Before you read this post, please breathe a short prayer for me, that God would use me this evening as I preach at a leadership conference in Jamaica Queens, NY. Thanks.
Based on today’s reading, what areas of my life do I need to put into Christ’s hands because I trust him?
In vv. 41-44 Jesus says that he doesn’t need to defend himself or prove his identity or promote his ministry; he claims that God the Father does that for him. Jesus reveals his strength of character in this statement. How many people do we know, whether inside or outside of the church, who refuse to self-promote in order to let God defend, promote, and vindicate them. I am challenged by this. Sometimes I want to yell out to the people around me, to my spouse, kids, friends and church family, “look at all the good I’m doing…don’t you realize how lucky you are to have someone like me.” I am going to trust God to defend and promote me when and how he wills. After all, as Jesus suggests, self-promotion destroys our testimony in the eyes of God and in the eyes of people with true spiritual wisdom and discernment.
Based on today’s reading, how can I lovingly submit to Christ by obeying his commands?
It’s so easy to think that knowing is the same as doing. In vv. 39-40 Jesus gets on the Jewish leaders for thinking that by merely knowing Scripture they have life. Jesus says that the true power of Scripture is when it leads people not to simply no more but to move closer to Christ. According to Jesus, the intent of Scripture, is not to show off our intelligence in theological debates but to move us closer and closer to Christ, the giver of life. I don’t want this 21 day devotional journey in John’s Gospel to deteriorate into theological jargon or information acquisition; I want to translate not into more information but more transformation. As I continue this journey, I’m going to look for ways that each day’s reading will propel me deeper into Christ. If it doesn’t, I’m reading for the wrong reasons.
Love and prayers,