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Dwell Richly, Day 81

Today's reading—John 13

The Word that gets my attention is just as in v. 34: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love another: JUST AS I have loved you, you also are to love one another." At first glance you think, Loving other is not a "new" commandment. But what makes it new is the "just as." Now, our love for others is shaped by the love of Jesus for us. It's sacrificial, cruciform. Help me, Lord, to love others just as you have loved me!

What's your Word?

Dwell Richly, Day 80

Today's reading—John 12

The Word that jumps out to me today is verse 21: "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." My first year in seminary, Rev. Ken Klaus of the Lutheran Hour shared a devotion with our class based on that verse. It's stayed with me ever since. As a pastor, this is my first goal: to help you see Jesus. And as disciples, this is our aim: to help others see Jesus. Who in your life needs to see Him today?

What's your Word?

Dwell Richly, Day 79

Today's reading—John 11

What a chapter! I never tire of the story of Lazarus's raising from the dead. But one thing that struck me here is Thomas's bold declaration, "Let us also go, that we may die with [Jesus]" (verse 16). This doesn't sound like "doubting Thomas." While he had the moment when his faith faltered, it's sandwiched between this declaration and his great confession of faith in chapter 20. It's a good reminder that God is at work in those who are wrestling with belief.

What's your Word?

Dwell Richly, Day 78

Today's reading—John 10

I love how you get "discipleship-in-a-nutshell" in verse 27: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." So simple! We listen to our Lord, live in relationship with Him, and go where He leads. And then? "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand" (v. 28). Thanks be to God!

What's your Word?

Dwell Richly, Day 77

Today's reading—John 9

The response of the (formerly) blind man to Jesus' question about His identity in v. 36 is priceless: "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" He wants believe—but he needs to be filled in! It makes me think of Romans 10: "How can they believe without a preacher?" Creating faith is God's work; filling folks in about who He is, that's ours. God grant us boldness to speak His name!

What's your Word?

Dwell Richly, Day 76

Today's reading—John 8

It's a Word of Christ that will come up more in John, but I'm really struck by "abide" in v. 31: "If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples." This gets to the heart of Dwell Richly: we want the Word to dwell—abide—in us, and we in it (Him!). Lord, let us be at home in your Holy Scripture the way that we are at home in our houses, that your Word might always be a refuge for us!

What's your Word?

Dwell Richly, Day 75

Today's reading—John 7

I can't help noticing, reading in our fraught times, the "division" that ensues in vv. 40-44. People were divided over Jesus then; they're divided over Him today. While we should never be needlessly divisive, neither can we be discouraged when division comes as a result of Jesus. But as we prayerfully sing in that great Advent hymn, "Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, and be for us the Prince of Peace"!

What's your Word?