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March 25 | John 14:18-21

DAILY READING


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REFLECTION


Doing Hard Things

by Pastor Jeff Morlock


Recall a situation where you felt like you were in over your head. Got it? Maybe it was a social situation where you didn’t know anyone, and felt out of place. Perhaps you were trying desperately to do the right thing while being absolutely tempted to do the wrong thing; to forgive when everything in you wanted to savor that grudge. Or maybe you had to do something important that you had never done before, and you were scared, either of the process or the outcome; scared of disappointment or failure, scared of letting others down. Perhaps you're in over your head right now. In such circumstances I always wish there was someone competent whom I could trust to guide my lips and my hands, someone wise to oversee my thoughts and actions, and give me courage to persevere. Then maybe I could relax, stop being so self-conscious, and trust that it wasn't going to be a disaster.

This is a gift Jesus gives us. In today's reading he says, "On that day (the day of Jesus' resurrection) you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." (v. 20) Whatever challenge may lie before you today or this week or this year, you absolutely, 100% will NOT face it alone. Jesus is with you and even in you—not just as a metaphor or a figure of speech, but for real. The presence and power of his Spirit indwells all who believe. When we yield to Jesus, his thoughts become our thoughts. His courage becomes our courage. His hands become our hands, and his words become our words. We can pray for help and trust that he abides within us, according to his promise—and that he will make his presence known in order to fulfill his purpose. This truth makes it so much easier to be the first one to take leadership in an emergency, or to be the first to make peace when a family argument is raging. The presence and promise of Jesus make it possible to care for a sick child or an aging parent, to be patient with your spouse, or to embrace someone from a totally different cultural background as a sister or brother. In the end, it doesn't matter if you're hesitant or inadequate; Jesus is neither He is living in us. And we can call upon His strength whenever we need it. PRAYER: Heavenly Father, in moments when we are hesitant to do the hard but necessary thing, remind us that we are never alone. Thank you that Jesus goes above, below, before, behind, beside, and within us! He is more than enough. Amen.


 

PRAYER PRACTICE


Cup Prayer - This prayer will help you pour your heart out to God (Ps. 62:8). Begin with your hands folded together like an upside-down cup. Pour out before God all your fears, anxieties, guilt, sin, and shame. Tell Him what troubles you. Take time to be specific. When you feel like you’ve poured out your heart, flip your hands over, folding them like an open cup, ready to receive from God. Sit in silence, asking God simply to fill you with His Spirit. If your mind runs back to sin, shame, anxiety, or concerns of the day, flip your hands back over and pour it out to the Lord. When you are finished praying, read today’s Scripture and listen as God shares His heart back with you.




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2 Comments


robin.lorms
Mar 25, 2022

Good morning, Pastor Jeff. I really like your opening paragraph and how you set the scene. I have been in several of the situations you describe and have often felt overwhelmed. I recently went fly fishing in Chile and had to go through Customs, Security, Immigration and be Covid-19 tested all within a short period of time to catch a connecting flight in Santiago, Chile. There was NO English signage and no help anywhere. HOWEVER, my traveling, fishing buddy is an International traveler who knew the drill and guided us through the process. My confidence was in him and that had a calming effect on my disposition.

Skipping ahead to John 15, I am reminded that Jesus is the true…


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Thanks, Robin. Your experience on your trip is another great illustration. You didn't know the language or customs, but you had a guide to rely on! Abiding is the key, for sure.


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