Daily Devotionals

The Pastor of the church provides a daily devotional entitled Think Upon These Things hoping it will be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and strengthening of your faith. It is not intended to take the place of other devotional materials (Our Daily Bread, Open Windows, etc.) but to supplement those devotionals. Contact the church office if you wish to receive Think Upon These Things via email, or subscribe to the church's website and it will be sent to you automatically. We pray it will be an encouragement to you.

May 26, 2022

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you (John 15:1-3).

The metaphor of the vine and branches is one most common to Christians. But do we understand what the metaphor means? We might know a bit more about vines and branches than most other folks because we live in an area where grapes are grown in abundance. Even so, the spiritual dynamics of the biblical metaphor can be lost to us if we try to interpret it in light of the physical realities of the vineyard vine and branches.

May 25, 2022

And when they had sung a hymn, he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39).

We leave John’s account of the last hours of Jesus’ life to interject this bit of information from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. John 14:31 ends with Jesus saying, Arise, let us go from here. The 3 other Gospels tell us that after Jesus announced the Passover observance was over, they sang the customary hymn and left the upper room for the Mt. of Olives. 

May 24, 2022

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here (John 14:30-31).

There are a couple of reasons why Jesus said, I will no longer talk much with you. (1) They would leave the upper room and walk across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane where He would be arrested. The disciples would flee for their lives. John and Peter would quietly follow Jesus through the remaining events leading up to the crucifixion. So, the conversations with Jesus and the disciples would come to an end until after the resurrection.

May 23, 2022

You have heard Me say to you, “I am going away and coming back to you.” If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, “I am going to the Father,” for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe (John 14:28-29).

All that Jesus had said and will say to the disciples has been given that they would believe He is the promised, divinely appointed, qualified, and authoritative Messiah of God. The statement harkens back to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot (John 13:19), Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

May 22, 2022

You have heard Me say to you, “I am going away and coming back to you.” If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, “I am going to the Father,” for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe (John 14:28-29).

May 21, 2022

You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I. "And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe (John 14:28-29).

May 20, 2022

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

The peace that the world gives is shallow, unstable, and unsatisfying because it is a false peace. We talk much about peace, but we have known very little of peace. We have all sorts of ‘peace-keeping’ societies, groups, and organizations, but all of the civilizations of the world are experiencing conflict within themselves or with others. Besides that, all the nations of the world are armed to the teeth! Well did the Apostle Paul write (1 Thessalonians 5:3), For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.

May 19, 2022

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

The peace that Jesus gives is spiritual, not material, and affects the whole person, not just the physical person. What is the peace that the world gives? The dictionary has many shades of meaning for the word peace, but the main principle is that of the end of conflict: “the normal, non-warring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world; to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism; a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations; the normal freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; public order and security.”

May 18, 2022

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

In this text we should understand the difference between the peace Jesus gives, and the peace the world gives. We also need to ask the question, is there a difference between the peace Jesus left with the disciples, and the peace He would give to the disciples? We will also need to understand how the peace that Jesus gives assuages a troubled and fearful heart.

May 17, 2022

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 things that I said to you (John 14:26).

As was stated earlier, the Holy Spirit it not an ‘it’, a force, a non-entity. He is a Person and the 3rd Person of the divine Trinity. This is yet another example of the personality of the Holy Spirit in that He is able to teach all things, and bring to remembrance all things that Jesus has said. A force or non-entity cannot do that. Furthermore, the pronoun ‘He’ is masculine, not neuter, a further indication of personality. 

May 16, 2022

He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you (John 14:24-25).

As children we use to play ‘She loves me, she loves me not’ with the petals of a flower. We would pluck a petal and say, ‘She loves me’, then pluck another petal and say, ‘She loves me not’. We would continue to do this until the last petal plucked would ‘confirm’ whether or not ‘She loves me’. Of course that was a silly game based on chance, and it really confirmed nothing with regard to another person’s affection.

May 15, 2022

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him (John 14:23).

In the devotional for Saturday, April 30, 2022, we introduced the subject of ‘antinomianism’ and defined it as referring to ‘a person who maintains that Christians, by virtue of divine grace, are freed not only from biblical law and church-prescribed behavioral norms, but also from all moral law’. Such a person is also called a ‘libertine’ - an immoral, freethinking, unrestrained person.

May 14, 2022

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him (John 14:23).

Here Jesus patiently explains to His disciples this solemn truth - God has fellowship only with those who believe in, and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who love Him, and who obey His Word. The world cannot, and does not experience such fellowship with God. Only those in Christ Jesus can enjoy such fellowship. There is no such thing as ‘the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man’. God is the Creator of mankind, but only Father to those who love and believe in Him through Jesus Christ.

May 13, 2022

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him (John 14:21).

Yesterday we considered the question, “How can I know if I genuinely love Jesus?” We answered the question by stating that our love for Jesus is demonstrated by our faith in obeying His commandments - by ‘having’ (treasuring His commandments in the core of our spiritual life) and by ‘keeping’ (obey) what He has commanded us as His disciples. But there is a second question we have to consider, and that is “How can I know that God loves me?”

May 12, 2022

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him (John 14:21).

John 14:1-31 is called the Paschal (Passover) Discourse. It was spoken to the disciples while they were in the upper room eating the Passover and the Lord’s Supper with Jesus. It was intended to give comfort to the disciples who were upset over the news that Jesus was going to be crucified. That comfort is noted in 4:1, Let not your heart (the seat of spiritual life) be troubled (agitated, tossed like the waves of the sea in a storm). He then directed their attention away from loss through crucifixion to hope and assurance through resurrection:

May 11, 2022

At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:20).

‘That day’ is a reference to the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after Passover, when the promised Holy Spirit came from heaven and took up residence in the Christians (Acts 2:1-4) who were fasting and praying in an upper room (most likely the same one used by Jesus and the disciples at His last Passover with them). The resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit marked the beginning of a new biblical dispensation, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. It marked the beginning of the physical Christian church on the earth.

May 10, 2022

A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also (John 14:19).

The last time the ‘world’ saw Jesus Christ was when He hung on the cross of Calvary. After His resurrection He appeared to over 500 people, but they were the privileged few who were either already saved, or would be saved when He appeared to them (1 Corinthians 15:4-8).

May 9, 2022

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (John 14:18).

The word ‘orphan’ is orphanous, and means ‘destitute’. It is often spoken of children who have been left without parents, but can also speak of anyone (child or adult) that is left without resources - human or material. Today we see such people everywhere - the orphan as well as the homeless, and whole families (parents and children) who are homeless and destitute.

May 8, 2022

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

May 7, 2022

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

How can the spiritually blind person ‘see’ (know) the Holy Spirit? By and through the elective purposes of God. The biblical doctrine of election is too vast a subject to consider here, but suffice it to say it is the Lord who opens the eyes of the spiritually blind to see the things of God; He opens the understanding of a person to spiritually discern spiritual things. Consider the following:

May 6, 2022

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

Notice that Jesus did not say “the world will not receive Him,” but “the world cannot receive Him.” Why is that? If the Apostle Peter is correct in saying (2 Peter 3:9), The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, then how does that correspond with the words of Jesus? 

May 5, 2022

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

May 4, 2022

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

Jesus called the Holy Spirit ‘another Helper’. Confusion abounds as to the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, especially today with the plethora of false doctrines preached and taught by false prophets. 

May 3, 2022

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

May 2, 2022

If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).

Obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ is the test of our love for Him. But there are certain aspects to obedience which are found only in the life of the true believer. As these aspects are revealed in our obedience, so our true character is also revealed. In other words, when we understand what genuine obedience to the Lord is, and we measure our obedience by these aspects, we will also understand if we genuinely love the Lord like we think or say we do.

May 1, 2022

If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).

What are the commandments of Christ that the disciples, then and now, should keep them? Dr. John Brown (1784-1858) wrote, “The whole revelation of the Divine will, respecting what I am to believe and feel and do and suffer, contained in the Holy Scriptures is the law of Christ. Both volumes of Christ are the work of the Spirit of Christ. His first and great commandment is: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and soul, and strength’; and the second great commandment is like unto the first: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour [sic] as thyself.’ The commandments of Christ include whatever is good and whatever God hath required of us.” 

April 30, 2022

If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).

April 28, 2022

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:13-14).

This is another text that has caused a lot of discussion on the part of modern-day Christians. Was this a promise to the disciples, or is this a promise to all Christians? Was Jesus saying Christians could ask anything in His name and He would give them what they ask?

April 27, 2022

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father (John 14:12).

This text has caused a lot of discussion on the part of modern-day Christians. Was Jesus speaking about His disciples, or was He speaking about all Christians beyond the 1st century? Was Jesus saying Christians would be able to do everything He did (i.e., raise the dead, walk on water, etc.), or was He saying Christians would be able to do only those works that minister to people (i.e., feed the poor, care for the sick, etc.)? What greater works are Christians capable of that Jesus Himself did not do?

April 26, 2022

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him (John 14:7).

April 25, 2022

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him (John 14:7).

What does it mean to ‘know’ and ‘see’ the Father? To ‘know’ is ginosko. It means to know in a complete sense, especially through personal experience. To ‘see’ is horao. It means to perceive, see, or discern through personal experience.

April 24, 2022

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4-6).

April 23, 2022

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4-6).

April 22, 2022

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4-6).

April 21, 2022

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4-6).

Jesus said, I am the way. . . . What did He mean by that? The word is hodos. Normally the word refers to a road that is traveled, or the journey itself. As a metaphor it can refer to a course of conduct or the manner of thinking feeling, and/or deciding. Jesus used it to refer to the means whereby a person has access into the presence of God, to a relationship with God, to the blessings of God.

April 20, 2022

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4-6).

April 19, 2022

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4-6).

On 3 separate occasions Jesus told the disciples that He was going to die, rise, ascend to heaven, and that they would not understand it (Matthew 16:21; Luke 9:22; 18:31-32). So we are to treat our Lord’s words here as a rebuke to a knowing but unbelieving discipleship. 

April 18, 2022

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:3).

Where is Jesus that we should be with Him? (Acts 1:9-11) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Luke 24 51 affirms this. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.

April 17, 2022

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:3).

The word ‘take’ is an unfortunate translation. Paralambano means to receive, to associate with oneself in a personal relationship. From the time a person becomes a Christian to the time they die, the Holy Spirit is in charge of their life. We are not present with Christ, for He is in heaven at the right hand of God interceding for us, but His Holy Spirit has been sent to live in us. Just as Jesus was with the disciples in the days of His flesh, so the Holy Spirit is in us in the days of our flesh.

April 16, 2022

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:3).

There are many texts in Scripture that give the Christian great comfort in times of distress, discouragement, even death. John 14:1-6 is one of those texts.

April 15, 2022

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:1-6).

April 14, 2022

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:1-6).

April 13, 2022

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:1-6).

April 12, 2022

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:1-6).

April 11, 2022

TROUBLED HEARTS
Monday, April 11, 2022

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:1-6).

April 10, 2022

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, “Take this cup that is poured out for you, and divide it among yourselves. Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

April 9, 2022

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me” (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

April 8, 2022

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me” (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

The Last Supper was more than Jesus’ last meal - it was a Passover meal as well. Jesus used the Last Supper to give the Passover new meaning, establish the New Covenant, introduce an ordinance for the church, and foretell Peter’s denial (Luke 22:34) and Judas Iscariot’s betrayal (Matthew 26:21–24).

April 7, 2022

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me” (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24)

In the midst of the Passover meal Jesus introduced and instituted what is called ‘The Lord’s Supper’ or ‘Communion’. The observance includes unleavened bread and wine. Four major ‘doctrinal’ interpretations regarding the bread and wine exist today.

April 6, 2022

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough” (Luke 22:35-38).

April 5, 2022

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:31-32).

April 4, 2022

Peter said to Him, "Even though they all fall away because of You, I will never fall away, I will lay down my life for You." Jesus said to him, "Will you lay down your life for Me? (Matthew 26:33; Mark 14:29; John 13:37-38).

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