“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
We may rely on this biblical truth in Timothy. While this is true, staff have looked at some specific scripture from Jesus for this Easter devotional. We often wonder what it may have been like for disciples and others who were privileged to be with Christ when he dwelt among us. Some day, all believers will have the experience of being in the presence of Jesus. Let’s look at some passages from Jesus and reflect on what our Lord wants us to know. Thank you for joining us at the Master’s feet.
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Ash Wednesday - John 16:33
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 ESV
This is one of the comforting scriptures in the Gospel of John, among many verses. This verse talks of comfort, warning, encouragement, and, most importantly, provides hope amidst the sorrows we face.
Jesus Christ told the Disciples that he and they would suffer. And even though they would experience mourning and pain after Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit would come and comfort them. Ultimately the Disciples would be with Jesus Christ, a peace that is eternal.
When we talk of peace, it is not the absence of troubles or suffering but the presence of God in everything that happens in our life. The challenges of this life do not have a schedule, nor do we get informed before they occur. They occur unexpectedly, and they leave worries and sorrows in our hearts. No one can escape hard times on this earth.
We only need to strive to become like Christ, although it is not easy. We should not be stopped by all these challenges but rather face them and overcome them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Regardless of what we face or what comes our way, take heart and be courageous. Christ has come to conquer for us, Glory.
Dear Father, thank you for sending us your only son Jesus Christ to give us peace in this world full of trouble. We thank you so much for his atonement work on the Cross for our sake. We pray that you continue fighting for us and experience victories in times of trouble, such as hunger, diseases, disunity, and evil among ourselves in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for every means you use to bring peace to the troubled heart, healing to the sick, and food to the hungry in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Isaiah is a parent advisor in Malawi
Sunday, FEBRUARY 26 - Matthew 22: 37-40
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22: 37-40 ESV
Jesus summed up the entire Old Testament in these two interconnected commandments in response to a question from a teacher of the Law who wanted to test Him. The heart, soul and mind describe the centers of emotion, action, and thought. The point of the command is not to see them separately but to view them as every aspect of a person fully committed to loving God. A pure, uninterrupted commitment to God and His will is the basis of a proper relationship with Him. Agape love is an act of will, not just a passing emotion that we may feel toward God from time to time. This love demands total surrender and a sovereign preference for God. We are asked to love God this way because God loved us first, and His love for us is immeasurable. When we love God with our whole being, we simply fulfill God’s purpose in our lives and find the most joy.
The second greatest commandment is based on the assumption that human beings naturally love and care for themselves more than others. What has come to be known as the Golden Rule helps explain what it means to love our neighbor as we love ourselves: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). The love of our neighbor as ourselves can spring only from the love of God as its source. This is made possible because of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, as God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
This is the teaching of Jesus! How happy would families, communities and nations be if these two commandments were obeyed! Love God and love your neighbors!
God, I want to thank you for loving me while I was still a sinner and restoring me into a relationship with you through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit. I want to love you with all of my being. Let nothing distract me from giving you my full affection. Empower me to love others, especially those suffering, as I love myself. I know I cannot do it with my own strength, in Jesus’ Name.
Jaisankar (Jai) Sarma, Ph.D., is vice president of programs for Hope Walks
Sunday, March 5 - Matthew 7: 7-8
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8 ESV
A decree is a signed and stamped law with legal value. God is not a man to lie nor a son of man to recant. What he said, does he not carry it out? What he promises, does he not fulfill? Do we have the capacity to take the first steps on the waters as Peter did? Do we dare cast our nets into the lake because the master has ordered? (Numbers 23:19).
In its immediate context, the passage of our appeal comes in response to the need of the disciples who wanted to learn to pray as John the Baptist taught his disciples. After teaching them the prayer of the “Our Father… (Luke 11:1-4)”, Jesus continued with an illustration about two friends, one of whom went to get bread from the other in the middle of the night, but the latter refused to help him (Luke 11:5-7). Then, Jesus gave this decree (Luke 11:9-10/ Matthew 7:7-8):
- Ask, and it will be given to you. For everyone who asks receives.
- Seek, and you will find; the one who seeks finds.
- Knock, and the door will be opened to you; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened
Jesus shows us how different our heavenly Father is from men. He is ready to give us even his best: the Holy Spirit if we ask.
A man may refuse to listen to your voice and be unable to act on your needs. But God is a loving Father who always gives his children the best. If God allows those who do not seek him to find him, what about you (his son/his daughter)? Come boldly into his presence and ask whatever you want. You’re invited to knock on your Father’s house door. You are sons and daughters of the Kingdom.
Heavenly Father, give us the courage to act on your words! Give us the strength to believe in your decrees! Come to the rescue of our weaknesses so that we remain your children who do your will and rejoice in your ways. In the name of Jesus! Amen
Moussa Yahaya is the program manager in Niger
Sunday, March 12 - John 14:6
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
In the days of the Roman Empires, there was a saying, “All roads lead to Rome.”
Although people may travel any way they want to enter Rome, not all roads lead to eternal life. This is why Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” In particular, his saying, “No one comes to the Father except through me,” assures us that he is the only way to reach the Father.
The second thing Jesus says in this passage is, “I am the truth.” Jesus is not only the only way to eternal life but also the true way. For example, when we travel by road to reach a specific place, we ask the people around us to point us in the right direction if we do not know the way.
However, people can occasionally lead us astray by pointing us in the wrong direction. So we can ask many people repeatedly to ensure their suggestions are real. Beloved family, Jesus is the only true way that leads us to the Father.
The third and last is what Jesus said, “I am the life.” Jesus is life itself. Jesus is a living Savior who does not only give life to our dead lives. That’s why John 6:48 says, “I am the bread of life.” The Bible clearly tells us that there is eternal death and eternal life after we leave this world. But those who believe and follow Jesus will enter eternal life because Jesus is life.
Dear family of Christ, may we fulfill our salvation during this Easter holiday by thinking of Jesus, who gave himself on the cross to save us and reconcile us with the Father.
Lord our God, we thank you for giving us Jesus Christ, who is the true way of life. Lord Jesus, thank you for giving yourself to reconcile us to the Father and being our true way of life. Help us to keep the way of life you’ve given us until the end. In the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.
Henok Negash is a counseling coordinator in Ethiopia
Sunday, March 19 - Matthew 5:16
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
If you were to describe yourself in terms of light, what form would you be?
Jesus Christ, in part of His sermon on the mount, says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.
A lot of people are living in hopelessness, and that is because of their challenging situations. In His message, Christ helps the multitudes to understand that unfairness, hardship such as hunger, illness, poverty, persecution, and even death will be present. Still, because they have become citizens of God’s kingdom, the blessings promised by God are for everyone who will accept Christ and become part of the kingdom of God.
What kind of light can the followers of Christ become for good works to be seen and God’s glory to be revealed? Darkness, it’s said, is a symbol of God’s absence, and light is a symbol of God’s presence, so is Christ expecting believers to shine as the invisible or the visible light?
The call is for believers to shine for the good works to be seen, hence, a visible form. However, the visibility isn’t the glow version or any other forms that come with different colors and excite people temporarily, but rather a true reflection of who Christ Jesus is, showing love, compassion, and care towards the brokenhearted, downtrodden, and the sick people in and around various communities.
The Bible predicts darkness (problems) over the earth and its people (Isaiah 60:2). However, as Jesus preaches in Matthew 5, God’s people are blessed. We’re called to share these blessings for others to feel God’s love and presence in their lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, we sincerely desire to become the torchbearers of your love, care, and compassion to those who do not feel your presence because of the challenges they face in their personal lives, families, workplaces, schools, and so on. Please, empower us through the Holy Spirit to shine this beautiful light of love in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen!
Joseph Andrews is a parent advisor in Ghana
Sunday, March 26 - John 10:10
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10 ESV
God did not only love us, but he loved us to the point of desiring the redemption of man who fell under the dominion of Satan because of sin. The thief, Satan, the devil, has only one project: to steal, kill and destroy. The life given by Christ is the absolute fullness of life. Christ views everyone as sheep worthy of abundant life, but accessible only through faith in Him. Abundance is an ease provided by material resources, and it is also having more than enough.
The thief represents the devil who has come to steal the abundant material life of human beings. Thus, the salvation brought by Christ would aim to appropriate the resources diverted by the enemy of our souls, what John would call abundant life. Jesus is the door by which only the shepherds and the sheep enter the kingdom of God; in this kingdom, he is the supreme leader of both.
Jesus contrasts the thief, who has only thoughts of injustice, murder, and destruction, with Himself, the source of eternal life. By affirming his infinite compassion and love for the sheep, Jesus prepares the revelation he will give by presenting Himself as the good shepherd.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love to send Jesus to be the Shepherd of shepherds and the Shepherd of sheep. Thank you, God, for He is the door to enter your kingdom and live eternally for all who believe in His name. I pray for people and those who read this passage to receive abundant salvation and enter the Kingdom of God.
In the name of Jesus, I praise and pray. Amen.
Jean Claude Habyarimana is the program manager for Rwanda
Sunday, April 2 - Matthew 23:12
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
When referring to the context in which Jesus spoke these words, we can see that Jesus was talking to a crowd and his disciples. He warned them not to follow the behavior of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. Jesus described those religious leaders as people who exalted themselves, were interested in pleasing men rather than God, and taught the truth but did not practice it. They were self-centered people who always tended to attract people’s attention and did not care about practicing God’s instructions. They were not ready to observe what Jesus said in John 13:14 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also wash one another’s feet.”
According to what Jesus said in Matthew 23:11, the greatness of a man is in serving others but not in being served. “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Jesus was God and Teacher, but because of his love, He did not exalt himself but humbled himself and made himself a servant of his disciples.
In this scripture, Jesus, the best master of all times, invites us to demonstrate a life of humility and to learn from Him, not from people who act like the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. He also clarifies that if we do not obey his instructions regarding humility, we should expect to be humbled in one way or another.
May Jesus our Lord help us. Amen
Our Heavenly Father, Lord, and Savior, I, your servant, invite you to be with us and give us the correct understanding of your secret hidden in this text in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Pastor NTAHINTIRIJE Salvator is a parent advisor for Hope Walks in Burundi
Sunday, April 9 - John 4 13-14
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4: 13-14
Jesus is headed to Galilee from Judea; he chooses to pass through Samaria (John 4:4). Samaria and its inhabitants have an existing historical problem with the rest of the Jews, which causes them to become objects of stigma and discrimination.
Jesus asks for water from the Samaritan woman. She points out that as a Samaritan, she should have no dealings with Jesus – John 4:9.
The well water does not cure thirst eternally, but the living water that Jesus provides has that ability. Like Nicodemus of old, that concept to her is strange and does not make sense.
Jesus’ living water creates a well that is a ticket to everlasting life.
Jesus gives the water in small doses. Immediately, she rediscovers herself and rushes back to the village as an evangelist.
- The Samaritan woman’s ministry potential is compromised by two problems: traditional and universal. She is Samaritan and a prostitute; at the Master’s feet, she receives mercy and becomes an evangelist.
- There are histo-cultural and other human-based factors that may affect our ministry potential and cause us to fall short of fulfilling God’s will. To the Samaritans, it is their identity.
- Our ministry is to the entire humanity without stigma and discrimination. Jesus demonstrates this by intentionally choosing to go through Samaria and staying there for two days.
- Each person has a view of and about themselves. These views often are inaccurate or unfounded perceptions. We must demystify the fears these views introduce and show people the value side of themselves.
At the Master’s feet, this is all possible.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the enlightenment and inspiration of your word in my life. Encourage me to remain faithful in my calling, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Bernard is a parent advisor for CCK, Hope Walks’ partner in Kenya