I am the disciple who Jesus loved

John 20:2 – So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

The Bible refers to “the disciple Jesus loved”.  Today I was thinking that is actually each and every one of us.  The Bible doesn’t give exclusivity to one person and I truly believe that the love of Jesus is enough for each of us to be in the position to say, I am the disciple whom Jesus loves!”

Psalm 93:4 – Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

THE DISCIPLE WHO JESUS LOVED

I am the disciple who Jesus loved, I am that person, the wonderful thing is he calls me beloved, loved at my darkest, loved as an outcast, he loves the ones the world loves to hate, he takes ashes and sees beauty, as he looks at me his love is mightier than the waves of the sea, he knows that I’m broken and I know I’m not perfect, but I am forgiven, seeking to live my life in such a way that those who know me will come to know God, I want to be recognised as the girl who knows Jesus, I want to go out into the world and keep his commandments, humble myself and seek his face, be impactful when I pray, be unafraid, I want to stop comparing and start celebrating, for if God is for me, who can be against me, if God loves me what more do I need, I am his and my gratitude overflows, my joy is of infinite worth to Jesus, my love reciprocated by the man who died to save us, who died for me simply because I am the disciple who Jesus loves.

I’ve developed a faith and it’s bearing good fruit

It’s sometimes hard to recognise the power that is in us or at least believe that we have the same power as Jesus.  But when I think that the Holy Spirit now lives in me and consider how I am changing, I start to get it.  I am not just a new creation, I am a new creation with the power and might of Jesus within me, I just need to learn to harness this power to live out my anointing to bind up the broken hearted, heal the sick and free the captives.

The Holy Spirit gives me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  The Holy Spirit gives me wisdom (James 1:5).  The Holy Spirit makes me peace loving, submissive, full of mercy and a yielder of good fruit (James 3:17).  The Holy Spirit is there for me in my weakness and helps me to pray effectively (Romans 8:26).  The Holy Spirit helps me to resist and overcome Satan (James 4:7)

HOLY SPIRIT YOU ARE WELCOME HERE

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, at the name of Jesus demons will flee, the prisoners will be set free, at the name of Jesus a power is released like you’ve never before seen, power to heal, power to raise the dead to life, power to overcome wars and strife, at the name of Jesus I proclaim I am redeemed, baptised in water and baptised in the Spirit, my life changing daily as I challenge the limits of human understanding, as God is transforming me through his Spirit, I’m growing in wisdom,  resisting temptation, I’ve even found patience despite my weakness, growing in kindness and goodness, I’ve developed a faith and it’s bearing good fruit,  resolute in my prayer, I’m becoming effective in battling and fighting the lies and deception of Satan who comes to kill, steal, destroy, but instead I’m filled with uncontainable joy

if you don’t give 100% it’s something less than sacrificial

Been thinking today about the benefit of hindsight.  As Christians, we all know the outcome of the Crucifixion.  Sometimes perhaps we are a little too familiar rushing through Good Friday so we can get to the joyous celebration of Easter Sunday.

In my Bible reading this morning I read of the four women who stood beside the cross and witnessed his death.  It made me question, how did they feel?  His Mother, his Aunt (had never realised that she was there), as well as friends. They didn’t have the benefit of knowing that Jesus would rise again.  There must have been so much grief and hurt, sadness and pain as they watched Jesus, whom they all loved, murdered in front of their eyes.

John 19:25-27 – Jesus’ mother stood beside his cross with her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too.  When Jesus saw his mother and his favourite disciple with her, he said to his mother, “This man is now your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “She is now your mother.” From then on, that disciple took her into his own home.

If I am honest up until this year I don’t think I had a clue what pain and anguish they went through, because I had never experienced the death of a close friend or relative.  Having lost my brother suddenly in January I can relate more closely with some of their emotions.

The final part that really stood out for me was that in his suffering he still was thinking of others as he asked John to look after his Mother.  I think that is symbolic, he was thinking of his Mother, yet he was also thinking of me.  If he hadn’t been focussed on me (or you) then he wouldn’t have gone through with it, what would have been the point?  Right to the end the love of Jesus shone through, his sacrifice was given 100%, he never wavered from the path his Father gave him.

NO HALF MEASURES

Sacrifice, well it’s not really a sacrifice if it doesn’t cost or hurt, if you don’t give 100 per cent it’s something less than sacrificial, what would you get if you gave yourself fully to Jesus?  Just look at how he lived and died, in order to save us he had to give it all, there were no half measures, he didn’t stop after the mocking, he didn’t stop after the beating and even as he carried the cross on which he would hang he didn’t waver from God’s plan, see here’s the thing, we are not called to be like other Christians we are called to be like Jesus, what would happen if you came to Jesus right now just as you are, fall at his feet and allow him to make you complete, what would happen if you immersed yourself in his word, released the burdens you are carrying?  Don’t settle for cheap grace, forgiveness without repentance, God offers acceptance, love and salvation, our roles in this story are about something so much bigger, it just isn’t about you and it’s not about me, it’s about the big picture, Jesus dying on the Cross, Jesus’s sacrificial loss, Jesus rising from the grave to save you, to give you a hope and a future, don’t sell yourself short, don’t accept half measures, say goodbye to every sin cos you are forgiven, our risen Saviour saw to that, now ask yourself, what can I give back?

Jesus wept.  That kind of swept me off my feet

Up until today I knew the shortest verse in the Bible was John 11:35 but I had never grasped its significance.

John 11:35 – Jesus Wept

As our preacher spoke of the death of Lazarus it started to dawn on me.  Jesus loves me in the same way he loved Lazarus.  As he wept openly at the tomb of Lazarus so he has wept at my “death”.  By that I don’t mean my physical death but the times when I turned my back on God, the times I chose to follow the world and not him.  Jesus wept over me.  In the same way that Jesus prayed at the entrance of the tomb of Lazarus I believe he prayed and interceded for me and continues to do so.

  • Hebrews 7:25 – Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them
  • Isaiah 53:12…. For he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors
  • 1 John 2:1-2 – My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world

Now if that’s not outrageous love, I’m not sure what is!

JESUS WEPT

Jesus wept.  That kind of swept me off my feet, see if Jesus cried then he knows what we go through when the tears start to flow, he gets all the sadness when life brings us low, Jesus wept because he was human, his love for his friend all-consuming, his tears indicative of the pain he felt, the agony of loss, and this same Jesus cried over me, see, we are part of his family, each one of us holds a place in his heart, he gives us the glory that he too received, believing in you and believing in me and in the same way that he prayed for his friend, he prays and intercedes for our offences, he’s already taken the consequences but because of his outrageous love, because he thinks the world of us, this Jesus is our advocate, standing between us and the Father, praying for us to prosper, asking for us to be fostered into God’s family, interceding for our sins, able to save us completely, his tears not those cried briefly, his tears from the heart fall to set us apart from the sin that hardened our hearts, his tears a genuine indication of his desire to save every nation, that not one should perish, each life cherished.

United in our love for Jesus

God offers us many types of love and one that was mentioned in a talk last weekend was a “partnering love”.  The speaker referred to John 17 and today I have found some time to look at this in greater depth.

The three headers in the NIV are:

  •  Jesus prays to be glorified
  • Jesus prays for his disciple
  • Jesus prays for all believers

Looking at the final section verse 20 to 26 I can see that this refers to unity and that so speaks to me today.  I had reached out for clarity on a project my ladies group have recently started (long story) but the answer lies plainly before me here in this passage.  Oh how great is our God!!  Unity, it’s about breaking down barriers, building bridges and working together as one.  God is in each one of us regardless of denomination, we need to pull together not apart so that the world can see that Jesus came to earth to save all.  Enough of our differences and more of God’s love.

UNITY 

I love being different because God’s love is sufficient for me, God recognises diversity yet brings us together in unity, he is my security and as I trust in his love I see that I am not above or below any other, we are all sisters and brothers, united in our love for Jesus, unanimously in love with our God of love, flying solo we may soar, but flying together we will roar, unleashed we increase the glory, the sound of heaven meeting earth, worthy to be called God’s children, our light no longer hidden, combining to shine into every corner, together our message stronger, no longer the lone voice crying in the wilderness, unified in the Spirit our strength knows no limits, prayed for by Jesus himself, given his glory, brought to complete unity, claiming the victory.

It’s OK to pause, it’s OK to feel a little bit numb

I was reminded this morning that it’s OK to pause.  It’s OK to take God’s rest, to allow him to soothe and refresh us and to lift all our cares from us.  I have been struggling over the past few days feeling that I needed to be strong and to keep up a level of activity, prayer and praise when actually I am not able to maintain the momentum and I need to deal with the grief of my brother’s death.

God does not see that as a weakness, in fact Jesus himself encouraged the disciples to go and be alone so they could rest.

  • Mark 6:31 – Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.
  • Matthew 11:28 -“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

 PAUSE

It’s OK to pause, it’s OK to feel a little bit numb, God wants us to rest in him, to give him all the pain and the grief and actually it’s such a relief to realise that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, capable of dealing with these emotions when God’s timing is right, a God whose devotion to me is unquestionably the only thing that’s keeping me in check, stopping this from becoming a total shipwreck as he gently takes the wheel and steers me through the fallout, as I callout he answers, come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest, I run to him, I seek him out, I have no doubts or fears when he is near, I yearn for quiet and stillness to return, I long to sit with God and just be, my mind stilled, my heart refilled with God’s own energy that fills me to capacity, here I am Lord, let me rest here awhile, revive me, comfort me, help me process all that I feel in the safety of your presence, shelter me, work with me, you are the potter, I am the clay, mould me, shape me and guide me today.

One day he’s coming back and that’s a fact

Revelation, a surprising and previously unknown fact that has been disclosed to others – I was thinking about the “revelation of God” in relation to the time we first meet him.  The revelation of his word and what it means to us, the revelation of his love and how powerful that is, that God loves us, sinners to the core and even greater than that, God will forgive us.  All revelations that are life changing, forever.  I then got to thinking about the nature of God and just thought I would look in the book of Revelation to get some insight.  These are a few verses that I picked out:

  • Revelation 1:7 – Look, he is coming with the clouds,”and “every eye will see him
  • Revelation 1:8 – I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty
  • Revelation 3:19-20 – Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
  • Revelation 7:17 – For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes
  • Revelation 21 4-5 – He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
  • Revelation 22:4 – They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
  • Revelation 22:13 – I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End
  • Revelation 22:17 – Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life

HE’S COMING BACK

One day he’s coming back and that’s a fact, whatever you say or think now in a blink of an eye you will change your mind, when you look to the sky and see Jesus coming down with the clouds your judgment won’t be clouded, your opinion won’t be divided, you will be provided with a front row seat as you get to meet the “I AM”, the one who is and was and is to come, now that’s not as dumb as it may sound, God is the one who founded the earth and gave you birth, he’s alive now and he’ll live for ever, yet if you never give thought to his very being I doubt you’ll be seeing his return with joy and anticipation, more likely you’ll be feeling a sinking sensation as you prepare to meet your maker, he called you before to repent yet it meant nothing to you as you chose to continue to do what you do, because let’s face it you didn’t believe it was true, you chose to ignore him when he knocked on your door, you made out like you’d not heard, God offered you living water, but you wanted something stronger and see you are a stranger in God’s house where the old order of things has passed away, a place where there is no more sorrow and no more pain, God himself wiping the tears from our eyes, now that may be a surprise to you, but I knew what my God promised me, I knew that he was setting me free, he made me new and he can do that for you, you have a chance now, you have freedom of choice to stop reading this and listen to God’s voice, ask him to show you that he is real, ask him to feel his love and his grace, ask him to place your sins at the cross and give you a footpath across the divide so you too can reside with him in heaven where you will see his face and receive his grace, day after day, you can stay in that place of perpetual joy, enjoy a taste now don’t be like those who destroy their lives with more and more sin, he’s waiting for you to say, “Jesus come in”, you know on that day when Jesus returns I don’t want you to burn in Hell because you fell into the trap the Devil has set you by telling you that all the God stuff in unfounded, I want you to be grounded in the truth of God’s word, I want to know that you’ve heard this message and allowed God to pull you from the wreckage of a human life that can only be changed because of his sacrifice, one day he’s coming back for you, will you be ready to meet the one who adores you?