Journal Entry// April 21, 2021
Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.John 9:3 ESV
We always want to know and understand the deeper meaning to our present situation, especially when God has placed us in difficult situations lined with trials, adversity, pain, suffering, lowliness, and weakness. It goes against our desires to be placed in a state of humility. When these situations arise, we naturally assume that something is wrong. This must be a punishment or a response from the Lord to sin in our heart or lack of faith and understanding within us.
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Journal Entry // April 20, 2022
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:31-32 ESV
We are always looking for the steps to success in this life. Rules or ideas that will bring happiness and joy or success and wealth if we just follow them. There are a thousand books written every year claiming to know the secret to success and the pathway to riches and happiness. We all want this life to be easy and we all want this life to be simple. Here Jesus tells me that the Christian life is a simple formula: abide in his word –> true disciple –> know the truth –> set free. It also seems so simple and easy doesn’t it? It’s the most simple message that is seemingly so very difficult to follow. My heart is a lot like the people who Jesus is speaking to. His words are difficult to hear as they cut through all the clutter of my mind and penetrate straight to my heart and pierce my pride.
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Journal Entry // April 20, 2021
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12 ESV
As I contemplate this passage, I am reminded of how I have always really focused on Jesus being the light of the world. This beacon of hope in a dark world that I am drawn to like a moth to a flame. I still feel that is a good, helpful, and appropriate analogy. But there seems to be something more this time in my reading and thinking. As the Lord has been working to reveal the darkness in my heart, the light of life doesn’t just draw me toward himself but reveals what was once hidden in the darkness.
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Journal Entry // April 17, 2022
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”John 7:48-49 ESV
This is always one of the passages that brings a bit of concern to my mind as I read. It’s difficult reading these passages about the leaders and Pharisees because they are a lot like me at times. As I read these accounts, I see my hard heart being represented in their decisions and statements to Jesus and about Jesus. These are the men who spent their entire life studying the Scriptures and desiring to be obedient to the Law of God found therein. These men who knew the Scriptures backwards and forwards were not only missing the Christ set before them, they were actively working against him. They were missing the very one that the Scriptures themselves pointed to.
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Journal Entry // April 16, 2022
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.John 5:19 ESV
I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about the way I perceive a difference between the Father and the Son. When I sit down to read through God’s word on a regular basis, I follow my plan of reading two chapters from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament. In my reading there is oftentimes a simple comparison between how things were handled in the OT and the NT. Like today… I read in Numbers about the Lord telling the congregation to stone the person who had been caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath. I then read in the John about the leaders being at odds with Jesus because he was healing on the Sabbath. It is so easy to read these accounts and draw a line between the Father and the Son in this instance, yet Jesus tells me here that the Son only does what he see his Father doing. He only ever does whatever the Father does.
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Journal Entry // April 10, 2022
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”John 2:5 ESV
I love this passage of Jesus interacting with his mother prior to the first recorded public miracle. It makes me laugh every time I read and think about it because I could see this conversation playing out in every family. A mother passively asking the son to do something and the son playfully balking at the idea. Then the mother just turning away with a smile knowing that the son will do as she asked. I can see the smiles on the faces of Mary and Jesus during this conversation and the knowing acceptance that the Son, her son, would do as his mother asked.
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Journal Entry // April 9, 2022
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.John 1:18 ESV
These past few months I have been in two different discussion groups that were both working through the book, Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland, at the same time. I read this book a couple of years ago and it played a dramatic role in reshaping my understanding of the heart of Christ for me and my understanding of my complete and utter dependence upon Jesus for every breath. One of the points in the book that struck me this past quarter during both discussion groups was this passage. I don’t remember if Dane actually used this passage, but this topic was itself was the key element. The topic being that the life of Jesus makes known to us the character and nature of the Father.
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