Category: Gospels

The resurrection and the life!

Scripture reading for November 5th: John 11

Key Scriptures: John 11:11-16 “After saying these things, He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought He meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.””

Jesus was friends with Lazarus and his sister, Mary and Martha. He often stayed at their home in Bethany, just over the Mt. of Olives. When Jesus was there recently, the Jewish leaders had tried to stone Him, but he escaped. A message was sent to Jesus that Lazarus was ill, but Jesus waited to go to him. Jesus knew that Lazarus’ sickness would not ultimately lead to death, but that God would be glorified through his miraculous escape from death. When Jesus did decide to go, Thomas expressed the lack of faith that most probably felt: “Let us go and die with Him.” They were about to be schooled on the glory of God found in Jesus Christ, their Lord. Death is likened by Jesus to sleep and resurrection to an awakening for those who believe!

John 11:21-23 “Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for this amazing account of the raising of Lazarus from death and this display of God’s glory. You give me hope and vision of Your future kingdom and the truth of the promise of resurrection and eternal life. Open doors today to share this amazing hope and message of life eternal.

John 11:24-25 “Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who is coming into the world.””

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The Good Shepherd!

Scripture reading for November 4th: John 10

Key Scriptures: John 10:14-18 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”

Jesus further revealed His identity to His disciples by using the metaphor of the ‘Good Shepherd’ and a willingness to lay His life down for the sake of the sheep. A good shepherd trains the sheep to know his voice and follow him. A good shepherd takes care of all his sheep, and Jesus had other sheep, the Gentiles, that He would also lay His life down for. Jesus also had authority from the Father to lay His life down as a part of the plan of salvation for lost sinners (sheep) and He also had authority because of a sinless life and perfect obedience to take His life back up again in resurrection power by the Spirit of Holiness. (Romans 1:4) This was all given by the Father to His Son because He loved Him (and us)! We are eternally safe in His amazing care.

John 10:27-28 “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.”

Faith Confession and prayer: Father God, Your amazing plan of salvation through sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to lay His life down for me, a sinner, is humbling and beyond full understanding. Jesus’ death and resurrection from the grave is also amazing and exciting because He is alive forever and ever! I receive eternal life and will never perish and the fear of death has been forever vanquished! Open doors that I might share this Good News today!

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”

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Displaying God’s Works!

Scripture reading for November 3rd: John 9

Key Scriptures: John 9:1-5 “As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him Who sent Me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When the lights are turned on, everything in the room becomes visible! When Jesus came into the world, He came as the “Light of the World,” to illuminate the darkness over men’s souls and reveal His Father’s glory Jesus used this man that was born blind to illustrate for His disciples and us how God’s heart to bring light into this dark world works. Jesus performed a creative miracle, making some mud from dirt and saliva, and putting it on the man’s blind eyes. He was told to wash in the pool of Siloam and when he did, he was healed and light flooded his life! The Pharisees and religious leaders got upset over this miracle because it was done on the Sabbath. They called the formerly blind man in and questioned him and his parents, seeking to discredit Jesus and the miracle. The darkness over their own souls was visible!

John 9:39-41 “Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near Him heard these things, and said to Him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt, but now that you say, ‘We see’ your guilt remains.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for displaying the works of healing, miracles, and forgiveness of our sins that we may have light in the darkness of our sinful souls. Thank You for Jesus, the Light of the World! May His light in me illumine every area of my heart and shine out to illuminate the darkness of others who are blind to Your grace and love.

John 9:25 “So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God; We know that this Man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether He is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

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True freedom from slavery!

Scripture reading for November 2nd: John 8

Key Scriptures: John 8:34-38 “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham, yet you seek to kill me because My Word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

Slavery is a hot topic in our world today. There is human trafficking of sex slaves, boys and girls, who are being traded in most nations of the world. In Jesus’ day, the Jews prided themselves as a free people, but Jesus told them that anyone who practiced sin was a slave of sin. They would not receive His Word or believe that they were slaves of sin, even though they were plotting to kill Jesus and falsely accused Him of having a demon. Without repentance, these “sin-slaves” would be lost and remain under their father, the devil. Their murderous and lying nature was hidden from them because of their religious pride in their association with Abraham, the father of faith instead of humbly confessing their sin in repentance. Jesus wanted to set them free!

John 8:43-44 “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear My Word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, Thank You for setting me free from slavery to sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! I am free! Lord grant me grace to declare Jesus Christ as the only way to freedom from sin’s power to those under the deception of the devil.

John 8:58-59 “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.”

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Jesus understood the time!

Scripture reading for November 1st: John 7

Key Scriptures: John 7:2-8 “Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. So His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that you are doing.” For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers believed in Him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the Feast. I am not going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.””

According to Scripture, everything has a time and wise people recognize the appropriate time and timing of every activity. Jesus, being Wisdom from God, understood God’s plan and timing through prayer and perfect obedience to God’s Word. His earthly brothers tried to convince Jesus to go up to the Feast of Booths and do His miracles that the world might believe in Him. Jesus wisely knew that His time was not yet fully come. He must not force anything, but wait for the Father’s perfect timing and clear instructions. We would be wise to always consult God about the timing of our activities and choices. Each phase of our life is ordered by the Lord if we allow Him. God’s will and timing for us involve eternity in our hearts!

John 7:17 “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the One who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him is true, and in Him there is no falsehood.”

Faith Confession and prayer: Father God, I invite you each day to order my steps and enable me to do Your will. I study Your Word to know Your will and timing. Give me wisdom each day to understand the time and timing of my activities, travels, and works to reach the lost and be an effective witness for Your glory!

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 “For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven: . . .” “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

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Absolute certainty!

Scripture reading for October 29th: John 6

Key Scriptures: John 6:37-40 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him Who sent Me. And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Jesus had just shared with the crowd following Him that He was the true Bread of Life. Anyone who came to Him would never hunger or thirst again, but would have satisfaction in this life and eternally. Jesus was responding to their request: “Sir, give us this bread always.” (vs. 34) He gave them simple statements of truth: “All that the Fathers gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out.” He stated that it was His Father’s will to save all who would look to the Son and believe. He plainly stated that He, Jesus would raise up from death all who would look to Him. These statements were given in response to a request for the Bread of life! Hallelujah! Amen!

John 6:41-42 “So the Jews grumbled about Him, because He said, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, “I have come down from heaven?””

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for sending Jesus Christ, the living Bread from heaven to earth that we might know You and have eternal life and salvation from the penalty and power of sin. Thank You from drawing me out of darkness into Your marvelous light and giving me absolute certainty through faith in Your simple truths. Allow me to share this truth today in my daily walk that others may never hunger or thirst again.

John 6:43-44 “Jesus answered, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws Him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

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Jesus and the Father are working!

Scripture reading for October 28th: John 5

Key Scriptures: John 5:17-21 “But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will He show Him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will.””

Jesus had been doing miracles on the Sabbath and the religious leaders were beside themselves. They were persecuting Jesus because of this and then Jesus added another reason for them to plot His death. He stated plainly that God was “His Father” and that both of them were working in the miracles of healing that were being done. In fact, Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing. In fact, Jesus announced, that greater works would be coming. The Father would raise the dead and give them life and the Son would do likewise giving those who believe His Words, eternal life. These statements caused the Jews to judge Jesus as a blasphemer as well as a Sabbath-breaker and worthy of death under the Old Testament law. Jesus said that He would not accuse them, but they would be judged by Moses–the Word that revealed Jesus as Messiah.

John 5:45-46 “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for working on my behalf and sending Your Son to work the greatest miracle–salvation for mankind! I believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and trust Him for full salvation and eternal life. Open doors of witness today to share this good news with those who have not heard that Your work may be completed.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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Father God seeks true worshipers!

Scripture reading for October 27th: John 4

Key Scriptures: John 4:19-24 “The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth.”

Worship is at the center of loving God and knowing Him. To know God is to worship Him for Who He is. To love God is to worship Him in response to His great love towards us and His great mercy for lost people. However, in Jesus’ day, people were looking for just the right location and way to ‘worship’. This woman, a Samaritan with several past husbands, came to get water in the middle of the day and Jesus purposely asked her for a drink. She was taken aback by a Jew asking a Samaritan for anything! Jesus promised her ‘living water’ springing up insider her that would quench her thirst for all time. After confronting her about her many husbands, the woman recognized Jesus as a prophet and asked Him about where to worship. Jesus revealed to her the Father’s desire to find true worshipers who would worship Him in Spirit and truth. He was the Messiah that was called the Christ, speaking to her that day and us now!

John 4:25-26 “The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He Who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I Who speak to you am He.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for seeking out true worshipers! In response to Your great love and mercy, I choose freely to worship You and freely give praise to Your Name in Spirit and truth recognizing Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Son of God. I enter Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise!

Psalm 100:4-5 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His Name! For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.”

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Believe and receive!

Scripture reading for October 26th: John 3

Key Scriptures: John 3:12-17 “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

Jesus was having a conversation with an inquiring Pharisee, Nicodemus, who came to Him at night seeking further insight. Jesus challenged his thinking by telling him that he must be ‘born again.’ Nicodemus struggled to understand how that could happen in the natural. He asked Jesus how this might happen and Jesus then shared with him heavenly truth, based in the Old Testament Scriptures that Nicodemus had studied and recognized as God’s Word. Jesus took him to Moses in the wilderness instructed by God to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. The plague of serpents that attacked the Israelites had cost many lives already and God’s remedy was this bronze serpent. All who would look in faith upon this remedy would be saved and healed. Jesus said that He also would be ‘lifted up’ in crucifixion and that whoever ‘believed on Him’ would be saved and given eternal life. Hallelujah!

John 3:18-19 “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to be lifted up on the cross of Calvary. I believe He was made sin for me and all lost mankind that whoever would believe on Him would not be condemned, but would have eternal life. Amen! Empower me to proclaim this truth with all my heart, soul, mind and strength! Use me to share this truth with lost people that they would be delivered from Your wrath.

John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

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Zeal for Father’s House

Scripture reading for October 25th: John 2

Key Scriptures: John 2:13-17 “The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple He found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And He poured out the 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.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume Me.””

Jesus took His disciples to their first Passover together at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. As Jesus entered the temple, He found Jews there selling sheep and oxen and money-changers who would change the currency of those wanting to purchase sacrifices, all for a price. This angered Jesus, and he drove them all out with a whip fashioned from chords of rope. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and warned them not to make God’s house a house of trade. He was fulfilling what was written in the Old Testament Scriptures concerning the Messiah: “Zeal for Your House will consume Me.” (Psalm 69:9) He stated that the temple was “My Father’s House.” The Jewish temple leaders demanded a sign from Jesus of why He would do these things. Jesus prophesied to them about His death and resurrection.

John 2:18-21 “So the Jews said to Him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking about the temple of His body.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, fill me with the same zeal as Your Son for Your house. I know that now I am Your house and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that Your people as they gather are Your temple. Let the message of Your life, death and resurrection bring resurrection life to those outside the family of God today.

John 2:22 “When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the Word that Jesus had spoken.”

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