John 12:27-28

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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“Now, My heart is troubled, and what shall I say?  ‘Father, save Me from this hour.’  No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name!” (NIV)

“Right now I am storm-tossed.  And what am I going to say?  ‘Father, get me out of this.’  No, this is why I came in the first place.  I’ll say, ‘Father, put Your glory on display’” (MSG)

A major “trauma” occurs in my life (emotional, physical, relational, financial, etc.) and many times, what’s my first cry?  “Lord, help me out of this situation,” or something like that.  I beg You to deliver me from whatever is bringing difficulty or pain.

When “my heart is troubled” or when “I am storm-tossed,” the whole purpose is so that You, Father, can “put YOUR glory on display.”  It’s so that the people who encounter me or interact with me can see the You in me.  How many times, though, have I whined, cried and moaned, “Take this away. I don’t want it.  No, not this! …” ?

BUT what if I were to react like You did when You were in a human body?  The ONLY way that can happen is for YOU to act through me.  I cannot be that strong on my own.  It’s got to be You.  So, here am I.  Do whatever it takes to make me like You, so that You get all the glory for whatever good comes out of what I say and do.  Amen.

John 12:26

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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“Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves Me” (v 26 NIV)

“If any of you wants to serve Me, then follow me” (v 26 MSG)

When I look at You, Jesus, I can see an example of how to live my life.  I choose to follow You—down any road, at any cost.  You offer real life.  Why would I follow anyone else?

But I know that my flesh can often interfere with my heart and mind’s desires to follow close to You.  I can be tempted to look away and to follow the deceiver’s lead instead.  “It only takes a moment’s time for me to somehow cross a line where I can wind up roaming in the dark …” (Kathy Troccoli).

How glad I am to know that “there’s NOTHING that can take Your love away.  Oh dear, Lord, all that I know to do is pray” (KT) and

Your grace rains on me.

Your love surrounds me.

You restore me.

You forgive me.

Your peace flows through me.

Your hope comes to me.

Faith embraces me.

“Lord, I’m at Your mercy … Morning by morning, new mercies I see.  Great is Your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”  (The lyrics are from Kathy Troccoli in “At Your Mercy” on Corner of Eden. See Lamentations 3:22-23)

My flesh many times will fall, simply because I still live in this world.  But You, God, are the strength of my heart.  (Psalm 73:26) I choose to follow You.  I choose to serve You.  I choose to entrust myself to You, knowing that You alone can help me to do both, and You keep transforming me to be just like Jesus.  It’s not the I, but the YOU in me that accomplishes anything for Your kingdom. It’s You in me who helps me to overcome this flesh. Thanks for the promise of victory!

John 12:12-25

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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Sir, we want to see Jesus” (v 21)

Here were Gentiles (non-Jews) seeking You out, Jesus.  When their request was brought to You, You said, “Time’s up.  The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (MSG).  And, the final week of Your life in a human body began.  What awaited You at the end of the week was a cross, a tomb, and a resurrection!  Thanks for going through with all of it!

“Anyone who holds onto life as it is destroys that life.  But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal” (v 25 MSG)

“The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (v 25 NIV)

Father, I want that real stuff.  Help me not to hold onto this life; but help me to live with open hands, not gripping what You’ve allowed me to have here.  Rather, may I freely share the abundance You’ve supplied.  Oh, I’m not anywhere near what the world would consider rich, but then, the world’s perspective doesn’t count.  It’s how YOU view me that is the bottom line.  According to YOUR accounting, all the riches in the world can’t measure up.  You’re the King; I’m Your child.  You have shared Your wealth and inheritance with me.

You deposit into my account more than financial assets. There are line items in this account for “Love,” “Grace,” “Mercy,” “Forgiveness,” “Holiness,” “Goodness,” “Joy,” “Peace,” “Endurance,” “Strength,” “Power.”  Deposit after deposit!  And the cool thing is that as I make withdrawals for my own life and to share with others, You keep on making deposits!

You opened this account for me long ago at the end of the week that is related in this passage.  You made Your first deposit on the cross, a huge lump sum, great enough to open an account for everyone, everywhere.  You added another deposit through Your resurrection.  Later, You made another when You sent the Holy Spirit.  Thanks for Your investment in me!  Guide my stewardship of all that You supply as You continue to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

John 12:1-11

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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“Mary came in with a jar or very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus’ feet, and then wiped them with her hair.  The fragrance of the oils filled the house” (v 3; see also Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9)

What extravagance!  What abandon! Taking something valuable of her own and spending it to honor You, Jesus!  She poured out the very best she could find.  She broke the bottle and let the sweetness of her offering flow.

Oh, Jesus!  Move my heart to such extravagance when it comes to honoring You.  I desire to offer the very best I possess, the most excellent gift I can give.  All that I am and all I hope to be, I place Your hands…I lay at Your feet.  It is You who has made me.  It’s Your Spirit that gives me hope and a future.  It’s Your Word that guides me.

May I spend my life in reckless abandon for You, Jesus.  No price is too high.  No ocean too wide.  No valley too deep … any road, any cost, anything for You, Lord.

Oh, I recall the first time I prayed this prayer of sorts.  I gritted my teeth, knowing that the road marked with Your footprints would never be an easy one.  Yet, knowing that You are along every step of the way, I take each stride with confidence.  I surrender my fears to You and take hold of the assurance You supply.

You said way back then that what this woman did would be spoken of in memory of her (Mark 14:9; Matthew 26:13).  May I live my life in such a way that You are honored by stories told in memory of me.  Fashion my life into one that reflects You, that brings glory to You, that leaves fingerprints of You and an aroma of Your Spirit wherever I go.

Oh, Father, take my eyes so totally off of me that I see nothing before me but the needs of others, as You make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

John 10:22-42; 11

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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“Do not believe Me unless I do what My Father does.”

There’s a sense of integrity here, Lord.  It’s as though, if You’re not doing what You’re supposed to be doing, then You don’t expect me to listen to what You have to say.  Thank You, however, that Your life and words DID always match up.  Thanks for Your example.

Make me just like Jesus, Father.  Match up who I am with who I describe myself to be, or profess to be in my words.  Make me authentic and real, so that I reflect You as I go.

“You don’t have to wait for the end.  I am, right now, resurrection and life.  The one who believes in Me, even though he or she dies, will live.  And everyone who lives believing in Me does not ultimately die at all…” (vv 25-26)

Whatever is lifeless, dormant or dying in my life, can be resurrected through Your life-giving power, Lord!  My faith in You activates that power in my life.  Point out those cadavers in my mind, my heart, my relationships, my attitudes, my life, which need to respond to Your call “Come forth!” so that You can free me from the grip of deathlike things hindering my growth and liberty.

You are all powerful.  You are I am.  You are Life.  Here is my heart.  Reign in me.  Live through me.  Make me just like Jesus.  I’m at Your mercy.  Amen.

John 10

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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“I came that they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than ever dreamed of.”  (v. 10 MSG)

Jesus, thank You for the way You fill me up as “my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5) every day with the abundant blessings of knowing You!  You supply a depth of living in the here and now, as I look forward to living in eternity.

The kind of abundant life You bring isn’t one that denies pain and problems.  You set those struggles into perspective.  You take me deeper into life itself, a point at which there’s a calm in the midst of the storm.  No matter how lush the pasture is in which You lead me to graze, You have pointed out the continual danger of thieves, the presence of death, and the daily grind of coming and going.  Though these challenges exist, You guide me in making use of them instead of being defeated by them.

Thank You for the life You bring to my heart and soul!  Keep making me just like you, Jesus.  Amen.

John 9

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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It’s happened before–John 4–Samaritan woman at the well–probably happened a lot: An individual encounters you, Jesus, and as time passes in interaction with You or some sort of connection, the person’s perceptions of You are altered.  They transform into beliefs, worship, devotion, obedience.  How cool to get to see it unfold!

Here’s a blind man just hanging out, most likely at his usual spot for begging.  You come by, Jesus.  You notice him and so do Your disciples. They pose a question which causes Your life and the blind man’s life to intersect.  The result of this encounter was for him miraculous and for You an opportunity to glorify Your Father.

It’s cool to “hear” how the man, who can now see, progresses in his description of You:

1)  “the man they call Jesus” (v 11) seems to imply he knew about You, but this was the first he’d been acquainted with You.  He doesn’t seem at ease enough to just say “Jesus made some mud…”

2)  When questioned about the person who had opened his eyes, he described You with “He is a prophet (v 17), recognizing you as someone prominent, with some authority, some special place with God.

3)  Later the Pharisees bring up a question about Your spiritual status, claiming to know You were a sinner.  The once-blind man kept himself neutral on that part saying “whether He is a sinner or not, I don’t know. I was blind but now I see!” (v 25).  Kind of like saying, “I have no clue the condition of his heart or standing with God; I only know what a wonderful thing He did for me!”  He recognized Your power.

4)  Further into the discussion, the man who can now see, amazed at the Pharisee’s bewilderment concerning Jesus, says, “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing” (v. 33).  He recognized the source of Your power and authority.

5)  And then that special moment comes!  A nexus has formed between You and this man whose sight was restored and his life will never be the same.  He reaches the point of saying, Lord, I believe,” (v 38) and he worshipped You.

As I journey with you, You reveal Yourself in various ways, allowing me to know You better and better.  May my life continually be an offering of praise as You make me just like Jesus.  Amen.