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 26: My Foolishness – Proverbs 26

day 26 pic of pink flower

“There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.” Proverbs 26:12 (NLT)

I’ve recently talked with a few others about avoiding the back and forth conversations about all that is happening in our world. From all the virus do’s and don’ts, to politics to social injustice, there is just so much going around. The truth is I do not have all the right answers to all this and I don’t want to act like I do. There are so many who do think they are right about some or all of it, and maybe that is true. But, engaging in conversations that lead to name calling, hurtful comments and broken relationships helps no one and nothing is resolved. I do not want to act foolishly thinking I am right and what I have to say is right.

I’m not saying that those who engage in debates or conversations about all that is happening are fools. Although, some of what is being said is foolish and it helps no one. I cannot think I am so wise that I cannot listen. And the key is listening! I don’t know it all. I haven’t walked in other’s shoes experiencing life from their perspective. I can only know, learn and understand if I listen.

I don’t want to be a foolish person walking and talking as if I am the one with all the wisdom. Wisdom comes from the Word and from experience. I’m learning and understanding new truths from God’s Word every day and I plan to continue learning for everyday of my life. I can also learn from others experience. I’ve only experienced what I’ve experienced, so other’s insights will help me gain more wisdom.

If I think I know it all and have the right answer, then I’m a fool! I do have wisdom and understanding and many things and when I can, sharing that wisdom can be helpful. I must also use wisdom when I do share, if I’m only speaking to a fool who will not listen and will turn my words, then I to am being foolish.

Lord, help me to know when to speak and when to be silent. Help me to listen, truly listen to others. Continue to teach me through your Word and put others in my life who can speak truth and wisdom into my life. Help me to speak only things that will bring hope, peace, comfort and unity to those I engage with. Help me to learn, grow and understand through what others say and most importantly through your Word. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 26? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation in our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 22: Listen and Apply – Proverbs 22

day 22 pic of daisies

“Listen to these words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction. For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips. I am teaching you today, yes you, so you will trust in the Lord.” Proverbs 22:17-19 (NLT)

The Word is full of wisdom, insights and instruction for my life. The older I get and the more I read His Word, the more confident I am in saying there really is an answer for every need in my life. His Word truly is my instruction manual for life. But I can’t just read it, I must let it transform my heart and I must apply it.

Verse 18 tells me to always keep them ready. This says to me I may not know when I need the wisdom, but if I know it then I’ll be ready. Rady to respond to life situations in wisdom. I’ll be ready to make small of large decisions with wisdom. Knowing His Word, letting it penetrate and transform my heart gives me confidence and understanding and allows me to be successful in all parts of my life.

I must keep His Word before me, reading and studying it. I must give opportunity for His Word to speak to me daily reminding me of who He is and what His promises are. The Word of God must be the loudest voice and influence in my life.

Thank you, Lord, for your Word. Thank you for the wisdom you have for me on each page. I pray for understanding and insights to apply the instruction and direction it gives me. Help me to memorize it and keep it close to me so I’m ready. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 22? Share in the comment section below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group

Day 12: More About My Words – Proverbs 12

Day 12 picture of blue flowers in a field

“The words of the Godly save lives.” Proverbs 12:6b

“Wise words bring many benefits.” Proverbs 12:14

“The Wise listen to others.” Proverbs 12:15b

“An honest witness tells the truth.” Proverbs 12:17

“The words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18b

“Truthful words stand the test of time.” Proverbs 12:19

“He delights in those who tell the truth.” Proverbs 12:22b

“An encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25b

“The Godly give good advice to their friends.” Proverbs 12:26

There is just so much in Proverbs about words. How words can tear down, destroy and lead us astray.  My words are so very important. I must seek wisdom and allow the Holy Spirit to filter my words. I desire that my words bring life, healing, hope, comfort, encouragement and that they bring delight to the Lord. I want my words to be truthful and lead others to salvation.

I also want wisdom to know when to be quiet and listen. Often, I think I just need to say what I’m thinking, you know, because what I have to say is so very important……so I think!   The wiser thing may be to just listen. Listen with my ears, but listen with my heart.  Listen in a way that I truly am hearing what is being said and not just waiting for the opportunity to speak.

Lord, I pray today for wisdom with my words. Lead me to know when to be quiet and listen and help me hear what is being said. Give me wisdom with my words, leading me to speak words that are life giving. Words that bring healing and comfort. Words of hope and life. And when necessary, words that bring correction and lead those around me to You. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs11? ? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our 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.