When Jesus Repeats Something Pay Attention- John Chapter 14

If Jesus says something one time, I want to pay attention. If he repeats it, I really want to pay attention. In the conversation Jesus had with the disciples in John 14, there are two things he repeats; the Holy Spirit and the phrase Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled.

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When Jesus first mentions the Holy Spirit, he refers to him as another advocate.to help us. The 2nd mention of the Holy Spirit we learn more about what the Holy Spirit does.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

How wonderful it is when a bible verse comes to mind just when it is needed. There is a connection between being filled with the Spirit and the God’s Word.

Ephesians 5 encourages us to the filled with the Spirit. We note the outflowing of being filled with the Spirit.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then note the similarity with Colossians 3:16

 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

The more we fill our minds with God’s Word, the more the Spirit can work in our lives.

The second thing Jesus repeats is the phrase- Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled.

Before Jesus repeats it, he tells them what he will share with them.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.

The peace the world gives is temporary and conditional. The number of peace treaties signed and then violated are too numerous to count. There are also the life styles offering peace of mind which tends to go out the window as soon as trouble arrives. The peace Jesus gives is eternal peace in our spirits knowing Jesus is in control and we will be with him forever.

That is what Jesus bases the repeated phrase- Let Your Hearts Not Be Troubled- on.

He reassures them and then lets reminds them of what is coming. Satan attempt to defeat Jesus which in actually ends up being Jesus’s victory over Satan.

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,  but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me

The fact that Jesus reassures them before reminding them makes me think of the wonderful truth of Romans 8:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Absolutely NOTHING can separate us from Jesus. We are eternally his.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Come Alive (Dry Bones) by Lauren Daigle

Living with chronic illness means mornings waking up with pain and stiffness. On such mornings, I give the day to Jesus and ask him to help me be a blessing. I love this song Come Alive-Dry Bones by Lauren Daigle. Some mornings I listen to it as I ask Jesus to help me be a blessing.

Dry bones is a reference to Ezekiel 37 in the bible where God shows Ezekiel a valley of dry bones and that God will breathe new life into them.

Jesus can breathe new life into us, into our dried up lives. He can restore broken relationships. He can give strength to the weak. He can lift up those who are down in spirit.

May this song be a blessing to you as you start your week.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Stand By You

Okay I will admit it. I like watching shows like America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and American Idol. In the finale for America’s Got Talent a group of nurses performed the song Stand By You a wonderful Rachel Platten song.

As I watched the performance I thought about wonderful nurses I have had when I had surgery or had to see a doctor. I also thought about someone else.

I am so grateful that Jesus has stood by me through so many difficulties. He has been with me through health problems, financial problems and more.

Jesus promised such when he said in Matthew 28- and lo I am always with you.

Jesus is the one person we can count on to always stand by us. He will never fail us.

I loved this performance of Stand By me so I am sharing it today.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus and God the Father Our Roommates? John Chapter 14

When I teach my ESL students the difference between the words house and home, I explain that a house is a building where people live, but home is the feeling of where one belongs. Home is being with those who we love and who love us. Home is part of our identity.

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One of the wonderful promises from Jesus is the sole focus of today’s post. It is found in John 14:22 to 24. The passage starts out with Judas, not Iscariot the betrayer, asking Jesus why he intends to show himself to them and not the world.

Jesus’s answer is where we find that wonderful promise.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them”

Jesus let him know that anyone, yes anyone, who loves Jesus will obey his teaching. The Father will love them and Jesus and the Father will come to us and make their home with us. This promise is for anyone who will receive Jesus. No one will be excluded who receives Jesus.

They will make their home with us. Our sense of belonging will be with them. The love and acceptance of Jesus and the Father will always be with us.

We can literally walk into our house, apartment, trailer, jail cell, room in a treatment facility, bunk house, cabin, whatever and say hi to Jesus and the Father who are at home with us.

Home- we belong to Jesus. Home- we belong to God the Father. Home-our identity is with them. Home- in the here and now with Jesus and God the Father.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Truth I’m Standing On by Leanna Crawford

This is the truth I’m standing on
Even when all my strength is gone

You are faithful forever
And I know You’ll never
Let me fall
Right now I’m choosing to believe
Someday soon I’ll look back and see
All the pain had a purpose
Your plan was perfect all along
This is the truth I’m standing on

I love these lyrics from Truth I’m Standing On by Leanna Crawford. The truth that God is more than enough. The truth that God is in control even when the world seems crazy. The truth that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes even when life is falling apart around us. So many truths about God that we can count on.

When we are in the midst of the struggle, we need to focus on Jesus not our circumstances.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

September 10th- Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

I will never forget going to the funeral of a 19 year old girl. She completed suicide only two weeks before she was supposed to start college. She had been in an emotionally abusive relationship and the young man abruptly broke up with her. Her family and friends were devastated. She had been in my mentoring group for young people from Vietnam. All of them went on to college except her. It was a tragedy.

Out of the group one became a doctor, several became pharmacists, a few became nurses, one is an architect, one is a CPA, others engineers, but I still think about her. I lost track of her during the year before she died. She had quit coming to our group.

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The emotional distress people who attempt or complete suicide is difficult for many to understand. There can be any number of underlying issues the person faces. When I went through suicide prevention training, I learned that someone just asking if a person is contemplating can make a difference.

As a Christian, my desire is to reflect the love of Jesus to those around me. A person may not be ready to hear the message, but could benefit from someone caring if we are open to caring for others.

If you happen across this post because you searched suicide and you are considering it, please know that God truly cares about you. There is no one and nothing worth throwing your life away. As the video I am sharing at the end of this post says- Stay Another Day.

People need others who care about them in these difficult times. It can as simple as reaching out when one feels prompted to do so.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wonderful Promises of Jesus- John Chapter 14

When we make promises, do we keep them? We can be well intentioned and still fail to follow through. Things can happen that are beyond our control. Jesus has all power and his character never changes, so if Jesus promises something, we can rest assured that it will happen. Nothing can thwart the promises of Jesus.

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There are wonderful promises to unpack in just seven verses in John chapter 14. They are John 14:15 to 21. They read:

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Notice the conditional aspect of the promises. If you keep my commands. What is Jesus talking about when he refers to commands. If helps to look at other verse in John to understand.

In John 6 after Jesus had fed the thousands with a few loaves of bread and a few fish, they followed him around and asked what they needed to do to do the works God requires. Jesus’s answer was:

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

To receive the promises, we need to believe in Jesus.

Jesus gave a new command in John 13:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

To experience the promises in fullness, we need to love one another.

1st promise- The Holy Spirit

We can overlook the fact that for these men and others The Father sent The Holy Spirit a little over 40 days from the time Jesus was speaking to them in this passage. We learn four things about The Holy Spirit from these verses; 1- he is the Spirit of truth, 2- he will be with us, 3-he will be in us. 4- he is an advocate for us.

2nd promise- Jesus will never leave us.

Jesus promised not to leave us as orphans. I have visited orphanages in various countries. Some are in very sad conditions. Orphans have no hope unless someone comes to help them. They are defenseless. Jesus promised to come to us and not leave us helpless.

3rd promise- We will see Jesus.

For the disciples, they would see Jesus after his resurrection. Jesus only appeared to those who believed in him after his resurrection. For the disciples, this would all transpire in a matter of days from the time of this conversation. For us, we know we will see Jesus face to face one day when we go to heaven.

4th promise- The Father’s love.

If we love Jesus, believe in him, The Father loves us. The love of God the Father is beyond our comprehension. He does not see or hold our sin against us. He sees Jesus when he looks at us.

5th promise- Jesus will show himself to us.

So many ways Jesus shows himself to us. Have you ever suddenly had a verse from the bible come to mind? Have you ever had a song about Jesus in your spirit? Have you ever needed something and without expecting it, a friend is there? Jesus shows himself in many ways while we are in this life. One day he will show himself to us when we go to heaven.

Remember as you read John 14 that what Jesus was talking about was in the near future for the disciples. What a wonder it would have been to see Jesus after his resurrection and then to be in the room when The Father sent The Holy Spirit.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- How You See Me Now by Lydia Laird

What do you see when you look in the mirror? What thoughts about your self run through you mind?

When Jesus sees us, he see someone he loves so much that he died for us. He sees someone he has either made part of the royal family of God or someone he wants to make part of the royal family of God.

If we saw ourselves how Jesus sees us, what a difference that could make in our lives.

I love this video by Lydia Laird because it deals with exactly that-How Jesus sees us.

I hope the song blessed you like it has me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday-What Ifs?

None of us really goes through this life unscathed, but for some there can be hurtful memories from the past whether from family issues, abuse, trauma, job loss, health issues etc.

It is so easy to fall into the pitfall of the What If thinking. I have to admit at times in my life What Ifs have dragged me down.

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What If my father had not lost his business and found our he was diabetic when I was 12. What If he had not retreated in his vodka.

What If I had not experienced a serious health crisis and had to leave the school where I was studying for the ministry.

I know the What Ifs all to well.

But two scripture verses raise me up.

Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God is always at work in my life to bring everything together for my good.

Ephesians 2:10- For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God created me with abilities and talents to match what he is calling me to.

So how do I turn the What Ifs around when they try to raise their ugly heads?

What I do is change the What Ifs. Examples:

What If I had not had my health crisis 1993 to 1995. I would not have been led to what I do now.

What If I had not been through what I have been through. I would not have met the people Jesus has blessed me with meeting, sharing his love with, and helping.

What If my family life had not been so messed up. I would not have the empathy for others that I have now.

By changing my What Ifs, it keeps my focus on Jesus and his calling on my life. It helps to keep things like despair, self pity, etc out of my life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Tremble by Lauren Daigle


I will tremble at no other name
My heart’s surrendered to no other reign

I will bow at no other throne
Rest my heart at no other home
Let these hands lift no other crown
Let these knees fall on no other ground
Draw these eyes from the gold that won’t shine
You turn this life from water to wine

When I think about Jesus on his throne in all of his glory, I think my reaction would be the same as The Apostle John when he was taken into heaven and given the Book of Revelation.. Revelation 1

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.

Jesus has all power. He is our creator. He is holy, all powerful, all knowing, present everywhere. There is nowhere we can go that Jesus is not there.

But the good news is the awesome all powerful Jesus loves us. His response to John in Revelation 1 was:

Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.

Similar to his response to Peter, James and John when they saw him in his glory talking with Moses and Elijah in Matthew 17:

But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”

I hope I never lose sight of that fact that while yes Jesus calls us friend, he is also the all powerful creator. Being the almighty God, he is more than able to help us in our times of need.

Thank you for reading. God Bless