The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Lent Devotional: John 7:37-39

Today’s devotional is authored by John Kegley 

John 7:37-39 (click here to read the entire passage)
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Reflection
You might be parched right now. Your income might be parched. Your health might be parched. Your emotions might be parched. Your relationships might be parched. Your family situation might be parched. Your soul might be parched. Your longing for God might be parched.

In your parched situation, where are you going to fill your thirst? What things are you giving yourself to in order to feel quenched? Netflix? Facebook? Instagram? The news? Pornography? Food?

In your parched situation, Jesus calls you to repent, to turn away from the idols you have looked upon to deliver you from your parched situation. He says if anyone thirsts, if anyone is parched, if anyone feels like their soul is a barren desert, let them come to him and drink. Whoever comes to him in faith, their heart will overflow with living water.

Maybe you are thinking “What does Jesus mean when he says to come and drink of him?” Maybe you are like the woman at the well in John 4 and wonder “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?”

Jesus makes these statements while he is at the Feast of Booths. During this Feast, the people of Israel were to make temporary booths or shelters to live in for seven days as a reminder of the time they lived in these temporary shelters after their deliverance from Egypt and during their time in the wilderness. As a part of The Feast, the priest drew water from the pool of Siloam and led the people in procession to the temple where he poured the water into the water basin. This symbolized the many times the Lord provided water for his people while they were in the wilderness. Furthermore, this water ritual foreshadowed the future time where a river would flow out of the temple, bringing life to the whole earth (Ezek. 47:1-12).

In effect, Jesus is claiming to be the very God who provided water for his people in the wilderness and still provides living water for you and me today. Also, Jesus promises to give his disciples and has given us the Holy Spirit who is himself the living water through whom we come to find life and enjoyment in the Triune God. Christ calls you away from your parched desert of idols to an oasis of life where your thirst will be quenched in him by the living water water of the Holy Spirit.

 

*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: John 6:60-69

John 6:60-69 (click here to read the entire passage)
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69)

Reflection
I was fed up.

I don’t remember exactly what had upset me, but I’d had enough. I was five years old and home alone with my siblings and something they’d done or said just set me off. I packed a small backpack of supplies, grabbed my school mat that was for kindergarten naptime, and I hit the road!

That’s right! I was running away! But to where?

Where would I go?

The reality of the situation is that there was nowhere else for me to go. I had no other home. I had no other parents. I had no other family. My home was the place and my family were the people who sought to sustain my life out of love.

So many people in this world live with my five-year-old mindset! They have packed up “the meaning of life,” placed it on their own back, and set out to find their own path. But to where?

Where will they go?

The reality of the situation is that there is nowhere for any of us to go for meaning, purpose, joy, satisfaction, life other than to God himself. We have no other creator. We have no other sustainer. We have no other savior. Jesus Christ and his Words of life alone can give us true life!

This is what Peter proclaims in John 6, as many who once followed Christ turn back because they find his words to be hard. Even still, Peter sees the reality of the situation in that no matter how hard Jesus’ words may sound, they are the only words of eternal life! So, he won’t go to anyone else!

Shades, everyday there are a million different voices speaking a million different words… all of them attempting to woo your heart to trust in them for what you truly need. Don’t be deceived! No one has the words of eternal life but Christ!

Even right now, as we face difficult days… yes, we need to be informed… but now more than ever we need to know there is nowhere else to go for true life besides Christ! No one else can give you the Words that he can… words of true life… words of eternal life.

Where will we go in these days and always?

We will go to Jesus.


*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Luke 18:22-27

Today’s devotional is authored by Brad Brown

Luke 18:22–27
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

Reflection
A few months ago I was studying for a sermon and came across the term Symbolic Capital. The idea is that each domain or area of society has this “symbolic capital” or this “symbolic currency” that determines a person value.

To see what your symbolic capital is, all you have to do is answer the question, “what gives me worth or value?” In the world of the university or parenting or business…what gives you value?” What makes you feel okay about yourself at the end of the day?

For some us its the amount of success we’ve had, or our position in the company, or our social status, influence, or our ability to command a room and be liked, or our marriage, or our kids, or our good deeds, or its that we have a visible appearance that matches cultural expectations or maybe for some of us its our wealth.

All of these things can make us feel warm and cozy don’t they? These things can ground our identity and tell us “You’re okay as a human being! You matter!” Yet in the midst of life these things that can be a warm blanket to us, overtime, prove to be a weak foundation that crumbles beneath us.

In our familiar text for today a leading member of society, whose symbolic capital was most certainly his religious piety, status and wealth, asks Jesus “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus’s response reveals that religious status and keeping the rules is not gonna be enough…not in this kingdom…

Jesus calls the man to lay down his life and to give up that which is most precious to him..his symbolic capital. He calls him to completely surrender the things that he has built is his life on and follow him. For this man its a price too high to pay…

After Jesus reveals how hard it is for the wealthy to enter his kingdom the crowd responds with “Who can be saved?. It was a good question… Riches were supposedly a sign of God’s favor so people were like “If a rich man who could freely offer alms and sacrifices could not be saved, then who can?!”

The response of Jesus takes the listeners out of the realm of human possibility and into the realm of Divine Activity. Nobody enters the kingdom of God through their own

efforts or assets…Salvation is the work of the Triune God, who does himself what is humanly impossible.

In Ephesians 2:8 Paul writes “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…”

Paul wants the church, as called ones in Christ, to stop viewing themselves and others by the world’s system of worth because God did not save them based upon it. He did not save them because their wealth, he did not save them because their works. He saved them because it pleased him to pour out his mercy and grace on those who cry out to him in desperation.

Church…He saved you with no regard to your symbolic capital and in doing so has shown you the foolishness of the worlds value system.

This Gospel good news and this tragic encounter in Luke 18 invite us, once again, in a fresh way to investigate the areas of our life that we hold onto. May God the Father by his spirit empower you to let go of the symbolic capital which you hold onto so that you may find peace in the reward of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

 

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