Matthew 9:35-38: Prayer for the Harvest

Read: Matthew 9:35-38

Israel during the first century was time of political and religious uncertainty with many competing religious and political factions. For the common person, knowing where to lend ones allegiance was daunting task. Did they give it to the Pharisees? Sadducees? Romans? Zealots? None of the above? When Jesus surveyed the landscape though, he saw this and had compassion – the people were lost “like a sheep without a shepherd”. At some point in the midst of all this, the leaders of the community had lost their influence over the people and had become concerned with other things other than leading the people in godliness and right living. Ezekiel warned of such a time in Ezekiel 34, where God stands against the shepherd, yet promises that he himself will come and seek out the his sheep.

In light of this, Jesus declares that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few and that one should pray that the Lord of the Harvest – Jesus – send out more workers. This motif is typically associated with a grain harvest, but here in the context it is probably talking about the time of year when the sheep would be gather for shearing, which required a lot of extra hired hands above and beyond the role of the shepherd to accomplish.

The motif of Jesus as shepherd is common in the New Testament. John 10 uses the same kind of metaphors talking about sheep, and therein Jesus declares that he us the “Good Shepherd”. Hebrews 13:20 calls him the “Great Shepherd” and 1 Peter 5:4 calls him the “Chief Shepherd”. This motif was obviously something that Jesus taught his disciples concerning the nature of those that lead and those that follow. In his disciple-making model, Jesus follows his exhortation to pray with the command to go in Matthew 10:1-5, wherein the disciples who had seen Jesus demonstrate his authority over all matters in chapters 7,8, and 9 are given the same authority, which culminates in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 when he declares that he has all authority, and he sends them out.

Christians today are among the workers that Jesus is sending. Like he said to the disciples, Christians are to be about the work of both praying and going. They pray to the Lord to send out workers and in some cases become workers themselves. In all cases though, every Christian plays a part in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Lord, send more workers into your harvest!

Matthew 6:5-15: Prayer That Works

Read: Matthew 6:5-15

Jesus warning here concerning prayer stands in contrast to the sort of prayers that the Pharisees and Gentiles had. The Pharisees in their prayers would stand in the streets and wax eloquently using big words to make an elaborate show of things. They would often use prayer to in many ways to exalt themselves as Jesus notes in Luke 18:10-14. The Gentiles that Jesus to refers to are probably the Romans, who their own prayers focused not on content, rather on the precision of the words of which they were saying. They believed that the efficacy of prayer was tied to how precise the prayers were according to a strict formula. If they didn’t get the results they wanted, they would do it again and again. This vain repetition was of no value.

Jesus on the other hand teaches his disciples how and what to pray. He encourages them not to do as the Pharisees or the Gentiles, rather go into a room and pray in private, focusing on a number of things. Jesus’ prayer has many parallels to Isaiah 63:15-64:12. They acknowledge that God is “Father”, is in heaven, and is one who is holy and concerned about the name of God. Jesus expounds on the motif God as a father, teaching that God is a good father that wants to provide good things to those who ask. James 4:1-3, however, adds commentary to why sometimes God doesn’t give good things because so many times one “asks and does not receive” which stands in contrast to what Jesus said: “ask and it shall be given unto you”. It short, people don’t receive because of their own selfish desires and sin in their lives. Jesus does teach the disciples to pray for daily provision and the things in this world, but so much more of the model prayer is concerned with God’s position in heaven, his holy name, his will being done, forgiveness of sin, and deliverance from temptation and evil. When one seeks to pray according to the will and ways of God, it is in this manner that God can and will bless his people.

So often, the prayers of Christians are not much more than trite platitudes that Jesus warns against even to the point where people the model prayer from rote memory. The prayer itself is not the problem, rather the attitude of prayer is that is the problem. God wants his people to pray, but do so in the right manner and for the right reasons. To do so, one needs to be mindful of who God is: a father that is all loving but also holy and zealous for his name to be honored by the way one lives. When one honestly and humbly seeks God for mercy and his will, God will reward this prayer according to his will and great things can happen!

Lord, teach me to pray in way that honors and glorifies you!

Luke 6:12-16: A Prayer that Changed The World

Read: Luke 6:12-16

After telling about “work” on the Sabbath, Luke segues away from teachings on the authority of Jesus to a focus on the ministry of Jesus as he lived with and taught the apostles. Luke starts this section by noting that Jesus went away to pray. This is the second of six mentions in the book of Luke where Jesus does this (Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:18, Luke 9:28, Luke 11:1, Luke 22:41-46).

What Jesus prayed for during this time is unknown because the Bible does not say, but he was probably praying about the decisions he would have to make concerning who he would select to be the 12 apostles out of his disciples. Jesus had already called out many of them to be his disciples (Luke 5:1-11, Luke 5:27). The apostles, however, would lead the church in the charge to make disciples of all nations, so this was no small decision (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). Evidently this was weighing on his mind because he went to the place and that he prayed all night.

The office of Apostle (literally “sent one”) in the New Testament is associated with those who had been with Jesus, and they carried the authority in the early church. They were the ones who were responsible for the ministries of prayer, teaching, and evangelism (Acts 2, Acts 6:4). Implicitly, they also were responsible for the creation of the the New Testament. One of the criterion for selection of New Testament scripture was that the book have apostolic origin. In the case of the gospels, Matthew and John were both written by apostles along with James, Peter’s Letters, John’s Letters, and Paul’s Letters. The remainder was written by close associates of the apostles such as Luke who wrote Acts and the gospel of Luke.

The decision Jesus made that night in prayer impacted the world. Jesus’ decision produced the New Testament and started the ministry of evangelism to the world. There are no new Apostles in the modern church, however the are little “a” apostles, also known as missionaries. The authority of modern missionaries and every Christian draws on the authority given to the early Apostles in the church to canonize the teachings of Jesus, which is the Bible. When facing a decisions of any size, Christians ought to face it with prayer and with the The Bible as one’s guide. This means pouring over the Word and imploring God with prayer so that decisions will be crystal clear and in accordance with God’s will, because even seemingly small decisions can have a huge impact!

Lord, help me to approach every decision with prayer and your Word!

Luke 3:21-22: The Trinity

Read: Luke 3:21-22

Luke presents Jesus’ baptism in his gospel rather succinctly with only two verses. The other gospels record the same event too (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark:1:9-11, John 1:29-24) Unlike the other gospels. Luke though notes that Jesus was praying while he was baptized. Luke records Jesus praying on a number of other occasions including prior to his transfiguration and while he was at Gethsemane (Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:18, Luke 9:28, Luke 11:1, Luke 22:41-46). Luke’s special attention to Jesus’ prayer life is important to note, because it shows how Jesus was in tune with the Father and that while he was co-eternal and equal with the Father, he submitted himself to the Father while he was on earth. In doing so, God proclaims that with Jesus he is well pleased.

Jesus’ baptism is one of the most clear depictions of the Trinity in all of the Bible with all members present. The Father is speaking from heaven, the Spirit is descending in bodily form like a dove, and Jesus himself is the one being baptized. Explaining how all three of the members of the Trinity are all God at the same time yet three distinct persons is something that theologians have grappled with for years. The Bible doesn’t have a detailed explanation of the Trinity. In fact, the word “Trinity” doesn’t even appear in the Bible. Analogies are often employed, but as with most all analogies they break down at some point. Reconciling how God can be three district persons where each person is co-equal and uncreated, yet one being at the same time is difficult. Many attempts that try to rationalize the Trinity resulted in heretical view of God . A few include:

  • Modalism: God is manifested in different “modes” rather than having three persons of the Trinity.
  • Tritheism: This suggests that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three different gods.
  • Arianism and Macedonianism: the Father is God and Jesus (in Arianism) and the Holy Spirit (in Macedonianism) are created beings.
  • Partialism: This teaches that the members of the trinity are only “parts” of God and they don’t become God until they all come together.

The Early church fathers, while not having a clear explanation of the Trinity affirmed it as a core doctrine of the Christian faith because the scriptures present all members of the Trinity as divine, co-equal, co-eternal, and uncreated. But while they did not have an explanation, they did express the Trinity as “three persons” and “one essence” to serve as a bright-line to weed out heresy. Any view that either separated God into parts such that there was more than one essence or diminish one or more members of the Trinity to a lower status or thing such that one or more of the persons were excluded from the Trinity would be labelled a heresy. This expression of the Trinity has withstood the test of time and is considered the orthodox view of God by Christians across multiple denominations.

While Jesus was on earth, he didn’t surrender his divinity or become a lesser being. He enjoyed the intimate fellowship with the other members of the Trinity on earth as he did while he was with them in heaven. Nevertheless, Jesus made prayer a priority in his life. He did this not because he needed to pray, rather because the this was an opportunity to have uninterrupted, unbroken, and unfettered fellowship with the ones who loved him and who he loved. The awesome part of this though is that the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit isn’t exclusive to the Trinity. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer, which draws believers into an intimate relationship with God. And spiritual disciplines like prayer, meditation, and time spent with God draw one into closer relationship with God too. For this reason, Christians ought to make personal time with God a priority so they can be in an intimate relationship with God.

Lord, draw me close to you!

Joshua 9: Seeking What is Right

Read: Joshua 9

The Gibeonites saw what God had done for Joshua and Israel when they attacked the cities of Ai and Jericho, and they feared them. To keep themselves from being annihilated, they deceived Israel and Joshua signed a pact with them. In all this, the book of Joshua notes that Joshua did not seek the counsel of the Lord. Joshua was not aware at the time that he was being deceived so apparently saw no harm in making a pact with people who he thought were not Canaanites. But later he found out that he had been deceived. Rather than break the pact that he had made with them, he upheld it. But Joshua cursed them, making them serve Israel as laborers. The Gibeonites were allowed to persist among the Israelites for some years to follow.

It is difficult to know what to make of the Gibeonites because their history with Israel is riddle colorful to say the least:

  • Gibeon was the site of a major battle took place at Gibeon. The kings of the south formed a pact and went to war against Gibeon for making a pact with Israel. Israel came to their aid and saved them by the Lord’s help.
  • Saul wanted to destroy Gibeon and sought to do so because of his “zeal” for Israel and Judah. God, however, upheld their plight later on: he cursed Israel with a three year famine because Saul was blood thirsty. David sought to end it, so he asked what they wanted. They wanted to hang the descendants of Saul, so David gave to them 7 of the descendants and the descendants were hanged in Gibeon “before the Lord” and kept the bodies there for some time even though the law said to cut hanged people down before sunset. Interestingly, David had asked them what he could do to “bless” the inheritance of the Lord – that is the land. The Gibeonites left the bodies up for sometimes after that which would “defile” the land (2 Samuel 21:1-10, Deuteronomy 21:22-23).
  • Gibeon was named a Levitical town. The Levites did not receive a portion of land when the land was divided because they were responsible for priestly duties. Instead, they received several cities located throughout Canaan (Joshua 21:17).
  • Gibeon became the location of the tabernacle before the construction of the temple during the reign of Solomon (1 Kings 3:1-15, 1 Chronicles 16:39, 1 Chronicles 21:29).

Gibeon was important because of its connection with the worship of God at the Tabernacle. They also had mercies of God on their side too at points with God upholding their plight after the misdeeds of Saul.  At the same time, they deceived and made peace with them and when they hanged the sons of Saul they did so in what seems to be a vengeful way before God.

It is purely speculative, but the book of Joshua begs the question: what if Joshua would have sought the Lord? It is likely that God would have revealed to Joshua that they were being deceived and Joshua therefore would not have entered into a pact with some of the people Canaan. And rather than have a semi-rogue group of Canaanites living among them, they would have probably destroyed them just as they did the other cities in Canaan and the complications during the days of Saul and David would have never happened. It is important to seek God in all things and this cannot be emphasized enough. In any case, God’s concern is that even after his people make mistakes they attempt to pick of the pieces and make the best of the circumstances by upholding vows and justice – things found in the law – as in the cases of both David and Joshua.

Lord, help me to seek you for what is right and to make right what is wrong!

John 18:1-11: Obedience Even Unto Death

Read: John 18:1-11

Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was something that Jesus had known about since the beginning of his ministry. He first mentions the betrayal in John 6:71. Jesus allowed Judas to stick around even though Jesus knew his intent even when under the guise of piety, Judas wanted Mary to sell her perfume for money so Judas could pilfer some off the top for himself. Earlier that evening, the devil had entered into Judas, and Jesus knew this (John 13:2,26).

Jesus had gone out to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mountain of Olives with his disciples before he was betrayed. Jesus here prayed to God if he was willing, to remove the cup from Jesus, but prays not for his own will, but the will of the Father (Luke 22:42). Jesus had laid aside his glory and took on a position of a servant to glorify God and do the will of the Father (John 4:32, John 6:33, John 6:38, Philippians 2:5-11), but the task to Jesus troubled him He knew what he had to do (John 12:27). God knew long before any of the events surrounding the crucifixion transpired that Jesus would have to carry out the will of God on the cross. The task was huge such that it caused angst for one who knew his place in heaven.

Judas came back this time with the Romans, priests, and Pharisees to betray Jesus and have him arrested. When they did come, they asked twice. The first time they ask, Jesus speaks “I am he” and they are knocked back. When Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus he went down in the presence of a glorified Christ (Acts 9:4). This act may have been a demonstration of the plain spoken mode of Jesus who was forcefully willing to take on the forces of darkness even though he was angst about it. They ask again, perhaps because they were dumbfounded by what had just happened. Jesus again answers “I am he” to their question and says to them to let the others go their way.

But Peter in a brash display of zeal draws his sword and cuts the ear off of one of the servants. Jesus tells him to put away his sword, saying in a manner of a rhetorical question, that the cup was given to him by the Father and he should drink it. Peter’s zeal is contrasted with his betrayal. Peter had previously said that he would not betray Jesus even to death, but Jesus knew that Peter would deny him (John 13:36-38, John 18:25-27). Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, as he had spoken it before (John 17:12), and this was being fulfilled.

The plan God had set in motion long before these events had transpired could not be undone. Judas’ betrayal was set in motion and Jesus knew this. Peter in his zeal would try and stop it, but would later deny Christ, and Jesus knew this too. Jesus even asked the Father to remove the cup if possible, but nevertheless submitted to the will of the Father. His act of obedience to the will of the Father is what brought about the redemption of mankind. Paul says that one should have the attitude of Christ Jesus in Philippians 2:5 who became obedient as a servant and obedient even unto death on the cross. Jesus is not only the means of redemption, but also the model of obedience one should aspire too. Jesus says the ones who love will keep his commandments (John 14:15, John 14:23-24, John 15:10). In all things, one should obey the commands of Christ as Christ obeyed the Father, even when one does not want to or being obedient causes angst. Doing so will bring about the will of God. In all things though, Christians can know that anxiety can calmed by way of prayer and petition to the Father–even Jesus did this in the last hours before he went to the cross! One can know that the peace of God is with them (Philippians 4:6-7).

Lord, help me to obey you, even when it hurts.

John 17:1-21: In the World, Not of It

Read: John 17:1-21

Jesus glorified the Father while he was on earth. His mission in part was to make known the name of the Father to all who would hear. Jesus had every opportunity to claim the glory that was given him for himself. Rather than take the glory for himself, he gives it back to God. In John 12, Jesus has many things that could have glorified him, but instead he asks the Father to glorify himself. A voice comes from heaven and speaks in the midst of Greeks and Jews. Jesus could have genuinely have done this because of his oneness with the Father, but he laid this right aside to bring glory to the Father even more so by dying on the cross. In doing so, he would not only glorify the Father all the more, the Father would glorify him (Philippians 2:5-11).

Because Jesus poured into the men out of the world, they were no longer a part of the world. They were granted eternal life and now belonged to the Father. Jesus was not praying for them so that the Father would “keep” them. Jesus says that he had taught them all they needed to know and that he was about to return to the Father. In a way, Jesus was handing off their care to the Father because Jesus was no longer going to be with them. The reason Jesus had chosen these men out of the world was so that he could send them out to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 3:14). The word of God, which is truth, had been given to them. Jesus prays for them and those who would come to believe in Jesus through the words of the disciples and ultimately have oneness with the Father in the same manner that Jesus did by means of the Holy Spirit.

The word of truth went out from the apostles. Many received it and many believed, and they imparted this message to others until even today. The pattern of teaching some and sending them out to preach is seen in Paul with Timothy, when he encourages Timothy to teach faithful men who will teach others (2 Timothy 2:2). This pattern of training up people to send them out to make disciples is well established as the method that God wanted to use to draw men out of the world and to himself. Not every person though receives the gospel with joy. Rather they hate those who believe it because part of the gospel requires that one deal with sin. But in any case, Christians are to be in the world nevertheless making disciples so that more can be made one with God and Jesus will receive praise and worship from every tribe, tongue and nation.

Lord, we are in the world, not of it. Help others to come out of the world into your truth!

John 16:23-33: In Jesus’ Name I Pray….

Read: John 16:23-33

Jesus in a short passage tells the disciples to ask for anything in his name and it shall be given to them. Jesus says this is to make their joy complete and he is able to because he is of the Father. It would seem that Jesus is telling the disciples that their lives were going to be easy, filled with abundance beyond measure because they could have anything they ask for in Jesus name, but Jesus ends this by telling them that they will have trouble in the world. Earlier, Jesus told them that they would be persecuted for his name sake (John 15:18-27). Persecution is almost a certain guarantee (2 Timothy 2:13). Knowing this, it would seem that asking for something in Jesus’ name does not mean that God is a cosmic genie that wants one to have all the good things the world has to offer, but something else.

Jesus intersperses comments about speaking in figures of speech to the disciples too. Jesus had used numerous figures of speech throughout his ministry to help explain the things of God to many different people. John records many of these saying that one must be “born again”, Jesus is the road, the sheep door, the bread of life, living water, among other things such as this. Jesus says that he will discontinue the use of figures of speech and speak straight about the Father. This way they will know directly about the Father and will be able to ask the Father for themselves rather that Jesus asking for them. In this manner, Jesus connects knowing the Father directly with asking things of the Father.

Asking things of the Father in Jesus name then entails asking for it in accordance with how Jesus lived with the Father and what taught about the Father. This, therefore, requires knowledge about what is consistent with Jesus’ teachings. Christians can know the things of Jesus by listening to the Holy Spirit, whose role is to remind and teach Christians of the things that Jesus taught (John 14:26, John 16:3). The early Christians faithfully preserved teachings of Jesus and these have been handed down to Christians today in the form of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:14-17, Romans 15:4, 2 Peter 1:19-21). A few things the Bible teaches that one can are for are asking for his kingdom to come, his will, for provisions for the day, for forgiveness (Matthew 6:9-13) and wisdom (James 1:5). Paul encourages Christians to make one’s anxieties known to God (Philippians 4:6). And one should always offer thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). When praying, these one should be mindful of these things, and the Spirit will also prompt one to pray in accordance to these things too. And in this manner, when one says “In Jesus’ name I pray” and one can pray and mean it. And because Jesus has overcome the world, believers need not fear the world’s persecution either because of the confidence of what has been done and what will be done in Jesus’ name!

Lord, help me to pray in Jesus’ name according to what is in Jesus’ name!

John 14:27-31

Read John 14:27-31

Jesus was leaving the disciples, and he was speaking straight with them. He has said three things up to this point. First he was going to prepare a place for them and would return for them (John 14:1-6). Second, he says that they will be able to do greater things than he has done (John 14:7-15). Third, he promises to send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-26). These things Jesus had said to both console them in his absence and to give them a glimpse at what life was going to be like after Jesus left the earth to return to the Father.

Next, Jesus promises peace. Jesus probably says that he gives peace twice to make it emphatic. The Greek word “ειρηνη” translated “peace” is used to describe a state of tranquility and serenity. In the context of nations, this generally means that nations are not at war with other nations, but for believers, it means to be in a state of tranquility in the midst of turmoil. Jesus tells them to not let their hearts be troubled and to not be afraid. What is certain is that the disciples were anything but at peace later on. When Jesus resurrected from the dead, he appears among them in and speaks “peace” to them three times (John 20:19-29) perhaps to remind them of what he told them and to calm their fear, as it is highly unusual to see someone who they knew had died walking around in the same room as them!

In Hebrew thought, “peace” in the form of the word “שׁלום” was and is often used as a greeting. Paul, when opening his letters often would include a declaration of peace to the addressee (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3,  2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Colossians 1:2,  1 Thessalonians 1:2,  2 Thessalonians 1:2, etc.). Peace is used in the context of the gospel (Ephesians 6:15) and used to describe God (Romans 15:33, Romans 16:20, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 13:20). The case with peace in the context of God is that God is trying to break down areas of possible conflict and dividing walls that should otherwise not divide believers. Ephesians 2:14-19 describe Jesus as tearing down dividing walls and reconciling everyone into one peace with God. As mentioned before, peace for the believers is not freedom from strife, as the world has plenty to offer, but rather an inner peace that comes from knowing God. Paul says that Christians should let their gentle spirits be known to all men, and in anxiety pray to God. In doing so, the peace of God that surpasses understanding – that means it’s incomprehensible – will guard one’s heart and mind (Philippians 4:4-6).

For believers today, the demands for one’s time and energy are great. Not only that, but there are assaults that come from every direction whether in the form of persecution, temptation, or disagreement. It is difficult in most any circumstances to remain gentle and at peace. Rather than creating barriers between oneself and God and oneself and other believers, Paul says that the solution to this problem is making supplication before the father. There is no guarantee that the circumstances will be alleviated or even diminished. What is guaranteed is that the peace of God will guard one’s heart and mind in Christ Jesus – it will bring one back to Jesus who is the peacemaker between God and men!

Lord, help me to remember the source of peace when turmoil of whatever kind comes my way!

John 14:7-15

Read: John 14:7-15

Knowing Jesus is knowing God, because they are one and the same. For the disciples, they had a difficult time understanding this because Jesus was sitting there with them, and they saw the Father as a spiritual being whose existence transcended the world in which they existed. Jesus had just promised that he was going away to the Father to prepare a place for them, and Philip, the one Jesus tested when he fed 5000 (John 6:5-6), suggests that Jesus showing them the Father would be enough. Jesus then answers Philip, saying that he had he known Jesus, then he would also know the Father. Apparently, Philip hadn’t fully understood at this point. Jesus points Philip to the “works” that he was doing as a means to know that Jesus was one with the Father, and that the Father is working through him.

It’s not certain as to what “works” is referring to here. The word translated “work” and “works” is the Greek word “εργον” and is used exclusively in scripture to refer to deeds and works, but works can refer to miracles, acts of kindness, service, among other things. The deeds to which Jesus is appealing to are perhaps the entirety of his ministry from his words and deeds. Jesus follows this saying that they will do greater works then he does because he goes to be with the Father. One could mistakenly take this to mean that the disciples are greater than Jesus, but that’s not what Jesus is saying. Jesus says in John 6:29 that the work of God is to believe in Jesus and around work center his works. The works that they will be doing are greater than those of Jesus because Jesus will not be present because he is going to be with the Father. Jesus knew that they would go out from Jerusalem and declare to gospel to the ends of earth (Acts 1:8). The greatness of this work is greater in scope.

One of the most often misquoted passages in all of scriptures comes from John 14:12-13. Taken in isolation, it would seem that Jesus is offering the disciples a cosmic genie who will grant their every wish. What is certain is that the disciples early on were able to perform miracles. The purpose however was to authenticate their message and for the propagation of the gospel beyond Jerusalem to Samaria and Judea, to Antioch, then to the rest of the world. Knowing that the work of God is to believe in Jesus, this makes sense. Three observations in the text support this. First, Jesus says that he acts on the Father’s initiative because the Father is abiding in him. Christians have the same sort of relationship with the Father with the Holy Spirit abiding in them such that they should act on the Spirit’s initiative. Second, the purpose of asking for something from God is so that God would be glorified. Third, these verses are immediately followed by a statement concerning love and commandments. Those who love Jesus will obey his commandments, such that asking for something in Jesus’ should be in accordance with his commandments. The context indicates that asking for Jesus’ help should be done in the context of his abiding in one’s life, for his glory, and in accordance to his commands.

God’s commission to all who believe is to be involved in his work – that is to believe in Jesus. Even the purpose of John’s writing of his gospel so that some might believe (John 20:29-30). When Christians ask something from God, he or she should ask in accordance to what God would want so they can point others to Jesus. When the world asks about Jesus, Christians should be able to point to Jesus in their lives as Jesus should be making a difference in their lives. In other words, the deeds that people do should be a testimony to that brings glory to God. This way, many can know and believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus can save them from their sin!

Lord, let the works of my life and the things that I ask for bring glory to your name!