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John: Day 18

The Only Way

by

Today's Text: John 14:1-31, Isaiah 28:16, Ezekiel 1:26-28

Text: John 14:1-31, Isaiah 28:16, Ezekiel 1:26-28

I don’t know about you, but I tend to over-analyze things. Sometimes even a small decision can lead to an overwhelming list of pros and cons. In my heart of hearts, I know I want pizza for dinner, but maybe I should want the soup, or the salad… or the chicken. You’d think dinner would be a simpler decision. (The answer is pizza. Always choose the pizza!) When it’s so easy to complicate the tiniest of decisions, how do we come to any sense of peace and assurance about the bigger matters in life?

The Christian faith is simple and complicated at the same time. We are called to have faith like a child (Matthew 18:3), and also to grow toward maturity (Hebrews 6:1). In some places the Word of God seems so straightforward, and yet the psalmist declared some knowledge too wonderful and lofty to grasp (Psalm 139:6). The seeming contradiction between this simplicity and complexity speaks to the mystery of the gospel. But when it comes to our salvation, Jesus doesn’t want there to be any confusion.

It’s funny—and oddly reassuring—just how human the disciples were. By the time we come to John 14, they were well into their ministry alongside the Son of God. You would think after all the miracles and face-to-face teachings from Jesus, they would have learned the basics. But when Jesus talked about the way to heaven, the disciples seemed totally and utterly confused!

So, once again, He spoke clearly, telling them:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”
- John 14:6-7

Jesus spells it out for His disciples—and for us, too—so that there can be no misunderstanding. He is the way to freedom. He is truth and life.

There are parts of our faith that are truly complex because we love and serve an infinite God. There are some questions that don’t have simple answers. The gospel is like an intricately woven tapestry, with threads intertwining in hidden places, forming the most epic story of all time. God gives us minds to think and question and analyze these mysteries with humility, so that we might grow in our understanding and love.

But, some parts of the Word are crystal clear.

Jesus came to our world in the form of a man so that His followers could see, know, and touch the love of their Father. In a world full of confusion, God wants His people to know exactly who He is.

If you know Jesus, you know the Creator of all and the way to salvation. As you “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), may you find peace in the straightforward declarations and promises of our Lord.

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

  • Knowing that we can and will do greater things than Jesus did with the gift of the Holy Spirit is both terrifying and mind blowing! What a gift we have and so often I forget that He’s there. Holy Spirit would you help me to remember & include you each day and teach me to hear your voice more clearly. As you use me may people see that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

  • Jesus came to our world in the form of a man so that His followers could see, know, and touch the love of their Father. In a world full of confusion, God wants His people to know exactly who He is.

  • My mind is just swirling with thoughts and emotions today. The reminder that ,”The gospel is like an intricately woven tapestry,” brought to mind the song that my brother wrote and sang with his wife at mine and my hubby’s wedding. It’s called “Tapestry”… and it is beautiful and such a beautiful reminder of how marriage is such a beautiful picture of the gospel.

    That was 26 1/2 years ago, and today my brother suffers from Dementia and can’t remember so many things… and I have so many questions about why, and then I’m reminded that, “God gives us minds to think and question and analyze these mysteries with humility, so that we might grow in our understanding and love.” And then I’m also reminded that while some things are a great mystery, “some parts of the Word are crystal clear.”

    It’s so comforting to know that, while I don’t understand so many things going on around me, I can trust in the assurance of salvation. I do know that my brother knows Jesus as his Savior and someday we will sing the song he wrote for me together in heaven.

  • Heather Fringer

    I am really catching up here. I have been playing catch up and then just had another surgery Tuesday and that knocked me back another couple of days. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. I need to remember that for everything that happens in life. No matter how hard those times may be.

  • Christina

    Three things that strike me about today’s passage in John:

    “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do” (v. 12)

    “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (v. 15)

    “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” (v. 24)

    Am I keeping Jesus’ commandments? Am I doing greater things than He Himself did? And if I’m not, do I truly love Him, or even know Him? Just a working out of my salvation with fear and trembling, as Katie said above. Have a great day, ladies.

  • “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” I’m so encouraged by this verse today. I’ve been struggling with a bit of fear this week…so helpful to be reminded that Jesus never abandons us. Trying to cling to Him and the peace he abundantly promises.

    • J

      I understand everything you’re feeling, Colleen. I’m comforted by this verse very much as well right now. Praying for your courage, strength and peace that only Jesus can give. He is with you and so near.

  • Naomi LaBoo

    Thank you for showing what my Bible teacher called the two poles of truth!

  • I love this image! I too get overwhelmed at it all, but I think that is when I need to step back and just focus on the truth of the gospel, including that God loves me and is always for me.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Rachel Y.

    I love these passages “Do not let your heart be troubled, neither be dismayed. You believe in God, believe also in me.” “I will ask the Father to give you another Helper, to be with you always…”

    Last October my husband lost his job at a church we were also attending, we were asked by the church leaders not to continue attending because “it might make it hard for other people to move on”, we lost the contract on a house we were building because we could no longer afford the mortgage, we lost the apartment we were living in , and decided to move in with my mother in law to save money.
    It was a great move: my hubby and I loved living with his mom and my momma in law loved having us there. God began to heal my heart as one loving, godly woman I met just a few months earlier continued to reach out to me and as I reached out to a counselor who helped me see that Christ deeply empathized with me and deeply cared for my soul. I looked to the cross and had hope.
    Just as the ground began to feel solid under my feet, the bottom fell out again. Less than a week from this realization that I could truly trust Christ in every trial because He had endured far worse to save me ; I began to experience debilitating vertigo and migraines. I could not walk, could not work, could not bring in an income. From the time my husband and I got married, I had been the chief bread-winner. My stable career gave us the freedom to take risks; for my husband to take jobs in ministry that paid less than slinging drinks at Starbucks. I have told him time and time again, “Let’s go for it! I can get a job in any city, in any country in the world!” If I was only healthy enough to work. My secret idol has come to the surface as I have struggled and still struggle to recover physically.
    God is mercifully exposing and vanquishing my pride and self-reliance as I turn from crying my complaints towards God for ‘letting this happen to me’ to praise Him for His greatness and mercy and sacrifice on the cross.

    “Do not let your heart be troubled, neither be dismayed. You believe in God, believe also in me.” “I will ask the Father to give you another Helper, to be with you always…”

    • Jennifer Wood

      Thank you for sharing this. I am praying for you!

    • Jess G

      This was so encouraging sister! Your humble acceptance of God’s loving discipline is such an encouragement!

    • Mary Joseph

      Thank you for sharing your story! Sharing testimonies brings healing to the sharer and the receivers.

    • Gema Muniz

      Sister thank you for sharing. It is so encouraging to hear your story and a great reminder that we have a big God that takes care of us. A God that molds us and reveals to us our flaws. God doesnt want us to have little gods in our lifes only him as our one and only God, how humbling is that. God bless you sister.

  • Leenda324

    Needed this word today of all days. Thank you!

  • I have found myself slipping into my old anxiety ways recently and have wondered why. I have felt such freedom the last couple of months only to return to this again? God’s Word highlighted my heart. I’ve veered from Jesus as the ONLY way, the only true life. I’ve started to put trust in other things. Namely my looks. As foolish as it sounds, a bad breakout has the power to completely smash me into a withdrawing, socially awkward, anxiety filled mess. I hear Jesus gently telling me that I’m listening to one of those crafty thieves whose intent is to steal, kill and destroy me. Why am I listening again to my greatest enemy who knows my weakness?

    • Kate

      Praying for you today Jess! Jesus, I ask that Jess sees herself the way that You do; complexly beautiful and worthy of love.

    • Cheri

      Jess, I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I wanted you to know that you’re not alone! In my struggles with anxiety, I have often clung to these verses. I’m sure you know them, but sometimes we just need a reminder.

      Philippians 4:6-8
      “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
      And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
      Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

      2 Timothy 1:7
      “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

      Praying for you today!!

  • Jesus, thank you for your words of truth and for this community of women. Renew our passion today to know you more intimately, to study and question and understand Your words. Bless these sisters coming together to discuss and share thoughts and prayers, and ultimately declare again today that we believe in You.

  • Keri McCue

    I remember people saying “surrendering to Him is true freedom” when I was little. And I always thought how silly that is! Surrender doesn’t mean freedom!! But, I’ll never forget the year I was so intentional about giving up control to Him and really living in freedom in Him. It’s so true. “He is the way to freedom. He is truth and life.” Amen!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Danielle Frakes

    I always remember his plan is good. I must go with the decision that seems the easiest. When I have a clear picture and path, that’s what I go for. I think Jesus wants me to be on a path that is straight and narrow

  • Thank you Lord for the gift of salvation! Those who know this wondrous gift and Your love behind it desire to seek you more and more. But thank you this gift is for all who wish to accept it! Katie’s piece truly formed a picture for – the “intricately woven tapestry.” It’s so deep yet so simple. I love you God!

  • Day 18 had such beautiful scripture, I couldn’t choose my favorite verses. God’s peace has been something that has truly helped me in life, in moments where nothing else could’ve gotten me through. I’m only human. I still have moments like the disciples where i might question some things, but immediately I remind myself I have nothing to fear or question because God knows what He’s doing. And through this study, through getting to know Him and His story more and more, I’m given exactly what I need in that very moment whatever it may be <3

  • Diane Huntsman

    I so loved being reminded of the disciples confusion and humanness.. I can so relate! I am currently following someone on Instagram that “appears” to be on a whole other level with God.. she refers to the study of the “Torah” refuses to ever use the name “Jesus” for His true name is “yeshua” and the Sabbath is Saturday not Sunday.. there’s a slew of things that she calls completely unbiblical and they are things I participate in as do probably many of you.. these kind of people make me question the authenticity of my faith.. like do I have it all wrong? Am I going to hear those dreadful words “depart from me I never knew you”???? It honestly freaks me out sometimes that I may have it all wrong!!! But then I’m reminded of the Pharisees and their need to “show off” with their religion and that they are the sect that Jesus rebuked the most because He saw their hearts.. so then I get back to basics.. my old heart.. where is it? Am I loving God with all my heart soul mind and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? That’s the plumb line of sincere Christianity.. not using cool lingo like Torah, Yeshua, and Sabot.. there will always be that battle between religion and relationship.. always choose relationship.. man how He loves you and me!! Xoxo

    • Veronica

      “there will always be that battle between religion and relationship.. always choose relationship” -Thank you so much for this! Just the connection I needed today.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you for the beautiful words :) I love what you are saying- getting back to our old hearts.

      Just in case you’re curious about the words the Instagram woman is using, they are all Hebrew!
      “Torah” means the law, it refers to the Books of Moses (first five books of the Bible)
      “Yeshua” is just Jesus’s Hebrew name- it’s what his disciples, etc. would have called him.
      Traditionally, Shabbat (Sabbath) was celebrated Friday night to Saturday night. I think this changed around the time of Constantine (it could have been earlier, I’m just guessing on this…)

      Anyways, this is all semantics and in my opinion it doesn’t matter what you call Jesus or when you chose to “rest.” It all means the same thing! I just do what makes me feel closest to Jesus. It truly is all about relationship and love.

      Thank you for the encouraging words! I hope this helps.

    • Amanda S

      I know exactly how you feel!! One beautiful thing God showed me in this John study was Jesus was all about the relationship – meeting us where we need Him. The woman at the well – Jesus broke cultural custom to meet her where she needed Him. Jesus healed multiple people that needwd healing on the Sabbath – that broke religious law. He is all about the heart and the relationship. I think God beautifully summaries this in the story of the blind man. Those who were so caught up in the knowledge and in law missed the experience. Yet the man who was “knowledgeable”, recognized Jesus and said, “Lord, I do believe. ” God is showing me over and over again in His word that the intimate relationship with Him is more important than anything else and that I should stop putting Him boxes of legalism. He is not bound in the way I have perceived church and religion. Honestly, I have gotten more out if this study of John than I have ever gotten from the Bible up to now. I am reading it now seeing that His love for us motivated Him. He wasn’t doing it because He had to. Seeing the Word in this way is changing all I thought I knew….

    • Christine Marie

      Well said!

  • Peace I leave with you ; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. LOVE JESUS WORD FOR ME TODAY. Needed this TODAY

  • I love it that the disciples are so human. I love that they don’t get it when it is right in front of their faces. Today I am still struggling with a friendship. This time I have tried to have a conversation and she just ignored the call. I was just thinking that I have never been hurt by friendship before but that is not true. I have … Jenny Wood …my best friend growing up choose to not be in my wedding. My heart was hurt. Today Jodi Drysdale has chosen to not have a conversation about our friendship. This hurts me so bad! But I have done all I could do… God help me understand hope and friendship in this hurt season. Maybe I need it spelled out for me like the disciples??? Love you!

    • Diane Huntsman

      Friendship can be the biggest blessing and the greatest heartache!! Praying that you do you part and leave the rest to God to work in her heart! Pray more than you fret though, He can do the work that you can’t!!! Some friendships are seasonal and you must accept the changing of that season.. keep asking God His desire for the relationship!!! Ephesians 3:20!! Blessings to you this day, may Jesus bring healing to your hurting heart!!!

  • Shelly S.

    Katie’s comments today remind.me of a Mark Twain quote who said something like “it isn’t those parts of the Bible that I don’t understand that trouble me-it’s the parts I do understand.” John 14:6 just cannot be any clearer. It is a part I DO understand. It is clear and certain truth that we can stake our life on. And it seems to me once I have that truth to cling to–all other truths flow From there. What is my question in any circumstance of life? –Jesus is the WAY. He (and His word) the source of all truth. And the only Life worth living. Thank you Jesus for your clear word.

  • Watching my five month old granddaughter on her playmat stretching out to grab parts of her mobile with great determination.Lord give me the determination to reach out and grab the promises in today’s reading and hold them fast

  • Sarah_Joy

    This whole chapter has so many breathtaking verses:
    – anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing
    – and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever
    – I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you
    – He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and show myself to him.
    – But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you ALL things and will REMIND you of everything I have said to you.
    – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    These are those truths Jesus wants his people to hear before he suffers and dies. May this truth sink into my heart today.

  • churchmouse

    How many times have I said when dealing with others, “just tell it to me straight!” How grateful I am that Jesus does just that!

  • Jesus is the way the truth ad the life!

  • Katie, you’ve blessed me with your reading today. Thank you. No one can come to the Father except through me…I love that days says this and I believe that. I’m so thankful that God gave us Jesus, so much has changed in my life as a result, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been, even on my more somber days, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Because there were times When I was downright miserable, even on my most, what I assumed was my “happiest” days! Lord Jesus, help me to stay focused in Your Word, especially the words You’ve made crystal clear to me. Amen! Thank you, Jesus!

  • Amen!

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