If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:10
So if keeping commandments is important, which does Jesus say are the two greatest? “Love God with all you’ve got, and love your neighbor as yourself…All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (paraphrased from Mt 22:35-40 and Mark 12:28-34). And what do we experience when we live out this love? An abiding, deep, intimate relationship with God, which is part of eternal life (John 17:3).
Prayer - Jesus, I don’t want to view obedience to you as just a duty or a requirement. I want to be in close relationship with you, God, and the Holy Spirit. Thank you for that invitation. Help me to love you and the people around me with all I’ve got today. AMEN.
Written by Martha King, Elder and Youth Leader at WHPC
“The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
Think about where you’ve recently seen the Spirit at work? Were you surprised? Remember the amazement of those present at Pentecost when they witnessed the power of the Spirit and how it transformed the lives of the disciples. Yet, in the midst of the clutter and demands of my daily life, I find it too easy to lose my receptiveness to the movements of the Spirit. If I spend five minutes in a devotional and two hours in the news, where is my attention? Where is my heart focused? On one hand, I know we are “Spirit People” - born from above and sent out into the world with the power of the Spirit. Yet, I involve myself in less important things - things not of the Spirit. What if we were listening intently for the Spirit, and then acting as the Spirit leads? What would that be like?
Prayer - Dear Jesus, Nurture the life of your Spirit within me. Give me eyes to see the Spirit at work, ears to hear the Spirit’s voice, and faith to move boldly as the Spirit leads. Help me to follow you in your Kingdom. AMEN.
Written by Drew Beckley, Elder at WHPC
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
Often, these familiar passage receives a narrow interpretation. We treat it as a formula. God’s grace + our faith in Christ = eternal life. For whom? Well, for us. For me. If I believe, I will live eternally.
Today, I invite you to look at these verses with fresh eyes.
Notice God in this passage. What verbs are assigned to God? God loves. God gives. What intentions are afforded God? God offers life. God wants not to condemn, but to save.
Notice for whom—or what—God has concern. God’s loving intentions are not only for you or for me, but for the world—in Greek, the kosmos, the universe. This broad and inclusive term appears more in this passage than any other. It is the world that God aims to save, the universe that God is setting right.
Prayer - Sovereign God, may we be aware of the transformative, healing, and life-giving work you are doing within us and for us, but also around us and far beyond our imagining. Amen.
Written by Claire Berry, Associate Pastor at WHPC
”Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
Is your heart troubled these days? What’s making it anxious? Is it a challenge to your livelihood, your health, and even your reputation? Is it concern for elderly parents? Perhaps whether you’re successfully parenting your children? By habit, where do you go for comfort or happiness in these times? Into what do you sink the root system of your soul? One of our greatest needs is a “quiet heart,” a heart which is safe, secure, happy. There are many ways in which we try to quiet our hearts. You know the list; you know your list. Eventually, all fail except one - believing in the One who was sent. It’s a question of Trust. Do I trust in the things of earth which I can do or control? Or, do I trust in the One who is God? The One who came for me. The One who came to draw me into complete, loving relationship with him. Let’s choose to sink our roots deeply into the Living Water, daily drawing nourishment and life. If you were to choose that today, what might that look like for you? What would be the one small, next step you could take to completely trust and hold onto the faithfulness of God?
Prayer - Dear Jesus, help me cultivate a quiet heart, one which knows that only you provide true peace, happiness, comfort, and security. Help me to get to know you better, and to trust you more completely. Help me to grow in faith, to grow in trust, to know you as the Source of all good things. May I love you more, and may I praise you daily for your gifts to me. AMEN.
Written by Drew Beckley, Elder at WHPC
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
In his true essence, God is love and he loves everyone. We too are called to love others profoundly, unconditionally and indiscriminately. Jesus gave us the model of supremacy of love over all else, as well as a sense of indebtedness to God. He shows how far love for one another should extend, even to the laying down of our lives for others, much like we are seeing from the medical community during the COVID 19 pandemic. Through their selfless work, they are modeling the one who has loved us so completely and overwhelmingly.
Prayer - Lord, as I reflect on the life of Jesus and all he has done for me, fill me with an ever increasing awareness of how great your love really is. Instill in me the privilege and obligation to genuinely love others in that same way. Amen.
Written by Mike Ussery, Elder and Bible Study Leader at WHPC