Make a hot drink, settle into a comfy chair and take some time to read through the following devotion that Pastor Milton has written for you…
You might like to start with this prayer:
God – it is good to spend time with you. Calm my thoughts. Help me to hear you. Thank you for coming into my life in this moment. Amen
Reaching out with love – peace and courage!
Read through this verse slowly. Pause and read it again.
Stay with it for a moment. What stands out to you?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14:27).
Today, as we reflect on the gospel reading from John 14:23-29, we hear Jesus’ promise of peace.
Jesus is speaking to his disciples. He is speaking to them about his ‘going’ to his death. He is also speaking about his ‘coming’ to them after his death. Jesus also knows that he will be leaving his followers for a longer period of time following his ascension into heaven. He also tells them that one day he will return in glory.
During this time, Jesus promises his followers that they will not be left on their own. Jesus will be present with them in his love. Jesus will be present with them in his Word. Jesus will be present with them in the person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ presence will bring his peace and courage to his followers.
Jesus will be present with them in his love and word. Jesus answered him, “Those who love me and will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23-24).
As we wait for the Jesus’ return in glory, Jesus promises that he will reveal himself to his followers. He will reveal himself to those who truly love him and who hear and keep his word. Jesus’ word teaches us about the Father’s love. It is love that unites the Father and Jesus together. It is love that unites all believers together with the Lord Jesus and with the Father. Where there is no love or keeping of Jesus’ word, there is not such union with God the Father and Jesus the Son.
How do we know that all this is true? Because of Jesus presence with us in the person of the Holy Spirit. “I have said these things while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (John 14:25-26). It is through the power of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus’ followers remembered and understood all that Jesus had told them prior to his death. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit, that all believers hear and keep Jesus’ word.
That all believers love God and love one another.
That all believers live in God’s peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27). Peace here means peace with God. It means enjoying that calmness in knowing that we are united with God despite physical separation. It means being safe and secure in Jesus’ love, and not troubled or afraid as we live and serve in the world.
The peace that Jesus offers is true and ongoing. the peace that the world offers is transient, unstable and short lived. Only the lasting peace that Jesus offers can truly calm troubled hearts and fears.
God’s peace results in courage! Courage to live and serve as a believer in this troubled world. Courage to believe Jesus’ promises. Courage to believe that Christ is at work through his word and love drawing more and more people to himself.
Today, we are called to boldly and courageously participate in the task of proclaiming Jesus and his love and his word here in this place at this time. To bring Jesus’ gift of peace to all who are troubled and afraid.
Jesus, our loving friend and Saviour,
you have promised to give us your Spirit
to be with us forever.
Stay within our hearts,
so that we love one another
as you have loved us.
For you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Take a moment to add any other prayers that are on your heart.