John 21: Follow Me

Journaling Through John Fall Picture leaves falling

“As for you, follow Me.” John 21:20. (NLT)

Jesus appears to some of His disciples for a third time. They are out in their boats and are not catching any fish. Jesus calls to them from the shore and tells them to throw their nets to the right side. They do what He says and their nets are filled. Peter swims to shore to be with Jesus.

Jesus asks Peter 3 times if He loves Him. Peter replies, yes each time. The third time, Peter is a little frustrated that He keeps asking Him, because He does love Him and has said yes. Jesus reply is to tell Peter, then “feed my sheep.” He is calling Peter to go and continue His ministry to people.

Another disciple is there and Peter asks Jesus, “What about him?” And Jesus replies in verse 22, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow Me.” Jesus is letting Peter know He needs to mind his own business and do what he is called to do. What the other does or does not do is none of his concern.

What a great reminder for me today. There are things God has called me to do. His plans and purposes for my life don’t match anyone else’s. What others do is not my concern. I must follow Him and obey the call and commands He has placed in my life. My life won’t look the same as anyone else’s. I can’t compare what I have done or have not done to others accomplishments.

Thank you Lord today for the plans and purpose you have for my life. I pray for a continued desire and determination to go after those things you are calling me to. May I not fall into the temptation to compare myself to others. I pray that I would keep my eyes fixed on you and follow where you go. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in chapter 21 of John? Share your insights in the comment section below.

Day 8: Joyful – Proverbs 8

day 8 picture - daisy

“Listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful.  Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home.” Proverbs 8:32-34 (NLT)

To me, joy is more than just a feeling. The Joy of the Lord is more than just being happy or experiencing good times. The kind of joy that I am talking about is possible even during the lows of life, in the difficulties in the uncertainties and it can be present in the chaos. This kind of joy is rooted in wisdom and faith.  It’s rooted in the understanding and in the revelation that He is who He says He is.

I long for this kind of joy to be evident in my life, not just so I can feel it. But so, it can go where I go. It can be so easy for me to think bringing my thoughts and corrections to those around me or into situations I encounter is what I should do. After all, I study God’s Word daily and don’t they need to hear and be set straight? Well, I’ve been there done that, and it gets you about as far as the door. Others around me don’t need to hear, or rather they don’t want to hear what I think they need to do different or better. They need to experience the presence of Jesus. They need me to love them. They need for the JOY inside of me to overflow onto them.

 And here’s the thing about this kind of joy, it doesn’t’ leave when I leave. It’s not just the laughter experienced because of a good joke. It’s not the “feel goods” during a friendly conversation. It’s a kind of joy that leaves residue on those it encounters and leaves them longing for more. It leads them to the Savior.

Here in verses 32-34, I read that joy comes when I seek out wisdom and follow it’s instruction. I can experience joy when I seek out wisdom, when I wait for wisdom. I can experience joy when I respond to wisdoms voice. Wisdom is so much more than just knowing what decision to make. Verse 35 says, “For whoever finds me (wisdom), finds LIFE AND receives FAVOR from the Lord.”

 To sum all this up, when I seek out wisdom, I will find it because it’s waiting for me to find it. Then, when I obey it’s instruction, I will be full of JOY, have LIFE and will receive FAVOR FROM THE LORD. If that doesn’t make me want to pursue and obey wisdom, I’m not sure what will.

 Thank you, Lord, for wisdom. Thank you for this revelation that wisdom is not hidden but is readily available to me. Lord, continue to give me understanding and insight. Let your joy fill me and overflow around me. Lord my prayer is that your wisdom will get in me so I can lead others to You. Amen.

 What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 8? Share in the comments below or on the Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group. 

Day 5: Listen – Proverbs 5

picture of bird in spring for day 5

“Listen carefully to my wise council.” Proverbs 5:1

“Listen and obey!” I say it to my kids all the time! Since they were old enough to follow any kind of instruction, I would remind them, listen to what I am saying and obey. When I would say these 3 words, my boys have learned to stop, be quiet and listen. They grew to understand that what I was about to say was non-negotiable AND it would require action on their part. This was not just a thing I need them to do for me, but it’s a life principle, listen to God and obey His instruction.

Listening requires me to be quiet. I must allow time in my day to be quiet and listen for God’s voice. There is so much noise in our lives today. So many distractions that keep us moving. I know I must be intentional to set time to just listen.

I’ve read somewhere that listening is a learned skill. It’s a practice that we must work on getting right. I know I have lots of words to say. I have strong opinions and ideas I’ve been intentional about teaching my boys to listen, but I myself must learn to listen. I must create space in my life to listen to my Father.

And then I must obey! This step is easy if the obedience action is something I like. Or, something easy. But it can be hard when He’s calling me out of my comfort zone. It can be hard when He is identifying sin in my life and calling me to repentance. It can be hard when He is asking me to forgive and extend grace to someone who has hurt me deeply.  It’s in those difficult moments that I must remember that He is for me and His instructions are for my good. They will keep me from destruction.

Father continue teaching me to listen. Help me to create more space in my life to just listen. Lead me to quiet moments where I can hear You. And give me the understanding and courage to walk out those things you speak. Amen.

You are invited to join us in the Journaling Through Proverbs  Facebook Group. I want to hear how you make intentional space in life to just listen to Him.