Friday Morning: 01 Feb 2019 – John 8:31-47 ~ Why can’t you understand what I am saying?

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 8:31-47 (NLT)

Jesus and Abraham

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

“Our father is Abraham!” they declared.

“No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.”

They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”

Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
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Morning Reflection:

Why can’t you understand what I am saying?
It’s because you can’t even hear me!
For you are the children of your father the devil,
and you love to do the evil things he does.
– John 8:43-44

Only the children of God can understand what Jesus is saying – those who believe in him, and remain faithful to [Jesus’] teachings…. They will know the truth, and the truth will set [them] free.

But freedom from what? The bondage to sin and death, the bondage to false religion, the bondage to false prophets, the bondage to false ideologies, the bondage to their father the devil.

What does this bondage look like? Jesus gives us some signs to watch out for –

+ Relying on religion, instead of a relationship with Jesus to make them right with God.

+ Following the evil desires of their sinful nature, instead of the desires of a new nature formed by God’s Word and Spirit.

+ Following the deceitful teachings of this world, instead of the truthful teachings of Jesus who is not of this world.

+ Attacking anyone or anything that exposes their sin, instead of repenting and seeking forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

To whom do you belong? Unless you are born again, of water and the Spirit, you are in bondage to your father the devil.

Questions for consideration:

  • Have you been born again? Do you belong to God? Please explain what that means to you. Not sure? Click here.
  • How has the “father of lies” influenced your life? How has the truth of God set you free? Please explain.
  • What steps can you take to increase your understanding and faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus?

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Morning Prayer:  Renewal of Baptismal vows (Anglican Church in North America)
[Please respond as God’s Word and Spirit leads you.]

  • Do you, here in the presence of God and the Church, renew the solemn promises and vows made at your Baptism and commit yourself to keep them?
  • Do you renounce the Devil and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
  • Do you renounce the empty promises and deadly deceits of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
  • Do you renounce the sinful desires of the flesh that draw you from the love of God?
  • Do you turn to Jesus Christ and confess him as your Lord and Savior?
  • Do you joyfully receive the Christian Faith, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?
  • Will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of your life?

Almighty God: I do and I will, with your help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“Born Again” – Austin French

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Fri, 25 Aug – John 7-9 ~ Have you had your eyes checked lately?

Reading, Reflection & Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening(Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Please Read: John 7-9 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

Jesus Promises Living Water

John 7:37-39 (NLT) On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”  (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

Division and Unbelief

John 7:40-43 (NLT)When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” So the crowd was divided about him. Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.

A Woman Caught in Adultery

John 8:1-11 (NLT)Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Jesus, the Light of the World

John 8:12 (NLT) – Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

The Unbelieving People Warned

John 8:21-30 (NLT)Later Jesus said to them again, “I am going away. You will search for me but will die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going.”

The people asked, “Is he planning to commit suicide? What does he mean, ‘You cannot come where I am going’?”

Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”

“Who are you?” they demanded.

Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.” But they still didn’t understand that he was talking about his Father.

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” Then many who heard him say these things believed in him.

Jesus and Abraham

John 8:31-32 (NLT)Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:58-59 (NLT) Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

John 9:1-11 (NLT)As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”

But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”

They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?”

He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!”

John 9:24-25 (NLT)So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”

“I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

Spiritual Blindness

Jesus 9:35-39 (NLT) – When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”

“You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”

“Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.

Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
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“Amazing Grace” – Judy Collins

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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!