Bible Reference: John 20:21-23
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)
Bible Text: 21 Jesus repeated his greeting, “Peace to you!” And he told them, “Just as the Father has sent me, I’m now sending you.” 22 Then, taking a deep breath, he blew[l] on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.[m] 23 I send you to preach the forgiveness[n] of sins—and people’s sins will be forgiven. But if you don’t proclaim the forgiveness of their sins, they will remain guilty.”[o]
OBSERVATION: Multiple times we see where Jesus emphasized to His disciples what their ongoing mission would be, but in our Scripture today we see where Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that our mission would be the same as His was. So one might ask: ’Well, would you kindly encapsulate that for me?’ As we meditate on these verses today, let us consider what our mission here on earth might be.
APPLICATION: I am often recognized as a son of my earthly father, because of the things that I do, or the corny jokes that I tell, or just the things that I say in general. Jesus reminds us in today’s Scripture that just as He was sent by His father, spoke only those things ordered by His Father and did only those things directed by His Father, His followers should also follow His (Jesus’) pattern in life while He was here on earth with us. I believe that establishes our direction, or mission for life, so let us seriously look into what this might be. I believe that it is important to notice right at the very beginning that the New Testament is filled with the words, actions and directions of our Savior, and the Old Testament is filled with prophecies of what would be expected of us. So the best way for us to learn, or be reminded of certain actions of our Lord, is to deliberately spend intimate, quiet, God-directed time seeking the will and direction of God each day, by studying His Word. I know, you really don’t have time to sit and read large chunks of the Bible every day – right? I understand dear friend, but please allow me to suggest to you that when you get in conversation with God again, consider replacing the words ‘I didn’t have time’ with something like this: ‘Dear God, please listen to your son/daughter who didn’t make it a priority to seek Your direction from Your Word today…..’ I bet by now you are ready to close this devotional because you feel like I am trying to lead you on a guilt trip, but friend of God, may I suggest that the ‘lack of priority’ words I used, really explains why there was not time to study God’s Word and seek His direction for your life that day? For we found it a priority to: Spend extra time in preparing ourselves for work; Spend time watching the morning news so we could be on top of our game while speaking with business leaders each day; And spend time at the local coffee bar to be encouraged by true leaders that meet there each morning. However, it was not a priority to seek the will of the Creator of this world, the One who ordains everything that will occur today, the One who could guide us to success here on earth AND to our heavenly kingdom that He has especially prepared for those who know Him. Many years ago I was prompted to accept the love and direction of my Savior. In a very deliberate act of maturity in my relationship with Jesus, I was prompted, and I followed in obedience, to make it a priority to spend time in God’s Word each day. To do this, and still leave home in time for work, I had to get up earlier. In being led to also make Nuggets From God’s Word available to the world, I deliberately awoke 2 hours earlier so that my commitment would be a priority. This information was not intended to brag to you dear friend, but instead to help you see how you might make time alone with God a priority in your busy life’s schedule. If it’s important to you, I believe that you will make it a priority. Reading God’s Word each day will lead you to pattern your life after His Son that was sent for this purpose. In our verses today, Jesus told us that He did what His Father told Him to do. As you learn from God’s Word what you should be doing each day, you will one day say like Paul: ‘follow me as I follow Christ’! Please consider making this a priority in your life precious child of God!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have shown us in Your Word that there was nothing more important than you giving up Your life in order that we might have life eternally in heaven one day with You and Your Father. You have also taught us many things that should be a priority in our lives so that we might pattern our after Yours. As You observe our lack of priority to spend time alone with You, but yet a glimpse of our desire to reflect You in all aspects of our life, please open our hearts to be willing to make the main Thing the main thing. In every walk of life here on earth, our lives are pulled towards every lust and material obsession that our neighbor or coworker might desire or boast of. Please help us to be leaders, by making You a priority in our life – something that will draw others towards a similar commitment and a firm desire to be a child of the King in every aspect of life. YOU are our King! May it be evident in the choices we make and the way we spend our time. AMEN!