April 17, 2019
John 13:21-30 New Living Translation (NLT)
Today is the thirty-seventh day of our 40-Day Lenten Series, “Praying for a Kingdom Heart.” Lent should be a time of prayerful reflection, repentance, and restoration as we draw closer to the heart of God. We serve a very merciful God. Jesus knows our hearts and he knows exactly how we are going to respond to every test, trial, or temptation. He understands the power of our flesh and the war we may wage against the work of the Spirit. Yet, the Lord loves us unconditionally. He extends mercy and forgiveness. The psalmist writes, “How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!” (116:5). Over your lifetime, have you been aware of the overflowing mercy of the Lord for you?
In our passage today, Jesus knows Judas is going to betray him. Have you ever been betrayed? It’s a painful experience. A biblical definition of the word ‘betray’ is ‘to deliver up in a breach of trust.’ Judas is ready to betray Jesus, but the Lord does nothing to stop it, nor does he stop loving Judas or treating him with respect. Why? Because even this betrayal is a part of God’s plan for salvation; a living testimony to the love and mercy of God for us as sinners. So, Jesus stayed in a posture of worship—oneness—with the Father and the Spirit and remained merciful in the face of betrayal. Each one of us has in some form betrayed the Lord. Yet, he extends mercy and grace in exchange. Be ready to extend mercy every day, because soon someone you know may need it.
During Lent, we will be using the acronym P.R.A.Y. as we pray for a Kingdom Heart. P=praise, R=repent, A=ask, and Y=yield. May God bless you as you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer today.
21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”
22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” 28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your constant mercy and love. I praise you for being the source of everything good I need. I repent for the times I have violated your trust. I know my flesh has been strong, but your grace has been stronger to bring change in me. I ask for your Spirit of mercy to flow to me and through me. I will yield as you teach me more each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.