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.

John 9:1-4

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

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“This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (v 3)

How many times have the circumstances of my own life allowed “the work of God” to be displayed Father?  Little things and big things –

You’ve made a way where there’s been no way!

You made possible what seemed impossible.

You’ve restored hope where despair had set up camp.

You’ve supplied when supplies were scarce.

You’ve healed, helped, strengthened and soothed.

When I am weak, I am strong because it means that YOU get to be seen at work in me.  Thank You for the tough times.  They make me trust in You.  They bring me to the reality that only YOU have all that I need.

“Blessed are they who are totally dependent on Jesus for their joy.” – Max Lucado

Drench my heart with the realization that You are my Source. Make me just like you, Jesus.  Amen.

John 8:12-30

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

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You said it Yourself, Jesus, and I give You glory and honor because it’s so: YOU are I AM!

(v 12) I AM the light of the world

(v 16) I AM not alone

(v 18) I AM  One who testifies for Myself; My other witness is the Father, who sent Me.

(v 21) I AM going away, and you will look for Me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.

(v 23) I AM from above

(v 23)  I AM not of this world.

(v 24, 28)  I AM the One I claim to be (I AM He)

YOU are GOD.

No matter how the world tries to down play who You are, Jesus, the truth doesn’t change.  You are I AM.  You are the Christ … the Savior of this entire world of people.

There aren’t enough words to shape into the praise that’s due You … ah! but it doesn’t always take words, does it?  Anything I do can become an anthem of glory when I do it with a heart set on honoring You.  When my heart and mind kneel at Your feet, there I am, an offering before You.  Make my life a living sacrifice of praise as You continue to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

John 8:1-11

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

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“… they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest.  The woman was left alone.  Jesus stood up and spoke to her.

‘Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?’

‘No one, Master.’           

‘Neither do I,’ said Jesus. ‘Go on your way.  From now on, don’t sin.'” (v 9-11 MSG)

As You confronted her sin, Jesus, You poured out compassion as well.  You let this woman know that she was of greater importance than anything she had done wrong (adapted from Life Application Bible Commentary, p. 169).  You both forgave her and challenged her to change.

Thank You for Your grace and mercy, Lord.  You offer them anew with each blanket of morning dew or frost.  You cover my sin, free me from its grip, and call me to again set my aim on following Your example of living a life free of sin’s power.  You remind me of Your sacrifice for me, so that I might remain free.  You call me to seek to obey You above all else, including my own desires.  You welcome me into Your presence because I am covered by the blood of Your Lamb.

Thank You for loving me.  Thank You for forgiving me.  Thank You for cleansing me.  Take my heart and make it set on following You, on being just like Jesus.  Amen.

John 7

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

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“… the right time for Me has not yet come …” (v 6 NIV)

“… His time had not yet come.” (v 30 NIV)

Lord of eternity, You hold all of time in Your hands.  You determine at just what point in the line of human time You’ll step in and affect change in a life.  You determine Your timing based on Your perspective of the bigger picture … and it’s always just RIGHT!

Thank You for how vitally a part of this human time line You are!  Thanks for being the same always–a constant that can be looked to for security and surety, in the midst of changing times, situations, feelings, events, etc.  You were, You are, You will be forever the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings!  You are Almighty God!  My Prince of Peace!  Thank You for all that You bring to my life!

Thank You for the work You are continually doing in me!  Keep it up!  Fashion me into a canvas that bears a true image of Your love for each person who passes by.  “Make me a portrait of Jesus.  Paint His love over my sin.  Make His life shine like a light through mine.  Make me a portrait of Him.” (Joni Eareckson Tada)  Amen.

John 6

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

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“Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.  He did the same with the fish.” (v 11)

“… they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water …” (v 19)

Definitely the reactions of the people who witnessed these acts makes them vivid miracles.  However, when I look at You, Jesus, and I just take a snapshot of Your actions in these settings, they just seem natural to YOU.  Handing out bread and fish to hungry people seems like a common act to You.  Strolling on the water to rejoin Your friends seems like nothing to You.  Even as You were “in appearance as a man,” (Philippians 2) You were still God through and through — able to make little into much and to rule over the elements of Your creation.

How awesome You are, Father!  You are Almighty!  Most Holy God!  Faithful through the ages!  Sovereign Lord!  … And You care for me!  Thanks!  Thanks for the times in my life when You scoop up my mundane and season it with Your touch of wonder to make my life a reflection of You and something to bring You glory.  Here is my heart.  Continue with Your skillful surgery as You make me just like Jesus.

“I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with Me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever.… I came down from heaven not to follow My own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent Me.

“This in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to Me by the Father be completed — not a single detail missed — and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole.  This is what My Father wants; that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who He is and what He does and then aligns with Him will enter REAL life, ETERNAL life.” (v 35-40 MSG)

Where else would I go, Lord? YOU have the words of life.  Keep nourishing me by them and make my life a reflection of Your own.  Amen.

John 4:43-54

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

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“The man took Jesus at His word and departed.” (v 50 NIV)

What a simple step this father took.  He pleaded for his son’s life, desiring for Jesus to personally go and attend to his son’s body.  Instead of receiving Jesus as a traveling companion back toward home, this man received Jesus’ true essence as the Word.  By a simple word, the Lord of all spoke the man’s son well.  The father’s reward for his faith was the news on his way home of his son’s recovery.

Father, thank You for writing down Your Word, so that I could have a copy to read, digest, treasure, live and share.  Thank You for the evidence You show me repeatedly that I can take You at Your Word, because You always follow through.

Your Word = Jesus (John 1:1, 14) How refreshing to keep that in mind when considering the psalmist’s words in Psalm 119:

  • “How can a young man keep his way pure? By LIVING ACCORDING TO [Jesus].” (9)
  • “I have HIDDEN [Jesus] in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (11)
  • “I delight in Your decrees; I will NOT NEGLECT [Jesus].” (16)
  • ” … I will obey [Jesus].” (17)
  • “I am laid low in the dust; PRESERVE my life according to [Jesus].” (25)
  • “My soul is weary with sorrow; STRENGTH me according to [Jesus].” (28)
  • “May Your unfailing love come to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I TRUST IN [Jesus].” (41-42)
  • “I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might OBEY [Jesus].” (101)
  • “[Jesus] is a LAMP to my feet and a LIGHT for my path.” (105)
  • “DIRECT my footsteps according to [Jesus]; let no sin rule over me.” (133)
  • GREAT PEACE HAVE THEY WHO LOVE [JESUS], AND NOTHING CAN MAKE THEM STUMBLE.” (165)

Oh! So many things You are to me through Your Word, Your Son, Jesus!  🙂  May my heart have an insatiable thirst for Your presence and hunger for Your Word.  May I never tire of the morsels within the pages of this “love letter” You’ve given me—that lets me know Your heart, lets me know You.  I long for my love for You to grow so deep and intimate that nothing in this world can shake me, that nothing can spark any doubt of any kind.  The bottom line is—and I’ve got Your Word on it—You love me thoroughly, unconditionally, immensely, and eternally.  That’s just You, and I can count on You alone never to change.

I love You, Jesus.  Here’s my heart—keep making it just like Yours.  Amen.

John 4:1-44

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

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“… the time is comingit has, in fact, comewhen what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.  It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God.  Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.  That’s the kind of people the Father is looking out for: Those who are simply and honestly THEMSELVES before Him in their worship … Those who worship Him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves in adoration. (v 21-24 MSG)

Father, may my worship of You flow out of who I am in the most honest way.  May my soul stand bare before You, in awe of You, revering You.  May Your truth abide in the depths of my being so that it navigates my heart and mind through each passage, each channel, each inlet and across the open sea of this life.

On this journey, Lord, You are so many things to me.  You are my safe haven when storms arise.  You are the wind which makes the sails of my life do their work in moving me forward.  You are my anchor when it’s time to be still and wait.  You are my lighthouse to warn me of danger and guide my passage.  You are my compass, giving direction to my course.  You are the Creator of the stars and the moon by which I sail the night, as well as the sun which graces the day.

What a wonder You are, Father!  Hallelujah!  I’m so glad I belong to You and You to me.  I lay my life in Your hands.  Make me just like Jesus, as You “Take my eyes so totally off myself that I see nothing before me but the needs of others” (—Kathy Troccoli, My Life Is in Your Hands, pg. 189).

John 2:12-24

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

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“…many people noticed the signs He was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to Him.” (v23 MSG)

Thank You, Father, that even though I didn’t get to see Your Son’s works firsthand, You made it possible for me to see Him through Your Word.  You allow me to read about the things in Him which drew people to put their trust in Him.  And You draw me too.  I choose to “entrust my life to You.”

Make me a vessel of Your love to others.  In some ways, this will require heart and mind surgery on me by Your skillful, loving hands.  Fill me with YOU to the point where I find my needs, of all kinds, fully met in You and by You.  Ground me in a confidence that there is nothing I lack since I belong to You.  And with that assurance, free me to love others selflessly, in the way You love them.  I recognize that I can only be Your love to others when I am totally dependent on Jesus for my joy.  Oh, Father, help me to be so.

“Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee…” (from the hymn “Take My Life”).  Make me just like Jesus–more and more each day, week, month, year that You give me on this earth.  Take my eyes so totally off myself that I see nothing before me but the needs of others.