A Prayer Prompted by John 17

Father in Heaven,

We join with Jesus in praying for your glory, knowing that this may mean our own suffering as we share in the sufferings of Christ.

We also pray that you would keep us and all of those believers we know connected to yourself.  We have seen many walk away over the years so we pray for security and stability in our faith.

We also pray for unity in the church.  Help us to work toward unity based on your word – on the teaching that the apostles gave us from you. Help us to enjoy unity found in the shared life of the Father and the Son.  And let us express that unity in mission to an unbelieving world.

Finally help us do whatever it takes to be united with our brothers and sisters in Christ here and now.

And we pray these things to you Father, along with Jesus Christ your Son.

Amen

John 15 – Verse by Verse

John Pic

Christ’s illustration of the vine and the branches forms the basis of a lesson on our need to abide in him.

John 15.pdf     

John 15.mp3

Here is a link to the livestream video:

He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures – Luke 24:24-25

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

A while back, GQ magazine got some attention by putting the Bible on a list of books not worth reading.  I never actually read the list in GQ myself.  I only learned about it from USA Today.  Feel free to check out at least the headline there.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/04/23/gq-magazine-puts-bible-list-classic-books-not-worth-reading/541325002/

By writing such a thing, maybe the GQ columnist was hoping to increase GQ readership as compared with the Bible. If so, I don’t believe it worked.

There is something here that is understandable though, and that is that the Bible can be hard to understand.  Christ’s own disciples were often stumped by it, just as they were often stumped by Christ.  After the resurrection, however, much of that began to change.  Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  And that brings us to where we are today.

We are far removed from the people and events of the Bible, both by time and by geography.  Sitting here in my office on the edge of downtown Indianapolis, the events of the Bible happened a long time ago on a continent far, far away.  And that can be troubling.  

We can feel much like those early disciples.  Confused, bewildered, baffled.  If we give up too soon, we can come to the premature conclusion of the GQ guy and think the Bible just isn’t worth reading.  We need Jesus to explain things to us.  Like the psalmist we may cry out,

Open my eyes, that I may behold
       wondrous things out of your law. (Psalm 119:18)

Jesus even promised that the Holy Spirit would come to teach us.  In John 14:26, he said, 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 

Without God’s help we just might not get it.  But with his help, we can find ourselves agreeing again with the psalmist,

92 If your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
    for by them you have given me life. (Psalm 119:92-93)

When Jesus challenged his disciples, the Peter gave a response that all of us should be able to repeat after him.  Here it is in John 6,

67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Let’s make God’s word our delight and far from being critical of it, we will find that it will become for us a source of life.

A Prayer Prompted by Luke 1:1-4

Heavenly Father,

We have repeatedly asked you to teach us from your word and we are asking that again right now. We want to be certain of the things we have been taught.

We pray that you would take the words of this Gospel of Luke and write them upon our hearts. We want to know Jesus better, love him more and serve him more faithfully than ever.

In so doing we want to increase our love for you.

Make us lovers of God in the truest and deepest sense.

In Christ,

Amen.