God of all being, your presence has blessed my work today. Continue to mold and shape my witness and my work, that all I do and say will praise your name. As this day draws to a close, I pray that you would shelter me from the storms, comfort me in my distress, renew me in my weariness that as I wake to a new day tomorrow, I may glorify you with all I say and do. In the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Archives: May 13, 2021
Psalm 98 (ESV)
Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord
98 Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.
John 16:16-20 (ESV)
Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy
16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?”18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.
“You will see me” (John 16:16)
What a promise! Jesus was going away, but then he would come back, and the apostles would see him once more. These words must have brought them a great deal of comfort.
Of course, we know that the disciples did see Jesus again on Easter Sunday. But the “seeing” Jesus was speaking of here meant more than just encountering him again with their physical eyes. He was also talking about the way that the Holy Spirit would help them sense Jesus’ presence and love even after he had ascended and was no longer visible.
But why would Jesus think it was important for us to see him again? Didn’t his cross and resurrection take care of our salvation? Wasn’t it enough for us to hear his gospel, be baptized into his name, and try to follow his commandments?
No, it wasn’t. And thank God for this truth! We need to see Jesus every day. We need to hear his voice, to know his guidance, and to receive his love. As Paul taught, Jesus gave us the Spirit “so that we may understand the things freely given us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).
On our own, we could never grasp the price that Jesus paid for our salvation or the depth of his love for us. We need the Spirit to write these truths on our hearts and to help us experience them in our lives. Without him, we limit our understanding of all God can do for us – and we limit our expectations of all the grace and power that God wants to pour into us. We limit our understanding of what God is expecting of us and calling us to do for his name’s sake here on earth.
This is why Jesus wants us to baptized, immersed, in his Holy Spirit. He knows it’s the only way we can receive the power and presence of God in our lives.
So what did the apostles do after Jesus was taken away from them and after they could no longer see him? Looking forward to the fulfillment of his promise, they joined together in prayer. They delved into the Scriptures. They prayed, “Come, Holy Spirit!”
Let’s follow their example. From now until Pentecost, let’s dive into Scripture, fix our eyes on Jesus, and try to increase our prayer life. Let’s ask for the grace to see Jesus with new eyes, the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit! Open the eyes of my heart! Amen.