John 14:15-21, 27 (NIV)

15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.1 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor2 to be with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth.3 The world cannot accept him,4 because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bea in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans;5 I will come to you.6 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.7 Because I live, you also will live.8 20 On that day9 you will realize that I am in my Father,10 and you are in me, and I am in you.11 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.12 He who loves me will be loved by my Father,13 and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.1 I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled2 and do not be afraid.                            

Matthew 14:29 (NRSV)

16 “For God so loved1 the world that he gave2 his one and only Son,a3 that whoever believes4 in him shall not perish but have eternal life.5                            

DEVOTION – Kathleen Buskirk (California)

I had been diagnosed with a rare cancer.  On Easter morning, my husband and I clung to each other in church, especially moved by our pastor’s proclamation, “Jesus dies for our sins, and today he has risen and is alive.  He conquered death so that we can live eternally in heaven with our merciful God.  This, friend, changes everything.”

As we let the pastor’s words sink in, my husband and I exchanged a glance.  Our minds were whirling with the news of my cancer and with the task of telling our children.  In the past, I would have spun out of control with worry.  But 12 year ago, I invited Jesus Christ to be Lord of my life.  I trust him not only with my cancer but also with every breath I take and with my salvation when I leave this world.

Knowing that life is preparation for eternity and realizing that I am forgiven and will spend eternity with God gives me security and peace.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).  This, friends, changes everything.  Because I feel Jesus’ constant love and presence, I can cope with my diagnosis, praying constantly, instead of worrying.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The promise of Easter changes everything.

PRAYER: Loving God, increase our faith, fill our hearts with your peace, and help us to trust you in all the circumstances of our lives.  Amen.