March 2, 2017

Please use the comment section on this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in John? Here’s today’s reading:

John 12 (ESV)

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me”Continue Reading

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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. What a joy it is to go though a chapter of John each day and share what God is showing me in the text. Because I’m sharing, I’m not simply reading the chapter (which is important and valuable in and of itself) but I’m internalizing it and reflecting on it. Because I’m sharing something from it, it takes it to another level. This has brought the text to life in a new way for me and I’m thankful for the challenge and opportunity to be a part of this.

    In John 12, Jesus reveals that His time is coming to be glorified (John 11:23-28). As I think about all the miracles and signs He has done, I think of those that did not (and would not) believe. John writes, “Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

    “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
    39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
    40 “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their heart,
    lest they see with their eyes,
    and understand with their heart, and turn,
    and I would heal them.” (John 12:37-40)

    What a striking revelation from the prophet Isaiah:

    Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed (Isaiah 53:1)

    “Make the heart of this people dull,
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;
    lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
    and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:10)

    John says in the middle of this, “Therefore they could not believe.” (John 12:39)

    In my human reasoning, it seems unfair for God to do these things.

    But when I consider what was written about Jesus in John 2:24, “But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people”, I realize that God is God and is not only outside of time but He knows all things and His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

    But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20)

    Father, help me take You at Your Word and not try to fit You into my limited human reasoning and logic. Expand my limitations so I can see You for who You are, not who I want You to be or how I think You should do things. I want to know You more and ask for understanding and wisdom in these things. Amen.

  2. Read Psalms 4-7 today. Thankful for the joy and peace that God gives us. Psalm 4:7-8 “You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”

    Also Spence has been studying meditation and being still with us in the college and career Bible study alongside with a Whispers series we did last year. In Psalm 4:4 it says “Tremble and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.” I have been trying to practice being “still” in my mind and meditation. It is HARD to still your mind. But there are whispers from God to be heard when we practice this.

  3. Read and meditated on chapter 12 yesterday, 3/2 but didn’t find time to post. But that does provide an opportunity to say that posting comments is not the main purpose and priority of this endeavor. So if it’s a burden to make a comment or there is something uncomfortable about it for you, you are welcome and encouraged to simply post the portion of scripture you read or just a verse that jumped out at you. The main purpose for this page is to provide example, accountability and connecting. Just showing who is in the word, where you are and conversation and prayer that can flow from that.

    And yet the opposite is also true, if God has placed something on your heart to share, please let us glean from what God has revealed and see how God uses that!

    So in the spirit of just posting a verse, this among others jumped out at me…”for they loved praise from men more than praise from God”-12:43 It should cause all of us to consider whose praise is more important to us…but as with all application, it starts with me, (ie the person reading, hearing it)

  4. I read John 12 today, and am struck by several things:

    1) John 12:9-11 – The Pharisees wanted to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus, because “on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.” What would life be like to have been dead, resurrected, and now have people who want to send me back to the grave? Spiritually speaking, followers of Christ — born again to new life — live under that same threat from the enemy of our souls, who wants us to return to being dead in our sins. Like Lazarus, our lives have become walking, living, speaking testimonies to who Jesus is. When we walk in newness of life, telling others about our Savior, we become targets for the kingdom of darkness. Do I take that spiritual battle seriously? Paul certainly did. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

    2) John 12:25-27 – Jesus knows His time has come, and His soul is troubled. He’s going to the cross to lay down His life in exchange for ours. He reminds His disciples/me that to serve Him, I must be willing to lay down my own life, deny myself, pick up my own cross (to “die” upon), and follow Him (see Matthew 16:24-25). And just in case I think there’s a loophole somewhere, that I can still be His disciple while living for myself, Luke 14:27 says, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” This is hard for me. I’m facing many areas in my life right now where God is asking me to give things up that I really, really love. And it’s so hard. It’s strangely comforting to know that Jesus’ soul was troubled; mine is as well. He understands, and still He beckons me to follow.

    “Dying to self is never portrayed in Scripture as something optional in the Christian life. It is the reality of the new birth; no one can come to Christ unless he is willing to see his old life crucified with Christ and begin to live anew in obedience to Him. Jesus describes lukewarm followers who try to live partly in the old life and partly in the new as those whom He will spit out (Revelation 3:15–16). That lukewarm condition characterized the church of Laodicea as well as many churches today. Being ‘lukewarm’ is a symptom of unwillingness to die to self and live for Christ. Death to self is not an option for Christians; it is a choice that leads to eternal life.” (From https://www.gotquestions.org/dying-to-self.html)

    Father, I often choose the easy road, the one requiring the least sacrifice on my part. I keep stopping to adjust the weight of all the things I’m still trying to hold on to. I want to lay down everything that keeps me from following Jesus completely. You’re calling me to do that now. I know I have much I need to surrender to You. I want to do Your will, to live in your Will, to fulfill Your will — and that means surrendering my own. Thank you for what you are showing me; now help me to walk in it. Amen.

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