Day 43 (April 8), John 16:1-33

John 16:1-33

Context:   Jesus revisits the work and role of the Holy Spirit during the Passover evening. He tells the disciples it is good that he is going away so the Helper can come and be with them.  He also says the Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and that He will declare all things to the disciples.  He concludes by telling them that in a little while he will go away, bringing them sorrow, but a little later he will return for them, bringing them much joy.  

Observations:   Why is it to ‘our advantage’ that Jesus leaves this world and sends the Helper?  Why does He need to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment?  The Holy Spirit is called Helper, Counselor, Comforter, Advocate.  Which name for the Greek word Paraclete do you think is best?  The chapter concludes with a statement about trials and tribulations in this world and turning our sorrow into joy.  Is this a reference to his death and then resurrection? Think how this relates to the COVID-19 situation.

Application:  Though every true believer in Christ has the Holy Spirit indwelling them, we can choose to ignore, grieve or quench His work in our lives. Ask God to show you a way you are doing that; ask the Holy Spirit for the Help to overcome it!!  Do at least one proactive thing to love someone in your family and in the Evergreen Body today.

Prayer:  Lord, help us this Holy Week to walk WITH you as if we were in the Upper Room, too!!  Help our local church be stirred in deeper ways to long for your presence and to have peace in the midst of COVID-19 trials.

Posted by Dave Blum with

Day 42 (April 7), John 15:1-27

John 15:1-27

Context:   Jesus continues his teaching in the upper room by telling his disciples that he is the vine, they are the branches.  If they abide in Him, they bear much fruit.  If not, they remain fruitless and unable to impact others for His kingdom.  He also explains that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another … and that he is doing that for them and the whole world.  Jesus gives them the new truth that they are now his friends and that he will reveal to them all the Father has told him.  Finally, a reminder that if the world hates Jesus, they will hate and persecute the disciples, too.

Observations:   Jesus calls himself the ‘true vine.’  What are false or worthless vines?  Can we ‘look like’ we are a branch connected to the vine, but really not be in reality?  How are the ways Jesus showed his love to the disciples leading up to the crucifixion?  How revolutionary would it be for a Jew to hear that Jesus called them his friends?  Why is it so difficult for us to thrive during persecution?

Application:  Choose some way today to stay deeply connected to the vine, Jesus.  If friendship is built on trust, what can you do to demonstrate trust with Jesus?  As the Spirit prompts you, respond to it!

Prayer:  Lord, help us to ABIDE in you moment by moment.  Help us to bear MUCH fruit, fruit that remains and that it would bring you great GLORY!! Amen.

Posted by Dave Blum with

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