Category Archives: John

A peace is missing …

John 14:1

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.” NIV

Seems simple, doesn’t it.

Don’t be troubled … you already trust God, trust His Son, too.

Sometime over the last year, I read a beautifully articulated theory of something that I have believed for some time.  The author (and I am racking my brain to remember who it was, because he — or she — expressed it eloquently) spoke of his (or her) belief that God creates us, each of us, with an incompleteness, a yearning for Him.

I have always thought and spoken of it as a “God-sized hole.”  I think everyone has a God-sized hole in the center of their life.  If we recognize the magnitude of it, and seek God to fill it … to take His rightful place in the center of our life … we have some hope of peace here.

God has left clues literally everywhere in our world that point to His majesty and to His dominion.  And, if we aren’t astute enough to pick up on the obvious visuals, He has a backup plan.  He instills each recipient of His Spirit with an insatiable desire to pass on the gift of hope in Him.

Still, there are those who refuse to listen.  They are doomed to a life of attempting to fill the hole with ill-fitting pieces.

When you’re stuffing substitutes for God into the hole, whether it’s money, or food, or cars, or worry, or whatever … your heart is troubled.  These false things can’t bring you peace.  They serve only to whet your appetite for more money, or food, or cars, or worry … or whatever.

Trust in God, and in His Son Jesus Christ is the only remedy.  If you will accept that, believe it, and trust it with your whole heart, you will receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit … the missing puzzle piece that will seamlessly fill the hole and allow you to be complete.

I love that!  Without the missing “piece,” we can have no “peace.”

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.”

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under John, New Testament, Trust

The darkest dark cannot put out the smallest light

John 12: 35-36a

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer.  Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.  The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.  Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” NIV

The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.

I am flooded by thoughts about that phrase.

Those who are lost, who believe that this life is all there is, are walking in the dark.  They don’t know where they are going.

Many years ago, a pastor said from the pulpit, “The darkest dark cannot put out the smallest light.”

It was Fall.  My sister and I had carved pumpkins with our parents and we had put candles inside.  Just the night before, as I had watched how the candle in my pumpkin completely lit my bedroom, I had been amazed by the power of such a small thing.

When the pastor said, “The darkest dark cannot put out the smallest light,” I was so struck by the truth of that statement that I wrote it in the front of my Bible.  It was the first time I had ever written anything in or on a Bible.  As the years have gone by, I’ve had a few different Bibles.  Now I write in all of them.  I take notes, I underline verses, I dog-ear the pages.  But, I’ve always copied that phrase from one Bible into the next.

The man who walks in the dark doesn’t know where he is going … The darkest dark cannot put out the smallest light … put your trust in the light … so that you may become sons of light.

Christ calls us to put our trust in Him, so that we may become sons of light.

And, if I am a son of light, can I not light the path for others who are stumbling in the dark?  I can do so by sharing the truth with them, by reflecting God’s love to them in my actions, my words and my ways.

Yesterday, I spent some time with a large family.  As I looked at each of them, three generations, I was struck by their similarities.  Four of them had the same nose, three of them the same eyes, two sounded almost identical.  Their relationship was unmistakeable.

I want that.  I want my relationship to God to be unmistakeable.  I want to reflect His love.  I want to serve as His hands and His feet here.  I want to turn myself and my focus outward, where I can be of good … not inward, where a focus on my own circumstances will cause me to worry.

I put my trust in the light.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under John, New Testament, Trust

My Redeemer lives!

John 12:15

Do not be afraid, O Daugther of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt. NIV

After a long break, I’m back to searching my King James concordance for listings of the word fear.  The fear pages are filled with check marks next to reminders that I’ve already found.  And, there’s a coffee stain where I had an unfortunate spill one morning.

I was so pleased that this verse was next.  It comes from the story of Palm Sunday, and the verse before it sets it in context, “Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,” NIV

As it is written …

Such a beautiful, comforting phrase.  Jesus fulfilled all of the prophesies that were made about him.  In this case, Palm Sunday fulfills Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!  Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” NIV

But, the text of the verse holds today’s reminder:  Do not be afraid, see, your king is coming.

My king has come.  He fulfilled everything that was foretold about Him.  He was crucified.  He died.  He was buried.  And, on the third day, He conquered death and arose.

My king lives.

One Easter, right after I had accepted Christ, my parents and I went to church, as usual.  The sanctuary was small.  It seated maybe 150 people, and every seat was taken.  The building was built of concrete block, and there was no carpet on the floor.  Because sound echoed through the room, talking in the sanctuary was pretty much frowned upon.  If I needed something, I could whisper to one of my parents.

As we were all sitting quietly waiting for the service to begin, one of the youth stood from the back row and announced very loudly, “HE is alive!”  I nearly jumped out of my nine-year-old skin, I was so frightened by the sudden noise.  Then a girl stood, and said the same thing, “He is ALIVE.”  And, then immediately, someone else said, “He IS alive.”  All of a sudden, all of the youth burst from the back of the sanctuary, shouting and singing.  As they made their way up the aisle, I was so excited.  I wanted to jump up and go with them.

It was amazing.  I remember thinking, “This is what heaven will be like.”

HE is alive. He is ALIVE.  He IS alive.

My Redeemer lives … ultimately, there are no worries.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Fear, Hope, John, New Testament, Worry

Listen carefully, obey completely and trust unfailingly

John 15:29-31

“I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.  I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming.  He has not hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my father has commanded me.  Come now, let us leave.” NIV

Christ is preparing the disciples for His crucifixion and His resurrection.  I don’t think that they understand everything that is to come, and at this point, I don’t think that they are meant to.  Christ tells them of the plan so that when it occurs, they will know that He knew exactly what was to come.

I came to this verse as I continue to search The Message translation for listings of the word, “worry.”  The Message translates this passage, “I’ve told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don’t worry—he has nothing on me, no claim on me. But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to the last detail. Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.” MSG

I do exactly what my Father has commanded me …

Christ modeled both careful listening and complete obedience to God.

There’s a lot there to ponder.

Listen carefully … obey completely … trust unfailingly … don’t worry … don’t doubt.

I’ll have to think about that today.


Filed under John, New Testament, Trust, Worry

The Holy Spirit will remind you

John 14:26-27

“But the Counselor, 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.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  NIV

Christ provides a beautiful reminder here.  The hearts of the disciples were no doubt troubled because they didn’t understand all that Jesus was telling them.  He was speaking of leaving them and God’s entire plan had not yet been made clear to them.

I love how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit here, “The Friend, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything clear to you.  He will remind you of all the things I have told you.” MSG

I don’t believe that I have ever focused on that.  I’m not certain that I consciously recognized that one of the key roles of the Holy Spirit is to remind us of the teachings of Christ.

That’s pretty powerful … and certainly a reminder not to worry.

I’ll have to think about that today.

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Filed under Faith, Fear, John, New Testament, Worry

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  NIV

I also looked at another translation, which says, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakeable and assured, deeply at peace.”  The Message

Peace is the exact opposite of worry.  The real key to peace is in trusting Jesus.  He has overcome the world … what more is there to say?  In Him, I can be unshakeable and assured.  I am so thankful for that.  What a gift!  God promises that in exchange for my trust, I will have deep and abiding peace.

I’m starting to believe that there may actually be 365 reminders not to worry.  So far, I’ve taken suggestions on which verses to find, and that’s been really helpful.  They’ve all been easy to look up using the concordance at the back of my Bible.  But, I suspect that the concordance is not exhaustive, so, I’ve ordered one that claims to be.

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Filed under John, Peace, Trouble