Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

The Other Jesus, Part 2, Week 2, Day 4

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LUKE 9:59

To another he said, “Follow Me!.” But he said, “Lord, let me go bury my father.”

Commitment anxiety is a common problem in relationships. Freedom is falsely understood as unlimited, unconstrained choices. But what happens when we actually choose something or someone? We limit our choices, of course, but we know a deeper freedom by doing so. When you fall in love, you must make sacrifices of time and energy, and you must the put the needs and desires of your beloved above your own, but these sacrifices and restrictions are not a burden hard to embrace, because they deepen the rewards of love.

This man’s father has not just died on the day he is asked to follow Jesus, or he’d be involved in the burial process. He is asking for an unlimited furlough until his father’s life is over and wants to keep his discipleship choice open until that indefinite moment. Meanwhile, he’ll miss the once in history work of the Son of Man and the events that become the hinge of history and the heart of the disciples’ witness.

PRAYER

Gracious God, Focus my heart on your will and ways. Do not let me push you aside as a later agenda item. Draw me close and let me find my freedom in commitment. Give time, today, a sense of urgency as I seek to fulfill your purpose. Amen.

 

The Other Jesus, Week 1, Day 7

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DEUTERONOMY 16:23

One implication of Jesus’ teaching about his body and blood is that our commitment to him must be unequivocal and complete. We cannot be his true disciples if we reserve areas of our lives that exist apart from his authority. But the other side of this intimidating demand is the special connection that he establishes with us through the sacrifice of the cross, and the gift of his spirit. The eating and drinking image is one that shows an indissoluble connection. The New Testament is full of this language of connection. Paul speaks of being “in Christ”. John’s vine and branches image is also one of organic connection. The goal and the means of Christian living is not to simply imitate Jesus but rather to allow him to live in and through us, his power animating our actions, his character forming our decisions, his love flowing through our hearts toward others. Jews believed that “life was in the blood”. Christ wants his life to flow within us.

When do you sense a oneness with Christ?

How do you foster this?

FAMILY TIME

Pray that the life of Jesus will be evident in your lives today.

 

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