14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14
Throughout Chapter 10 of John, Jesus uses the imagery of sheep and shepherds and speaks of their relationship. But not just any shepherd – the good shepherd, referring to Himself; and not all sheep, but “his own”. Here, “know” indicates a deeply intimate and loving relationship; in fact Jesus compares it to the relationship he has with his father. No small thing! But then Jesus says something even more amazing. Unlike a hired shepherd who abandons the sheep at the first sign of danger, Jesus says he would actually die to save his own sheep. And he did. Am I one of his own? Are you?
Prayer - Lord Jesus, when I stop to contemplate the depth of your love for your own sheep, I am overwhelmed. Surely I don’t qualify. I have no way to repay. I long to be one of your own sheep. Scripture says, that you died for us, while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). I believe I do qualify. I love you Jesus. AMEN
Written by Nancy Kocurek, Elder and Life Group Leader at WHPC
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
In this part of John, Jesus talks a lot about how his disciples should “abide” or “remain” in him, as healthy branches are connected to, and draw their life from, a larger, living vine. Jesus is the source of our life; he alone has the power to sustain, nourish, and grow us into who we are meant to be.
Sometimes we struggle to have the humility appropriate to a branch; we want to be the whole vine. Sometimes we have trouble respecting the independence of the other branches, or we may even doubt that their connection to the vine is as strong as ours. It’s easy to get distracted; but our role is to stay connected to Christ and focus on the fruits he brings forth. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).
Prayer - Jesus, you are the vine; I am one among many branches. You give me life; apart from you I can do nothing. Sustain me and help me to bear fruit for your kingdom. AMEN.
Written by Claire Berry, Associate Pastor at WHPC
Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31
Let’s consider how Jesus’ used the words, “truth” and “word.” Two of the most well-known verses in scripture are John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God and John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus said if you continue in my word, but Jesus is the Word. God created the earth and the universe through his “word.” Recall creation followed after, “And God said,” a phrase repeated 9 times in the first chapter of Genesis. By God’s Word creation came into existence. In referring to Jesus, the Apostle Paul reminds of this in Col. 1:16: For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, … all things have been created through him and for him. The second important word is “truth.” In John 14:6 Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus is truth. Notice how our devotional verses do not lose their meaning if Jesus had instead used personal pronouns: If you continue in Me … you will know Me and I will make you free.
Prayer - Dear Jesus, help me to know you! Amen
Written by Isaac Sanchez, Elder and Life Group Leader at WHPC
And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19
This matter of fact statement by Jesus is towards the end of his conversation with Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. I believe Jesus said it with a sad tone. The opportunity for a life with Jesus is offered to everyone. And yet, we so often choose darkness rather than light.
Prayer - God of boundless love, may your light be the only thing I choose today. Help me to reflect the light of your love in my deeds, my thoughts and my words. Amen
Written by Emily Wright, Senior Pastor at WHPC
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world! John 16:33
Jesus says this to his disciples on his last night with them. He grants them peace and warns them that they will need courage to face the coming days. The source of their peace and courage abides in this: Jesus has conquered the world. Whether we see it or not, feel it or not, understand it or not, Jesus has conquered the world. No matter what we face this day, that precious fact has not changed. In Jesus we have peace. In Jesus we have the courage to face what is next.
Prayer - Jesus, I need your peace, and I need courage for this day. Help me to receive your promise. Help me to remember that in your death and resurrection you have conquered anything that might hurt me or separate me from you. AMEN
Written by Stacy Ikard, Senior Associate Pastor at WHPC