CSR Daily Devotion

We are one day away from witnessing God perform miracles over this world. We have been praying for God to use MAUNDY Thursday as the day to halt the spread of COVID-19 and allow the Easter Weekend to be a time of great resurrection around the world. I just realized today that I have been spelling Maundy incorrectly this entire time, so I apologize for that, but since no one reading this blog corrected me, I guess it went unnoticed. Pray for miracles today, pray for breakthrough tomorrow.

April 8

44Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  45The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.  46I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

47“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person.  For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.  49For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.  50I know that his command leads to eternal life.  So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”  (John 12:44-50)

We’re going to unpack these verses today.  This is the last block of teaching Jesus gives to the general public at Jerusalem, at least, this is the last recorded by John.  Chapter 13 begins with the Last Supper, Jesus’ closed door, final meal with His beloved disciples in the Upperroom. So here John shares what can be assumed as Jesus’ last words to Jerusalem.  He cries out, telling the crowd that believing in Him is not just believing in Jesus, but believing in God, “the one who sent (Jesus).” Anyone looking at and to Jesus is looking at the Father as well.  Jesus, again, references the light (as we saw yesterday) and states that whoever believes in Him will not stay in the darkness of this world. These are all bold statements to a crowd that still does not know what to believe from Jesus.  Despite all the miracles Jesus performed, many still just thought of Him as just a prophet. Mostly only those that saw, and personally experienced, His miracles truly believed Jesus was much more than just a prophet. This Jewish crowd in Jerusalem might have only been seeing Jesus for the first time, and here He stood in front of them claiming to be the Son of Man, and the reflection of God in the flesh.  I can almost understand why these crowds would be shouting “crucify” to this man of peace just three days later. I say almost, because no matter if you believe Jesus is the Son of God or just a prophet, I could never understand why they chose a punishment as brutal as crucifixion for a man that preached love and peace, compassion and fellowship, faith and wonder. How could the crowd turn on such a humble, wise teacher of life?  Well, it’s easy to understand because we still do it today. America is still nailing Jesus to a cross each and every day. As I stated on Palm Sunday, and Jesus points out in these passages, you are either walking in the light or you are not. You are either shouting “Hosanna” or yelling “crucify.” If you are not spreading love and kindness throughout the world, you are still driving those nails into Jesus’ hands. If all you do is follow worldly influences and pleasures, you are still pressing that crown of thorns deep into His scalp.  If you consume your spare time with mindless trash and never bother to open and read the entire BIble, you are just as guilty as the one who pierces His side.

But I digress, we still have the second part of this passage to look at.  In closing His statement to the Jewish crowd, Jesus states again that He is not there to condemn.  His only purpose was to save the world by preaching the word of God. Jesus is leaving the condemnation up to God, and those who are not believing the words Jesus has spoken will face judgement from their Heavenly Father.  Jesus has given His final warning to the city of Jerusalem.

That warning has been available to you your entire life, but, unfortunately, for many of you, this may be the first time you have ever studied this passage.  There are many in the world that do not believe Jesus is who He is. The mighty nation of Israel is still waiting for another Messiah. The Islamic faith calls Jesus the Messiah, or Isa, and despite the Quran specifically telling the story of the Virgin Birth and the purpose of Jesus to bring Injil (Arabic for “the gospel”), most Muslims just think Jesus was one of many prophets.  But there are those brave few Jewish and Muslims that realize the truth of who Jesus is. It is a truth we need to lift up and promote the entire world over, like never before.

Today we pray miracles over the world; on bended knees, hands lifted toward the outside world.  Today we pray for God’s supernatural healing and power to change the course of history in dramatic fashion.  We pray for God to do what He is famous for. Tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, will be the day COVID stops spreading and Good Friday will see the first day of recovery.  And Easter Sunday will be the day of resurrection for this country. Pray this prayer with me every day.

Reading plan:  John 6

Deeper reading plan:  1 Kings 21, 22

Prayer and meditation:  Pray for all medical personnel around the world, that God wraps them in heavenly protection to keep them healthy and keep their families protected.  Pray for everyone involved in the supply chain industry that is working tirelessly to keep food in our grocery stores. Pray for those working in food and grocery industries, still working, putting their health in jeopardy every single day.  Pray for those that have lost jobs or income during this uncertain time. Pray for protection for your loved ones and that God will continue to keep them safe and healthy. Pray for all those personally affected by COVID infections.

Fitness challenge:  21 reps of each exercise 1-7, then repeat :

1.  Standard push-up

2.  Sit-up or crunches

3.  Air squats

4.  Hand-release push-up

5.  Leg lifts

6.  Lunges (7-each leg)

7.  4-count flutter kicks

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