John 15 Abiding- As My Role

Abide, ABIDE! Help me abide in You daily, each minute, in my joy, in my stress, in my loneliness, in my health, in my heart, actions and thoughts, words, feelings, responses. What is there in me of any worth without You in it, Lord?

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Credit: Georgia Greer

My “kingdom equity” is for you. Everything in my “realm” of control, influence, life, my choices, my body, my job, my work each day, my family, my attitude, my innermost thoughts, my fears, hopes, desires, plans and thanksgivings; these things are my realm, my kingdom equity all for You. Let me not forget You my King. You are the Only and True King.

When I abide, I can ask for whatever (of Jesus, in Jesus name, for the glory of the Father) and it will be done. That is because my asking is fully His desire too, when I am abiding in Him. We are One so oneself cannot be divided. I must abide in Him, with a lower case “i”.

The letter “i” is a good visual: Jesus, as my head, the dot, and myself as the upright and fully inline with the head, nothing wandering or bending out from under that headship.

Thus as “i” abide in Him, I know Him and His desires and will ask for the necessary, the blessed and right things. It will glorify the Father.

Abiding asking glorifies God.

How am I asking God? Am I asking from a place of abiding “i”? Or am “I” doing the asking? Where do my desires come from? He is so much greater, so much wiser and the joy of “i” over “I” desires, has such greater depth and fruit.

Lord I submit to You. Let me be “i” under You, help me to look to You in all I do. To reflect You in my thoughts and actions. Teach me daily, lead me gently, help my heart heal and grow to Your glory. Show me Your way of love for and toward all You have created. Recreate me in You. I trust You as my designer, my playwright, my director in the production of my life to be shaped into the character You need for Your story. Thank you for casting me in a Your production!

John 14 Prepared for Change

 

Jesus reveals Himself to those who love Him (shown by obedience to Him). The world does not do this so the world won’t “get Him”, will not comprehend. He will abide in in those who love Him. It’s “We” will come and make “Our” abode. Not just Jesus but God the Father in dwells and the Holy Spirit is part of that.DSCN4850

Jesus left His friends with Peace, Godly, not worldly peace – so no troubled hearts in fear. Yes, Jesus expects us to need this reminder, don’t be troubled by unwanted change, don’t be troubled, and don’t be afraid. Because, with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit abiding in me, in us, our hearts need not fear nor worry.

He prepares us for change with promises of peace and the Holy Spirit and His return. Jesus went to the cross to show the world that love, true love, is obedient not to the world but to a grace-filled self-suffering God.

I love – I obey God – I love

John 14 Prayer

2015-05-11 17.06.49If the point of praying to Jesus in His name is to glorify the Father, how does God get the glory if we only pray in private? Jesus often prayed in public specifically for God to get the glory. Are there times I hold back praying in public because I am self-conscious rather than God conscious? Is it because I lack the faith that Jesus will answer my prayers offered in public?

Is my prayer something like this?

I love You, as best as I know You, I want to know You better Jesus, to know You and my Father, I know You are far beyond my know-ability but You have already come to me and my world and that way, Your way, is the one I want to follow. Lord, guide me through my daily mess, remind me to say no when I am in disobedience and return to You, when I am being obedient, HELP! For my plate feels so full and needs YOU to consume, set, cook, eat, clear and clean for the next meal. Alone I am destroyed.

Father, in the name of Jesus I ask, Jesus, I ask in Your name, that You be glorified by working…..(insert need)…. In the life of…all the glory and honor to you Lord for what comes of this, Thus, I confess my pride that holds me back for fear of looking stupid. I will risk that for Your names sake, I ask and trust you to do that which brings You the most glory.

I can’t keep your commands alone. I am desperate to be filled by Your Spirit. Truth is in me by His Holy Spirit, Jesus’s Holy Spirit. I live only because Jesus lives. My obedience in love, through love, keeps me here, abiding in Him, in you, Jesus.

Fill me Lord, with Your love for those around me.  Give me Your eyes to see and Your heart to meet the needs.  Give me your discernment to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and even ‘wait’ as you also say those words to me.

Let me daily trust and obey.

Thank you Jesus.

John 13 Prayer and Facing Danger

WInd farm on road to VegasWho have I been addressing my prayers to? I have prayed in Jesus name to the Father following the example of Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer. Hearing the words in verse 13, I realize one of the reasons I still feel distant from Jesus is that I am not talking to Him but through Him into what is unfathomable except in Him. So I am changing the address for my prayers to dear Jesus…because I shall take Him at His word.

And now to Peter. Here, these close group of men are together and have just heard there is a betrayer among them. Each one must have checked his own heart. Clearly Peter has. He is certain it could never be him. Yet that potential is in each of us when under the kind of danger they are about to face. Without the work that Jesus is about to finish, no one would be able to stand.  However, after….after, the Holy Spirit was indwelling in them, they bore witness to The One who lived in them.

But for now Peter, how did you feel? Angry? Exposed? Had each of them had thoughts of loyalty cross their minds, had they been tempted themselves because of the pressure the authorities were putting to try and find and arrest Jesus,

How many times do the failings of our hearts and emotions cause us to misunderstand? Fear, doubt, anger push me into actions of running away or rising up and striking out. Fight and flight. Did Peter determine to prove Jesus wrong? There is ‘no way’ Peter would ever deny Jesus! Is this his trouble? Is it the reactionary in his personality? Rashly spoken words, if left unspoken, he would have felt less pain when he faced his own failure later, and ran away just like the others. Shame.  Such a powerful emotion.  Could Jesus heal even this?

John 13 and John 14 Signs for Believing

ChecklistFrom now on I am telling you before it comes to pass….v19

In this and the next chapter I find a number of things Jesus has told them before hand. Each of these are told as a sign so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. v. 19

Here is the list:

 

v20 Truly truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives him who sent Me.

v21 …one of you will betray Me

v 31 -32 (after Judas has left) Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.

v33 …where I am going you cannot come. …v36 you shall follow later.

To Peter v.38 a rooster shall not crow, until you deny me three times.

14:2 in my Father’ house are many dwelling places; if it were not so,I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where it am going.

v6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also; from now on you Know Him, and have seen Him.

v12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.

v13 and whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in my name, I will do it.

v16-17 …the Father, He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, that the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

v18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

v19 after a little while the world will behold Me no more;but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also.

v20 In that day you shall know that I am in the Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

v21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me, and he who loves me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose myself to him.

v23 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

v25 The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remember nice all that I have said to you.

It boils down to these things:

  • To receive Jesus is to receive the Father.
  • Jesus is to be betrayed (and it was fulfilled with the betrayal of Judas)
  • God is (was) glorified in Jesus (done)
  • Jesus was only with them a little while longer– He went to His death and they could not go there.(done)
  • Peter would (did) deny Jesus three times before dawn.
  • Jesus has gone ahead and prepared a place in heaven and will come again.
  • Through Jesus only, we come to the Father- knowing Jesus is knowing the Father
  • Believers in Jesus shall do the works that Jesus did (and have) and greater works.
  • Anything asked of Jesus, in Jesus name will be done for the purpose of glorifying the Father in the Son. (Did, does)
  • Another Helper is coming (and has come)
  • You won’t be left as orphans (were not, Spirit came)
  • Soon won’t be seen but by believers He shall be (was seen)
  • Will know and love Jesus obediently (they did) and Jesus will disclose Himself to them
  • Love Jesus and keep His word the Father, In Jesus will abide with them (did and does)
  • Holy Spirit will remind them of all Jesus has said (did)

John 13 Who’s My Daddy?

dscn0761.jpgI can’t go where Jesus is just now. I am like a little child being left behind in the church babysitting room, classroom or nursery. How I behave while He is gone, till He comes back to pick me up, that is important. What am I learning? What am I doing and how am I doing it? How am I treating others? Gee, am I playing nicely with others? He told me love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. That’s a command. How am I doing with it? Jesus just took a lowly position and washed the feet of the one whom He knew was about to betray Him to death! My love towards my “nursery -mates” is to be like this. When I love this way it shows who my daddy is.

Who’s your daddy?

John 13 Teaching Actions

There is a change in teaching style that we see in this section. Let’s trace it.

First, Jesus knew His hour had come so we know all His actions are planned. His plan was to love to the end. In that spirit of love, He washed their feet.

DSCN5277Specifically, with Peter, He answers His question with gentle love. He responded to Peter’s disapproval with a simple explanation of the need and importance to be washed. He responded to the enthusiastic wash all of me, with again, a simple explanation and affirmation. This had to have a reaction in the others, think of how you react when a member of your close associations be it family, coworkers or friends, is a bit like the ADHD Peter, and Jesus speaks to the group with a warning, catching them all in the middle of their reaction to His confirming to Peter that he is clean. But not all of you.  Imagine how this reverberated in the hearts of the hearers?

Jesus has caught their attention by a personal touch, a specific response to one of the most active in the group and a word of warning. Next, He follows this with a question. Do you know what I have done to you? What have you done to me Lord? What is the meaning of this action? Why have You done this? What do You mean by clean?

Their minds are racing, now He explains. He has set an example.

2015-05-11 16.38.08If it is right for the teacher and Lord to do an action, then it is right for them to do so also. Jesus taught them by example using probing questions.

He then uses the repetition of “truly, truly to make His point. Blessings come from doing what you know you must do. Put the teaching into practice and be blessed. Then comes the contrast.

Before Jesus goes into the deeper teachings He has to share with His group, He calls out the betrayer, but not directly. What He does say is a huge alert.

From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.

This is followed by the first two prophesies that all 12 disciples hear. These are spoken to all including Judas. Jesus knowing all, includes Judas in these. He is fully aware because after sharing the first one, He is deeply troubled by that reality and declares the second, one of you will betray me.

What was the first one? He who receives Me, receives Him who sent me.

How clear is that? The corollary is equally true. He who does not receive Jesus, does not receive The One who sent Him. If you reject Jesus, you reject His father. That is disturbing news and it disturbed Jesus to share it as well as the rest.

Peter signals John to ask Jesus who. John leans back on Jesus and asks just that. Jesus does not expose him by name but by action. Jesus gives bread dipped in wine, the very symbols of his sacrifice, his body and blood, He turns over to Judas and says what you do, do quickly. And Judas leaves.

Take a deep breath. For it begins here. Jesus knows. The signal is given. The countdown has begun.

Judas, washed clean, has received the symbolic body and blood of Jesus put by Jesus into his hands, to receive or reject, to go and do what Judas had planned to do already, after hearing the word of truth about who Jesus is, leaves to betray Him.

Lord, will there be moments when we too must teach this way?

Jesus, for those on the front lines of battle who face death because of teaching the truth about you in the face of the enemy, we pray Your blessing of peace and confidence as they willingly surrender their lives as martyrs for Your names sake.

John 13 Do I Limit God?

This section begins the first of 12 messages told to us by Jesus for the purpose of believing.

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From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am HE.

The first one is verse 20.

He who receives whomever I send, receives Me; and he who receives Me, receives Him who sent Me.

Who is Jesus sending me?

Jesus was given Judas as a follower, He taught him, treated him just like all the others, with the same love, same lessons and even washed his feet, all the while in full knowledge of what Judas was going to do. Jesus knew Judas’s heart yet He loved him no differently and no less than he loved the others. Jesus kept his enemy close. Jesus submitted to the will of His Father, allowing Himself to suffer treason for me and for all people, even me. What does this say about boundaries? God has no boundaries. Jesus allowed all this to bring glory to God.

DSCN5315What boundaries do I put on God? What boundaries are on me? What is true and right here? If Jesus took it all, then what is there for me to carry but to let Him carry it all and follow His footsteps? He knows my fragility, my weakness. What am I trying to shoulder that belongs to Him? Is it not easier to serve Him joyfully than to attempt to shoulder the burden He has already carried to completion?

There is much to ponder here.

John 13 Who is a Foot-washer?

Now to my new favorite section of John’s gospel. It was 11 but I think I just moved it into these next two chapters. I may have divided them differently because I think 13:19 starts a key section. But lets put first things first, verses 1-11.

Jesus, fully confident in the knowledge of who He is, what He has been given by the Father, where He is from and where He is going took the actions of the servant, performed the lowliest duty of foot washing. The job is so dirty, so low, that one removes their outer garment just to keep it from being soiled. Imagine the dirty water that would splash. If I had to do this job or was having it done for me, I would prefer a clean water rinse, not the bowl that was just used on the person before me. I don’t want to wash in another ones dirty bath water! This was to be a long process.

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credit: DLeonis/iStock/Getty Images

How was Jesus feeling in His human emotions? Imagine the love He was pouring out on these men as He cleansed their feet, preparing them for the walk ahead, and the words of prophecy about to be spoken over them. I wonder what he may have said while he washed each man’s feet.

Did this act fill the human heart of Jesus with love and compassion of His own human experience?  What sort of imprint to His mind and heart did this act produce? Was He taking in the soul needs of each individual as He ministered this love to them?  Did He store this up in his mind, for that extreme hour about to come?  He knew He would soon hang on the cross, did it provide encouragement for Him?  Was it the motivation His humanity needed to obey unto death?  How does one suffer well for another, endure for another? Is this not why our memories are so precious for us, our irreplaceable photo albums? Do they not serve a purpose to strengthen us in hard times? How do soldiers endure the battle? Those letters, those photos, those memories, provide strong encouragement for those who must fight and suffer. Jesus must have treasured each person at this meal as He washed their feet, as He was about to go forth and die for their sake, for our sake. For such a great suffering, a great act of servanthood provides encouragement for the future.

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What do I know will be coming up for me and hard for me? Is there an illness I must battle? Is there a legal road ahead I must fight? Is there a child gone astray that I must hope for? How shall I endure? What precious memory and act of pure servant love can I build to draw from later that will not only encourage me, but remind them of my love for them? What undesirable chore have I resisted doing that can be done in great love?

Who can I encourage that sits on the front lines of battle in the culture? Do I encourage the missionaries from my church with notes, prayers or gifts to them?   Do I write to those in the persecuted church with notes of love? Do I pray for those who suffer? Visit the sick and dying, or those trapped in bodies of one-way communication, that may be able to hear or see but yet not be able to respond? Do I send them love and respect? Do I care for the poor and sick of body and soul? Do I seek out the lost and dying to give the message of love and hope through my actions of servant love toward them?

How am I now washing the feet of others? Will I wash my betrayer’s feet? Will I wash the feet of someone I know will hurt me?

 

John 12 Approval and Obedience

There is a lot about believing in this chapter. The crowd heard the voice of God speak but heard it as thunder or thought an angel had spoken to Jesus. They did not understand the words but had an inkling of the source. Jesus’ message was an invitation to become sons of light. (verse 36.) Jesus told those who were believing in Him that they were believing in the One who sent Him, The Father, with the plain message of eternal life. Many believed, and many of those were rulers but they were secret believers because of the corruption of power that sought to put men out of the synagogue, out of the community within the culture. They chose mans approval over God’s approval.

img_4774.jpgThat is harsh and true. What has God called me to do or confess that would cost me the approval of my family, friends, the culture itself, perhaps safety, or security?

The quote from Isaiah shows that there is an automatic healing that comes with the conversion, the belief in Jesus, which stems from seeing and perceiving; the hearing and accepting; the trust and obey.

To follow Jesus is to do as He did. To follow is to go with Jesus and be (which is an active verb) a part of His family.

As Jesus is about to die for mankind, He is met with both belief and unbelief. Neither of which will stop His sacrifice. The lack of understanding about his upcoming actions does not stop Him from obeying.

What in my life am I certain of that I must do for Jesus? What do others not understand? Will I trust Him and obey? The world does not need to understand our acts of obedience to Jesus, which is to the Father. Do I?