Day 5

This is the second post of the day, which will get us back on track with the 21-day challenge. I also wanted to update you all of a few prayer requests and answers we’ve had. I am taking these from comments people post, so some of you might have seen them by now.
Marlena: Praise! asked for prayer for her cancer and chemo side-effects and God is helping so much. After just one treatment her doctor can no longer feel her tumor and she will be having an ultrasound soon to get the official results. Pray every bit of cancer is gone, that the chemo side effects continue to reduce, that her energy increases and that the Lord will give her any guidance for future cancer-related decisions.
Crystal: Young, stage 4 girl we’ve been praying for. I haven’t technically gotten an update but I think I would have if there was a big miracle, so let’s keep praying for it! And pray that all her horrendous cancer-related ailments and problems will disappear!
Jenny: Praise! Had a mastectomy last week (cancer recurred) and the initial report showed no cancer in the lymph nodes, which would mean it didn’t spread. Pray for continued, accurate results and that every trace of the cancer is gone.
Nancy: Has a recurrence of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. She has had a ton of health problems through much of her life and we just need to pray and believe every bit of this and all other attempts to destroy her body and mind will be thwarted.
Nina’s Sister: This whole family has dealt with breast cancer! The mother and her twin had it and now at least two daughters. It’s crazy to me that they can isolate genetic links but that thus far that’s not actually helping with treatment. Anyway, please pray that everyone in the family will be completely healed and will learn to trust Him fully, and for them to completely bow to Him.
Teri: Praise! She was thrilled to learn there is no BRCA link to the cancer in her body, please keep praying for all the cancer to leave and for her energy and stamina to keep working and praising His name!
Cheryl: Mother of three, grandmother of two, is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. That is not too big for God, it’s just a number. Pray He will heal her entirely, for His glory.
Please keep praying for Barbara H. as well as all the others I have been posting on here. I don’t update the list entirely all the time to keep it a bit shorter.
Here are my thoughts on John 4: 1) I never noticed before that it wasn’t Jesus who baptized. I wondered why so quickly looked it up. Seems like there isn’t one perfect answer, but that people would have equated water baptism with salvation and maybe a few other thoughts. 2) I think it’s funny that these disciples left everything to follow Him, are living entirely for this ministry, and then say, “Could someone have given Him food?”. Really? Why were they so with it on some occasions and not the others? I suppose we have the Holy Spirit and learning history on our side and they didn’t. 3) I don’t really understand why Jesus answered the official’s request by saying they wanted signs and wonders, but I guess they were asking for the healing as more of a test than a favor 4) I wish this healing story had more details. I don’t think it’s a matter of the official’s great faith, because it wasn’t until the boy was healed that the official saw the time and noted the miracle. I think if it was because of His faith it would have been worded more that he went off skipping and cheering because he knew he would be healed. I guess the official asked for it to see Jesus prove Himself, and that’s what Jesus did. We don’t want to need proofs like that, or put Him to the test. BUT it’s encouraging to remember that if we really, honestly, want to know if He’s real, He will show us. If you aren’t sure today, ASK Him. It doesn’t have to be for a huge miracle, which is sort of like putting Him through your own personal science experiment. But it’s not too much to ask Him to show you something that would be meaningful to you. He knows you. He knows every hair on your head. He knows what would be a treasure or sign that would change everything for you, and He will do that! If you want to know more, I will email you a few things like that that He’s done for me. I have lots, but because they were just for me it can be hard to explain in a brief blog post.
Are we having fun yet? Here is Day 5’s reading.

John 5
    Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> a pool, which in Aramaic<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”> is called Bethesda<span class="footnote" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="[a]”>[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
     The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”> said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(G)”> or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”> that it was Jesus who had made him well.
    So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”> is always at his work<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”> to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”> not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(M)”> he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”> and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(O)”> so that you will be amazed.  For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(P)”> even so the Son gives life<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Q)”> to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
     “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”> has eternal life<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”> and will not be judged<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”> but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(X)”> when the dead will hear<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”> the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”> in himself. And he has given him authority to judge<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AA)”> because he is the Son of Man.
    “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AB)”> when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AD)”> I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”> for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
     “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AH)”>and I know that his testimony about me is true. “You have sent to John and he has testified<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AI)”> to the truth.  Not that I accept human testimony;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”>but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AL)”> and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
 “I have testimony weightier than that of John.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AM)”> For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AN)”>—testify that the Father has sent me.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AO)”> And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AP)”> You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AR)”> for you do not believe<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AS)”> the one he sent. You study the Scriptures<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AU)”> diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AV)”> These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AW)”> yet you refuse to come to me<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AX)”> to have life.
    “I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AZ)”>
    “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BA)”> on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BC)”> But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
Advertisements

Day 4

I’m a bit late on this but will post the next one later today to get back on track. My notes from John 3 were: 1) This born again thing is a hard one for non-believers or skeptics. On the surface all it’s saying is that you give up your old life for the new one, starting from scratch. It’s as easy as that, which is just a willing-heart type of thing. It gets deeper, of course, because in the long run it’s hard to change your past tendencies to better, new ones, when you aren’t quite as motivated day after day. The answer is to stay close to God every single minute of every day. We all mess up though, and for those (many, many, many) times, we have grace from Him. He forgives us and gets us back on track, there is nothing we can do to separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39). He loves us like a father, forever, from the minute we ask and believe in Him. (end of long rant!) 2) I’ve heard that John 3:16 (“for God so loved the world…”) is the most frequently cited verse in the Bible, but I haven’t looked it up. It is the description of who Christians are, why we are all here, and explains the love and controversy of it all. He loves us and proved it. No it’s our turn to prove our gratitude. Not by the things we do, those are just evidence of our heart. But by just turning and walking His way. If we know we should but don’t, that is always an issue with our own pride (no matter what words we use to explain it away), and pride always begets a fall (Proverbs 16:18) 3) MOST importantly, anyone who knows Jesus but rejects Him cannot go to heaven. It is impossible. That is why we try to share the gospel!!!!

John 4
    Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”> and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
      When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”> to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(G)”> woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
     Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”> and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
   Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”> Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”> welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(M)”> and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”  “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
      “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”> Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(O)”> but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”   “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Q)”> when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(S)”> we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”> when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”> and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(W)”> and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ)<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(X)”> “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”  Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
       Just then his disciples returned<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”> and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”  Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AA)”> Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
      Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AC)”> eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AD)”> that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”> of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AH)”> a crop for eternal life,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AI)”> so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”> is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.
       Many of the Samaritans from that town<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AK)”> believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AL)”> So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
       After the two days<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AN)”> he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AP)”> for they also had been there. Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AQ)”> And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AR)”> he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
     “Unless you people see signs and wonders,”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AS)”> Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”  The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”  “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”  Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AT)”> believed. This was the second sign<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AU)”> Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.