Week of April 24

Encountering Jesus

Day 1: Read John 1:1-4 John starts off with bold and declarative statements. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Notice he doesn’t start with Jesus human birth in Bethlehem or mention Mary or Joseph. No, John declares that Jesus is God, is with God, and was with God in the beginning. Think on your life and your beginning. How many years have you been on this Earth? Ponder even your parents and grandparents’ beginning.  Contrast that to God and Jesus’ presence before the beginning of the world. Since we can never take a break from our own mind, we can get trapped into our small and limited perspective. Consider God presence’s through the existence of time. In doing so, you are entering into worship as your mind is filled with questions, wonder, mystery, and awe.  

 

Day 2: Find a place outside to read your devotion today. John 1:3 states, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” We have all created something. Have you made something: a mug in 6th grade or maybe you are handy with the sewing machine or wood? John says Jesus made things, actually everything! Pick something in creation – a cardinal, an oak tree, the Grand Canyon, or whatever. As pleased as we can be with some of our own creations, consider what He has made. Thank God for the creation all around you. Maybe create a poem, sing, or listen to a song to capture some of God’s beauty through your lens.

 

Day 3: Have you experienced some dark days, embarrassing days, or regretful days? Sure, we all have. If you could redo a day, a season, or your life, would you take that opportunity? Unfortunately, we cannot rewind our life and do it over. But there are second chances. Read John 1:11-13. Jesus’ own did not receive him. His people or His lineage did not accept Him. Today, we too can miss God. When we get caught up in chasing our own success and seeking to create our own identity, we can miss Jesus. Jesus came not for the healthy, but for the sick. Receiving him begins with acknowledging our mistakes. Consider your past mistakes and the true need in your life. Is there a place in your life that needs some of God’s direction, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy? Do you need his admiration or love? Specifically bring to mind areas of struggle, and In that posture, receive Him today.

 

Day 4: Take a minute to pray. Ask God to quiet your mind down, jot on a piece of paper any distractions that keep you from concentrating. Offer this time to God. Read John 1:12-13 two times, once with an emphasis on received, a second time on believe. What does if meant to receive and believe? Belief or faith have two aspects. First, there is a sense of knowing. This knowing can be an intellectual knowledge or even an experience. Either case there is a sense of assurance, like stating a fact. The other part of believe has to do with action. When one believes something, the evidence is seen in their daily routine, their actions, their values, attitudes, and words. The beliefs the follow identify them. Consider your belief in Jesus. How did you know Jesus yesterday? How did you follow Jesus yesterday? Is what you believe evident in the choices you made?  

 

Day 5: On Easter Sunday, we celebrated life transformation. Many people took a step in baptism. They declared a belief in Jesus of knowing Him and following Him. When we follow Him, we look like Him. Reflect on the past month. Open a calendar and review the events of your life. If you keep a journal, read the entries and prayers. How are you following Jesus? Think through the different roles you play: grandparent, child, brother, friend, classmate, employee, supervisor, teammate, small group member. How do you resemble Him? Let God speak to you about what you discover.  Offer him a surrendered heart, a follower’s heart and let Him speak.

 

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