Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 5-5-21

John 14:18-31

18 “I promise that I will never leave you helpless or abandon you as orphans—I will come back to you! 19 Soon I will leave this world and they will see me no longer, but you will see me, because I will live again, and you will come alive too. 20 So when that day comes, you will know that I am living in the Father and that you are one with me, for I will be living in you. 21 Those who truly love me are those who obey my commands. Whoever passionately loves me will be passionately loved by my Father. And I will passionately love him in return and will reveal [personally] myself to him.”

22 Then one of the disciples named Judas [Judah] (not Judas Iscariot) said, “Lord, why is it you will only reveal your identity to us and not to everyone?”

23 Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey my word. [proves a relationship] And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place. 24 But those who don’t love me will not obey my words. The Father did not send me to speak my own revelation, but the words of my Father. 25 I am telling you this while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Spirit of Holiness, the One like me who sets you free,[from the curse] he will teach you all things in my name. And he will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you.

27 “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!
28 “Remember what I’ve told you, that I must go away, but I promise to come back to you. So if you truly love me, you will be glad for me, since I’m returning to my Father, who is greater than I. 29 So when all of these things happen, you will still trust and cling to me. 30 I won’t speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this dark world [slanderer/accuser] is coming. But he has no power over me, for he has nothing to use against me. 31 I am doing exactly what the Father destined for me to accomplish, so that the world will discover how much I love my Father. Now come with me.”

There is so much associated with our passage that it is difficult for me to decide what to highlight, today. I will start by reminding you the Lord promised his disciples, before his crucifixion, they would see him again. They saw him many times after the resurrection, before his accession, and gained a clear understanding of the importance of obedience to the Father. At Pentecost, they saw him in the personal coming of the Holy Spirit and experienced his power. And, the Lord promised they would see him in the parousia—coming or presence. Now, some times Scripture speaks of the parousia in terms of the taking away of the Church before the Tribulation (1 Thes. 4:13-18). Some times Scripture speaks of the parousia as the coming of Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation when he comes to set up the Millennial Kingdom on earth (Matt. ch. 24-25; Rev. 19:11; 20:4-6). I believe we will experience Christ’s coming and presence in both events. Just remember, the parousia is a future and glorious realm for the Lord and those who obey his commands and passionately love him.

My friends, when we ask Christ to come into our hearts, we spiritually experience the Lord of Life. When we ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit and obey his leadership, we experience the Lord of Pentecost power. And, every day, we must keep our hearts open and our souls expectant, because he has promised to come for us. We may find ourselves witnessing a web of conflict and moral chaos in this world, but we as God’s children of love can live in his supernatural peace and provision. As a believer, you have the Lord of Life and Power living in you, so live courageously in his love. Be an instrument of peace wherever you go. Satan has no power over the Lord who lives in you, so don’t give the enemy any room in your life. Stand in Truth, live in love, and watch for our Lord to come.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for coming personally into my life and saving me from the curse of sin and death. I am blessed abundantly by your presence in me and I know you bring every good and perfect gift for my new life in you. Holy Spirit, help me to abide in your perfect peace and live in your love and power each day as I continue to wait expectantly for you to return for your Church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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