When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. ~ John 14:20 NLT
In our moments of weakness, even the strongest believer in Jesus can allow the loud accusations and lies the Enemy whispers to discourage us. In those moments we may think it seems easier to just give up.
But it is exactly in those moments, we should remember Jesus’ words in John 14:20. For one thing, we are not alone in our struggles. Jesus’ Spirit is in us. We are in Jesus. He surrounds us on all sides. And as Paul exhorts us in Colossians 3:3, we are hidden with Christ in God the Father. Just stop and think about this reality. Could there be a safer place?
When we feel like our troubles and trials are about to overwhelm us, let’s do as Paul directs us in Colossians 3:1, 2, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven… Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” What we focus on becomes our reality. The Bible says that Jesus’ followers are no longer are citizens of earth, but our real home is in Heaven, where we are seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father. When we gaze at our problems from that high place, they lose their power to overcome us.
We are not abandoned to the hardships of this life. Dear one, be assured that you are heard. You are seen. You are highly valued. In those moments when all seems lost, you truly have a God who, not only is working to release you, but who foresaw what was coming and already has the exit plan. So, if you are feeling overwhelmed or abandoned and all alone today, stop and tell yourself the truth. The Spirit who lives in you is much greater than anything that could come against you. You are the Father’s precious child and Jesus’ friend.
You are safe and secure in Jesus. His Spirit is in you, making all things possible as you rely on him. Thank the Father for hiding you from the enemy in his own heart. Nothing can touch you there that the Father can’t use for your good and his glory. Don’t give up. Instead, thank God and enjoy what Jesus won for you on the Cross!
Dear friends, be blessed as you focus on heavenly reality. Be strengthened in your faith as you practice living from your true position in Christ. Don’t be shy about proclaiming where you are as you start each day. You are in Christ. Christ’s Spirit is in you and you are hidden with Jesus in the Father! Receive abundant blessings as you choose to stay positioned in true reality all day long. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ August 23, 2022
Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them. ~ John 14:21 NLT
In this desperate time, many of us are earnestly seeking a deeper revelation of who God is. We are not searching for just a general revelation, but a personal one, meant just for us. We need the assurance that the Lord is still in control of the things in our life and using all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes. Are you one of those seekers?
The verse above gives us a challenge and a promise. How do we know who the ones who accept Jesus’ commandments and obey them are? After some pondering, I began to realize that those who accept and obey what another asks of them, must have spent time with that person and truly knows him. There has been a strong bond created between them manifested in love for each other that enables trust. Are we willing to hear Jesus and accept the commitment to obey him?
True, many times we obey out of fear of retribution or suffering punishment. But that would be the world’s way to demand obedience, not our compassionate God’s way. We obey God because we believe who he says he is and have been set free from the condemnation and power of sin. We have witnessed his goodness, faithfulness and power. Therefore, out of love, we seek to please him by obeying what he asks of us.
John 14:21 implies that when we accept Christ’s commandments and obey them, we declare our love for him. Our promised reward is a continued, personal and loving relationship which yields continued personal revelation. Jesus reveals that he is all we need in every situation. He is our Truth, our Deliverer, our Provider, our Protector, our Healer and infinitely more. Whoever, or whatever we need is available in the loving, committed relationship with the Father and Jesus. That is the response we are promised as we love and obey Christ.
What are the commandments we are to obey? The answer is found in Matthew 22:37-40. Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.
As we look to the fall, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to stir in us the desire to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus. Let’s learn to love him by accepting and obeying his call to love him with everything we are, and to love others as we would want them to love us.
Dear friends, be blessed as you commit to love Jesus and others more. Gratefully expect a closer relationship with Jesus and deeper spiritual revelation. May you listen and follow his example. He has called you to this relationship because he loves you, cherishes you and has wonderful plans and purposes for your life. You can do this! You were created for it. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ August 9, 2022