Daily Devotion for May 2, 2018
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world’s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more.
Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
Or sin by silence when I should defend.
However meagre be my worldly wealth,
Let me give something that shall aid my kind –
A word of courage, or a thought of health,
Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.
Let me to-night look back across the span
‘Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say –
Because of some good act to beast or man –
“The world is better that I lived today.”
Thanks for the Word of God
I thank you, loving God, that we have the Scriptures to search, given by your inspiration in total truth, that we might gain the profit of salvation from them. I give thanks for all those who toiled to preserve your Word for our learning. I give thanks that through the patience and comfort of the Bible we may have hope: a light of prophecy and truth, as sure as a bright star in the darkness, leading us to Christ. And I give thanks that on the most ordinary day, both I and any other person who seeks you may hear in our own tongue the mighty works you have done.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 148:1-4 (NKJV)
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
John 3:9-15 (ESV)
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”
Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but youThe Greek you used here is plural. do not receive our testimony.
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
Notes on the Scripture
Nicodemus is a high-ranking Pharisee in the Temple at Jerusalem. Christ has just told him, “tear this temple down and I will rebuild it in three days.” Nicodemus is understandably incredulous.
ut either Jesus is not inclined to give a long expository explanation, or he did and John did not record all of it; this is certainly a possibility, because the tone of John’s Gospel is theological, not biographical. He either didn’t know or simply omitted a lot of biographical detail about Jesus’ life. Chunks of time are not accounted for; we just saw this, when the gospel skipped from the wedding at Cana to the Temple in Jerusalem.
In this case, John hasn’t given us any conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus where he spoke to him about earthly things and Nicodemus didn’t believe him (unless you count the raising the “temple” as an “earthly thing”). The important thing, to John, is that Christ states three important theological facts. First, only he has been to heaven, so only he can tell the truth about it. Secondly, he must be lifted up—that is, esteemed and possibly worshipped. In addition, this lifting up implies crucifixion; Christ was literally lifted up before the Jews like Moses’ serpent (Numbers 21:9).
Third, that by belief in Christ, anyone can have eternal life. This last point is the foundational point of Christianity in a nutshell; John will elaborate upon it in the very next verse, the famous passage at John 3:16.