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There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

My daughter is amazing. She’s ten, going on 30 something at times. She’s bright and philosophical and has a heart for people who are struggling with life. She’s always writing down thoughts; paragraphs which seem far deeper than her years. One of her writings included this phrase, “Next time you complain because the shower is cold remember that someone else in the world is saying “Ah, I love this shower. I haven’t had a shower in weeks. They don’t care if it’s cold or warm, they just enjoy the shower.”

It’s easy to get sucked into the mindset that we need to be comfortable, to have a life that is free of pain, free of frustration, free of worry. God’s word tells us over and over again that we shouldn’t expect that kind of existence in this world. Jesus tells us ‘The foxes have holes, the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). He says this in reference to those who want to follow him. Discipleship has no place for those who seek an easy life here on earth.

To follow Christ may mean, we break ranks with the popular notions of our times. Being a Christ-follower means we step outside the realm of political correctness while at the same time exhibiting grace.

That’s the hard news. The good news is this. While we may struggle to find a place of rest here on earth, Jesus is preparing a place for us where we will finally receive what we all really seek in this world, a place called home.

Here we grow weary with the battle. Here we endure the hardship of living in a world that seems intent on destroying all we know is pleasing to our Father. Here we are forced to make difficult choices that may tarnish our earthly reputation. Our sense of belonging can be shattered by misunderstanding and suspicion.

Jesus words still ring true. Don’t be afraid. Don’t worry at the struggles of daily life. There’s a place for you. A place I’ve designed especially for you to enjoy for eternity. In this world we’ll have struggles, but He has overcome the world, and through him we can overcome as well (John 16:33).

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I strive to live for you every day. It seems as though it gets harder to make the decisions I need to make to follow you in a world intent on self-destruction. I praise you for the promise that I can overcome all that comes before me in your name. I praise you that I have a place with you; a place called home. Amen.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

Life has been described by some as a journey and in many ways it is. There is, however, an aspect of life which drives us to find a place to settle in, to find our niche’ in life, to find contentment, peace and fulfillment.

We look for this place in a variety of ways. For some it’s relationship. We have the need to love and be loved, and love looks different to different people. All too often relationships in and of themselves fail us. Love grows old. Our perspective on life changes. Things attack and seek to destroy relationship. When relationship dies, we find ourselves without a place in the journey.

Career is another avenue along the journey that people take to find their ‘place’ in life. Years of schooling, hours of hard work, sacrificing important things, including relationships, all for the goal of finding contentment and fulfillment in life. Times change. We grow old. But the luster of the almighty dollar becomes more of a burden than a blessing.

These are just two ways we seek to find our ‘place’ in this journey called life. You can add your own. It may be choosing friends over family, or family over friends; it may be religion and the hopes that your piety will win you some favor with your gods and man; it could be some addiction which allows you a few moments of escape from the potholes and rocks along the path; it could be community service and drowning your own pain by helping others out of theirs.

What ever it is we seek along this journey we come to the realization that Jesus was right after all. One day as he was talking with his disciples about the cost of following him he made the statement “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20.

In this is a truth we each must come to grips with. Even if we are Christ-followers and walk close to our Heavenly Father. Even if our relationships with God and man are strong and filled with love, grace and mercy, there’s emptiness in our soul that longs for a place of rest.

Dear pilgrim, let me remind you, as many New Testament writers have, that we are sojourners in a foreign land. This world is not our home. The more we seek a resting place, the more we realize that in spite of the comfort of our resting places, the rest is temporary.

One day, though we will rest! We will find a place where we will finally be able to fill the gaping space in our souls. A place where we will have and be and do all that we were created to do.

Jesus says, “I’m going to prepare a place…” Not just any place. Not a one-size-fits all place. Jesus left to go and prepare a place designed just for you! I like the idea of ‘rooms’. Special places in a large home where we can enjoy our time alone, yet always be close to those we love!

PRAYER; Father God, I often lose sight of what it really means to be on a journey. So many times I’ve tried to find ‘home’ in the things of the world and been disappointed in the result. Empower me with your Spirit to live in the realization that this world is not my home. With all the good things I’ve been blessed with, I look forward to coming home to you, to a place you have prepared just for me. Thank you for loving me so much! In Jesus name, Amen.


And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). John 1:42

Have you ever thought how much easier it would be to follow Jesus if you could see Him, touch Him and walk with Him physically every day? It is hard for you some day to worship and believe when you can’t see (with your eyes) the one who has given you the forgiveness and love you need? Being able to see Jesus doesn’t always make the road any easier.

When Simon came to Jesus he was searching for something different in his life. He was a fisherman and apparently a successful one. From what we read about him in the Bible and history he was an independent thinker and a natural born leader.

But Simon was also an arrogant, outspoken, stubborn, rude and bold man who frequently used foul language. Today, if you saw Simon on the street you’d think he was the last person on earth that would even be looking for Jesus much less become someone who would become the leader of your church. Simon was not a pleasant man to be around.

One day, at the invitation of his brother Andrew, Simon came to check out this ‘new kid on the block.’ As soon as Jesus met Simon He saw qualities in him that would be useful for the Kingdom. It wasn’t because Simon had ‘cleaned up his act’ on the way to meeting Jesus. He was still the proud, outspoken arrogant person he’d always been. But Jesus didn’t look at the exterior attributes of this man. He looked at the heart. He looked at the potential in this man.

If you were to follow the life of Peter from that day forward you would see a man that grew strong in the Lord and eventually did great and mighty miracles. But he was the same Simon. He still had tendencies to go his own way. He still stumbled and rebelled. In fact, Simon denied that he even knew Jesus! That was the ultimate rejection!

Because of Jesus, Simon Peter was able to use many of the positive qualities such as his boldness to speak out, his leadership abilities and his passion to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. But those negative qualities were always there in the corner ready and willing to attack and try to bring him down.

Although we think it would be easier to live for Jesus if we could see Him, it isn’t really so. We will always have battle with our inner selves, with those old habits, those selfish ways and those desires to have things our own way.

Jesus looked at Simon and saw the good things about him. He said to him, “I see some great potential in you! I’m going to help you use all your gifts and abilities in a positive way now for My Kingdom. Simon’s new name of Peter was a sign of a new beginning of ministry, but not a sign of perfection. He would still struggle just as we do.

The Bible says that when we accept Christ as Savior we ‘get a new name’. Our new name empowers us to use our gifts and abilities to show Jesus love, and healing to the world around us.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, there are so many times in my life I feel like Peter. I’m arrogant, selfish, rude and deny you when I want things my way. I ask that you would forgive me for my selfish tendencies. Help me to use this new name you have given me to show your love, forgiveness and healing to those who need to see you. May I be the ‘Jesus in skin’ others need for a new name. Amen.

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February 2023
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