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Day 21/21: With Us

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

February 3, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

What a good word to end on. John 21:9-10 and 13

When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”…

 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

The thing that stands out to me in this is that You anticipated the needs of Your friends and provided. But You also invited them to put in what they had been busy working at. To me this is such a picture of partnership. You didn’t “need” their fish, yet it was important to You to include their efforts also.

You told them earlier in John they would become “fishers of men;” why? Why…because You want it this way.

  • You want Your followers to know that they aren’t just recipients of new life, but also heralds of it.

  • You will provide all our needs, but You call us to participating in meeting needs.

  • You know what we are going to pray before we pray, but You still call us to pray.

  • You can do it all very handily without us (we slow You down actually), but You have called us to do the work You have gifted us to do.

Isn’t it so interesting to think about?

I sometimes think that part of this is reinforcing the mess we have made. I don’t mean that GOD is constantly guilting us about it but wouldn’t we be cavalier if we didn’t have to get our hands dirty in this stinking mess?

  • If at the snap of our finger GOD would fix the ocean, would we even care that we are creating the decay?

  • If at the drop of a hat, GOD would heal all our diseases, would we even care that we are introducing them constantly through our recklessness?

  • If, without hesitation, GOD would solve our problems, wouldn’t we be less inclined to grieve how we (the collective we) brought them about in the first place?

GOD calls us to step into the consequences and care about them…

  • In so doing, we realize our greatest need for forgiveness.

  • In so doing, we realize that GOD’s way was right all along and rebellion has a terrible and ongoing aftershock.

  • In so doing, we ache for the perfection that will come once again and love the promise of our future.

  • In doing so we participate in His redemption plan! We extend ourselves, copying the way He does.

So You provided the fish and bread…and You said, “Add in what you also pulled into Your boat” (which, by the way, GOD provided for you to catch…you can never get away from GOD’s provision, He is always involved).

I also think it is significant that the disciples are still confused, kind of in a haze. You already appeared twice to them but in Peter’s tone I just hear a lostness when he says, “I think I will go fishing.” Peter is filling time, not really knowing what to do with himself. He is living in shame also, which is so debilitating. When he sees You this third time, he jumps out of the boat (love Peter!) – he is so ready for something more!

And so, Jesus, not only do You invite him to participate with You over the breakfast table, You go further and in a redemptive exchange You call him to the thing that will govern his schedule for the rest of his life. You showed him his calling.

Sometimes I want You to “just do it”. I just want You to fix things, to make things, to move things, to build things, to mend things… but this is a group project. Even when You step in and do something startlingly miraculous, this still seems to have been participated in by us through prayer. You call us to seek You in prayer and to ask as our very first act of participation. So I should not get all tripped up asking questions about this. Jesus said ask. So ask.

These 21 days have been rich. I am walking away with some very practical things and one practical thing is that I need to pray more steps. I often pray for big things – like the ultimate end result. But what about in-betweens where I can actually see how You are moving towards that big end?

This past weekend You challenged me on this and You gave me an example. I have been praying so much for my son Josh and the “big end” prayer. But You said, “Why don’t you pray for some smaller things along the way…like pray, ‘Please prompt Josh to text me.’”

Ah, good idea. Yes, I do pray that…because he has really been out of touch and I would love to have some little connection with him.

Not even an hour later…a text. And what did this little text do for me? A beautiful shot of relief, not to mention a little shot of faith.

One thing I am marvelling at today is how our participation with You is purely an act of love. It does not move our status with You even an inch. We are fully accepted, forgiven, redeemed, saved… all of that, without any work by us. We believe in You and receive this from You. That’s that.

When You call us to participate, it is purely a loving response on our part. You demonstrated Your love to us, and we get to do the same back. Serving for us does not get us any sort of points…it is only ever a way that we express thanks for the great thing You have done for us.

Also what I am marvelling at is how You give us everything we need to serve, You supply all our needs, You do miraculous things in the middle of that serving, You guide us as we serve so we aren’t overwhelmed, and You celebrate what You did and what “we did” as if we really did something great together….only, really, it is You who did it. This gives You pleasure.

We are like toddlers helping our mom bake cookies. She gives us the chocolate chips to pour in. We eat half the chocolate chips before they even get mixed in. She does everything else and then says, “These cookies are delicious! Good job, little one!” while we eat that freshly baked cookie with a big grin and sense of personal accomplishment.

She knows…she knows she baked the cookies. But she delights in our little part, seeing our little hands around that measuring cup. She loves hearing our voice ask when they will be done and will we be able to have one when they are? She is genuinely proud of our tiny contribution in the project and can see how next time we might even do something more in the process.

Isn’t it like this? You are with us always.

Jesus, I have loved walking with You these past 21 days and looking closely at You in the book of John. I have loved seeing how You talk and walk. I have loved hearing Your voice. Really, I have swept over 21 chapters and there are hundreds of details (more then that) I could spend time with. I will, on my own time do so.

But for these 21 things about You that You have drawn me to see and I have written about, I pray whoever has read this, that my words only pointed to Your words. I pray for those readers that You would do Your supernatural work in their hearts…the thing You do, that only You can do. Yes, I pray for a renewal in Your Church where people will come closer to You than they ever have before, seeking You. Seeking You!

May we be set free where we need to be set free — done with the things that hinder us — and COME ALIVE to all the new things You want to do in us and through us.

With much love from your daughter,

Teresa.

Day 20/21: Status Change

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

February 2, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

Wow. Tomorrow is the last day of the 21 days of prayer. It has been a very full, very good time. I have been so encouraged by so many things. I have loved our Wednesdays together as a church family. Eating together, learning together, praying together. I have loved the mix of young and old, new followers and seasoned followers, men and women. I have loved seeing all the students and how they have engaged with this.  I so believe that students can pray POWERFUL prayers and have insight beyond their years (Mike and I experienced it last weekend when that group of highschool girls prayed over us and spoke words and Scripture over our life…so good!)

I loved that we were able to go to the Set Free/Church renewal weekend right in the middle of the 21 days. For me that was really, really special.

Thank You for all of this goodness!!!

Today, more goodness. In John 20 those words You said to Mary Magdalene when she first saw You are so beautiful:

“Go instead to my brother and tell them I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My GOD and your GOD…” (17)

What a point You made of saying, right out of the tomb, “There is a new arrangement.”

While people might have said “Our Father” before…now there was a brand new feel to it. No more bloody sacrifices to try to achieve a right standing with GOD. Now, accepting Christ as the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, we could approach our Father boldly

Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

With Christ risen again, we could be born again as children of the Father, co-heirs with Christ!

Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17

 The whole relationship has been redefined! So Jesus says this to her, “My Father, and yours” and “my GOD, and yours.”  Status change.

Today I want to just sit with this and really let it sink in. This is truth.. “I am who You say I am,” as the song goes.

 Christ came alive to make me COME ALIVE. I understand this somewhat now…but I know this is really going to hit me one day when the whole thing, the whole picture is seen for what it is.

Hurray!!

T

 

Day 19/21: The Moment We Wrestle

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

February 1, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

I have read John 19 over a few times…and now I am going to read it out loud because I am not sure what is “the thing” to focus on this morning….(read it again)

What I am thinking about is Pilate and how he wrestled with what to do with You. He was clearly frustrated. He spent a significant amount of time questioning You. He went back and forth to the Jews – hoping they would compromise on their demands. He did not want to crucify You. He was afraid of carrying out that act of punishment. What a bad, bad day for Pilate.

From some of the other accounts of the crucifixion, his wife was also in his ear, warning him. She had a dream and told him that he should have nothing to do with the case against You. She was giving him the eye from her corner of the room. Uncomfortable.

Pilate knew it wasn’t right to crucify You. He knew it. But the power of the people, the pressure of the establishment, his own rebellious heart ultimately tipped the scales. Fun fact: Pilate means “armed with a dart.”

Pilate. What a terrible, terrible thing it is to choose evil in that moment of wrestling and to ignore one’s conscience that beckons towards the light. He was in a position to make a just decision about Jesus. He asked all his questions. He looked Jesus in the eye. He could see…but he couldn’t see. Pilate was so conflicted. It is hard to read this and see the flicker of doubt, the hesitation to crucify Jesus, the acknowledgement that Jesus was innocent…and then…he would not set down his position for righteousness’ sake.

I bet Pilate had to convince himself for the rest of his life that what he had done was fine, “It’s fine that I did that right? What choice did I have?” I bet every single day he had to work to get past the memory. I bet he was so bound up by his guilt that he was in a constant state of justifying.

He was afraid and then “even more afraid” before Your death. What was he like after? How many times did he wake up at night. What were his panic attacks like before he (as I imagine it) drank them away? What depths did he have to descend to, to bury the remains of his conscience?

What were the conversations like with his wife who also had to live with his decision? That look in her eye for the rest of his life. Maybe he divorced himself from truth.

Backing up again, I am thinking of Pilate standing, wrestling before the Lord. Isn’t this how it goes for us? I have that moment before I really blow it to wrestle? How many times did Pilate think about that “moment before” he washed his hands? The giant moment of compromise.

Just now, a thought about free-will. Lord, You see the course of the human heart. You see its leaning and its intent. You do not “mess with” our free-will, yet You are involved in exposing what is truly there, whether softness or hardness. I am just going to leave it at that because I know I don’t understand how that works and how You see the trajectory of the decisions we choose to make. It isn’t for me to know – Jesus knows:

“…and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man” – John 2:25

It grieves me to know that a heart can be so set on hardness, that we can be so focussed on not ever submitting to Christ. How can we be so determined about choosing evil and darkness over holiness and light? How can we be so stubborn. We aren’t really strong for anything else, but we master stubbornness.

Of course…we have help. The enemy is a great friend of rebellion.

Pilate was weighing – weighing – weighing. He considered the path of setting You free, saw the potential fall-out and chose his own skin. He would have preferred to not have Your blood on His hands, but ultimately he was willing to kill You to maintain his property and pleasure.

Lord Jesus,

 I do not want to shift foot to foot, conflicted about whether to be for You or against you. I don’t even want to entertain:

  • Is it better to hang onto sinful desires or be honest and free of them?

  • Is it better to pursue my own ease at all cost or to choose Your path that comes with a cost?

  • Is it better to be right or to just be humble and obedient?

  • Is it better to walk my way, or am I willing to go another direction because You ask?

  • Is it better to sneak off or to face what needs addressing?

In that moment if there is a tug one way and a tug the other…I call out to myself and ask for the power of the Spirit to always choose the way of Jesus. Whatever hardness is in my heart, knead it out Lord. I call my heart, mind, will, and strength to only ever move towards softness. And when I stumble, may I be quick to repent! Spirit help me to get past my pride! Just be quick to repent (don’t be like the King in Daniel who needed 7 seasons to repent).

Ezekiel 36:26

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Jeremiah 24:7

'I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

Lord, I want to bring my heart to you constantly. I am so grateful that I actually can be free from the barnacles of sin (quick to scrape those things off) so that I can live ALIVE and ready…

T

Day 18/21: Put Your Sword Away

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

January 31, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

I am already dreading writing on the next few chapters. Grappling with your arrest, the betrayals, denials, and lies…the sentencing. Then every horrible ramification of the curse of sin. This is where the pen runs dry and the struggle for words begins. I often feel like silence is the only response. What is one thing I can utter that does not sound ridiculously disproportionate?

Today what stood out to me is when You corrected Peter and said,

“Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (18:11)

This is directly applicable to me. How many things have I fought, resented, resisted, avoided because I have been fearful of or have dreaded painful circumstances? How many times have I not even thought to try to think and pray about the larger purpose of the Kingdom in it all? How many times have I not said, “Your will, not mine, be done”?

I am so quick to say, “Yes, use the sword!” Let’s fight back, let’s solve this, let’s do whatever it takes to get back to happiness! Let me be healthy, let me be light-hearted, let me drive on through the problem quickly. “Yes, use the sword!” This is wrong, it is wrong because it is hard. It is unjust because it is hard. It is unfair because it is hard.

This past weekend in Steinbach I met the lovely Grace Fast who is the pastor of prayer and prophecy at Southland. You have touched this woman with the kind of grace that matches her name. Her name is a prophecy. Her oversight and leadership is a beautiful example for me. I am so grateful for her leadership there and how You are using her.

Pastor Ray told her story, briefly. Her husband died of cancer when he was 48. I believe that was around 13 years ago (?) and out of her life “falling apart” You put together something new and so influential for Your Kingdom. Only You can do this kind of healing and only You can cause a life to bear this kind of fruit.

I think of all the ways Grace might NOT have been used if she had not been willing to turn to You and accept that  “cup.” Wouldn’t she have license to be angry at You for stealing from her all that joy and camaraderie and partnership? How many mountains has she had to climb without her husband? How many times has she felt overwhelmed and alone?

Yet when I talked with her, she said, “I wouldn’t trade any of it because of what GOD has done.”

What GOD makes beautiful out of our pain! Amazing.

Jesus You knew the horror You would face anticipating the cross.

The assignment from the Father would mean You wouldn’t only experience physical torture and death. I used to think this, but how uninformed I was! A person can actually withstand a lot of physical pain. But what I didn’t know when I was younger is that You personally experienced the full torment of all sin, of all time. Every vile thing that any human has ever done or thought, You gathered all of this and took it in. You wore it, each sin like a second filthy skin, the disease of it like sulphur in your veins so that Your own Father couldn’t even look at You. It was that ghastly. That gruesome. That terrifying. That lonely.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin…” 2 Corinthians 5:21

This was the job. This was the cup. And this is what You willingly walked into because You knew what GOD would do through it. You knew on the other side of it, it would be “finished” and something good beyond comprehension would happen.

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame…” Hebrews 12:2

There is nothing I have walked through that can compare “my cup” with “Your cup” but You did say I would suffer and You didn’t add “Stop whining, it won’t even come close to My suffering.” You just call it suffering and that You identify with my suffering, comfort me in it, and walk with me as I walk it.

*** I think what You are saying to me today is this: You also set the example for me in this passage: Put away the sword. Don’t fight. Ask me what You need to know about the suffering and trust Me to use it to highlight the goodness and holiness of GOD.

Help me to rather fight to surrender to You in those times of misery, to COME ALIVE in the Spirit! No pretence that things are better than they are, but also no fatalism that this is more than You are capable of using for Your good will.

What a journey this all is! I so need Your help!

T

Day 17/21: Did I Hear My Name?

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

January 30, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

Today as I read John 17 I am thinking about how beautiful it is to think of You praying for me. And You still talk about me all the time. Romans 8:34 says,

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

You sit “at the right hand of GOD” -- a beautiful image of the back and forth conversation about Me. You are my advocate because I am Your daughter and out of your love and concern for me, You talk about me this way. I don’t know all the things You are saying, but I know they are all for what is best. Not only do You talk about me, but You talk about others (a model for me to follow – pray for yourself, pray for others). And not only do You talk about others, You pass names on to me to pray for also.

You call me to join You in prayer. Cool thought.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”

There are 26 verses in this prayer and I look forward to really sitting with this someday. For now though, I am just revelling in the personal attention of Your prayer. What an amazing amount of grace this is because…who am I that You would pray for me? Haven’t You done enough? Do I still occupy so much of Your time? Yes, it appears I do.

You love me that much.

An interesting question was asked at the end of the weekend I was just at. We were asked to ask You, “What do You like about me?” or “What do You see when You look at me?”

This question makes some squirm. Really, you are going to ask the GOD of the universe this? Isn’t that a bit trivial and…childish?

Yup.

Do we really need to hear that?

Nope. But what a delightfully unsophisticated question to ask one’s dad.  Don’t we want to know the little things our parents notice in us and affirm?

It’s a perfectly lovely question that’s a bit embarrassing to ask, requires quite a lot of vulnerability to ask it, and therefore is just the kind of question Jesus loves.

Jesus, You were so immediate with me. Kind of wrestling with whether I should write them here on this public blog but I will include 2 things. I heard Your Spirit say

1.     “ You are a servant” and then You said immediately, “don’t put other words alongside.” This was a very personal word to me because my tendency is to qualify complements or add on an instruction: “You are a servant, great, and here is how you can improve.” Or “You are a servant, a little shaky but I love you anyway.” These are words I would say. But Jesus I felt Your approval over me just being Your servant and the heart and obedience to “be that” is enough.

2.     “I love that you want to be with Me, not just now but you are imagining heaven. I am excited to show you around.” That one got me right in the heart. As You know, over the past few years I was really challenged about “looking forward” to heaven and being with You. People used to ache for this. At the end of Revelation when John says, “Come Lord Jesus” I was very impacted and asked myself, “Am I eager for Jesus and to be with Him?” Since then, I have written a lot in my private journals of looking forward to being in that new experience with You. It is in my thoughts often as a longing. It really touched me that this has been noticed by You…ya, that one really got me.

So now I am picturing You still, Father and Son and talking about me. You always talk about me! This is going on behind my back all the time. My ears are burning… :) And then I show up to talk with You and You love it.

Teach me to pray…keep inviting me over to talk, to confess my sin. Keep releasing me from traps and ties, keep freeing me up. Show me how to hear Your words clearly as I seek You. Keep showing me Your heart for people and needs and the work of Your Kingdom.

I Love You! Thank You for drawing me into this relationship with You. You made me and You talked about your love for me and You called Me to know You, that is the order in how it went. You showed me who I was but with hope in Your voice, showing me that You had made all the arrangements for me to be adopted by You. Even though in this life I sin, You dealt with the bigger condition of sin for me and now see me…clean. So now there is nothing that divides us and every day is a day to COME ALIVE in Your Spirit.

Yay!

T

Day 16/21: And There Is So Much More

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

January 29, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

Slept in. An intense but beautiful weekend at the Set Free/Church Renewal experience in Steinbach at Southland Church. A long day of meetings and then flights home yesterday. My heart is full. I have much to process and I so identify with John 16 today and Your words to me here. 

 “I have much more to say to you…” (vs 12)

 Isn’t this the truth?

 I am 50 and what I don’t know is so much more than I know. This is a thing I struggle to explain to those who are new to faith and feeling awkward in their new expressions of faith. I actually feel the same way they do, only with the new things I am learning. This is why not one of us are “masters” in being disciples. We may have walked the first steps of faith a long time ago, but there are new steps all the time. So none of us can boast in this. We are all just students of Jesus. 

Yes, students of Jesus, coming near to You again and again to learn.

 You say

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear…”

 I can attest to this. Even this weekend, I found myself looking back on my life and asking, “Why didn’t I know this?” And by know, I mean, know in a practical, outworking way. Why didn’t I have this in my toolbelt a long time ago. Jesus you often said, “It isn’t the time…” and I think this can mean many things for me.

  • It isn’t the time, because I am not ready to receive it.

  • It isn’t the time, because I don’t have the proper foundation or experience yet.

  • It isn’t the time because I am still putting things ahead of you so it won’t be useful anyway.

  • It isn’t the time because I am in a place of deafness (ugh, GOD help me!)

  • Or maybe it isn’t the time, and I have no idea why, but You do.

 Your timing is perfect and I trust that yet I am sorry for when my lack of obedience has slowed the process. I know it has.

 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into ALL truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you…” (v. 12-14)

 So I today sit down, Your student, and ask You to guide me into ALL truth. Not just some, ALL.

 An old Keith Green (October 21, 1953 – July 28, 1982) song just popped into my head, so appropriate. He was a man with such a passion for this.

 Make my life a prayer to you
I wanna do what you want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers no compromise

 I wanna shine the light you gave
Through your son you sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know you're really there

 Well I wanna thank you now
For being patient with me
Oh it's so hard to see
When my eyes are on me
I guess I'll have to trust
And just believe what you say
Oh you're coming again
Coming to take me away

 I wanna “die” and let you give
Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope you gave me
The love that set me free

 I wanna tell the world out there
You're not some fable or fairy tale
That I've made up inside my head
You're God the Son and you’ve risen from the dead

 Thanks for the things You spoke to me this weekend. So refreshing, so convicting, so calling…all the things You do as my most honest friend, telling me ALL the truth.

 I am feeling so loved by You today and so aware of Your “walking with” me all these 50 years. You noticed me way back then– that little blonde kid, that little girl and You loved me. You introduced Yourself and we have been friends all the years since. You have mentored me like no other; this has hit me with such a wave of wonder and gratitude. I feel so deeply thankful today to You for sending Your Spirit to me and calling my name.

 I can hardly wait to see You and thank You face to face, but for now, may my life COME ALIVE as a prayer to You.

 T


Day 15/21: Free As A Bird!

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

January 28, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

This is great news to wake up to!  Great News to be reminded of!  The truth of the Gospel – the message that describes our salvation and new life in You – is that there was not one single thing I could do to save myself. You created the world to be perfect, we rebelled and sin came as a result of our rebellion, You sent Jesus to be my redeemer – the substitute for the penalty of sin which was death. Jesus died and rose again and has done the work of restoration between me and GOD. I have been born-again, made new – this is a now thing, and this is something that will be fully completed when I am with You.

 So I do not need to spend time today trying to gain Your approval. I do not need to work to be “good enough.” I don’t need to list reasons why You should accept me. I don’t need to pretend to be amazing and I also don’t need to pretend I don’t sin. Your love for me is unmerited and it has been given as a gift by You. You love me because You choose to love me and it totally pleases You.

You say to me:

 You are already clean because of the word [the Gospel] I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. 

 So now…how do I spend my time? Remaining in You. Hanging around You and learning about You with no condemnation hanging over my head. I can be with You as trusting as a child, just loving to be with my dad.  You show me all sorts of way to do life in a freer and better way. You show me how to live without stuff junking up my life. You show me how to get along with others and to love them and my planet. You and I will be together all day, every day and not once will I have to worry that You will love and accept me less.

 I am clean as a whistle! I am free as a bird! What a good day!

 Come Alive!

 T

Day 14/21: I've Known You For Such A Long Time

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

 January 27, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

There are so many things I love in this chapter.  But this part really got me earlier this year and just gets me again. John 14:5-9ish

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?

It’s that last verse especially:  “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time…?”

**** My application is very simple today. Jesus, I don’t want to be with You a long time but just barely know You. I don’t want to keep misunderstanding You. I don’t want to keep needing clarification about basic things about You.  I want to live out that Born-Again life You have both given me, and are walking with me through. If You are alive in me, I should walk a different walk. An improving, less hindered walk. If I really know You, it should be easily noticeable I know You — not just from people looking at my life from the outside, but me looking inside and knowing what I know.

 I don’t want to meet You and need an introduction…I want our first face-to-face meeting to be a reunion. I want to KNOW You. I want to know what You would say. I want to know what You think. I want to know the SOUND OF YOUR VOICE. I want to recognize the look in Your eye.

That’s all. May I COME ALIVE in Your presence. You are with me always, so help me to know You everywhere I go and in everything I do…to keep the conversation going and rely on You.

 T

Day 13/21: What Are You Doing, Jesus?

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

 January 26, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

Every day influences what jumps out at me from Your Word. Yesterday as I was reading ahead to this chapter, I thought I knew what would speak to me. Today…it is something entirely different.  Thanks for being so personal with Me and taking this day by day!

This morning I hear You saying what you said to Peter, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

Oh man, isn’t that the truth!

So many times I do not understand. I do not get it. I look around me and think, “This just can’t be right!” I find myself calling a meeting with You and talking for an hour about how, “This just can’t be right.”

But Lord, You know what You are doing. You know “when” You are doing it. You know the times and all the inner workings of every person’s heart. You know the “trouble” and how to solve it and the moment for the turn-around. You know the residual effects, You know who all needs to be present for Your Will do be done. You know.

 As Your people, we do not realize what You are doing and we are very, very time constrained. Oh Lord, please show me a little…a glimpse of what is to come.

 In the meantime, this is what You want me to know. You want me to know Your Words and stand on them. These are not just written things, these are what You said and say still. Here are some words for me to ponder for a while related to the thing I am watching You watch over — the thing I am waiting to see a great miracle for. You want me to know this:

  • "Who can snatch the prey from the hands of a mighty man? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captive go? But the Lord says, 'Even the captives of the most mighty and most terrible shall all be freed; for I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children" (Isaiah 49:24 & 25, TLB).

  • John 10:27-29 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

  •  "They went right on sinning, doing everything their evil hearts desired. I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway" (Isaiah 57:17 TLB).

Thank You that while I do not know each piece of Your strategy, You will meet with me any time and any place and put Your hand on my shoulder and reassure me that You are on it. You will tell me again about Yourself and build my faith and trust.

In the middle of my big question marks, You bring peace and You bring Life.

 Come Alive!

T

 

 

Day 12/21: More About Jesus

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

January 25, 2019

Good morning Jesus.

Today…this falls into the “isn’t this cool” category. Isn’t it cool how Isaiah saw Jesus long before Jesus walked the earth?

John 12:41 follows a passage in Isaiah where he prophesied about the hardness of people’s hearts – those people who would be in the presence of Christ but would not receive Him? Their sin had led them to such a place of disdain for the true things of GOD, they would not repent and so Jesus did not entrust His life giving words to those who had already demonstrated a great disinterest (but there were some leaders who did believe as we read in 42)

The Bible says, “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him.” Not just a general statement about GOD, but Jesus specifically. Jesus was revealed to Isaiah in so many places in his book, long before Jesus was born.

You speak to this in John 5:

John 5:39, “You [Jewish people] diligently study the Scriptures. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.”

 What does this tell me about You? I think it just hits me again that there is way more going on with You then I sometimes think about. Jesus did not only live for 33 years, was crucified and rose from the grave and ascend to heaven. Jesus is from the beginning, from before our beginning.

Even as I write this I think, “Well of course He is, that’s nothing new,” and it isn’t new. But it is funny how things can just get organized in my head, this view of You, and I don’t take in the WHOLE view. The WHOLE MAGNIFICENT HISTORY of what I can know about GOD.

I am picturing a photo album of pictures yellowed by age – 100 year old photos or, if it were possible, 1,000 year old photos. And there, and there, and there is someone I know very well today, yet appears in these images of times long ago. How is this possible?

Isaiah saw You long before You were sent to us: Jesus was, is and is to come.

*** What does this mean for me today? To know a person, you need to know all about them. You went after Cleopas about this in Luke 24:25-27 when You said

 “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the [Old Testament] Scriptures concerning himself”

 I confess that I am slow too! Jesus, I will never stop learning about You and I pray that I wouldn’t stall out in this. I day by day I would know you MORE, visibly, noticeably, deeply more!

 I want our relationship to be living and breathing and advancing.  Alive!  May our relationship never stall out or become quiet and uncomfortable. I want to COME ALIVE as I walk with You!

T