Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Have you seen my Father?

July 26, 2011
The Life of Jesus; read today:  Jesus responds to Thomas; John 14:5-7

‘A chip off the old block.’ ‘Apple does not fall far from the tree.’ ‘Like father, like son.’  All are expressions that I have heard over the years.  They all mean the same thing.  Something I have grown to resent.  Because my dad was an drinker meant that I was going to be so also and I had to work hard not to be like him.  I did so. Never have I taken a drink so I am not like him. Yet, Jesus says something curious in today’s reading.

ESV: John 14:7. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.

So Jesus is trying to say, if you know Me (Jesus), then you know my Father (God). Jesus is basically saying that it is true.  So what does that leave for my relationship with my father? Am I like my father?  The answer is yes. Though I have tried to change things I could only change a little.  While I do not drink, I still had problems with anger like he used to display.  I still also display the work all the time, no time for family push that he did as well.

So like Jesus, if you have seen me, you have seen my father.

On the other hand, I also have a heavenly Father.  I need to get close to Him and take on His characteristics.  So if you see me, you will see my Father.

Read for next time: Jesus responds to Philip; John 14:8-21

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Troubled Hearts

July 9, 2011
The Life of Jesus; read today:  Jesus comforts the disciples; John 14:1-4

ESV: John Chapter 14
[1] Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
[2] In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

I really do miss so much when I do not read the Bible straight through.  The breaking up of chapter and verse can lead to breaks that may not be the best place to put them.  So it is as I ponder on the verses for today.  Why does Jesus tell the disciples not to be worried? Why does He talk about building them a house and coming back for them? It does not help that ministers usually preach this as one piece and ignore what is around it.

What is before it is important.  It deals with Peter and the disciples telling Jesus that they will not desert them.  Jesus replies by telling that not only will they do so, but Peter will deny them three times.  Can you feel the tension in the room? Jesus looks at them all, their mouths dropped, maybe in fear that because they will abandon Jesus, that He will be abandon them first.

So Jesus turns to them, ‘do not be troubled, believe in me and in God.  I will come back for you and we will be together.’  There are times that I abandon God, that I want my own way.  At those times I often feel how could God love me anymore.  Like the disciples I must understand the concept of unconditional love.  That no matter what I do, God still loves me.  I may not deserve it but He does, and if I turn to Him when I am at my lowest, He will always accept me back.

Read for next time: Jesus responds to Thomas 14:5-7

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Two swords enough?

July 7, 2011
The Life of Jesus; read today:  Jesus warns the disciples to be prepared; Luke 22:35-38

They were up for the fight of their life. They were to have thousands of soldiers come to meet them.  Jesus had told them that He was going to send them out in to the world.  He told them that they needed to prepare themselves.  They, as usual, misunderstood.

LEB: Luke 22:38. So they said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords!”
And he said to them, “It is adequate.”

Yet, somehow, Jesus answer was not that far off.  They really did not need more than two swords.  They really only needed one sword, the ‘sword of the Spirit’.  They only really need that one.  If they were going to be telling the world about Jesus, they needed the Spirit to guide them.  If they were to fight the armies of Rome (and they were about to meet them), they needed the Spirit to guide them as well. 

When I live my life each day, I really do need to take a sword to a gun fight. As long as that sword is the sword of the Spirit.

Read for next time: Jesus comforts the disciples; John 14:1-4
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Deny Jesus?

July 5, 2011
The Life of Jesus; read today:  Jesus predicts Peter's denials; Matthew 26:33-35; Mark 14:29-31; Luke 22:33-34; John 13:36-38

It is said there are no atheist in foxholes, that all men when they are in a situation facing death realize that there is a God and pray. Never having been a solider I do not know. I do know that those who believe that there is not prayer in school have not been around during mid-terms and finals.

In either case, any conversion that happens will not stick. It is not because the people do not mean it, I am confident that they do.  While they have come face to face with death, they have not come face to face with Jesus.

Peter had walked with Jesus every day, had not only seen the miracles that Jesus did, he had participated in them himself.  Yet, like the foxhole conversions, Jesus knows the real heart of the person, and He did Peter as well.  Peter denied it though, he was going to stick with Jesus all the way.

BBE: Mark 14:31. But he said with passion, If I have to be put to death with you, I will not be false to you. And they all said the same.

We all can make claims that we will not fail Jesus.  I have made so many of them myself it is pitiful.  And we will fail in them.  But pick  yourself up, dust yourself off and start again.  Because like Peter, you will come to know Jesus in a much deeper way, and when you do, the failures become less and less.  At that point, there is no more denying Him.

Read for next time: Jesus warns the disciples to be prepared; Luke 22:35-38
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