Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 13 Reading: John 7:1-31
Bringing the Word to Life
Do some people watching. Look at every person as someone loved by God, as someone Jesus died for. Confess when you have judged someone by their appearance and vow to stop.
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him. – John 7:18 (NRSV)
The controversy over Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath continues. Jesus defends his actions to a gossiping crowd gathered at the Jewish Festival of Booths. He also points out the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of their judgment of him and other faithful leaders who have come before him.
A Christian is a “little Christ,” one who re-presents Christ to others. If we speak and act from our own agenda and strength our primary motivation is to honor ourselves, not God. What is the motivation/source of my words and actions? Who am I serving? Who am I re-presenting?
The tale of Jonah is not about what happened when a particular prophet was swallowed by a whale; it is about what happens to any man or woman who is swallowed by narrow nationalistic, ethnic, religious or racial pride. It is a story about jingoism–an unhealthy love of nation or race that turns in on itself and become sick and destructive…in stark contrast to the universal, inclusive love of God.
– Jim Harnish, God Isn’t Finished With Us Yet
If you judge people you have no time to love them. – Mother Teresa
I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want to be a part of fundamentalism of the left or the right, mostly because it lacks two things that I can’t do without in my life anymore — which is joy and humility.- Nadia Bolz-Weber
Jesus, search me and know me as you did the crowd that day. Forgive me for the times my words or actions have brought you dishonor or given people a false impression of you. Continue to counsel me, reveal the truth to me, and change me until nothing false is found. Help me to be whole; to have a consistent agenda and motivation; to be the same person no matter who I am speaking with and no matter what the circumstance. I want my life to bring you honor and to be child of your truth forever. Thank you for your forgiveness and the renewal of a right spirit within me. Bring this same change and blessing to all who claim your name. In your glorious name and for your name’s sake I pray. Amen.
Click here for a powerful article by Rachel Held Evans entitled Everyone’s a Biblical Literalist Until You Bring Up Gluttony. In it she makes several strong points on the pitfalls of labeling sin/sinners, especially in light of our own prejudices and perspectives.
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