Monday, 29 June 2015
“I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” John 12.50
Jesus speaks only what the Father would have Him say. And He knows that everything He speaks forth leads to eternal life. There is a mighty reassurance in this knowledge.
Jesus calls me to follow Him. Am I willing to speak forth only what the Father would have me say? I hope so! There may well be times when my own thoughts and words get mixed in with God’s words to me and for me. Perhaps I can cover these words by giving them up, in complete surrender, to God. As I ask Him to be Lord of every word that comes forth from my lips, I may expect to speak forth in His confidence.
I cannot not speak. May God ensure that what I do share and impart is what He wishes of me. And may all that I share lead to eternal life. Praise God! The work is His, but I would delight to be a mouthpiece for Him.
I know You to be my Father, and I am eternally grateful. I acknowledge the perfect example I have in Jesus of obedience to the Father. I seek to be obedient as He was. I will try, but I ask for Your help.
May each word that comes out of my mouth be honouring to You and fully acceptable by You. Help me in this, precious Father. May I be a true son of Yours and speak forth from the Father’s genes in me? Help me, I cry out for Your leading and guidance. I seek to speak Kingdom words. I wish all of my speech to lead to eternal life. I rejoice in this most wonderful of gifts and I want to be able to lead others into true acceptance of it. I ask You to lead me, that whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.
I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Friday, 26 June 2015
“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” John 12.27
What Jesus faced caused Him to be troubled in His heart. He knew that death was to come, death and severe torture beforehand. He was troubled to the point of considering asking the Father to spare Him from what lay ahead.
But He didn’t ask. He knew that what was to come was the very reason that He had been born, and had lived to this time. This was His purpose. However unpleasant the prospect might seem, He was committed to His goal. His response to facing His future was not ‘Father, save me from this hour,’ but ‘Father, glorify your name.’
He received an immediate reply from heaven “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
It seems quite clear that Jesus knew what His mission was. I don’t seem to have such a clearly defined mission, other than to witness Jesus to the fullest extent possible in who I am and in all that I do. I commit to this, and believe that God will glorify His name as I seek to live in and for Him.
Jesus gave His life in the most complete way as He died a horrible and painful death for the sins of all humanity. He willingly gave Himself into the purpose You had ordained for Him.
He also said, “Follow me!”
I come, Lord, and offer my life to You. I ask You to have Your way with me in all things. Make me the person You would have me be. Lead me to do only those things You want me to do. I’m Yours. I pray that Your name will be glorified in who I am and what I do.
I come to You. Have Your way completely with me, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” John 12.5
Judas appears to make this complaint on the grounds of social welfare, however John further explains that Judas’ motives were personal. As keeper of the purse he would, from time to time, help himself to its contents. Thus we see two motives – the one of social justice and the other of self-help. Such motives could well underline our daily actions!
What Mary in fact did, however, demonstrates a third, and much more meaningful, alternative. She gave to Jesus Himself. As Jesus rebuked Judas, He spoke of the beautiful thing that Mary had done for Him. He gave the further reminder that we should honour Him while we have the opportunity. I see this action as being, not in place of ministering to the poor (in whatever aspect they might be poor) but, rather, as putting Jesus first. If we start with Him, if we make Him our sure foundation, all other ministry and relationship will flow in right manner.
Jesus is with me now. I live with Him. I embrace Him and practice His presence in my life. It is most natural that I should wish to honour Him as of prime importance. As I do, I am fitted and equipped to follow Him in whatever other ministry opens up for me.
Holy Lord and Loving God,
I do not come with expensive perfume as Mary did to anoint Your feet. But I bring You what is most important and precious to me – myself!
I give myself to You – to the extent that I am mine to give. I realize that I am not mine, but Yours anyway. But I make the choice of wanting to follow You and not resist. There may be trial and pain to come. I acknowledge this as I surrender fully.
My desire is to do as Mary did, and present a beautiful gift to You. My gift is my life. I ask You to take it, and make it beautiful. Amen.
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Thursday, 18 June 2015
They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple area they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the feast at all?” John 11.56
The leaders have denounced Jesus, plotting together to destroy Him. But the people “kept looking” for Him. Many people had connected with Jesus. They had entered relationship with Him. And relationship is not undone simply by the absence of a person.
There are many places in the world today where Jesus is banned. Yet, praise God, He is not absent. A true relationship with Jesus is a heart affair. When Jesus is in the heart no amount of restriction will remove Him. Caution may well be needed on the part of the believer, but God gives wisdom to those who ask for it.
The people question whether Jesus will be attending the Jerusalem Passover feast. Even as I read this I am reminded of the great feast, the wedding feast of the Lamb. At this feast there will be no restriction. We will enter into the sweetest, lasting communion with our wonderful Lord. Those who may have been forced to keep Jesus contained in their hearts during their worldly existence will be free to celebrate and enjoy Him with great abandon. Glory be to God!
I pray for believers and seekers in lands where Jesus has been banned. I know that no earthly authority can limit You, for You are the greatest power.
May Your great power of love reach into every seeking heart in these forbidding places. May the heart know the joy of a resident Saviour. May the body become the temple of the Holy Spirit, even if secretly. And may every believer know the hope of ultimate communion that is to come in the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Protect and nurture Your children, Lord, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.