John 14:15-27 (NRSV)

15 “If you love me, you will keep a my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, b to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in c you. 18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, d the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

John 14:23 (NRSV)

23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.                            

DEVOTION -Earl Dickerson (Kentucky)

My wife, Berta, had been paralyzed for two decades and was now hospitalized with pneumonia.  The bishop called to encourage us and commended me for the way I had cared for my wife since the accident that led to her paralysis.

I appreciated the bishop’s attempt to support us.  But, tired as I was, I was more direct than usual.  “Don’t praise me for not breaking my word.  I’m only keeping my promise I made when we married.”  That day we had promised God, our pastor, and the church that we would care for each other “in sickness and in health…so long as [we] both shall live.”

I explained that the thing that makes my actions possible is the certainty that I am doing the will of God.  After all, how often do we actually have the certainty?

Being a long-term caregiver is certainly difficult.  I don’t always do it as well as I should, and I require constant help from God and God’s people.  But in this matter I am doing the will of God.

I have discovered that loving Jesus and obeying Jesus are two sides of the same coin.  And in my experience, when God calls us to do something, God gives us the ability to obey.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: There is tremendous power in obeying God.

PRAYER: O God, thank you for working through us so that we may be as Christ to others.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: LONG-TERM CAREGIVERS

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