Devotional on John

2014 – La Conner, WA

Don’t leave home without it

John 14: Whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it.

Some of the most empowering words ever spoken are those of our Lord as he prepares his disciples for the soon coming events in these closing days of his earthly ministry. The clock is ticking and soon their world will be rocked in ways they can’t imagine. Still, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. As a result of all that’s coming they’ll do even greater things than what they’ve seen Jesus do. I think Jesus is speaking to them as a cooperate group and not as individuals. They won’t all go out and be messiahs in the world, but together, as the Church, they’ll transform the world in the Name of Jesus. They won’t be alone in their task. Jesus is sending the Holy Spirit, his Spirit, who’ll not only be with them but will be in them, empowering them to do his work. When they run up against impossible situations that threaten to stop them from carrying on his work, all they’ll need to do is call out to him and he’ll make the impossible possible for them. This “asking in Jesus’ Name” isn’t an open credit card that they can use for doing anything they want. Rather, this is all about ministry empowerment. Jesus wants them to carry on his work in this world, bringing the Good News of the Gospel to every nation. He promises them power for the task and he tells them that he’ll never be more than a prayer away. This may not be an all-purpose “credit card” but it is, I think, a mighty fine “Master’s Card” that I need to use more often.

Take Away: Jesus has provided us exactly what we need to do his work in this world.

Devotional on 1 Corinthians

2014 – Long Beach, WA

Stop acting like babies!

1 Corinthians 3: Are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way?

Only an enemy or a dear friend can say the things Paul says to the church at Corinth. Their behavior, he says is “infantile” and “unscriptural” and Paul is “completely frustrated” by them. The problem is their infighting. People are choosing sides and jockeying for position. They approach every situation from a “me” point of view, judging everything by what they’ll get out of it and whether or not whatever it is in play will suit their tastes. Paul, their friend, tells them to stop acting like babies and get over themselves. He reminds them that it’s all about Jesus, not them. It would be nice to think that the “baby problem” is unique to Corinth but you and I both know it’s not. It’s human nature to measure everything by our own desires and tastes. On one hand, there’s a place for that. After all, we bring unique experiences, knowledge, and insights to life. There’s a place for us to express ourselves and let our preferences be known. I don’t think the problem at Corinth is that some folks like the preaching of Apollos better than they like the preaching of Paul. The problem is that individuals selfishly insist on getting their own way and focus their energies on forming coalitions so they’ll have more say than others. Paul tells them to cut it out and remember that the church isn’t theirs in the first place. When I’m manipulating things behind the scenes or openly demanding my rights I’m dislodging Jesus from his place as the Head of the Church.

Take Away: Like it or not, it’s not all about me.

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