â€œIf anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. But anyone who doesnâ€™t love me, wonâ€™t obey me. What they have heard me say doesnâ€™t really come from me, but from the Father who sent me.
I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you.
I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isnâ€™t like the peace that this world can give. So donâ€™t be worried or afraid.â€ Â Â Â Â John 14:23-27 (CEV)
Lectionary texts: Acts 16:9-15, Psalm 67, Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5, John 14:23-29
Do I love Jesus? The obvious ‘church answer’ is â€œOf course!â€ But Jesus says here that if I love Him, I will obey Him. And in that obedience He and the Father will live in me.
Without a doubt, I can say that when I am obeying Jesus and following His teaching and guidance in my life, I do feel the Presence of God inside of me. How do I know it is God?
Peace. I know the quietness and assurance of God’s peace even in the middle of multiple problems and chaos. I had a hectic week just recently and as I was answering the phone, one call after another, making lists so I wouldn’t forget things, pulling together information for Henry and others, and thinking about my children who had surgeries and a granddaughter with a broken hand, it occurred to me that I wasn’t stressed. I knew it was because I felt surrounded by the Presence of God. I also knew that He was right there with my children and grandchildren. Peace in spite of circumstances. That is God in me.
Mercy. I can obey God in one thing and mess up something else. But when my heart is seeking God, seeking to be obedient, then I know His mercy when I mess up. Jesus in my life means conviction of my sins and mercy that is so awesome! Do I not love my children even though they aren’t perfect? How much more does God love me even though I am not perfect! He knows my heart. I know His mercy.
Love. And all that God gives in such abundance to me is because of His great love. He loved me ‘way before I ever loved Him. God’s love manifests in more ways than I can count. I take a breath because of His love to make me in such an extraordinary way. It is so important to take time at least every day to just stop and acknowledge the love God has for me. Just stop. It’s like taking time to have a hug with God. Just let Him surround me and cover me with His love. Research papers say we humans need 8, 12, or 20 hugs per day. (I would have loved to have been a part of that research group!) I surely need one or two or more from God every day. But hugs cannot be given on the fly. They take a bit of intention. A pause in the motion to receive both arms around the body and feel the pressure and smell the scent. It takes a moment to just â€œbeâ€ in the hug in order to appreciate it and receive all its therapeutic properties.
May God be merciful and bless us.
May his face smile with favor on us.
May your ways be known throughout the earth,
your saving power among people everywhere.
May the nations praise you, O God.
Yes, may all the nations praise you. Â Â Â Psalm 67:1-3 (NLT)
Thank You, LORD, for Your Presence today and every day. Let us stop and take the time to know the Presence of God today. He is the King of all kings and the LORD of all lords but we are His children and He is our Father. Receive His hug.
I See the LORD written by Andy Park and sung by Lindell Cooley