The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 15:27 and the surrounding paragraph give great news to the Christian. God the Father loves us. If we let this sink in for a bit we will begin to realize what good news it is. God the Father, who is opposed to all sin, who promises to destroy sin and sinners, declares his love for his people. What could provoke this attitude on the part of God? Jesus says it is because his hearers have believed him. This is what he requires.
All the good works we might like to do, all the prayers we might pray, all our attempts at showing holiness - it is all good. But it is not what secures God’s favor. He loves us because we believe him. And the Bible further says that our belief is provoked by his love for us. What does this mean?
In Christ, who has come from the Father so that we might believe, we find ourselves loved by the Father. Because of this loving relationship we can ask God the Father for what we need. We ask him as a child asks a father. We can ask in confidence. We know that the Father’s love for us will not fail.
May the Lord grant that we not trust in our own goodness or our own worthiness, but ask freely that God’s good will be done because of his good favor shown to us and to our world.
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