Day 20 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – The Coming of the Holy Spirit

Verse – John 16:13, When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

I will encourage you to pick up your bible and to read John 16:5-15. We need to understand the context of this conversation that Jesus is having with His disciples in the last moments of His ministry. Jesus is about to be separated from the disciples for the first time in three years. They are going to be alone, and they will begin to suffer because of their faithfulness to Him. (John 16:1-4) Jesus encourages them to not lose heart because of the presence of the Holy Spirit who is coming after he leaves. Jesus tells them that it is better for them that He leave so that the Holy Spirit will come! (John 16:7) Jesus lists benefits of the companionship of the Holy Spirit, which included dealing with sin, righteousness and judgment (16:8-11) Jesus also said that there were many other things that He wanted to teach them but that they were unable to handle these teachings at this time. So, the Holy Spirit would teach them these things at the right time. The Holy Spirit was His Spirit and would speak and teach as if it were Him speaking and teaching. The presence of the Holy spirit should be a comfort and encouragement to us today in the same way. As we are taught and led by the Spirit of God, it is the voice of Jesus that is directing us as we “Go.”

Prayer for today

Dear Lord,

I am so thankful and grateful for Your presence in my life. You are so good, so patient, so full of grace and mercy. The promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit to teach and guide me is an overwhelming blessing that I never want to take for granted. Please help me to live according to the Spirit and my life to bear fruit of this relationship as described in Galatians 5:22-23. In Jesus Name, Amen.


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Day 17 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Stay Ready

Verse – Matthew 24:44, Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:36-44 is a great passage to explain what will be happening when Jesus comes. People will not be expecting His return when it happens. It reminds us of our need to be ready for the event before it happens. We cannot wait until it happens and then try to prepare. So the question is simple, “Are you ready?” have you received forgiveness of your sins by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? Are you following Him? Have you surrendered your life to Him? If not, please do not let today pass you by. Because Jesus could come at any moment.

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, I pray that everyone who reads this devotion today will settle once and for all their relationship with You. If they have one, then Lord, help them to live a surrendered life. Lord, if they do not yet have a relationship with You, may they today ask for forgiveness of their sins and trust You with their eternity, In Jesus’ name, Amen.  


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Day 16 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – God’s Details Are in the Plan

Verse – Matthew 24:30-31, Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other.

The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ will cause an emotional response in all mankind. There will be those that believed in Him, “the elect” who will be celebrating, praising, and worshipping because of the fulfilled promise of our Lord’s return. Now, they will be with Him forever. Conversely, there will be many who will respond to the 2nd Coming of Christ with mourning. They are mourning because they did not follow Christ. Now they will recognize Him to be the Son of God, the Messiah. And because of their unbelief, they will be separated from God for eternity. Jesus spoke these teachings to the disciples to help them understand God’s plan for the nation Israel in the last day. But the universal application for us here is simple to understand – Believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved. Now, it is our responsibility to tell the world – the four winds – that Jesus Christ is Lord and today is the day of salvation.

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, thank You for Your promises. Thank You for always keeping Your Promises. Help me to tell as many as possible about Your plan for redemption and about Jesus. Today, help me tell just one. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 15 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – What are the signs?

Verse – Matthew 24:3, As He sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”

The passage in Matthew 24-25 represents one of the greatest teachings about the end times and the future of Israel. The disciples asked Jesus about these events because of His comments about the Temple being destroyed. (Matt 24:1) Jesus wanted the disciples, and all of those that would believe the Gospel message they would share, to have faith in the redemption plan of God. It would surely come to pass. The events of the last days described by Jesus look similar to today’s headlines. I believe that we are living in the latter end of the last days. I believe Jesus could come back for His church anytime. Jesus did not want the disciples or you or me to be surprised and caught off guard. The question becomes, “Are you ready?”

Prayer for today –       

Dear Lord, as we ponder the passage of the day, it causes us to look forward to the fulfillment of Your promises. Today could be the day! But Lord, this also causes me concern. I know that there are many that will be left behind because they do not know You. Lord, please give me the opportunity to share the Gospel with someone today. Thank You for Your grace and mercy and for the assurance of salvation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  


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Day 14 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Jesus’ Authority

Verse – Luke 20:8, And Jesus sad to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

In this passage, authority comes from the Greek word exousia, which means power, right, or jurisdiction. When we look at the authority police officers have been given, we understand that they are limited to exercise that authority in the jurisdiction that they serve. The Pharisees were given authority in the Temple to regulate activity and to protect their customs and traditions. So, when Jesus came in and threw out the money changers from the Temple, the Pharisees demanded to know who gave Jesus the authority to do what He had done. When we surrender our lives to Jesus and receive the forgiveness of our sins, we surrender the authority or jurisdiction of heart to Jesus. He now has jurisdiction of our heart. Paul said this well in Galatians 2:20, ““I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Prayer for today –

Dear Lord, I recognize this issue of authority is the greatest issue of the heart. As I live Lord, help me to live in and under Your authority, Your jurisdiction. Forgive me when I try to take Your authority as my own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  


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Day 13 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – God’s House of Prayer

Verse – Matthew 21:13, He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

When Jesus entered the Temple complex during His 8 days in Jerusalem, He was appalled at the unrighteous behavior and the blatant disregard of reverence for the Lord. The Temple priests had allowed the Temple to become a place of business rather than a place of worship. And to make matters worse, the businessmen were exploiting the poor and needy by overcharging for worship supplies and undervaluing the trade value of the Temple coins. Jesus responded with righteous indignation and threw the money changers and businessman out of the Temple. What behaviors do you observe in church that get in the way of worship? What about your own personal worship? What value do you place on worship? Is there any attitudes or behaviors that you need to throw out of your life to refocus your worship on God? Spend time today asking the Lord to help identify one area in your life that could be addressed to improve your worship of God.  

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, thank you for another day to worship You. You alone are worthy. Please help me identify areas of my life that are interfering with my relationship with You. Help me to turn away from anything or anyone that is distracting me from worshipping You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 10 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Jesus’ Anticipated Arrival

Verse – John 12:13, “So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

The scene must have been exnihilating and confusing at the same time. The crowds gathered to welcome a conquering hero. This was the customary welcome for a military leader who had secured a victory on behalf of the people. They would gather to congratulate the victor and celebrate the victory. The military leader would ride in on his large white horse looking regal and impressive. But here was Jesus riding in on a donkey, humbly and unimpressive. Yet, there was something about Him. Jesus had a purpose and mission about Him. He was headed somewhere. He had something to do. The people were shouting a victorious message. But Jesus’ victory was still to be won. The people had heard of Jesus’ miracles and how H had raised Lazarus from the dead. Thy were hoping and expecting Him to overthrow the Romans. They would soon turn on Jesus because He did not meet their expectations. Jesus’ mission was so much higher and more important that thy could ever imagine. His victory was not just for them; it was for all humanity.

Prayer for today

Dear Lord, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that Hs mission was not just to please the people. Thank you for a Savior who took my place, paid my price, saved my soul. Forgive me when my expectations of You do not align with Your mission for me. Change my heart to love like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 9 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Celebrate the King!

Verse – Luke 19:37b-38, The whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice…saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

If you joined us yesterday for our devotion, you will remember that Jesus stopped and wept over Jerusalem on His descent from the Mount of Olives. He had a perfect view of the Temple and the surrounding area of the city from His vantage point. Our passage today takes us just a few minutes later when the despair of disbelief gave way to a glorious celebration. Jesus made His way to the bottom of the Mount of Olives and across the Kidron Valley. As He drew near the path leading up to the gate of the city, they recognized Him as the One who raised Lazarus from the dead. They started to get louder and louder and lined the street to see Him. They got palm branches and laid them out in the road and started to cheer for Jesus. The Pharisees were annoyed and commanded Jesus to make them stop. But they would not. They were there to celebrate. Followers of Christ should remember that we have much to celebrate in Jesus. Today, stop and have a celebration moment for the King!

 

Prayer for Today –

Dear Lord, with all of the pain, brokenness, and uncertainty in the world today, sometimes I find it difficult to celebrate. It is sometimes difficult to live above the despair and discouragement. Help me Lord to focus on You and not on the world. Help me to remember the victory that is found in You. Thank you for overcoming sin and death. Thank you for allowing me to share in Your victory, by faith. Lord, you are worthy to be praised, celebrated! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Day 8 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Weeping Over Jerusalem

Verse – Luke 19:41, “And when He drew near and saw the city, he wept over it.”

Jesus was a man of compassion, concern, and care. This is the second time in just a few days that the Gospels record Jesus weeping. John 11:35 records Jesus emotional response as He stood before the tomb of His friend, Lazarus. He then raised Lazarus from the dead. As he descends the Mount of Olives on the day of His triumphal entry, Jesus stops and weeps over Jerusalem or more precisely, the people of Jerusalem. Lazarus was dead physically; they are dead spiritually. They will reject Jesus as the Messiah. They will reject His attempt to bring them into new life. Jesus’ compassion for the lost was evident on that descent. It is still evident today. A question to ask ourselves today – Do we weep over the lostness of our city?

 

Prayer for today

Dear Lord,

Please break my heart for what breaks Yours. I see Your emotion when it comes to the brokenness and lost of this world. I must confess that I am more concerned about me than about the brokenness around me. Help me to love the way You do. Help me to care the way You do. Thank You Jesus for Your love and compassion in my life. Help me to now live in a way to show love and compassion to those that do not yet know You.
 
In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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Day 7 – 8 Days in Jerusalem

Theme – Up to Jerusalem

Verse – Matthew 20:18, ““Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death,

Many times, when I read this part of Jesus’ story, I wonder what it was like for the disciples to hear this hard news. They must have felt discouraged, disheartened and in disbelief. But, think for a minute what Jesus must have been thinking or feeling as He shared this with His disciples. He knew this was the path that must be taken and yet, He willingly moved toward Jerusalem evr closer to the cross. Sometimes, we only think of our own reactions or feelings in our faith journey with Jesus. Maybe we should pause for a minute and consider things from Jesus’ perspective. We could learn something about ourselves and about Jesus  if we take the time to listen.
 
Prayer for today

Dear Lord,

I need your help in getting my focus off myself and onto You. Help me  see things from Your perspective. Help me to understand that I am part of something bigger. Help me, change my heart and mind to Yours. Thank you for Your love and patience with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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