In a Little While—Joy

Friday of the Sixth Week in Easter, Year B    John 16:16-33

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

Verses of great promise are here that we need to commit to memory. “Whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you.”

This will happen because ironically, Jesus is going away. He plays on the notion of a “little while.” He is going to be taken away in the coming crucifixion, but soon after, he is coming again in the Holy Spirit, bringing a joy that no one can take away.

Think of it: no one can take away the joy that Jesus longs to give you in the Holy Spirit! You and I will go through various mood swings from those sinful tendencies of selfishness and fear that still lurk about, but they need not last very long. “In a little while” joy can return. Joy is to be the continual state of our lives as Christians.

The Reading for Today


Fridays in the Easter Season are dedicated to the Gospel of John.



Daily Bible Breaths

This week: version for Children and Families

The Logic of Love

The Sixth Sunday in Easter, Year B    John 15:9-17

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

The power of God’s love for us is complete. Just as is the love between the Father and the Son, so is the love between Jesus and us. We can only get a glimpse at understanding this divine reality. However, beyond their human grasp is the embracing of these truths by faith.

Just accept Jesus’ acceptance of you. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. “Jesus died for you. This divine love is to flow toward one another. Remember the words of Jesus in John 13:34: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Will you die in self-sacrifice for your brothers and sisters

The Reading for Today


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.


Daily Bible Breaths

This week: version for Children and Families

The Last “I Am” Name

The Fifth Sunday in Easter, Year B
John 15:1-8

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter. Click on the image.

Jesus gives his seventh and last “I AM” name: “I am the True Vine.” There echoes in the hearts of the disciples this ancient symbol used by Isaiah (5:1-7), Jeremiah (2:21) and Ezekiel (19:10-12), among others. “Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard” (Isaiah 5:1). Jesus is the one who embraces the New Vine. The only Son of God is the place to find the New Community. We are to be branches of the vine, which is Jesus. The life force is the Holy Spirit.

Pruning increases our fruit-producing power. Suffering is the passage, unique to each person that can move us from death to self, to life in Jesus.

Abide in Jesus. Rest in him. As you sit, stand or kneel in prayer, let your imagination, illumined and made real by faith, engraft you onto this wondrous vine.


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.


Daily Bible Breaths

This week: version for Children and Families

Intimacy with God

The Third Sunday in Epiphany
John 1:43-51

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Disciples of John the Baptist become disciples of Jesus, one by one. With each added disciple, there is a gradual revelation about who Jesus is, culminating in, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

In your heart, paint the picture of the exchange of the disciples from John to Jesus. Follow the direction of the finger of John pointing him out as the Lamb of God. Imagine you are drifting to Jesus as a new disciple. The Holy Spirit graces you with the gift of adherence to him; this is John’s understanding of “belief.” Spend the day with Jesus and the others. In your journal, write a dialogue between you and him, as though you had just met. What words of intimacy flow between you and Jesus?


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from The Revised Common Lectionary.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Receive and Believe

The Third Sunday in Advent
John 1:6-8;12-28

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Karl Walenda, father of the famous family of tightrope walkers, once crossed over Niagara Falls. As he was about to go, he struck up a conversation with someone standing by to watch the feat. Karl turned to the person and asked: “Do you think that I can do it?” “Of course you can,” came the reply. “You’re Karl Walenda!” Karl responded, “Then if you really believe me, jump on my shoulders and go with me!”

The heart of today’s reading is the two words, “receive” and “believe.” Receive Jesus and believe in him. “Believe” in John’s Gospel means an active, total surrender to the Lord. The key words become two dynamic aspects of one reality. When you surrender to Jesus, he enters your heart to dwell there.


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from The Revised Common Lectionary.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Spirit-Water

Sundays: The Gospels from the Lectionary
John 7:37–39

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


El Greco – “Pentecost”

In seasons of drought, there are strict limits on the use of water. Even then, extreme scarcity of water in affluent countries is non-existent. This is not the case for the Middle East in ancient times. For the Hebrew people, water was a blessing from God, especially manifest during the years of wandering in the desert when miracle-water from the rock flowed.

The great autumn festival of Tabernacles celebrates all these years of wandering. On the last day of this feast, the priest would walk about the altar with water freshly drawn. Today rabbis pray for rain at the close of this
festival.

Picture the Temple with Jesus standing amid the crowd as the ritual of water takes place. He has overturned
the money tables in chapter 2 at the Passover Festival. Now he breaks in upon the singing crowd with the ear-piercing cry of verse 38. “Let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
In my thirst, I come to You. v. 37
As I drink, I surrender. v. 38
Living water from my heart v. 38
You in glory; Spirit comes. v. 39

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Second Week in Pentecost, Year A.(The first week occurred at the end of the season of Epiphany.)
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image – El Greco: “Pentecost”

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Secure in Jesus’ Hands

Fridays: The Gospels
John 10:22-42

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://armedmagazine.com

Jesus meets persistent resistance in the Jewish leaders. They choose to argue Jesus out of their lives. Arguments have no place with faith. Mental battles keep energy in the head, blocking that faith which comes from the heart. We are called to pass from death to life in Jesus.

Belief is a vigorous, total surrender to the Lord. Surrender in faith and rest secure in the hands of Jesus. The Lord Jesus is with you; no one can snatch you away from his hands.

Inwardly command whomever or whatever pushes for prominence to back off. All that matters is the presence of the Lord in whom you live, move, and have your being.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
You know me; I follow You. v. 27
You give me eternal life v. 28
No one snatching from Your hand v. 28
Doing works of the Father v. 37

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Seventh in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We read the Gospel of John during Lent and Easter.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image courtesy of http://www.walk-by-faith.com

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.