Daily Devotion, 4-17-2020

Pastor: Connie Belmore

How Do We Know?
Reading 1 John 3:11-24

This week's lectionary gospel reading is from John 20:19-31 and is the story of doubting Thomas.  The other disciples got to see Jesus before Thomas did and they told him about how Jesus revealed himself to them.  But Thomas doubted and said unless I see and touch Jesus's scars in his hands and side, I am not going to believe.  Eight days later, Jesus appeared again and invited Thomas to touch is scarred hands and side and then Thomas expressed his belief by saying, "My Lord and my God".  How about us?  What kind of conditions do we make about our beliefs?  Fill in the blank, "Unless (blank) I won't believe."

Well the readings for today give us some insight on how we KNOW that we belong to the truth and "set our hearts at rest in his presence".  We know when:

1.  We love one another.  We love not with words or speech but with actions.
2.  We have confidence in the name of Jesus in whose name we pray.
3.  We know it because of the Spirit he gave us.

When we engage in these three things there is evidence that we live in him and he lives in us. We live in a day when we cannot see Jesus in the flesh but we have been given his Spirit to move us and convict us to the point that we are willing to lay down our lives for others.  We respond when we see others in need but we do not just pity them but take loving action.  When you and I feel that kind of conviction, then we know that the Spirit of Jesus is in us and we respond with love; this is evidence that we live in him and he lives in us.  When God moves us to act with love on the pity we have for others and to sacrifice our time and gifts to show our love for others, then we know that God is in us and we are in God.  Believing is seeing and responding as Thomas did, but not because we see Jesus in a physical way.  When we see Jesus in a spiritual way we see him on a daily, minute by minute basis.  How has Jesus revealed himself to you (and me) today? How have you (and I) responded?

Dear God, Thank you for loving us and teaching us to not just to love with words or speech but with actions that speak to your truth.  Now help us exhibit what you have taught us and show that you live in us by believing and loving one another .  Help us to realize that it is through God's grace experienced as we worship, pray, study God's Word and serve others that our relationship with Christ is strengthened.  And then please help us to better reveal our love for you and others.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

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