September 29, 2020
John 16:29-33
Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech.  Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”  “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied.  “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone.  Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
New International Version (NIV)
It is so very hard for a finite mind to try to comprehend an infinite God.  Thankfully, there are moments of illumination.  At the age of 30, mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal had a vision in November, 1654.  God came to him in the night and he wrote down the revelation:  “The year of grace 1654, Monday, 23 November.  From about half past ten at night until about half past midnight, FIRE.  GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob not of the philosophers and of the learned. Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace. GOD of Jesus Christ. My God and your God.”  Pascal sewed the paper with this message in his jacket pocket.  He wanted them near his heart for the rest of his life.

John’s gospel left one writer wondering whether Jesus gave his disciples enough straight answers.  Here he does.  As he goes away he promises the Spirit will come and guide them into all truth.  “No more figures of speech,” Jesus says (16:25).  “My Father loves you because you love me and I am going back to the Father.”  “Eureka,” the disciples respond.  “Now we get it and we believe you.”  Jesus answered, “Good.  You are about to be scattered.  You will abandon me.  But the Father is with me.”

For the second time that night Jesus blessed them with the promise of his peace.  Unavoidable trouble was brewing that night.  Jesus was about to be crucified.  He could not both spare them the trouble and fulfill his destiny to save the world.  Tribulation was coming and they were going to “tribulate”.  Some things have not changed.  We are still in the world.  The world is still troubling.  But even more, we are in Christ.  In Christ we have peace.  When we see Christ as Pascal did, we realize that our God can do anything but fail.  He is not “on our team”.  But we can be on his team.  Jesus has overcome the world.  His team wins in the end.  Put your hope in God.
Pray with me:         
Father, trouble is all around us.  Thank you that you are near.  Darkness still confounds us.  Make the vision clear.  Help us to see you as you really are.  Let your profound peace eclipse our deep sorrow.  Let us see ourselves in you as we try to love our troubled world.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:3-4
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  
Joyfully, 
Duane 

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