“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard Me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over Me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what My Father has commanded Me. ~ Come now; let us leave.’” John 14:23-31
I have an odd conundrum of sorts in writing this devotional/blog entry; I could take it in two directions. I could write about the importance of “last words” and how they can influence our lives. These (and those we will look at through the end of John 17) are the last words of Jesus before He followed the will of His Father and went to the cross; He had a lot to say to both His apostles/disciples and to us. However, I am going to take the 2nd path; I am going to talk about the very recent headlines from “Dancing with the Stars.” I have to share how angry and offended I was when I read the headline, “Candace Cameron’s Christianity Comes Out of the Closet.” First, I was angry because of the use of the phrase “comes out of the closet.” This young wife and mother of three has done nothing to keep her love of and dedication to Jesus IN the closet; how can the liberal media use her simply refusing to perform a sexually explicit dance asking her partner, instead, to choreograph it as a romantic, sensual dance as a platform to bash Christianity. I was offended because a phrase commonly used to refer to an attempt to hide socially unacceptable behavior behind closed doors was used to describe Candace Cameron’s testimony to her faith in Jesus Christ.
In this passage, Jesus is speaking with those who had been His inner circle for many years, probably including His mother Mary. His words were meant to be instructive, assuring, and comforting. He knew their hearts; He knew they loved Him but also that they would be challenged in their faith. Yet, not only was He speaking with them but also giving instructions for living a Christian life throughout the ages. Then He speaks a promise. “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. (…) Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” These words and the accompanying promise are as true today as they were in that upper room. I pray that the lovely young wife and mother, while learning her dance for next week, is feeling the peace Jesus promised right now!
“In the upper room there’s quite enough love for all the world,
And in the upper room there’s quite enough joy for all the world,
And there’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom,
For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in the upper room.”
(original lyrics by Ron Harris)
Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society
Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone
Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org