Daily Archives: May 8, 2022
Psalm 116 (ESV)
I Love the Lord
116 I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
9 I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
10 I believed, even when I spoke:
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 I said in my alarm,
“All mankind are liars.”
12 What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
John 6:60-69 (ESV)
The Words of Eternal Life
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
“It is the Spirit who gives life” (John 6:63)
If you are reading this, you are alive. Your heart is pumping, your lungs are taking in oxygen, and your blood is circulating. And yet something far greater is going on in you than circulation and respiration. Life is at work in you! God’s Holy Spirit is giving you a share in his divine life – today and every day. It’s a life that will endure long after your heart and lungs give out. It’s the gift of eternal life, which can give us hope and a sense of mission and purpose. Because the Spirit is in us, we can devote our lives to serving him and building up his Kingdom through the church.
The Spirit gives life to the words of Scripture too. Our own understanding, great though it might be, can take us only so far. God’s word contains depths that we cannot grasp only by our intellect. We miss out on so much of what God has for us if we limit what we read in Scripture to the realms of history, literature, or philosophy. Jesus said his words hold life, and he means for them to bring life to you today (John 6:63).
Jesus wants you to experience a taste of eternal life every time you read or listen to Scripture. That’s why he has given you his Holy Spirit as your helper and teacher – to enliven the Scripture passage, to reveal and explain God’s thoughts, and to fill out your understanding of them (John 14:26).
Ask the Holy Spirit to do this! As you read a passage, perhaps a verse will resonate in your heart as true or meant especially for you. Or maybe you will see a new, deeper meaning in words you have read a hundred times. That’s the Spirit giving life to those words.
So pay attention to your thoughts as you read. God has much to say to you! Then, as you go about your day, think back to this Scripture passage, even if nothing particular about it struck you initially. Look for moments when the Spirit might be teaching you – at work or during lunch, while folding laundry or walking the dog. Keep looking, keep listening, and keep expecting to hear more. Expect to experience life today.
Good and gracious God, through the power of your Holy Spirit in me, help me to see the new life that you have in store for me today. Amen.