The Blessings of Delighting in His Word

Psalm 119 is all about God’s Word- how precious it is to us, what it can do for us, how it guides and guards us…. In Part B, verses 9-16, there are several key verses that can help guide us each and every day. My friend Diana loves verse 11 in particular and holds it dear (me too!) Let’s start with verse 9 which tells us a clear reason to study and lean upon the truth of God’s Word. How can a young man keep his way pure?    By guarding it according to your word. Whether you are young or old this is absolutely true- our walk in this world can only be pure and blameless if we base our daily actions, attitudes and beliefs on God’s Word. If we are guarding ourselves with His word then it will lead to other things mentioned in this passage.

  1. 10 With my whole heart I seek you;
        let me not wander from your commandments!
    To guard my walk, my intentions must be focused on Jesus and we need to seek Him. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
  2. 11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
        that I might not sin against you.
    This verse gives us motivation and reason for memorizing God’s Word, and studying it diligently- to keep ourselves resisting the temptation to sin. John 14:26 “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.” James 1:13-15 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Memorize God’s Word and when you need it most the Holy Spirit will bring it into your mind. This may be when you need courage or strength or to turn you away from evil and help you make a godly choice. God promises His Word will lead us His way.
    3. 12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
        teach me your statutes!
    I must desire that God teach me from His Word as I study.
    4. 1With my lips I declare
        all the rules of your mouth.
    14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
        as much as in all riches.
    I need to let His Words be in my mouth as I speak to others, as I pray, as I seek to delight in Him.
    5. 15 I will meditate on your precepts
         and fix my eyes on your ways.
    As I study and memorize God’s Word, I need to think on it, chew on it and keep it ever before my mind. Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Mediation on God’s Word deepens our understanding and allows God time to change and mold our thinking. Biblical thinking comes from spending time meditating on God’s Word.
    6. 16 I will delight in your statutes;
         I will not forget your word.
    The end result of seeking Him, guarding my ways, memorizing scripture, speaking His word in prayer and to others, and mediating on His Word will be DELIGHT!! As we put God’s Word in our minds and heart, we will find delight and joy in learning more about Almighty God which will deepen our love and trust in Him. Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delightin his way;”

Diana is right, verse 11 is one to memorize and mediate upon. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” It is a promise from God that planting His Word in our heart will help you resist Satan, resist your old nature and turn to Him.

Linda

COME! to Him

Today’s favorite comes from Matthew’s gospel and my friend Lee, chose verse 28. I have added the surrounding verses to give a better picture of our Lord’s meaning and scope.

Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Jesus’ words bring comfort to our hearts and minds as He recognizes our humanness and the difficulties of this world in which we live. Consider the Jews Jesus is addressing when His words were spoken. They were harasses and overburdened by the religious leaders of their day. They had constant rules and regulations which they need to abide by be considered faithful. Most of these were man-made rules that were a great burden to the people and caused them great distress. They were also citizens of an occupied country. Rome was a formidable ruler that demanded much from those they enslaved. They were also living in troubled times and families struggled for existence- food, shelter and peace. Jesus’ words of peace and promised rest were music to their weary ears.

Is it not so with us? Do you long to hear words of comfort from your Savior? Jesus promises He is gentle, loving and by coming to Him He will make your burdens lighter. Belonging to Jesus will not add to your burdens, but will free you spiritually to be able to rise above the earthly worries as you cling to Him. Jesus promises belonging to Him means He will walk beside us and help us carry the burdens we have in life. If need be at times, He will carry us. Resting in Jesus is the safest place to be. In 1 Peter 5:10 Peter spoke these words to believers, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” Jesus’ rest is a rest that restores, strengthens, confirms and helps establish us in faith. Praise God!

Thank you Lee for pointing us to this verse. May we be reminded of Christ’s command, COME! You cannot receive the blessing of rest and restoration unless you come to Him.

Linda

Seeking Renewal? ASK!

As we age it seems harder and harder to keep up with those young ones around us. Whether it is little children or teens, their endurance is only a remembrances to us! Today’s favorite verse, from my friend Sharon, is Isaiah 40:30-31 which gives us encouragement no matter what our age.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

In these verses, God’s Word is acknowledging our humanness and reminds us that even the young do not have unlimited strength and endurance. To survive in the world, we must rely upon the Lord. He promises to renew our strength when we feel we cannot go on. We do not need to wait until we are spent to call upon the Lord for additional strength. As we learn in walking with Jesus, it is better to call upon Him before we reach the end of our strength as He promises He will lift us up, cause us to soar and be renewed.

I can see how this verse is a favorite as it stands a reminder of God’s strength in all things and our limited resources. When you combine this with Philippian 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” We can be assured that God does not tire, God has unlimited resources and He wants to provide for us. We just need to ask. John 14:13-15 shows us Jesus’ willingness if we ask with the right heart. “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Where do you need God’s help today? Is your need physical, mental, emotional or spiritual? What obstacles are you facing that you are allowing pride to get in your way of asking God for help? Do you see problems ahead and need God’s strength to overcome? God has the resources to help you soar and not grow faint. He can give you the wings of eagles to cause you to soar above and be renewed.

Thanks Sharon for the reminder of God’s strength and constant provision. Call upon Him and be renewed!

Linda

He’s Got This! Trust Him!

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11. It is also the favorite of Steve, in my church, and Francine, in my BSF leader’s group. Why is this verse so beloved? Let me explain the hope and encouragement, the reassurance of who God is and His Sovereign control over all things that are found in this verse!

The full context of the verse occurs in a letter sent to the Israelites who had been taken into captivity. God wanted them to know that they were loved by Him and that He had future plans for their lives even though their current circumstances were troubled. Jeremiah 29:1 sets the stage: This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.” God wanted them to know that even though they were ‘gone’ from Jerusalem, the temple and their homeland; they were NOT forgotten or abandoned there. Jeremiah 29:10-14 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Here is God’s encouragement- WOW! 10) Be of good courage as I will bring you back home after 70 years in Babylon. 11) I know what the future holds for you and I’ve got this- it is good! 12)Your faith will continue and we will have viable communication. 13) When you look for me, you will find me! 14) I promise I’ll bring you home. The exile in Babylon had been caused by their own unfaithfulness to God, and yet God was confirming to them that they still were His and He would work in their lives to restore them. What a wonderful loving God! They had messed up big time, had not listened, had ignored his prophets, had worshipped other gods, and yet God still had them in the palm of His hand as He promised to care for them while in exile. Thankfully, the Israelites learned their lesson and did not stray into idolatry again after their return to Israel 70 years later.

That is the big picture, now to verse 11.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” God knew the plans He had for Israel and the work He had planned for them. God is sovereign and knows all about me. I know He has plans for me and a purpose for my life in His kingdom. Because God is good in all things, I can rest assured that all His plans for me are good and will be successful. God’s plans are meant to give me hope and assure my faith and future. Those plans are not for a bigger house, car or better job, but are in relation to my work for Him in His kingdom. Our purpose is to glorify God in all we say and do and He has the very best places and plans for that to happen. Walking with Jesus, I can live assured that His way, though it may be hard, will produce good for me and will add to my future with Him. He has plans….my job is to keep the faith and seek to stay in His will doing things His way in His time.

Steve, Francine and I all love the assurance this verse gives and seek to claim its promises in our lives as we seek to live and serve Him. How about you? Do you see God’s plans as good? Do you trust in His goodness no matter what is happening around you? Circumstances can and do get very sticky and troubled. Keep your focus upon Him and trust in His sovereignty. Psalm 73:28 is my cry, along with David, “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” Trust in Him and make the Sovereign Lord your refuge. Proclaim Him to those around you. Trust Him! He’s got this!

Linda

Want the hope of a straight pathway? Look to Jesus

This summer I want to delve into God’s Word and add to a couple of my series. First, I want to continue to explore favorite passages that my friends have found meaningful for confident living with and in Jesus. Second, last summer I did a series where I Wandered through the Bible writing on passages that have been meaningful to me in years of study and living with Jesus. Hence you will see both series continued this summer and I do hope you will allow God’s Word to speak to you in a new and fresh way as my journey continues.

Today I want to highlight a favorite passage of mine and my dear friend Joan Pauls. She went to be with the Lord this March and I thought it fitting to begin this series anew with her passage. Her favorite passage is Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Knowing my friend Joan, I can see why she always got strength and power for living from these 2 short verses. One must TRUST in God with all of your heart and being, forsaking the worldly views or what you think is right and go with God. He knows the true pathway in life and our submission to Him and His will leads us on His path and in His way. God never fails and His ways are right and just. Sticking to worldly views and morals and standards is not enough as they are often in conflict with what God desires for us and gives us in His Word. We must Trust in Him, lean only on Him and His wisdom and submit to His ways. Those actions and thoughts will lead us on the straight path and we will not be deceived or lead astray or as we say take the long road around. God’s way is direct and never crooked. Is it easy? No. Keeping our focus on Jesus, His Word, being steeped in prayer and connected in fellowship will help us in our daily submission to Him.

Joan knew that this was a recipe for great and confident living in Jesus. Those around her knew her heart belonged to Jesus and that she loved Him. May we do likewise and be blessed with the straight pathway He has promised.

Linda

P.S. These verses are also a favorite of my friend Elizabeth and I wrote about her favorites in the blog entitled, About To Give up? Look to God’s Word- He has the Answer you need. She had several verses she leans upon to help her live confidently in Jesus. Look it up, February 15, 2022.

June 5 Pentecost, a time to answer your 5 W’s too!

Our journey from the cross to Pentecost is finally over. Pentecost: Who was there?  Scripture tells us in Acts chapters 1 and 2 that the disciples and many other Jews from every nation were gathered together.

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What happened?  The arrival of the promised gift from the Father, power from heaven that would empower them to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

When did it happen?  Pentecost was 50 days after the Passover.  It was called the Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament. It was 10 days after Jesus’ Ascension into heaven.

Where did it happen?  Jesus told them to go and wait for the helper that would come.  They returned to Jerusalem after Jesus’ Ascension just as He commanded.

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Acts 2:2-4 describes to us vividly the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”    Peter stood and preached to the gathered crowd and told them that this outpouring from heaven was from God.  He quoted the Old Testament prophet Joel in Acts 2:17 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”   The arrival of the Holy Spirit was dramatic: tongues of fire, a noisy strong wind and filled with many languages.  It was a surprise arrival yet it had been expected.  Jesus told them to go and wait, so they knew someone was coming as gift from the Father.  In John 15:15-17, 25-26,  Jesus had promised them the Holy Spirit would come.  “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-the Spirit of truth.   And all this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”   Also in Luke 24:48-49 Jesus told them of the coming power and place,  “You are witnesses of these things.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 

Why was this necessary?  When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit came to dwell within me.  This Spirit that arrived on tongues of fire and with a great sound lives within me permanently.  He empowers me to live a godly life and to speak to others about Jesus and His salvation.  1 John 4:4 puts it this way, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is great than the one who is in the world.”   Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. ”     2 Corinthians 1:21-22  “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”    

How do you answer your own 5 W’s about the Holy Spirit?  Who is the Holy Spirit to you?  What are you allowing God to do with this Holy Spirit that lives within you?  Where are you walking in obedience and listening to His Word?  When are you  stepping out in faith to tell others about Jesus?    Why is the Holy Spirit necessary in your life?  Jesus wanted the disciples, and us too, to use the power the Father sent to do the work of telling others and living for Him.  Will you begin today by allowing God’s Holy Spirit living within you to lead you to live for Him in a mighty way that will bring Him honor and glory?

Praising Him this Pentecost Sunday,

Linda

Waiting… is Time to Serve Him

When Jesus ascended back into heaven He promised a gift from the Father would come. He did not tell them how long they would wait, but He did say don’t go home. They trusted that the wait would be short enough that they would not want have to return to fishing in Galilee. Scripture gives us some insight into their waiting period which we know was 10 days. The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost which was 10 days after Christ’s ascension into heaven. Acts 1:12-14 “Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”

During those days of prayer and fellowship they came to the decision that they needed to chose another apostle to take Judas’ place due to his betrayal of Christ and suicide. Acts 1:15-17 “In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” Peter quoted a prophecy from Psalms in Acts 1:20 “ “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “‘May his place be deserted;  let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “‘May another take his place of leadership.’

They all felt that Jesus wanted them to have 12 Apostles representing the 12 tribes of Israel. There seemed to be several men that met the criteria of having been with Jesus and who had followed Him from baptism to crucifixion. This was a unique time period and in the future they no longer cast lots to chose leaders. With the Holy Spirit as their guide, they did not have to use this manner, and here is the last mention of it in the Bible. Acts 1:21-26 “ Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.”

What do we take away from this scene? The disciples knew what Jesus expected of them, their mission was to tell others about Him and to live and walk with him each day. Knowing that they needed 12 Apostles, they set about identifying those amongst themselves that met the criteria of having been with Jesus. They let God choose which would take up this responsibility when they chose by casting lots. So what does God require of us as we await His return? Is it not the same? We have our mission and purpose to tell others the good news of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. We have lives to live that are to glorify Him in all we say and do. We are to walk with Him each day leaning upon His wisdom, understanding, hope and eternal justice as we seek to live humbly, before Him. AND, we have work to do as we seek to carry out His mission of telling others about Him, of His love and redemption. Waiting is not idle time but it is work time. Spreading the good news is essential and filled with purpose.

So… get up, get busy and be about His work while you wait. Study, learn, memorize, speak out, praise, pray, encourage and support one another in love until He comes again!

Linda


What to Do While Waiting

Jesus had been appearing to them for the last 40 days since his resurrection. He had been teaching and confirming who He was and their mission to continue to tell others about Him after He returned to heaven. They had many questions and voiced a few in Acts 1:6-8. Here was Jesus’ answer, “Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” They wanted details- the how, when and where of His return and the restoration of Israel. Jesus simply reminded them of the power that was coming and their greater purpose in His kingdom here on earth. Jesus wanted patient obedience and focus from them.

How good are you at waiting? I’m not prone to waiting patiently, but when I know something is coming I can endure with a bit more patience. The disciples were commanded by Jesus to wait for the coming Holy Spirit that the Father would send. They were not to leave Jerusalem and go back to fishing. The fact Jesus told them to wait there would have given them hope that it would be only a ‘short’ time before this promised power would arrive. Acts 1:1-5 “In my former book (the gospel of Luke), Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Is that a lesson you need to learn too? We know Jesus is to return and what our job is until he does. Why do we fret over the when and where? Just like the disciples, we need to wait for the right time for speaking out about Him, remain steadfast in faith, constant in prayer and filled with His hope. God’s timing is perfect and He alone knows when Jesus will return. Until then, just like the disciples- we wait. But, God has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to tell others about Him. The disciples were waiting for that power- only a few days more until the Holy Spirit arrives on Pentecost. They didn’t know it was only 10 days away so they returned to Jerusalem after the ascension and waited together . Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” This is a perfect example of how we can encourage and support one another as we wait.

If Jesus returned today, would He find you doing what He asked? Are you telling others about Him? Are you praying for others and remaining steadfast in your faith? Are you encouraging and praying with fellow believers? It was a challenge for the disciples and it is a challenge for us. They had just seen and heard Jesus and knew Him to be real and trustworthy. We have the empowerment from the Holy Spirit within us to be faithful and honor His requests, and we too know Him to be trustworthy!

May you seek to do His will while you wait for His return.

Linda

40 Days with Jesus, Now Ascension Has Arrived

40 days after the resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven.  His ascension is recorded in Mark, Luke and the book of Acts.  It took place on a mountain top in the vicinity of Bethany according to Luke 24:50-51 “And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.”  Mark also adds in Jesus’ destination after His ascension, Mark 16:19 “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”   In the  book of Acts, Luke, the author, gives us a more complete picture of this event.  Acts 1:9-11 “And after He said these things, He was caught up as they looked on, and a cloud took Him up out of their sight. 10 While they were looking intently into the sky as He was going, two men in white clothing suddenly stood beside them, 11 who said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This [same] Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will return in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

The disciples were focused on where Jesus was going as their beloved Savior rose before their eyes until He was out of sight. Two men in white suddenly appeared, angels, and assured them that Jesus will return in the same way He left.   Jesus had lovingly told them that He would send a helper to guide and empower them in His absence.  Acts 1:7-8 “He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”  Jesus wanted His followers to be about telling others about the kingdom and the good news of salvation and forgiveness which is available to everyone though faith in Jesus.   The promised Holy Spirit would come upon them in just 10 days at Pentecost and then the truth of Christ and His work would revolutionize the world!  

Christs return

Are you anticipating the return of Christ?  Be encouraged with these words from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. 

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Are you telling others about your Savior as you wait?  Be encouraged by Peter’s words: 1 Peter 3:15 “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”   Be ready to tell others of your HOPE in Jesus!

Linda

Where is Your Focus? On the World? On Jesus?

The Sea side post-resurrection appearance continues………Peter was distressed that Jesus questioned him 3 times about his love, obviously he forgotten he had denied Christ 3 times.  Here at the Sea of Galilee Jesus insisted the answer is “Follow me!”

John 21:17-19 “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “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. 18 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.”19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”   

Peter was upset at the Lord’s insistent questioning of his love,  and Jesus replied with a prophecy about Peter’s life and death to come,  and how he would bring glory to God.  What Jesus required of Peter was obedience- ‘follow me’!

Peter then asked about John and received this rebuke from Jesus in verses 21-22. “When Peter saw him (John), he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”   Jesus wanted Peter’s focus to be on Him not on the future and what would happen to others.  As Jesus said, He would take care of John,  but Peter needed to focus on following Him.

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Let us take encouragement from this scene for today.   Just like Peter, we need to focus our lives on following Jesus, being obedience to His Word and walking with Him daily.  We do not need to ‘worry’ about others or question Jesus about their work and walk.  We have enough to do to keep our own focus on Him.   This does not mean we are not concerned about others,  but Peter was just being nosy here and wanted to know what would happen to John in the future- is his life going to be better than mine?  Since the Lord’s answer was always “Follow me”, that is what is crucial in our life too.  Obedience to Jesus is what He desires.  We are to keep our focus on Jesus and not compare our circumstances to others.  Later Peter so beautifully wrote in 1 Peter 1:22-23 “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” 

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Let us take seriously our walk with Jesus and His command ‘Follow me!” May we let the distractions of the world fall away as we walk forward in obedience with our Savior.

Linda