Daily Reading & Meditation

 Monday (June 2): "I have overcome the world"

Scripture: John 16:29-33

29 His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure! 30 Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God." 31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? 32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for  the Father is with me. 33 I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Meditation: How did the disciples come to believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God sent from the eternal Father in heaven? When Jesus taught his disciples he often spoke in parables - using short stories and vivid images which expressed in picture language what God's kingdom is like and how God's power can change and transform their lives to be like him. These stories were intended to make his disciples reflect and think through the inner spiritual truths he wanted them to understand and accept.

Now Jesus begins to speak more plainly to the disciples about the mission and purpose for which he was sent into the world - not to condemn the world but through love to redeem it (John 3:16). The disciples professed their belief in Jesus that he truly came from God and taught as one who possessed full knowledge of God. Jesus' response showed that he fully knew and understood them very well. Jesus could read their hearts like an open book. He knew their weakenesses as well as their strengths.

In spite of their confident faith, Jesus warned his disciples that they would be put to the test and would fail. He knew they would desert him in his hour of trial when he would be arrested and condemned to death on the cross. Such knowledge of their faltering loyalty could have easily led to bitterness and rejection on his part. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and abandonment with supreme love and earnest prayer for his disciples (Luke 22:32; John 17:15). "He loved them to the very end" (John 13:1) - even when they had left him to die alone on the cross.

Jesus reassures them of his peace, unfailing love, and victory over the world which is in opposition to God's reign. Jesus speaks the same reassuring words of enduring love, faithfulness, and victory to his followers today.  "I will never fail you nor forsake you." While we may forget the Lord and fail him, he will never forget us nor fail to come to our aid. When you are put to the test do you seek the Lord Jesus and place your trust in his help and mercy?

While we cannot avoid all pain and suffering which may come our way in this life, the Lord Jesus assures us that he has overcome the world and all that would seek to keep us from his saving help and healing presence. He promises to guide us safely through any trial or hardship we may have to undergo for his sake. The Lord Jesus gives us the gift of his Holy Spirit who strengthens us with faith, courage, and perseverance to stay the course which he has set for us. The Holy Spirit fills us with a living hope in the power of Christ's resurrection (1 Peter 1:3) and reassures our heart with a confident trust in God's abiding presence.

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and the victory he has won for us (Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome every adversity and to persevere with faith and hope in God. Do you believe in the power of Christ's love for you and in the victory he has won for you through his death and resurrection?

 "Lord Jesus, help me to trust in your unwavering love and saving help, especially when I meet adversities, trials, and temptations. Give me your peace when I am troubled and let me know the joy of your victory over sin and death."

Psalm 68:2-6a
2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before fire, let the wicked perish before God!
3 But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God;  let them be jubilant with joy!
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds;  his name is the LORD, exult before him!
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
6 God gives the desolate a home to dwell in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The Right Hand of the Father, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.

"Jesusw ascended into heaven. And where is He now? He sits at the right hand of the Father. Do you know what 'the right hand' mens? The 'right hand of God' means eternal happiness. It means inestimable, inexpressible, incomprehensible beatitude." (excerpt from Sermon 213,4)


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author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.
 

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