Thomas

Today’s reading is John 20.

Poor Thomas. His worst moment, and it is the only thing he is remembered for, even though better moments are revealed in Scripture. However, I’m glad Thomas is there. I’m glad he doubted. Skeptics today act like these ancient people were all dim-witted, backwoods, superstitious twits who would simply accept anything. But they weren’t. Keep in mind, Thomas wasn’t the only one who didn’t believe until he saw Jesus. The others just saw Jesus first. The gospel didn’t get started, Jesus didn’t get proclaimed because of a lot of wishful thinking and have success because people were backwards and superstitious. These people saw evidence that convinced them Jesus rose from the dead. They saw the kind of evidence it would take us to believe it as well. Then they recorded it and recorded what came from it. Praise God for showing us Thomas’s doubt. Maybe it wasn’t his greatest moment. But it is a great moment for us. Thank you, Thomas. Thank you, Lord.

Monday’s reading is John 21.

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It Is Finished

Today’s reading is John 19.

What more is there to say? Jesus went to the cross. He did that for you. He did that for me. He suffered beyond our imagination because He not only bent under the lash of the scourge and the weight of the cross, but under the weight of our sins. He left the glories of heaven to go nowhere but that cross. He paid the price. He filled the debt. He fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law by dying in our place. How wonderful to hear Him proclaim, “It is finished.” Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is John 20.

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Not of This World

Today’s reading is John 18.

Why do disciples behave so differently from the world? Because our kingdom is not of this world? If we were of the world, we would fight like the world. Of course, the sad part is sometimes we do fight like the world, don’t we? We can get on Facebook and raise a ruckus like the best of them. We can get in a picket line and point fingers and yell and holler like the rest. We can even take to the politics of the world to get our doctrines passed into law. But that isn’t what we’re supposed to be about. We’re about Christ’s kingdom. And His kingdom is not of this world. We shouldn’t be either.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 19.

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Jesus Prayed for Us

Today’s reading is John 17.

“I do not ask for these only,” Jesus prayed, “but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” Do you know who Jesus is praying for right there? He is praying for you and me. We believe through the words of these apostles. That is so cool. Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus was praying for us. Of course, what did He pray? That we would be united. Our unity in Him is a huge testimony to the world that God really did send Jesus. Of course, this can’t be just some kind of stated unity, it needs to be the kind of unity the Father, Son, and Spirit actually had. That being said, it should really blow our minds that when Jesus prayed for us, He prayed for unity. Let’s lean into that prayer, get out Jesus’s Word, and get united.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 18.

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They Think They are Obeying God

Today’s reading is John 16.

When the Jews crucified Jesus, did they know they were disobeying God? No. In fact, they thought they were serving Him. They thought Jesus was a blasphemer who needed to be executed. When the Jews persecuted the apostles and the early church, did they know they were disobeying God? No. In fact, they thought they were serving Him. These Christians weren’t keeping Moses’s Law and were declaring Jesus was God. They needed to be stomped out. Let us not be surprised then when people today slander, mock, belittle, and persecute us all while thinking they have God’s high ground. They think we don’t love as purely as they do. They label us as haters when we explain repentance is necessary. The reasons for thinking they are obeying God may have changed, but the claim that they are the ones obeying God has not. Don’t be surprised. Just keep loving and serving God the way He has asked in His Word no matter what anyone else says.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 17.

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Thank God for the Pruning Shears

Today’s reading is John 15.

When a branch in Jesus’s vine bears fruit, you know what God does? Leave it alone? Pat it and pet it and whisper wonderful words to it? Just give it more water? Nope. He prunes it. He gets out some shears and cuts off the bits that are distracting the nutrients from what is actually bearing fruit. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly sound pleasant to me. However, in the end, it actually produces more and better fruit. Being a disciple is not always easy. Sometimes it does feel like being stricken and cut on. However, those pruning shears are part of the Spirit’s way of producing His fruit in us, getting it to grow more fully. Don’t be discouraged, rather thank God for the pruning shears.

Monday’s reading is John 16.

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How Will They Know We Love God?

Today’s reading is John 14.

Did you hear what Jesus said at the very end of today’s chapter? “I do as the Father has commanded me, because I always like to keep the rules.” Nope. “I do as the Father has commanded me to show I’m better than everyone else.” Nope. “I do as the Father has commanded me because deep down inside, I’m a Pharisee.” Nope. “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” Wow! Who knew? I thought keeping the commandments was about rules, regulations, and legalism. That stuff is for Pharisees. But Jesus says doing what God says was His way of letting the world know He had a real relationship with the Father. I wonder if that might work for us too. Since our Teacher took that path, perhaps we disciples should follow Him.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 15.

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