"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble." - Proverbs 28:13-14
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”... Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”.... The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”" - John 21:15, 16, 17 (NIV)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord." - John 20:19-20 (NIV)
Friday, November 27, 2009
"Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19:28-30 (NIV)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
"When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it. Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out..." - John 18:1-4 (NIV)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever... Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever." - Psalm 136:1-3, 26 (NIV)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
"Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. May the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion." - Psalm 134 (NIV)
Monday, November 23, 2009
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." - John 17:20-23 (NIV)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
"A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." - John 16:21-22 (NIV)Two days ago we celebrated my oldest son Jeremy's twenty-sixth birthday. We had a great meal, talked, laughed and just had a joyful time together as a family. Twenty-six years ago it was a little different, as I sat with my dear wife during her twelve-plus hours of labor. The delivery itself was quite painful and seriously complicated for both Jayne and the little guy. And here he is today, not so little, still quite complicated, but a joy to behold.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." - John 15:9-12"Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong, They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me!" So the words begin in the familiar Sunday school song written by Anna B. Warner. Yes Jesus loves us, and in that love our joy may be complete. Yet love is a living entity and it needs to be nurtured to stay strong and not grow stagnant.
Love in the marriage, family or any relationship is only as strong as it is nurtured. We give of ourselves to others, thus showing them our love. We invest in their lives every day, not just on holidays and special occasions. As a result, we experience a lasting joy that runs deep within our hearts. Jesus gives such a love and rightfully asks of us to return the same.
To remain in the love of Jesus, one needs to obey his commands, which include loving each other as he loves us. This is the way to nurture a love relationship with the Lord. Yes, Jesus loves us, that we might love him and others to the Father's glory. And in such nurtured love, our joy may be complete.
Friday, November 20, 2009
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27 (NIV)I don't do roller coasters. I rode one once and almost had a heart attack. The ride up is sweet and the view is often quite gorgeous, but then comes the drop. Some people like my sons think it's such a rush, but I think I'm going to die. Life is very much like a roller coaster. There are those peaceful moments that lift us up to the sky and fill our hearts with great joy. Then the bottom falls out from underneath and we're troubled and afraid. The amusement park ride may be a rush, but real life can be a fright.
Jesus speaks about a peace that is very different than what the world offers. He doesn't promise to flatten the road ahead or fill our lives with all ups and no downs. He does promise to give us a peace that doesn't slip away when the bottom falls out. The promise was made to his disciples just before their ride with him moved into an incredible downward flight. There was no rush there; it was life at its most alarming moment, but in Jesus they were promised peace.
Do you have peace today? There is a peace for anyone who rests in the all-powerful grip of the Lord. The bottom may fall, but Jesus has a tight hold on you so, "Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Thursday, November 19, 2009
"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." - John 13:15-17
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted… the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel… Do not forsake your friend… As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” - Proverbs 6, 9, 10, 17 (NIV)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
“Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool - arise, O Lord, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests be clothed with righteousness; may your saints sing for joy.” - Psalm 132:7-9
Monday, November 16, 2009
"Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." - John 12:23-26 (NIV)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died... When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” - John 11:21,32 (NIV)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
"... He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." - John 10:3-4 (NIV)
Friday, November 13, 2009
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning." - Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
"Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." - John 9:39-41 (NIV)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”" - John 8:12 (NIV)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
"On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified." - John 7:37-39 (NIV)
Monday, November 9, 2009
"Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”" - John 6:26-27 (NIV)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
"Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife." - Proverbs 26:20-21 (NIV)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
"When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." - Psalm 126:1-2 (NIV)
Are you living in "a dream come true"? What is the "stuff" of which your dreams are made? Young love? A new car? A new house? A precious little baby? What are your dreams, and will they ever come true?
Stop for moment and consider ... what was life like before Jesus? What would life be like today, without the Lord? He reached down from heaven, found you in the chains of sin, broke those chains and brought you back from captivity. He brought you from languish to laughter, from remorse to rejoicing and from sorrow to singing. Is this not the "stuff" of which real dreams are made?
Our home, as every home, has known sorrow, sickness and sadness at one time or another. But out of every such occasion, "The Lord has done great things for us". As much as He brought us out of captivity in the beginning of our spiritual journey, He continues to bring us out of the captivities that darken our paths. When we walk with Jesus, "we are filled with joy" and in this ... our dreams have come true!
Friday, November 6, 2009
"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." - John 5:39-40 (NIV)
As you enter this day, the joys, sorrows, hopes, fears, pleasures or pains of life are dancing in your head and heart. You turn to the Scriptures for a moment of counsel, comfort or courage. You find a verse or a phrase that hits the spot. You launch into the day prepared for the best and the worst.
Something is missing. Or should we say, someone is missing. As a popular devotional has been entitled, "Encounter with God", we really need an encounter with Jesus, not just a factual and inspiring word. It is Jesus that waits for you on every page to bring you fresh life for every day. "These are the Scriptures that testify about me ..." Slow down, and seek the face, voice and touch of Jesus in your Bible reading and find life for the day.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
"Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her ..." -- John 4:6-7 (NIV)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
"To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:27-30 (NIV)