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John Week 1

1st Devotion in John

I am excited to be preaching through the Gospel of John.  We, as one church, will take this journey together.  As we study together each Sunday morning, I pray God will prompt you to devotionally study this Gospel in your quiet times.  I also pray that over the next few months we would commit to memorize several verses from this divine book. Memorizing the word of God always brings significant change.    Gerald L. Borchert tells of his first encounter with the Gospel of John that changed his life:

“When I was in sixth grade and living in Calgary something happened in my life that forever sealed this Gospel into the very core of my being. During that time I was placed in an isolation hospital for nearly a month and told that I would not be able to bring anything out when I emerged—everything would be burned! It was one of those old hospitals that had no telephones or radios in the rooms and certainly no television yet. I was left to myself without any direct means of communication with the outside world and every four hours for days was punctured with penicillin.

Before I departed for the hospital, however, my brother, Don, who is now the chair of philosophy at Ohio University, stuck in my hand a small paperback copy of the New Testament. Little did he know at the time that that book would become my most precious possession in the hospital. In my sense of being cut off from all of my loved ones, I made a promise to God that if people would send me letters, cards, or anything else, I would learn for each communication, a verse from the Bible. By chance or otherwise I chose the Gospel of John, and when I left the hospital I had memorized most of the Gospel.”

May God challenge us as we spend time in the book of John.  I’m sure we will not be isolated in the hospital for weeks like Gerald Borchert but spending a few minutes in God’s word each day will draw us near the Savior. Memorizing the word of God always brings significant change.

We can start memorizing the following passages over the next few weeks:

The week of:

July 2 – John 1:1
July 9 – John 1:12
July 16 – John 1:29
July 23 – John 1:41
July 30 – John 2:19

1Gerald L. Borchert, John 1–11, vol. 25A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996).
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I’m writing this devotion from Bulan, Philippines, a beautiful place that is home to wonderful people who take hospitality to a whole new level.  Hospitality is often over looked or misunderstood in our society, but is actually commanded in scripture. 

Hebrews 13:2 says: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers”. The literal Greek word is “love of strangers”.  The scripture assumes we will demonstrate hospitality to our friends, family and possibly neighbors but, to love strangers is a true act of hospitality and its actually quite powerful.


When you show hospitality, it makes people feel at home around you.  Don’t read past that that clause to quickly:  Making people feel at home around you; that is a gift.  You may have know someone for years but have never felt at home around them. Yet, you may meet someone and within hours, because of the way they interact with you, you feel at home in their presence very quickly.


A good question to ask ourselves is: Do other people feel at home around us? If not, is it because we are thinking more about ourselves than we are thinking of them.  Do we coddle personal desires and preferences to the extent that we are unwilling to show deference? These are challenging questions but remember, eternity might be at stake.  Hospitality is an important tool for evangelism.


When you’re hospitable, your presence frees people to relax and rest. Your hospitality opens people’s hearts, which is necessary for relationship to develop and grow. Evangelism, in many cases, depends on hospitality.  Those who show hospitality will be able to share the Good News of the Kingdom to open hearts, which often results in salvation.  By the way, showing hospitality does not always happen in your own house. You can be hospitable anywhere.


I was personally blessed by the hospitality of many in Bulan.  It was very humbling to be served so well by strangers.  These wonderful people reminded me of Jesus who deferred his needs in order to meet our needs. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich” (2Cor 8:9).  Now that’s hospitality! Lets all grow in hospitality as we reach people for Christ.


Pastor Mack


PS; Just found a good article on Hospitality: http://texanonline.net/archives/5629/

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