Believe into Jesus

February 28, 2015

Today’s Reflection

WHAT DOES IT MEAN to believe in Jesus? Reverend Tim Keller, pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, gave an intriguing sermon titled “John Meets Jesus” (4/17/97), in which he noted that whenever we read the phrase “belief in Jesus” in John’s Gospel, the original Greek (which always uses the preposition “eis”) might more accurately be translated as “belief into Jesus.” What might it mean to “believe into” Jesus rather than simply “believe in” him? Keller suggests that “believing in” merely involves intellectual assent, while “believing into” involves the faith and trust that enables persons to follow even when danger threatens.

Simply praying for healing, which Jesus clearly commands, involves taking a risk: What if God doesn’t answer our prayers according to our wishes? Often I cling to so many hopes and expectations about how (and when) I want my prayers answered that I cannot pray with abandon.

Here’s the bottom-line question: Am I beginning to doubt that Jesus can heal both my husband’s drinking problem and my addiction to emotional turbulence? No, I believe Jesus can do that. But what does feel hard is believing “into” Jesus for this healing, praying in a spirit of absolute trust and surrender.

…Do we dare to trust God this deeply when we’re bowed down by the ache of a loved one’s addiction and discouraged by our responses? Can we confidently place our own faith in the promise of Romans 8:28, believing that God will bring ultimate good out of our circumstances if we seek to embrace the Lord’s call on our lives as best we understand it? …

Prayer
Lord God, we confess that we’re clinging to our own expectations and agendas when it comes to praying for our loved ones’ healing. Release us from the need to control. Give us the gift of a stronger faith in your sovereignty and mercy. Lord, we do believe. Help our unbelief. Amen.

- Alyssa Phillips
Loving an Addict

From pages 107-108 of Loving an Addict: Gospel Reflections of Hope and Healing by Alyssa Phillips. Copyright © 2014 by Alyssa Phillips. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray the prayer at the end of today’s excerpt. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Mark 8:34, NRSV

This Week: pray for single parents. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: JGabriel Francis Possenti (February 27).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Humility

February 27, 2015

Today’s Reflection

HUMILITY IS SELF-ABNEGATION but not self-defamation. Paradoxically, by accepting ourselves as God’s creature and therefore as a companion creature with others, we also claim our dignity as persons created for communion with God and others. Being humble is not being ashamed; it is being fully aware — aware of the difference between God and us and aware of the differences between ourselves and others.

God, our Lord, thank you for the mystery of prayer in which we learn to walk in humility. Amen.

- The Upper Room Disciplines 2015

From “Walking Through Lent” by Tim Whitaker, reading for Friday, February 20, in The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Copyright © 2014 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray the prayer at the end of today’s excerpt. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

Romans 4:23-25, NRSV

This Week: pray for single parents. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: JGabriel Francis Possenti (February 27).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Making a Space for God

February 26, 2015

Today’s Reflection IF WE PICTURE all the obstructions between us and God as a wilderness, Lent presents us with time to clear and cultivate a part of that wilderness, to create an open space in it. In this newly opened space, we may live more freely and commune more closely with the divine. We can […]

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A Thirst for God

February 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection “http://daily.upperroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/UR9997_AwkwardSeason190.jpg”/> SOMETIMES, O GOD, my thirst for you is pushed aside, ignored, or simply quenched by something other – something reasonable, something more popular – than you. But you never go away, never stop, never leave the depths of me. Like an underground spring, you are fresh and free, breaking through. Help me […]

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Love Is Our Lord’s Meaning

February 24, 2015

Today’s Reflection LOVE IS OUR LORD’S MEANING, I saw most surely in this and in all that our God made that God loved us, and this love never was satisfied and never will be. All God’s works have been done in this love, and in this love God has made everything that is for our […]

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Overcoming Distractions

February 23, 2015

Today’s Reflection SILENT PRAYER will help you to focus clearly on God. The constant stream of thoughts that run through your mind is like [trying to herd a] hundred cats [up a hill]. At first you go chasing after them, lost in the intrigue of where they go and whether you can catch them. But […]

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God’s Unconditional, Perfect Love

February 22, 2015

Today’s Reflection GOD LOVES YOU perfectly, unconditionally, perpetuallyGod has poured out this love into your heartA love without fear, without doubts, without limitsLove that is patient and is kindLove that does not envy, does not boast, is not proudSo you may freely give as you receive …By loving your neighbour as yourself.–Mabatha Mampura, in Alive […]

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No Darkness At All

February 21, 2015

Today’s Reflection WHERE THE LOVING eye of the soul is continually fixed upon God, there can be no darkness at all. – A Longing for Holiness From page 42 of A Longing for Holiness Selected Writings of John Wesley, edited by Keith Beasley-Topliffe. Copyright (c) 1997 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by […]

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Extending Compassion

February 20, 2015

Today’s Reflection PEOPLE WHO EXTEND COMPASSION to us are guardians of our soul. John Makransky calls them benefactors, emissaries of love in our lives. These are people who see us, understand us, value us, and celebrate our homecomings. They offer us the inestimable gift of revealing to us the truth of who we are – […]

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The Love and Light of God

February 19, 2015

Today’s Reflection GOD, remind us today that you are present with us. When we are interrupted, help us to see how you are working and how you might use us to show your love and light. Amen. – Jacob Armstrong Interruptions From page 14 of Interruptions: A 40-Day Journey with Jesus by Jacob Armstrong. Copyright […]

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