(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
By singing praises and hymns, awake your soul, open your heart to the Lord, and prepare yourself to welcome the presence of God and receive the Word of God that will be given to you.
Petition with thanksgiving to God for a wonderful day and pray sincerely for a focused Scripture reading time! (Do not rush into reading the Bible without starting with prayers!) (e.g., you may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what will you be speaking to me today?)
Get the following items ready in advance: your devotional notebook, paper, pen, and/or electronic devotional articles so that you can easily write down the Bible verses, questions, and thoughts you have noticed! You are encouraged to open your Bible and vocally read out the scriptures (Try to practice this reading method daily or once a week)!
Scripture Reading: John Ch. 14 (ESV)
Take a moment to quietly reflect on today’s Scriptures. Through such exercises, let God’s Word be gradually written into our hearts and be inscribed to our mind.
Read the devotional articles prepared by CBCLWA (*Read the Bible first before reading any devotional materials.)
(vv. 1-14) At that time, Jesus’ disciples heard Jesus saying that he was about to leave them and be killed and that one of them would betray Jesus and another person would disown the Lord three times…. How did they feel about all of the negative news? If we were there, we would probably be very depressed. At the beginning of this Chapter, we see that Jesus comforted them by saying, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” Jesus knew that they were in anxiety and so he encouraged them to show their faith! If we are also in the midst of confusion and anxiety, I hope we can find hope by reading the first verse.
Jesus told his disciples that he was leaving them because he was going to the Father’s house and he would return to take them there. This sounds like an expression of a new age, a new world – the eternal home. But if we continue reading the scriptures, we will find that more likely this refers to the Holy Spirit (vv. 16-18) that will be given to them after the resurrection of Jesus, so that everyone can return to the Father and be with Him because of their belief in Jesus!
Jesus said this clearly, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” No one in the history, in this nation or aboard, can make such a declaration! Only Jesus can as He is the only way to God. Only He has God’s full truth, and only He can make man truly alive! How blessed it is for us to be saved by the Lord!
At the same time, don’t forget the Lord’s command that we still have work to do. The Lord said: “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…” What we are referring to here is not to say that the believers should perform greater miracles or feed more people, but that believers are on a mission to preach and spread the gospel so that more people can be saved. We want to help people reconcile with God, which is the most important work of Jesus’ life here on earth and the new duty of every believer. As stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Let us do our part. If we see God’s great work among us, why are we still questioning or hesitating? Jesus said: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Together, let us pray in the name of Jesus that God will strengthen our church and that our brothers and sisters will be humbled and work with God. Let us pray to God today that people around us will know Jesus and receive the gift of salvation.
(vv.15-31) Remember the verse in John 13:1, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
Jesus loves us to the end at the expense of his own life. How can we respond to His love for Him? The following verses could not have been clearer.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. “
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is 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 14:23-24 “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. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”
Our love for the Lord Jesus can be seen from whether we are willing to obey His Word. When we can resonate in why we should love Him and love Him wholeheartedly, we will obey His Word in our lives. Such obedience will result in a positive and continuous growth of our spiritual life.
According to the scriptures, “…he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (v.21) and “… my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (v.23) Isn’t that what we want the most? We desire God to show us His faith, manifest Himself to us, and we desire to be closer to Him, to be with the Lord, and walk with the Lord daily! These words are saying that we are absolutely inseparable from God’s Word. There are no other shortcuts!
Thank God for his revealing of such truth to us. And thank God for giving us the Holy Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit of truth, and through His guidance and teaching, we are enabled to know the truth more deeply!
Give thanks to God for His enabling us to read the Scriptures and for our response for living out the Word of God today! (e.g., You may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what/where are you going to lead me to today?”)