Devotion - May 18

[Psalms 86-90 / Proverbs 18 / John 8:31-32]

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Jn. 8:31-32
How do we live free from fear or guilt?

I have a friend who remains remarkably resilient even in the most anxious and demanding times. He described once what he would do when things at his small business became really unsettling or intense. He would close the door to his office and ask himself, “What do I know is true?”

Then he would recite various Bible passages to re-establish himself in the truth of Who God is and the truth of who we are in Christ. A sort of liturgy in the midst of chaos. It is not a prescriptive response, some technical faith fix to manage stress and chaos. His was a worship response – prayerfully submitting his fears or worries to the Lord, using the truth revealed in Jesus’ word.

In this time of COVID-19, it is good to remind ourselves of a few truths each day.

  • God is the great “I am” (Exodus 3:14; John 8:24, 28, 58) – by God’s grace, as Paul says, “I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10)
  • Jesus is the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11) – even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil – he is with me (Ps. 23)
  • The Holy Spirit of life – who brings from nothing the things that are and causes the dead to rise (Rom. 4:17, 8:11)– is living in me. I am a dwelling place of God. His Spirit and his life live in me (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19)
  • Jesus has promised, “I am with you always” (Mt. 28:20) – where can I go to flee from God’s presence (Ps. 139:7)? I am not abandoned, overlooked or alone (John 14:18; Mt. 6:4, 6, 18; 2 Cor. 4:9)
  • Jesus is a friend of sinners and I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
  • In Christ I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), a saint (Colossians 1:2), a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20) and a child of God (Jn. 1:12)
  • Jesus has rescued me from the dominion of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of light – my life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 1:13, 3:1-4)
  • I have not been given a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline (1 Timothy 1:7)

And for all of this, and more … we give thanks on this Monday.
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