A daily dose of spiritual exercise for men in various stages of their Christian walk

Perfect Judge

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 5:16-27
“And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man” John 5:27

– Observe
Some may have argued that a perfect and Holy God has no understanding of what it is like to be human, mortal, limited, tempted. So, God has handed all judging of humans over to Jesus who was tempted in all ways human, but without sin.

– Do
Praise God for providing a judge who has experienced our weakness and frailty.

– Share

Or Something Worse

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 5:1-15
“Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’ “John 5:14

– Observe
This man’s 38 years of paralysis was a direct result of his sin. Jesus solemnly warns him that a worse fate awaits him if he does not stop sinning.

In Luke 13, Jesus proclaims this as a general principle: God uses both the acts of evil men and accidents to warn us to stop sinning.

– Do
“Repent or you too will die.”

– Share

Miraculous Signs

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 4:49-54
“This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.” John 4:54

– Observe
Between the first and second miraculous signs: Jesus cleared the temple during Passover, conversed with Nicodemus, and conversed with the Samaritans.

But if this is really only the second miraculous sign, why did Nicodemus say, “the miraculous signs that you are doing”? Did Nicodemus already believe after only one sign and simply expect more? Or did John have a higher standard than Nicodemus for what he considers miraculous signs? Probably the latter. When Jesus was baptized, a dove descended on Him and there was a voice from Heaven. Apparently, John did not consider that to be a miraculous sign, but I suspect that Nicodemus did.

How about when Jesus met Nathaniel and said He had seen him under the fig tree? Nathaniel was impressed, but John does not count that as a miraculous sign.

For John, there has to be a blatant breaking of natural laws to be considered a miraculous sign? People seeing and hearing something could be mass hallucination. Changing one compound into another without touching it or adding any ingredients – that’s miraculous. Jesus’ statement to Nathaniel could have been a shrewd guess, but reversing a boy’s disease… well, actually that could have been a shrewd guess on Jesus’ part also (that the boy was already getting better).

So, I guess I really do not know how John decided whether or not something that Jesus did was a miraculous sign or not.

– Do
Ask God and your brothers and sisters in Christ for insight into how John was deciding what was a miraculous sign and what was not a miraculous sign.

– Share

Exposed to Jesus

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 4:39-48
“They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’ “ John 4:42

– Observe
What did these Samaritans hear that strengthened their faith? Jesus’ words. As a child, I heard about Jesus and asked Him into my heart. After that, I heard the words of Jesus in sermons and in Sunday School, and even at home a little bit. After that, I added reading the Bible for myself. Later, I added personal conversations with Jesus. I am at a place now where I have faced pain and death and do not fear them. I am actually looking forward to being killed because of Jesus’ words. My faith has become firm because of Jesus’ words.

– Do
Expose yourself to Jesus’ words at every opportunity to secure and strengthen your belief.

– Share

Speaking His Words

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 3:31-36
“for the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” John 3:34

– Observe
Speaking the very words of God is what Jesus did. Giving the Spirit without limit is what God does. There is no reason why we cannot speak the very words of God as long as we allow God’s Holy Spirit to have control of us.

– Do
Today, ask God to control every word that comes out of your mouth.

– Share

New Baptism

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Wyatt

– Pray

– Read John 3:22-30
“Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized.” John 3:23

– Observe
So, there was a time when Jesus was gathering disciples and John the Baptist was still attracting crowds. Everyone did not abandon John for Jesus even though John told them to. This must have been a little frustrating for John. But some of his disciples noticed a trend of people leaving for Jesus. Concerned, they told John. Instead of concern, John expressed joy, with a little criticism for his disciples for not listening to what he said about Jesus.

– Do
Leave the baptism of repentance (John) behind and move forward to life with Jesus.

– Share

Honestly

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 3:10-21
“I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.” John 3:11

– Observe
Who is “we”? Nicodemus said that God was with Jesus. If Jesus says “we”, then Nicodemus should understand from the context of his own statement that “we” means God and Jesus. So, Jesus is claiming to have been with God when he saw the truth and claiming that God and Jesus together are giving witness to the truth. Jesus is also claiming that the group of people Nicodemus belongs to is rejecting the testimony of God and Jesus – effectively calling God and Jesus liars.

– Do
Ask God to rescue you from the trap of calling Him a liar.

– Share

Another Dimension

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 3:1-9
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” John 3:6

– Observe
The second birth is not a repeat of the first birth; it is a totally different being that is born – more different than the difference between a human and an ant. For both the human and the ant are flesh. This second birth creates a spiritual being, not a physical being. Or perhaps I should say not merely a physical being. For the risen Christ could eat and drink and be touched, just like a physical being. I suspect that it is the difference between a three dimensional being and a four dimensional being. The 4D being will look and feel just like a 3D being as long as he restricts his travel to three dimensions. But, in reality, he remained a 4D being.

– Do
Ask God’s Spirit to give you a second birth, or praise God for giving you a second birth, whichever is appropriate for you at this time.

Not sure? Ask God; He will tell you.

– Share

Cleaning House

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 2:12-25
“So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:15

– Observe
Interesting that both Luke and John have Jesus clearing the temple during Passover, but Luke puts it at Jesus’ last Passover with His disciples and John puts it at the beginning of His ministry. How many times did Jesus clear the temple during Passover? At least two, but the people did not learn or repent.

– Do
Repent so that Jesus does not have to violently remove stuff from your life.

– Share

Putting Your Faith

Filed Under Devotional
Written by Kelly

– Pray

– Read John 2:1-11
“This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” John 2:11

– Observe
I tend to think of “putting my faith in someone else” as a one-time life-changing commitment similar to marriage. But, there is nothing in the Greek here to suggest that. Here, it is simply an action that may or may not continue, and it may or may not be repeated. It is simply saying that, at this moment, Jesus’ disciples have put their faith in Jesus. We will see later how fragile that commitment is.

– Do
Choose now to trust Jesus to meet all your needs, regardless of whether or not you have done so in the past.

– Share

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