Jesus’ Consecrating Prayer for the Disciples

Day 148

2 Samuel 13:1‐39; John 17:1‐26; Psalm 119:81‐96; Proverbs 16:6‐7

Jesus’ Consecrating Prayer for the Disciples

After Jesus has told His disciples there will be world tribulation, He assures them of peace in Him and reminds them He has overcome the world. Therefore, they should “be of good cheer” or “take heart.” He then raises His eyes to heaven and allows those present to overhear the prayer He makes for them and ultimately for us. “I do not  pray for these only, but also for those who are to believe in me through their word” (John 17:20). We are those who have believed because of the preaching and the written word that those who followed Jesus left for us. So what did Jesus pray for them and for us?

First, He prayed that we may be protected by His grace that we maintain unity of heart and mind following the pattern of divine unity. He reminds the “Holy Father” that only one has been lost from all chosen by Jesus to serve, Judas Iscariot, and that so prophecy may be fulfilled.

Secondly, He prays that the joy which has been His may be fully ours to offset the hatred of the world. Lastly, His prayer is to keep us safe from the clutches of the ruler of this world for the sake of the mission, the mission of the Son who made the perfect sacrifice so that we may be sanctified in truth. More than separation from sin, we are to be equipped through this sanctification through the Word for the Great Commission.

Joe Pollock
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL

What to Do When You Are Guilty

Day 147

2 Samuel 12:1‐31; John 16:1‐33; Psalm 119:65‐80; Proverbs 16:4‐5

What to Do When You Are Guilty

God Himself calls David, “a man after my own heart.” We see David as shepherd, musician, poet, warrior, and God-anointed king of Israel. But in today’s passage, we see King David as a sinner, guilty of adultery, deceit, and murder. He is confronted by the Lord’s prophet, Nathan, in the context of a story in which a greedy rich man robs and kills the beloved lamb of his poor neighbor. King David is so incensed by this injustice that he demands that the guilty man be put to death. Nathan then speaks the truth with force: “You are the man!”

He then reminds David of all that the Lord had done for him, and pronounces the consequences of David’s sins. David’s immediate response is to repent: “I have sinned against the Lord.” No anger at the messenger, no excuses, no further cover-up. David is laid bare before the Lord and His prophet and is able to receive the word that God in His grace and mercy will spare his life. David is restored to a right relationship to God, though he still must bear the consequences of his actions. He loses the first child that Bathsheba bears him, and his family and kingdom are plagued by rebellion and dysfunction as Nathan had predicted. In Psalm 51, David pours out his repentant heart before the Lord and prays,

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

May we learn from David that the most devoted followers of the Lord can yield to temptation, fall into sin, and suffer the consequences. May we continually implore God, in Jesus’ words, to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” May we also learn from David that when we do fall, we must whole-heartedly confess to the Lord, repent––change our ways and follow His Way–– and implore the Lord to restore to us the joy of our salvation.

Laura Madison
Deland, FL

Is God Enough?

Day 146

2 Samuel 9:1‐11:27; John 15:1‐27; Psalm 119:49‐64; Proverbs 16:1‐3

Is God Enough?

King David began a downward spiral of sin when he gave into temptation with Bathsheba. In a single act, he opened a door that could lead to destruction – both of his status and his faith. Sin led to more sin. Lust led to greed to deception to essentially murder. Despite all the great things David had done, despite the fact that he was considered a “man after God’s own heart,” he fell prey to temptation.

Psalm 119:57 contains one of my favorite phrases in scripture: “The Lord is my portion.” This is something I have to constantly ask myself when reflecting on my own walk with Jesus. “Is the Lord my portion?” In other words, “Is He enough?” For David, God was more than enough. Then David allowed pride to poison him. In a sense, the moment of David’s lack of self-control was in direct opposition to “The Lord is my portion.” In that instance, to David, the Lord was not enough. He chose to fulfill worldly desires. So his actions expressed that sin would be his portion.

We all sin. This is no new concept. We are not perfect. Only Christ can claim that role. But if we strive to live as He is truly our portion each day, by His grace, we can stand confident in our faith. He will both protect us from falling into the trap of temptation, as well as bless us in ways we could never imagine.

Jesus, be our portion.

Zack Nichols
The Church at Cahaba Bend
Helena, AL