Devotion for Tuesday, April 21, 2020
From: Janice Eisenhower
Isn’t it a great blessing when the Holy Spirit opens your mind to something you’ve never noticed before in scripture – especially when it’s from a very familiar passage? Pastor Mike mentioned this on Easter, and other Bible teachers we’ve watched during Holy Week did, too. The Word truly is “living and active.” (Hebrews 4:12)
A few years ago, as I was preparing the Easter Story lesson for my Good News Club, the Lord taught me an important truth. Usually, we concentrate on the action of the arrest scene: the disciples falling asleep, Jesus sweating drops of blood, Judas’ kiss, Peter slicing off an ear, the disciples fleeing…But when I studied again Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, something very important struck me.
In John 17:20-24, Jesus prays for “future Believers” who will come to salvation through the testimony of the disciples:
“My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
It hit me in a profound way that Jesus was praying for every generation of Believers from then to the end of time. That included my 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Many of the kids responded to this personal aspect of Jesus’ plea in verse 24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am…” Did you ever consider that long before you were born, Jesus told his Father that he wanted you in Heaven with him? How humbling! What love and grace!
More recently, the Lord reminded me that this was God the Father’s plan from the Beginning. In Genesis 12:2 -3, God promises Abram:
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
And all peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.”
The Lord Jesus, from the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is Salvation for all people – including you and me.
And throughout the Old and New Testaments, God reminds us of His love and His plan. Here are a few:
Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Psalm 22:30b-31 – “…future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn – for he has done it.”
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
During these days of staying home and trusting our Heavenly Father’s promises, I pray we all understand that God has cared for us from before the start of time and has provided the way – the Lord Jesus Christ – to bring us back to Him. Praise God!
(If you enjoy contemporary Christian music, listen to “Rescue Story” by Zach Williams on You Tube for a powerful reminder of these truths.)