Daily Devotional 1st Jan to 27th May 2018

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Chapter 13 (v.1) - 26th March to 1st April

Submitted: March 27, 2018

Reads: 112

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Submitted: March 27, 2018

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Monday 26th March

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.  There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.  Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:1-3)

 

This costly act can only be described as one prompted by the Holy Spirit.  Mary didn’t know what the week would hold nor the true significance of this act she did.  It would have been costly for her to do this, no doubt it would have caused confusion to others and perhaps judgement towards her.  This is an act of generosity and worship.  Perhaps it should be a comfort to us that as Holy week begins and the events that would unfold that here we see a persons generosity towards Christ.  Here we see a heart that wants to bless Christ and offer him something of substance.  A week that would see the worst of humanity on display sees here some of the best of humanity, generosity, worship, sacrifice.  I want to encourage each of us as Holy week begins to see the generosity here and be inspired by it.  We cannot do the same thing of course but we can see the generosity, see the worship, see the sacrifice and do similar.  Make time for Christ this week, make time to meditate and reflect on what the weeks events mean, make time to draw close to Jesus.  For as we do this we will find much as he welcomed Mary and what she offered, he will welcome us as well.  Our saviour is one that welcomes us, responds to us, make time for him.

 

Daily Readings: March 26 -  Luke 7:11-35; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 11:29-31

 

Tuesday 27th March

 

In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.  In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.  Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. (Psa 71:1-3)

 

As we read these verses our minds no doubt drift to Easter, to the events of the cross, Jesus giving his life for this world before astounding all by rising again three days later.  Yet for the Psalmist he is linking this to his experience with God. God is his refuge, his deliverer, one who hears his prayers, a rock, a strong fortress, these are not merely statements picked from scripture but lived experiences of God… God revealing his nature to the Psalmist. This is who our God is, this is the type of experience of him that he wants each of us to have too.  The question is, is this who we know God as? As a rock, a fortress, our deliverer? I think part of this experience comes from sharing life with God.  The Psalmist knows God is a deliverer because he has cried out and God has rescued him, he knows God hears him because he has seen God respond.  How much of our lives do we share with God, how much of our worries do we take to him, to see God and experience him in the way the Psalmist rejoices here we need to share our lives with God and draw him into the experiences we have.  As we do this we will be amazed as God reveals his faithful nature to us personally as he did for the Psalmist.

 

Daily Reading: March 27  -  Luke 7:36-8:3; Psalm 69:1-14; Proverbs 12:1

 

Wednesday 28th March

 

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me."  The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. (John 13:21-22)

 

This is said as Jesus is dining with the disciples.  An intimate meal that marks relationship and community with the 12.  Yet Jesus is fully aware that all is not well, one of the disciples would soon betray him.  Jesus knew this would be the case, that it was written, yet it does not take away the trouble he feels here.  The unfolding story of holy week is not a robotic story where characters go through motions, it is one where the actions are felt, the relationships authentic.  So as Judas begins to make these wrong choices, Jesus feels it, he is troubled by it, not simply because of what it will mean, but because Judas is one he has journeyed with, betrayal hurts.  This reminds us that Jesus is one who experiences all the unfolding events of holy week, there are so many moving parts to the week and we can see it as a mere story.  On Monday we saw a good example of humanity in Mary, in worship, in generosity, today, we see the opposite, as Judas prepares to betray his leader, his rabbi.  The Jesus that calls each of us towards him loves us deeply and wants to be in that close relationship with each of us.  Take encouragement from that and open your heart to him today.

 

Daily reading: March 28 -  Luke 8:4-21; Psalm 69:15-36; Proverbs 12:2-3

 

Thursday 29th March

 

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. (John 13:3-5)

 

Jesus knew the Father had given all things into his hands.  All thing we are told.  Yet how does Jesus respond to this? He takes off his outer robe, he ties a towel around him and he washes the disciples feet!.  Even today this would be seen as an uncomfortable act, but more so in Jesus day as feet were seen as unclean and not really to be touched.  Jesus here shows he is a servant leader, willing to serve even where it is uncomfortable.  He shows humility and sets this as the example for us to follow (to serve and show humility).  What is striking here is that Jesus is not aloof, as all things are given to him his desire and response is to bless and to serve.  We so often can picture Jesus as distant, cold, a judge.  Yet here we are reminded that he is one who is humble and gracious to others.  Have the right view of Jesus, he is one that invites each of us to live with him in powerful ways and if we think he is aloof and distant we cant enjoy the kind of relationship Jesus wants to form with each of us. 

 

Daily Reading: March 29 -  Luke 8:22-40; Psalm 70:1-5; Proverbs 12:4

 

Friday 30th March

 

Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, "Here is your King!"  They cried out, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but the emperor."  Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.  There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. (John 19:14-18)

 

On Palm Sunday the people welcome Jesus as king, as the anointed one, the Messiah.  By doing this they declare that the Emperor is not their king, Jesus is.  Here we see a vast contrast.  Now they want Jesus crucified, now they declare the Emperor their king, they want Jesus gone.  How many people were in both of those crowds? The one that welcomed and the one that cried for his death? We cannot possibly know but what we can say is Jesus had to massively contrasting experiences in Jerusalem.  Its interesting to note that Pilate is fully aware of who Jesus was said to be, he knows this is one who was not long ago declared the king of Israel, yet here he appears to have his fate in Pilates hands and the people demanding his death.  These events are brutal and we can’t really imagine how Jesus must have felt at this point, perhaps the darkest point in humanity.  Here God incarnate stands before people and loses his life.  He is rejected, scorned, humiliated and killed in the most brutal fashion.  It marks the worst of humanity, the most deplorable, yet it is not left without hope.  Jesus knew this would come, he takes this brutality and makes it part of his own masterplan to bring salvation and new hope to this world!.  Evil tries to triumph but Christ does!  Life can seem like evil triumphs, that our lives are spiralling out of control at times, however, evil never has the final word, God knows what is coming and is working to ensure good triumphs.  Have hope, for even at this darkest hour God shows he is at work.

 

Daily Reading: March 30 -  Luke 8:41-9:6; Psalm 71:1-24; Proverbs 12:5-7

 

Saturday 31st March

 

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.  The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise again.'  Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, 'He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." (Matt 27:61-64)

 

What must the Saturday have been like for the disciples? After the brutal events of the previous day there would have been an eerie stillness, an unsettling fear they may be pursued, dejection that their expectations had failed, that Jesus want the messiah they thought and no doubt morning for a friend they loved.  Here we see that two of the women who were following Jesus, both called Mary, were sitting opposite the tomb, why? We are not told, yet they stay near where Jesus is.  The priests however and the Pharisees they are aware the danger may not be over, the claim he would rise again, this the disciples had not grasped hold off, yet they had and clicked about the danger of this becoming a rumour, so they take action and seek to get things put in place to ensure that the body of Jesus could not go missing.  The reality is people were aware of what Jesus said, they put in place actions to ensure Jesus body couldn’t be stolen…and it wasn’t…for all the actions on this lowly day, God had something remarkable planned, soon hope would break through this gloom and the world would be changed forever. 

 

Daily Reading: March 31 - Luke 9:7-27; Psalm 72:1-20; Proverbs 12:8-9

 

Sunday 1st April

Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.  Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). (John 20:15-16)

Jesus was killed, placed in a tomb, the tomb guarded but death couldn’t hold him for here on Easter Sunday, three days after dying, he is risen! Before this the followers of Jesus are aware that Jesus body is missing but it is here in the story of John that this remarkable encounter confirms his resurrection, confirmed that he is the Messiah, confirms he is the king of the world, confirms he has brought salvation to humanity, it is confirmed by one simple word, Mary.  For she hasn’t recognised Jesus, that may surprise us but memories of his final moments and the marks that left were no doubt burned in her mind, grief and confusion present with his body missing.  Yet this word, her name, changes everything!  Rabbi she declares recognising Jesus is alive before her.  What a moment!  Everything changed here and soon would for the disciples and then for the world.  That he is risen confirms everything, that he is risen confirms his victory and he now reigns at the fathers right hand.  Today, this day, right now, Jesus speaks your name, as the risen saviour of the world, how do you respond?

 

Daily Reading: April 1 - Luke 9:28-50; Psalm 73:1-28; Proverbs 12:10


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