Saturday 29 April 2017

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. – John 21:25

 

John closes his account of Jesus’ life with the wonderful declaration that if every one of Jesus’ works were written down, the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. Jesus’ works in the world did not end when He ascended into heaven. Jesus is working for good in your life that this moment. And He has been working for good in your life since the moment you came into existence. The world would be unable to contain books describing all Jesus does because Jesus I still very busy doing good. What has Jesus done for you this week? How is Jesus living through you to bring His love to others? What story is Jesus writing through your life?

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Friday 28 April 2017

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” – John 21:20-21

 

It is tough for Peter to keep his focus on his own relationship with Jesus. “What about him?” Peter asks Jesus about John. When we focus on our own relationship with Jesus we become more gracious, more loving, more joyous, and more faithful. When we worry about the spiritual state of others we tend to get cranky, rules-oriented and close-minded. The best way to ensure that others experience the love of Jesus is by focusing on our relationship with the Lord.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Thursday 27 April 2017

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” – John 21:15

 

Peter compared himself to others. Shortly before denying that he ever knew Jesus, Peter assures the Lord that even if the others fall away, he will never be among the deserters. When the risen Lord comes to Peter and asks if he loves Jesus more than the others, Peter simply says, “You know that I love you.” Peter is learning not to get caught in the comparison trap. Comparing ourselves to others always leads to discontentment and disappointment. There will always be someone stronger, smarter, wealthier than we are. Stop comparison living and enjoy being the person God created you to be. Enjoy your relationship with Jesus.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Wednesday 26 April 2017

3Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:30-31

The risen Jesus spends much time with His disciples. He eats with them (showing them that His resurrected body is not some ghostly apparition); gives them the gift of a miraculous catch of fish (which reminds Peter of the day Jesus first called him to be a fisher of men); and offers Peter forgiveness and a call to follow Jesus once again. God gives us the stories of Jesus to grow our faith. What is your favorite story of Jesus? How does this story give strength to your faith and your life?

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Tuesday 25 April 2017

29 Then Jesus told [Thomas], “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:29

After missing Jesus’ visit, Thomas is present the following week when Jesus returns. The Lord invites Thomas to put his fingers into the nail holes, and his hand in Jesus’ spear punctured side. Immediately Thomas believes. Jesus responds with a blessing for all who believe in Him, but have not physically seen Him. This blessing is for us. Think of the things and people who nurture your faith in Jesus, and please take some time to thank God for them. Throughout the day, please remember that Jesus has a special blessing for you, because even though you have not seen Jesus with your eyes, you do believe!

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Monday 24 April 2017

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” – John 20:24-25

When the risen Jesus shows Himself to His followers, Thomas is not present. To believe in something so spectacular as Jesus rising from the dead, Thomas needs more than a story. Thomas needs proof. While I cannot summon up the risen Jesus to stand before you, here are some signs that prove to me Jesus is alive: The Church still exists; People freely offering forgiveness; Unconditional love offered with no agendas; The resilience of creation despite the ways we mistreat it; People possessing peace and joy in the midst of terrible difficulties. These are signs that a risen Savior who loves us is alive and working in the world He treasures.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric