Hello Mornings Week 8

hello mornings

 

 

Can you believe we are finishing week 8 of 12 already? I so did not get off to a good start Monday morning, but it was surprisingly easy to make time when it became available. Here are the Scriptures for week 8:

 

Day 1: John 12:9-19

The leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.” v. 10

 

I am reminded in this Scripture of the Christians throughout history who have boldly defied the religious teachings of their day, like Martin Luther. I am also reminded of my fellow Christians in hostile parts of the world who are boldly spreading the message of Christ to those who will  listen.

One thing with this verse that stands out a bit more, it wasn’t just that the people heard of what Jesus did, but they saw what He did. They saw through Lazarus the work God had done in his life. It should be the same for us.

 

Day 2: John 12:20-36

This is the passage where Jesus predicts His death for the first time. He uses the analogy of a kernel of wheat, explaining that His death on the cross is part of the ultimate plan.

The truth is a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone – a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives.” v. 24

 

Day 3: John 12:37-50

For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” v. 43

It can be very easy for us to “tsk tsk” the Jewish leaders who believed Jesus was their promised Messiah but were too afraid of the Pharisees to speak up. But let’s be honest, how often do we do the same thing? We all have our own Pharisee in our life. It might be our boss or coworkers, it might be fellow students, or our morning barista. Maybe it’s a regular customer we help out or our spouse or another family member. Whoever it is, we all have someone that we aim to please and sometimes, if we are not careful, we can place their opinion of us above God’s instruction for our lives.

We shouldn’t be afraid to lose someone’s friendship or something, or everything, from following God’s instructions and will for our lives.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Matthew 6:25-26

 

Day 4: John 13:1-11

I don’t think I could have commented on this any better than the author(s) of the Meet Jesus did, so I am going to be lazy and quote from there.

It never ceases to amaze me that Jesus washes His betrayer’s feet. The One who spoke worlds into existence not only humbles Himself to come to this earth, He also bends down onto a dirty ground to wash the feet of the one who would betray Him. It’s radically scandalous love. It’s an example I can only follow when I’ve denied self and taken up my cross, just like He teaches…”

 

Day 5: John 13:12-20

John spends a lot of time talking about the Passover dinner with Jesus. About how He washed His disciples’ feet, and reminded them about the prophecies.

I tell you this now, so that when it happens you will believe I am the Messiah” v. 19

Jesus knew they would be devastated after the crucifixion. He knew their faith would be shaken and they would question why. He knew they would enter a period of intense mourning, so He prepared them as much as He could ahead of time and reminded them that everything which was about to happen, was necessary. It was to fulfill the prophecies because HE WAS the promised Messiah……HE IS the promised Messiah.

Week 7 Challenge…

hello mornings

 

Day 1: John 11:1-16

I thought it was a bit “oddly interesting” that in verse 2 we find that John is using a reference that has not yet happened. We read “This is the Mary who poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair.”

However, this reference he uses occurred at a later date, after Jesus resurrected Lazarus. It was very hard for me to stop at verse 16, but since it was late I knew I had to. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be waking up at sunrise. (ahem, and I still didn’t for 2-3 days).

Jesus knew Lazarus had died, and he told his disciples plainly that Lazarus had died. Then, He explained why He did not go when He was asked

“…this will give you another opportunity to believe in me…” v 15

 

Day 2: John 1:17-27

“Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem.” v 18

In my Bible’s footnotes, it says Bethany was about 15 stadia, which is translated to about 2.8 kilometers. According to Google, 2.8 kilometers is 1.739 miles. A distance that is easily walked by someone in generally good health.

I know that 2 miles in Jesus’ day was not exactly the same as today…no sidewalks…no paved roads…no Nike running shoes…no gel insert soles…but still, He was so close.

I know for myself there have been times when I knew Christ was near, but I couldn’t feel His presence like I once did. That is an instance when I must practice faith, just as Martha did in verse 22…

“But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

She didn’t know how her situation could be better, but she knew that Christ would help her through this trial. That is the exercising of faith, not knowing when or how or why, and still knowing. Believing and accepting as fact. It has become a more common idea now (partly thanks to Morgan Freeman’s character in Evan Almighty, I think) that when you ask God for patience He doesn’t instantly make you feel more patient, He gives you an opportunity to practice patience. It is the same with faith. I think, when you ask God for more faith, He doesn’t make you feel more faith-filled, but rather gives you more opportunities to practice and exercise your faith.

 

Day 3: John 11:28-44

In my NLT version of the Bible, verse 33 reads “When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.”

The Amplified version says “…He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. [He was chafed in spirit and sighed and was disturbed].” Chafed means ~ irritate, vex; to feel irritation, discontent, or impatience.

I don’t think Jesus was just angry. I think He had a mixture of emotions that were all welling up inside at once and started bubbling like a volcano.

 

Day 4: John 11:45-57

“So from that time on the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.” v 53-54

Jesus knew what would happen, and He knew when. He wasn’t “running for His life” like we do, He was taking the necessary steps to fulfill His mission. If God places a calling on our lives, we need to listen intently to His voice and follow His directions for each step we need to take to fulfill our calling. He will tell us where to start, where to progress, and when.

 

Day 4: John 12:1-8

This passage is one of my favorites, the anointing of Jesus’ feet by Mary. I never noticed before, or I didn’t remember, who it was among Jesus’ disciples that was complaining…

“But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples – the one who would betray him – said, ‘That perfume was worth a small fortune. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.’ Not that he cared for the poor – he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples funds and he often took some for his own use.” v 4-6

Everyone is flawed, even those of Christ’s dedicated followers. Judas will always be remembered for his betrayal in Gethsemane, but I think it is easy for us to picture him as “the evil disciple”. But he wasn’t always like this. We read earlier how the 12 disciples were actually the 12 who remained faithful out of all the disciples originally gathered. Judas Iscariot wasn’t born an evil monster. He was born an innocent baby like everyone else. It was over time and through choices he made that led him down the path to becoming a thieving accountant, and ultimately to betray Christ to His death. (Week 4 Day 3)

Just as no one is beyond salvation, no one is beyond sin in their walk with Christ. Our transformation to becoming Christ-like will not be instantaneous, it will take time and intentional actions.

Hello Mornings Week 6

hello mornings

 

 

 

Only one day late this time, yay! Although, technically today is the beginning of week 7 and I did not read my portion of John for today…boo! But I am going to read it tonight after I put my son to bed, then get back at it tomorrow morning. Here we go….

 

Day 1: John 9:1-17

For some reason, I have no notes for this passage.

 

Day 2: John 9:18-33

You big bullies! lol. That is my first reaction when I read this passage. The Jewish leaders were so hypocritical. In verses 28-31 we read that the Jewish leaders asked him again who healed him and how. At first he sounded annoyed to be repeating himself, then we read “Do you want to become His disciples too? Then they cursed him…”

They cursed him and threw him out of the synagogue. All because they didn’t want to admit that they, the Jewish leaders of high authority, were no better than this poor, blind beggar. They did not want to look at their own sin, but were perfectly content to point out everyone else as sinners…even Jesus!

 

Day 3: John 9:34-41

“If you were blind, you wouldn’t be quilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” v 41

The pharisees asked Jesus if He was saying that they were blind, and Jesus responded with verse 41. He was warning them because he doesn’t want them to be separated from Him, but they refused to see what needed to be seen.

 

Day 4: John 10:1-21

In these Scriptures, we read Jesus’ tale of the true shepherd and the hired hand, and how differently they treat the sheep. One of the many tales He told that people simply could not understand. And we can see the free will of the people as well. Even though Jesus was their promised Messiah, He didn’t give them what they wanted but what they needed. There was a division among the people because everyone had to decide for themselves whether they were going to believe and follow Jesus. He could have made them (and us) follow blindly, but He lets it be our choice.

 

Day 5: John 10:22-42

Again, no notes for this passage.

Challenge Week 4

hello mornings

The readings for Week 4 of the Hello Mornings Challenge were:

Day 1: John 6:22-40

“The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them.”

These people took advantage of the fact that Jesus was alone. He didn’t have His “bodyguards” as it were, and they knew they could get close to Him. They wanted to believe, but there was a conflict between their heads and their hearts (verses 26-31).

Day 2: John 6:41-59

Maybe I have just seen one too many Vincent Price movies, but I can just imagine the confused look on everyone’s faces when He talked about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Can you imagine how that would be perceived today?

Jesus: “…those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life…”

Bystanders: “Ooohh my…..He’s a cannibal!”

And the last verse reveals that  “He said these things while He was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.” (verse 59) How many religious stick-in-the-muds were appalled and aghast at this statement? To say it aloud was controversial, to teach it in a synagogue? I can only wonder what murmurs and gasps were spreading through the crowd because they thought He was speaking literally instead of figuratively.

Day 3: John 6:60-71

When I read about Jesus’ disciples I automatically picture 12 disciples. But, these Scriptures reveal that there were many disciples. It was only 12 who remained faithful.

Day 4: John 7:1-24

“For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath?  Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

The religious leaders were still trying to capture Jesus for healing the lame man during the Sabbath. But He pointed their own faults/sins to them. Basically, He told them point blank, “You are worshipping Moses.” They placed more value on the laws of Moses than they did the laws of God, and He called them out on it.

Day 5: John 7: 25-36

“Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah?  But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.”

Two things came to my mind as I read through this again today. 1) They only thought they knew where He came from. He was known as a man from Nazareth, but he was born in Bethlehem. And 2) Could they have possibly been reading about the second coming and perceived that prophecy as the first coming? Having read the books of the Old Testament that are prophetic, I know that figuring out exactly what those prophesies mean can be difficult.  Sometimes we think we have finally understood what it was Christ was trying to tell us and we start preparing for what we interpreted. It is only after the prophecy has been fulfilled do we realize that we misunderstood and everything becomes clear.