Thursday, December 3
All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. John 16:1
The temptation to “fall away”—to stumble, err, falter—is never greater than when we live in the midst of unmet expectations, political and physical turmoil, personal disappointments. That’s exactly the place where Jesus’ friends were living as he prepared them for a difficult future, so he gave them “preparation information” (John 14 and 15), resources to see them—and us—through the testing days that lay ahead. How do his words apply as we are tempted to stumble and falter during these Advent days when we see few glimmers of hope and healing?
- Refuse to worry—Don’t let your hearts be troubled.
- Trust when it seems foolish—Trust in God.
- Obey even without understanding—If you love me, keep my commands.
- Invite his peace into your life—Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
- Stay connected—I am the true vine…Remain in me.
- Anticipate hard things—Every branch that bears fruit he prunes.
- Enjoy God’s love!—As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
- Expect opposition—If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
- Believe and live in the power of God’s Spirit—I will send him to you.
Much in our world today—both in the larger realm and in our private sphere—tempts us to fall away. Take time today to meditate on each aspect of the all this Jesus told his disciples. What is most difficult for you to live into? How are you seeing God give power to triumph?
Repent in gratitude. Rejoice in obedience!