All of these devotionals are the result of my own personal reflection on God's word. If you find these devotionals helpful, please subscribe and share them! Thank you for reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Isaiah 30:18

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
    and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
     blessed are all those who wait for him.

Christ is waiting on you, even now, so that he can be gracious towards you.  He is at this moment at your door, arms full of gifts, desiring for you to come to him to that he may be generous to you.  For this reason Christ died to purchase for you every good gift and every blessing in the heavenly realms.  He was exalted to the highest place so that he may be able to show mercy to us by bringing us to where he is.  He will show compassion on whom he will show compassion for He is a God of Justice, rebuking the oppressors and lifting up the oppressed.

And just as Christ waits on us, we wait on him.  Just as He longs for us so shall we long for Him.  This is the Great Anticipation, when Husband and Bride shall be united at last, when all that is His shall be ours as well.  He has dressed us in all his splendor and bought for us a garment of praise. He has adorned us with the crown of life.

But his gifts come to us even in this life as we pray as well for justice to be done.  Heaven is breaking into Earth at the place where God dwells inside his temple, inside each and every believer by the power of the Holy Spirit, the first fruits of what is to come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

John 13:8

"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."

What is this initial adversity we have towards being served?  Why do we often jump at the first chance to serve others but seldom take the time to let others serve us?  Why is it that we want to alleviate the pain of others while ignoring the pain we carry inside?  If it is true that when we do not allow ourselves to be served, we can have no part with Christ, what prevents us from allowing his Body to minister to our needs?

Pride, most likely.

The temptation for church and ministry leaders to want to minister to others while at the same time keeping them at arms length so as to not allow them to reciprocate is often a matter of pride.  The attitude speaks clearly "You cannot help Me, I'm here to help YOU."  But it is the weak things of the Earth that Christ uses, often the poorest and most downtrodden, to teach the rest of us humility.

Or perhaps you do not want to be served because you feel unworthy to be served and you desire approval and affirmation as you serve everyone else for your sense of worth.  This too is a reverse-pride and a denial of Christ's service and his grace towards you.  Christ has deemed you worthy, who are you to say otherwise?  There is no amount of guilt or shame you bear that is more powerful than Christ's ability to forgive.

So shall you deny Christ and spurn his love towards you any longer?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

John 21:12

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.

A curious thing happens after Jesus is raised from the dead; His appearance is altered so that he is no longer recognizable by the 12 disciples, those who walked with him daily and were closest to him.  And yet, despite such an altered appearance, the disciples knew with absolute certainty that they were in his presence although they were unable to recognize him. Even though the question "Who are you?" flickered on their minds, none of them dared ask it for inwardly they knew it was the LORD.  Why, then, are we so often surprised that when we search for God he doesn't show up how we expect him to?

Had the disciples only looked with their eyes, they might have missed Jesus standing on the beach altogether because they were looking for something else.  Sometimes Jesus just doesn't look the way we want him to or act the way we expect, but if our view of who Jesus is and what he will do is so narrow, we often will miss the answers to our prayers.  The ability to discern God's presence comes only from walking closely with the LORD, just as when you spend so much time with someone you can just tell when they approach by the rhythm of their footsteps.

Can you hear the LORD approaching to just know when you are in his presence?  If not, you may just miss breakfast.

Monday, April 23, 2012

John 18:10-11

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)  Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

This was supposed to be the start of the revolution.  This was supposed to be the sword swing heard around the world.  This was supposed to be Israel's moment of glory when it finally broke of the yoke of oppression from the Roman Empire.  The kingdom would finally be restored to Israel and Jesus would be the new Emperor.  Malchus was going to be the first casualty of this revolutionary war.  At least, that is what Peter thought.

Jesus had a different revolution in mind and a much different cup to drink.  Not only does he rebuke Peter's actions, he heals Malchus' ear and makes amends.  Jesus does not fight for his life, nor does he resist arrest.  It leads to his torture and death on the cross, and the Messiah Peter had trusted in, the one who would restore Israel, was humiliated by crucifixion, the worst punishment and mockery given to the enemies of Rome.

Christ won a different victory that day and his reward was not a perishable earthly kingdom, but an eternal one in which he reigns forever.  And soon, Peter's despair will turn to praise and his mourning to gladness for the victory Christ won he shares with all those who abandoned him in his final hour. He shares it with those who return and believe in his promises. He shares it with all those who say with him, "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"