heard someone share, and have often repeated since, the two greatest lessons I’ve ever learned is 1) There is a God and 2) I’m not Him. What that means for me is I need to let God do His job while I focus on mine instead of trying to do God’s job. Jesus sets the perfect example for me. He understood that even though He is God, He is not the Father. The Father has His job; Jesus has his. Jesus wasn’t about to try to do the Father’s job. He was only going to focus on what the Father had given Him to do.

My life goes so much easier when I don’t try to do God’s job. When I quit trying to make sure the world runs according to my plans and instead simply work on doing the next right thing, I have so much more peace.

Today, I’m just going to do my job, the next right thing, I’ll let God do His job of handling the outcomes.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading?

 

 

 

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