Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-15-24

Are you surprised by the division we are experiencing in the world? Although it makes me sad, I know division is the result of human sin. Therefore, division is purposeful to further the gospel. If human beings want peace in the world, we must first make peace with God. Then, we will all have the power of God to live in a greater measure of unity under God’s authority. After all, we have the Spirit who leads us to unity in Christ!

In our passage today, Jesus is looking at his imminent death; it is time for him to lay down his life for the sins of the world. He knows there will be a resurrection, but the disciples cannot comprehend how death or a resurrection could result in something good. So, because they do not understand God’s plan, Jesus tells his disciples the Father will send the Holy Spirit who will prepare them for what is yet to come. Jesus goes on to describe a huge dichotomy or division in perspective between the believing disciples vs. the unbelieving world regarding his death.

Earlier, Jesus announced his purpose for coming to earth was to bring division; those who received the love and mercy of God found in Christ would be spiritually divided from those who did not (Luke 12:51). Because of God’s Word, we know this sinful world rejoiced at the death of Jesus, because Satan, the ruler of the world, thought he had won the battle for humanity’s allegiance. But, truth keeps marching on! May we join in one voice to declare the world’s need for Oneness with the Lord!

Today, we continue our 10 Days of Prayer; to pray for salvation and peace to come to Israel and the Middle East (Mosul, Iraq). May believers in Israel and Iraq be filled with courage and power as they witness to the world’s need for salvation and unity in Christ. Every nation shows the wounds of hatred and division; only God can bring healing and wholeness.

John 16:16-24 NLT Sadness Will Be Turned to Joy
16 “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”

17 Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? 18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”

19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. 21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

Prayer: Lord, we pray for your spiritual family to remain in your joy as we take a stand and pray for the world’s redemption. May the Spirit lead a movement that multiplies your followers. Help us to remember your purpose for coming, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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