Category: Gospels

“Do you love Me?”

Scripture reading for November 19th: John 21

Key Scriptures: John 21:15-17 “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said, “Feed My lambs.” He said to Him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him a third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.””

Before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter had pledged that he loved Jesus and was willing to go with Him to prison and death. (Luke 22:33-34) After Jesus was arrested, Peter denied Jesus three times as Jesus had prophetically announced. Peter had failed the Lord and he had wept bitterly. After the resurrection of Jesus, in His third appearance to His disciples, Jesus singled out Peter to purposely draw out his love and commission him to do the work of ministry that He had called him to. He had returned to fishing, but Jesus had called him to fish for men and pastor those who would believe on Him. These searching questions concerning our love for Jesus and His call speak to us today. Even when our faith falters, Jesus is praying for us and is willing and able to restore us. Confess your love and willingness today.

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for this record of Jesus seeking out Peter to draw out his love and devotion in the face of failure. Help me today to stay strong even when I feel that I have failed You and not fulfilled my devotion or commitments. Confront me and draw me and I will run after You. Yes, Lord, I love and follow You and will care for Your sheep.

John 21:18-19 “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This He said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after this He said to him, “Follow Me.””

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“Receive the Holy Spirit”

Scripture reading for November 18th: John 20

Key Scriptures: John 20:19-23 “On the evening of that day (Resurrection Day), the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.””

Jesus had risen from the grave on the third day after the day of His crucifixion. This was the first day of the week and the disciples were in hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. Jesus, not stopped by locked doors, appeared to them in His glorified body, yet bearing the marks of crucifixion. His first words were a greeting of peace, to comfort their fears. He then showed them His hands scared by the nails and His side opened by the spear. He wanted them to truly know it was Him, in a body that could be touched and seen. He again spoke peace to them and gave them a simple commission, sending them into the world as the Father had sent Him. To prepare them, He breathed on them and commanded them to receive in His breath the gift of the Father, precious Holy Spirit, This was the ‘Helper’ Jesus had told them about just a few days earlier in the upper room. At this, they were reborn and adopted into God’s Family and Christ’s kingdom.

John 20:26-27 “Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Jesus back to His disciples after His death and resurrection in His glorified body. Thank You for those who got to see and believed. I have not seen, but I believe You rose from the dead and I believe that You have given me the gift of the Holy Spirit to live in me and lead and guide me into all truth and eternal life with You. You are my Lord and my God!

John 20:28-29 “Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””

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“Crucify the King!”

Scripture reading for November 17th: John 19

Key Scriptures: John 19:1-6 “Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head and arrayed Him in a purple robe. They came up to Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck Him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!””

Pilate had questioned Jesus earlier before flogging Him. He had asked Him if He was King of the Jews. Jesus told him that it was for this purpose He had come, to bear witness to the truth. He was a king but His kingdom was not of this world. Pilate wondered at these statements, but had Him flogged and turned them over to the soldiers who had witnessed the discussion and then mockingly arrayed Jesus in a purple robe, signifying royalty and twisted a crown from thorns, placing it on Jesus’ head. They struck Him repeatedly, and spit on Him as they mocked. This was after a cruel beating that disfigured Jesus almost to the point of death. Pilate then presented Jesus to the crowd, saying, “Behold the man!” Although Pilate found no guilt, the Jewish religious leaders responded with a cry to crucify Jesus. Facts did not matter because they wanted Jesus dead! Sounds like some trials going on today!

John 19:6-8 “Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has made Himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, as I read this account of the trial of Jesus, I am humbled and convicted by those who would mock Jesus and condemn Him to death, even though innocent. Forgive me for my own ignorance of Jesus Christ and the times I have not acted in faith but fear of man. Give me grace today to declare the truth of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords with holy boldness.

John 19:12, 14-25 “From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this Man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” . . . Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with Him, away with HIm, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” They answered, “We have no king but Caesar.””

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“What is truth?”

Scripture reading for November 16th: John 18

Key Scriptures: John 18:33-37 “So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?””

Jesus was taken before Pontius Pilate because the Jews wanted Jesus to die and they did not have authority to execute anyone. They charged Jesus with insurrection–planning to set Himself up as King. So Pilate asked Jesus if He was the “King of the Jews?” Jesus asked him if this was Pilate’s own idea or others had said that. Pilate evaded answering Jesus but Jesus did answer him. He plainly stated that He was a king with a kingdom that was not of this world. He came to earth to bear witness to the truth and those who were in the truth would hear Jesus’ voice. To this Pilate responded, “What is truth?” proving that he was not himself of the truth. He could hear Jesus’ voice, but the truth of God’s Son, the King of Kings was hidden from his sight because of unbelief! How many others today have the same unbelief?

John 18:38-40 “After he had said this, he (Pilate) went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in Him. but You have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that You are King of Kings, and my Lord. Your kingdom is not of this world and now I am also not of this world. You have told us not to fight, but to love one another in order to show the world that You are the King. Speak to me today directing me in Your ways to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ the King of kings.

Revelation 19:11,16 “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. . . . On His robe and on His thigh He has a Name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”

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Jesus prayed for us!

Scripture reading for November 15th: John 17

Key Scriptures: John 17:6-8 “”I have manifested Your Name to the people whom You gave Me out of the world. Yours they were, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they know that everything that You have given Me is from You. For I have given them the Words that You gave Me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You, and they have believed that You sent Me.””

Jesus concluded His time with His disciples, now minus Judas Iscariot, with this His longest recorded prayer. First, Jesus prayed for Himself, then for His present disciples, and finally for all who would believe as a result of their ministry and witness. He prayed to His Father, declaring the preaching of the Father’s Word and His disciples reception of that Word. He declared that His disciples knew the truth that He had come from the Father and was in the Father. He asked that His followers would be united as one with He and His Father that the whole world would know that Jesus was sent by His Father to be the Messiah, Savior of the world. His request to His Father that His followers would be with Him in heaven and behold His glory is inspiring! Amen!

John 17: 20-21 “”I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for Your Word to me and for sending Your Son Jesus to manifest Your Name and Word to those who would believe. Thank You for having Jesus pray for me that I would be with Him and see His glory. I believe Your Word and desire to be in unity with Your Church and with the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May You use me to share these truths with the world of lost people You put me in contact with.

John 17:24 “”Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me before the foundation of the world.””

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Protection from falling away!

Scripture reading for November 12th: John 16

Key Scriptures: John 16:1-4 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”

Jesus had just finished a long dissertation explaining that He would be going away and that persecution would come. His Father would send them another ‘Helper’ Who would be with them always. He told them about their access to Him by prayer and how they would do even greater works because He was going to the Father and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In summary, Jesus stated that He had told them all these things to help keep them from falling away when the events of His departure unfolded and the persecution that would come escalated. Their remembrance of these things would be facilitated by the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

John 16:12-15 “”I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Words of wisdom and encouragement to all who believe and follow You. Thank You for securing the Holy Spirit to be with us always, bringing to remembrance all that You have spoken. Lead me today into all Truth and empower me to proclaim Your Word to those in need of a Savior and those of Your followers who need to hear so that their faith would not fail!

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

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The world’s hatred

Scripture reading for November 11th: John 15

Key Verses: John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, the will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know Him Who sent Me.”

Jesus knew that trouble and persecution were coming. In fact, He would shortly be falsely accused, arrested, tortured and crucified by the religious establishment and the world system of Rome. Those in the world system hated Jesus and plotted His murder in spite of the miraculous signs and healings Jesus had done. As followers of Jesus, His disciples were going to find the same hatred and persecution and Jesus wanted to prepare them for it. These words were also written down for followers of Jesus throughout time to prepare them for coming hatred and ill treatment, especially in the last days. We must examine our lives. Are we true followers of Jesus and responding to His call to come out of the world system? We are citizens of Heaven and await a Savior, our King Jesus!

John 15:24-25 “If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated Me without a cause.'”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, I love You and Your Son Jesus Christ. Fill me with the Holy Spirit, enabling me to love my brothers and sisters in the Church and to reach out to a lost world that hates You and Your Son. Empower me to show love and bear witness to them through Your powerful Gospel. May many be saved and called out of the world into Your glorious kingdom of eternal life and light.

John 15:26-27 “But when the Helper comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

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You know the Helper!

Scripture reading for November 10th: John 14

Key Scriptures: John 14:12-17 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My Name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.””

Jesus gave His disciples several amazing promises in one of His last teaching before going to the cross. He prophesied that those believing in Him would do even greater works than those that He had done. This did not mean greater in the sense of more spectacular or impacting, but greater in number and scope as the disciples multiplied. He promised that whatever His disciples asked in His Name, He would do it! He also promised that He would ask the Father to send them a ‘Helper’, the Spirit of Truth, to be with them forever. This ‘Helper’ would be live in them and be with them in every trial and event of life, even into eternity. He also said that His disciples would know the ‘Helper’ because of their abiding relationship! Amen!

John 14:20-21 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, I know that I am in Jesus Christ and He is in You. I am thankful for the gift of the Helper, the Spirit of Truth, Who leads and guides me into all truth, helping me to know You and obey Your commandments. I ask today that these promises would be claimed by faith by each of my children and grandchildren. May I proclaim these truths that others might know You and Jesus Christ and receive the Helper! Amen!

John 14:26-27 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

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An example to follow!

Scripture reading for November 9th: John 13

Key Scriptures: John 13:12-15 “When He had washed their feet and put on His outer garments and resumed His place, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

Jesus had just taken off His out garment and taken a towel and basin and washed each of the disciple’s feet. He took the place of a servant and, although Lord and Teacher (Rabbi), demonstrated for them the servant heart that He had for them and all who would come to Him. He told them to go and do likewise for each other, remembering His example. Real worship is obedience to Jesus and results in loving service to the members of His body on earth, the Church. Jesus’ example would have rocked the thinking of His own disciples and the culture of that day. The way up, is to humbly take the lowest place by serving the needs of others.

John 13:16-17 “Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your humble example of obedience and serving others. Thank You for serving all by giving your life on the cross and by this example of serving Your own disciples. I commit to serving You and Your Father by serving my brothers and sisters as long as I have breath! I want all people to know that I am Your disciple.

John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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Jesus lifted up will draw all people!

Scripture reading for November 8th: John 12

Key Scriptures: John 12:20-26 “Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor Him.””

John records this incident of some non-Jews, Greeks, who came up to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover feast at the time Jesus was going to offer Himself as the final Passover sacrifice as the ‘Lamb of God’. They came to the disciple Philip who was from Galilee and asked to see Jesus. Philip served them by going to Andrew and together they went and found Jesus and told him about these Gentiles. Jesus gave them an answer: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. . . If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” Jesus served His Father and us out of love and obedience. This brought glory as all people would be drawn to Christ through the cross and resurrection.

John 12:27-30 “”Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your Name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there heard it and said that it thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for opening my eyes from the darkness of sin to behold Christ Jesus in His glory of self-sacrificing service to mankind and the complete obedience to You and Your Word. Thank You for drawing all mankind, Jews and Gentiles, to see Jesus in His glory. Help me to follow You and worship You through obedient service and preaching the true Gospel.

John 12:30-33 “Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not Mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death He was going to die.”

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