A Prayer Prompted by John 3

Dear Father in Heaven,

We thank you for sending Jesus Christ, your Son, so that we might believe in him and receive eternal life.  We do not want to be among those who would hear this message from Jesus and yet reject him all the same.

We grasp the fact that our eternity depends upon our response to Jesus Christ.  We receive him and believe in him so that we might be born again – born from above – and be able enter your kingdom.

We receive this free gift of eternal life, which we cannot earn or strive to achieve.  It can only come from you. This is in fact why you sent your Son, so that we might believe in him.  Cleanse and renew us now by your Holy Spirit’s power.

Let Christ now increase as we each decrease.  Let us be who you make us, nothing more, or less or other than who we now are, in Christ.

Amen

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.

Luke 23 – Verse by Verse

Photo for Luke

Today we look at the crucifixion of Jesus. We will explore both what it means and how we should respond.

Luke 23.pdf

Luke 23.mp3

Here is a link to the livestream video:

A Prayer Prompted by the Crucifixion in Luke 23

Lord Jesus,

We thank you for enduring the cross in our place so that our sins can be forgiven.  We thank you for humbling yourself beyond anything we can imagine for our sake.  Teach us now to live for you and teach us to live like you did, to the glory of the Father and for the benefit of others.

Help us to love even as you did, even to the point of death. And help us to forgive those who sin against us, even as we have been forgiven.

We want to be like you, Lord Jesus.

Amen