Watching Daily At My Gates

June 16 Read John 16:1-12

Sometimes that which is necessary is sorrowful. Those are Jesus’s words in verses 6 and 7. Without the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, we would not have the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we would not have life. The Spirit spoken of in verses 8-11 is not the Spirit that many look for. This is the Spirit of Christ who carries out the work of election and reprobation to its end. When that work is carried out to its end, then there is utmost joy among the people of God as they are all brought together in heaven. Is that the Spirit we seek? Sing Psalter 287.

June 17 Read John 16:13-22

We see in these first few verses not only some insight into the work of the Spirit, but also some insight into the makeup of the Trinity. The persons of the Trinity do not work independently. Even as Jesus did not come into this world speaking of himself, but of the Father who sent him, so the Spirit was not poured out at Pentecost to promote himself. The Trinity has and is Unity. The Spirit shows to us the whole council of God concerning our salvation. It is the Spirit who gives to us life in Christ. This is a great comfort to us because whatever the Spirit shows unto us is true. We must remember that the Spirit is also the Comforter; therefore, whatever he imparts to us is for our comfort in this life. Sing Psalter 390.

June 18 Read John 16:22-33

Jesus teaches the disciples and us about the necessity of coming to the Father in his name. When we pray, we cannot come to the Father on our merits. We can only come on the merits of Christ for us. The church throughout the ages will be persecuted. The disciples on that very night will be devastated about what would be done to their master. At the end of time we might think that the world is going to win. Jesus told the disciples and tells us, that he will care for us and we need not worry because he has overcome the world. Christ did crush Satan’s head. Let not our hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid. Sing Psalter 392.

June 19 Read John 17:1-8

We have in this chapter the prayer of Jesus known as the high priestly prayer. While the immediate context is for the disciples in the upper room, this prayer is for the church of all ages. It is a very comforting prayer for the people of God. In verse 3 we see the only way to eternal life-that by knowing God and his Son. We see in verse 6 that we have been chosen, and by God’s power will keep his word until the end. Because Christ is our high priest, we have assurance of our salvation now and forever. Thanks be to God. Sing Psalter 235.

June 20 Read John 17:9-14

Verse 9 preaches the truth and reality of particular grace. God has chosen a people and has saved them in Christ. That is real. That is comforting. Verse 12 teaches the further comfort of preservation of the saints. As those saved by grace, we have the comfort that we will never go lost because God will keep us. Some might say that these are cold, hard doctrines. On the contrary they are the comforting words of the truth of our salvation. We have to do nothing on our own for salvation. We can rely on the comfort that the child of God is saved from eternity to the end of time. Doctrine is not cold and hard. Doctrine is sure and comforting. Here we find the beautiful words of Lord’s Day 1 proved to us. What other comfort do we need? Sing Psalter 204.

June 21 Read John 17:13-19

First of all, let us take a look at verse 16. We are not of this world. This does not mean that we are to be isolated in this world. God does not bring us to salvation oblivious to those around us. Rather, the prince of this world is Satan. He is not our prince. We are not part of his kingdom. Therefore we are called not to live like the world but to live as members of the kingdom of Christ. Secondly, God’s word is truth. This is an important truth in our lives. We can follow Scripture because it is true. It is the only way we are made holy to live in the kingdom of Christ. Each day we must seek to know truths from that Word and to live out of them. May God bless us each day with his truth. Sing Psalter 26.

June 22 Read John 17:20-26

Jesus ends his high priestly prayer with words that definitely indicate that this prayer was for more than the disciples. Look at verse 20 once more. There is much comfort in this prayer. It was comforting for the disciples though they may not have known it at the time, and there is much comfort for us today. It gives to us the hope of the eternal life that will be ours. It may be that we will enter glory though death before his return, or it may be that he will take us to heaven on the clouds of glory when he returns. What a love our Savior had for us! In that love we find life, and what a glorious life that will be! Sing Psalter 31.

June 23 Read John 18:1-9

With three little words Jesus laid an entire company of armed men on their backs. Jesus could have done more, but that was not his purpose for coming to earth. Jesus of Nazareth needed to be captured, tried, and put to death. This was needed that none of his people go lost. Jesus had to do this alone. None of the disciples could help him bear our cup of iniquity, just as none of us can do anything to rid ourselves of that cup in order to merit salvation. But the day will come when, with a few words, he will vanquish all our foes and take us to glory. Sing Psalter 318.

June 24 Read John 18:7-14

After praying to his Father in the garden, Jesus was ready to walk the road to his death and our salvation. This we see as we look at the statements he made during his arrest and trial. In verse 11 we see that he knows that the cup of his people’s iniquity must be drunk, and it must be drunk by him and only him. It was for us that he went through the process of cruel torture. It was for us in order that we might find life. This is also John’s commentary upon Caiaphas and his statement after Lazarus’s resurrection. Neither Caiaphas or John understood it at the time, but John came to the understanding when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church. Do we see this? Do we know that the only way of salvation for us is the cross? Let us daily bow in a prayer of thanksgiving for Christ’s sacrifice for us, and let us live lives of thankfulness for that sacrifice. Sing Psalter 185.

June 25 Read John 18:15-27

How much are we not like Peter? We make boasts about our love and devotion for Christ, and then, when we are faced with opposition we claim that we never knew him. When we follow Peter’s life, we see ourselves so clearly. It is as if we are his twin. Even if we try to deny this, we find ourselves like Peter. It takes grace to walk in the same paths that Jesus walked. If we try any other way, we will end up like Peter. Let us, daily, pray for the grace to not deny our Lord, and then, at the end of each day, let us ask for forgiveness for the sin of denying our Lord and Savior. Sing Psalter 362.

June 26 Read John 18:28-32

Do we sometimes act like the Jews? Are we so careful that we do the “right thing” that we break every other commandment in the moral law? The child of God must keep the whole law. This was the testimony of James in his epistle to the church after the death of Jesus. We also must make sure that we do not just keep the law outwardly. We must keep it from the heart. This is true in every aspect of our life. We cannot just pretend to be a Christian. We cannot just be a Christian when it is convenient. We must walk the Christian walk each and every day of our lives. There is only one way that this is possible. It is only possible by the grace that was merited for us by Christ’s death on the cross. Let us live a life of thankfulness for that grace. Sing Psalter 354.

June 27 Read John 18:33-40

As the worldly judge Pilate questions Jesus, a beautiful truth comes out. Jesus’s kingdom is not of this world. As citizens of that kingdom, we must remind ourselves of that truth. This world is not our eternal destination. We can do and should try to do nothing to make it that. Yes, we must care for it. It is our temporary home, but it is not our permanent home. We must spend much time and energy preparing ourselves for the heavenly home Christ earned for us by his death on the cross. That is the truth of our salvation. That truth Pilate could not grasp. That truth many in the world cannot grasp. That truth is only grasped by grace through faith in Christ. Sing Psalter 302.

June 28 Read John 19:1-7

The situation was rapidly getting out of Pilate’s hands. What he did not want to happen, was going to happen. Pilate wanted a peaceful end to this problem. He was worried about his standing before the Roman government. He knew Jesus was innocent, but he could find no way to release him and placate the Jews. He was also getting disgusted with the whole mess. God was taking it out of his hands. God was directing the whole affair by his sovereign council. This is the way he would save his people. As we look at these final days of Jesus’s suffering, do we see what Jesus did for us? Sing Psalter 223.

June 29 Read John 19:8-15

We have in these verses a portrayal of what will be our lot in the days before the end of time. Those who will not accept the mark of the beast will be taken before earthly judges and will not find justice or mercy. We can be comforted in the knowledge that our elder brother has walked the same path, and because he did, we have the promise of life after whatever kind of death that we might face. Let us rest assured that he is looking out for us and is preparing our place in that kingdom which will last forever. Sing Psalter 121.

June 30 Read John 19:16-24

After Pilate gave sentence, the Lamb of God was sacrificed for his people. We can see many Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled. All of this had to come to pass for our salvation. In this passage we see Jesus being made a public spectacle for us. Pilate meant to mock the Jews when he put that certain superscription over Jesus. But even that was turned in a way that Jesus was mocked. The soldiers began the mocking as they took his clothes and then, as was the custom, had the audacity to sit down and gamble for them. Jesus’s hour had come. He would descend into hell culminating in the cry “My God, My God was hast thou forsaken me.” All of this was for us. Let us remember his suffering in our prayers and pray each time “forgive us our sins.” Sing Psalter 47:1-4.

July 1 Read John 19:25-30

John only records three of the seven “cross words”. In the first, we see some truths concerning his human nature. He loved his mother, and showed that love when he entrusted her care to the disciple whom he loved. But he was also showing Mary and the others that the earthly ties had to be broken for their good and ours. We also see his human nature in his need for a drink. In order to make his final cry of victory, his mouth needed moisture. But he also thirsted for the love of his heavenly Father. His final cry showed that all was finished. All the redemptive work for our salvation was finished. He could now go away and begin preparing for each of us a place with him in glory. The soldiers did not kill him; he willingly gave up his life for us! Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 47:5-8.

July 2 Read John 19:31-37

Yesterday we saw that Jesus died on his own. John, in today’s reading, gives evidence of that fact. The soldiers, in order to please the Jews, began to go around and continue their barbaric treatment of these malefactors. But when they got to Jesus there was no need for them to cause death. John makes mention that Jesus’s legs were unbroken to fulfill the Scriptures. Jesus was the true and final passover lamb. Because he was sacrificed, the angel of death passes over us. We need not fear death, the grave, or hell, because Jesus has taken our place. Jesus’s death is our life. Let us give thanks for that each and every time we pray. Sing Psalter 47:9-11.

July 3 Read John 19:38-42

The final step in Jesus’s state of humiliation was being buried. Two men who would not acknowledge him in his life did so in his death. Notice how God cared for his disciples here. If the disciples had buried him, the proof of the resurrection would not have been as strong in the world’s eyes. Do we see ourselves in the burial? Would we have dared ask for Jesus’s body? Jesus’s burial was necessary for our salvation. Let us show gratitude by acknowledging him in our lives. Sing Psalter 28.

July 4 Read John 20:1-10

For approximately 36 hours the friends of Jesus mourned his death. All through the Sabbath they waited quietly until they could perform acts of kindness for their Lord. John highlights the visit of Mary Magdalene. She was not the only woman who visited the gravesite that morning, but she was the one that first saw the risen Savior. John records those appearances that most emphatically prove the fact of the resurrection. Jesus had to arise from the dead. His resurrection is proof of the hope of our resurrection. This first part of the state of exultation was for us. May we serve the risen Savior all of our lives knowing that we, too, will arise into glory. Sing Psalter 358.

July 5 Read John 20:11-18

Jesus is risen, and whereas he was not ascended when Mary first saw him, he is ascended into heaven, and there he prepares a place for each and every one of his people. Mary was in complete distress when she saw the empty tomb. Her tears prove that. Jesus’s appearance had lifted her spirits and had proved to her the truth of his resurrection. But Jesus’s appearance is also proof to us of that truth. Jesus has arisen and by his rising has finished our salvation. That is our joy in this day, and in that joy we must live. When we go to the grave of a loved one; we, too, can be comforted in that Jesus’s resurrection is a pledge of our final resurrection. Let this be our joy and comfort on this day. Sing Psalter 312

July 6 Read John 20:19-23

After the exciting news during the day, the disciples locked themselves into the upper room to discuss what had gone on. After not believing the women’s message, they changed their minds after Jesus’s appearance to Peter. Their hearts are troubled as they wonder what will happen next. Then Jesus comes to them and speaks a word of peace to them. Do we feel that peace? That word is unto us as well. He then prepares them to take up their work as the church of the New Dispensation. We are members of that church and must continue on in that work. As we do that work, and as we do our daily work, let us feel the peace that passeth understanding which only comes from our heavenly Father in Christ through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Sing Psalter 309.

July 7 Read John 20:24-31

Are we Thomases? Sadly, we exhibit the worst characteristics of all sinners. We deny Christ like Peter, and we are slow to believe like Thomas. But God in his grace cares for each of us in his sins. As he brought Thomas to the beautiful confession of verse 28, so he will bring us to confess him. As one who encountered Jesus blurted out, “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief” so we must make the same prayer. While we do not have the miraculous signs that the church in John’s day had, we have the whole Word of God that testifies of those signs to help our unbelief become belief. In believing, as John states, we have life through his name and only through his name. Is that our testimony? Do we believe the resurrection, and then believe in Jesus? That is what we must do every day. Sing Psalter 228.

July 8 Read John 21:1-8

During the forty days following Jesus’s resurrection he made ten appearances. There were five on Resurrection Sunday, and then there were five more scattered throughout the time before his ascension. He used the occasion of each appearance to teach something that the disciples would later use in the church. This one is no different. Once again he shows to them that he is the sovereign Lord over all creation. Once again he shows to them an aspect of their work in gathering the church of Christ. We, too, must learn from these appearances. We, too, must learn that Christ will care for his sheep. Sing Psalter 53.

July 9 Read John 21:9-14

After graphically showing his disciples that their work would be to catch men; and by showing the manner, as he did before, that it would be by his power and not theirs, Jesus shows them that he would care for them in that work. Jesus also shows them that there is an exact number of elect which must be gathered. Each time that Jesus appeared to them he gave them another little piece of the puzzle which would be their work. This is also instruction for us. As we search the Scriptures daily, we can find a little piece of our puzzle that is our life on this earth. We can only fit that puzzle together by his help. So when we study his Word, let us do it with prayer that the Holy Spirit will unfold the wisdom of that Word before us. Sing Psalter 65.

July 10 Read John 21:15-19

Besides giving to each disciple an idea about the work that they were called to carry out, Jesus had to publicly accept Peter back into the circle. Peter had publicly denied him, and now Peter had to publicly confess his sin. We need not wonder about the rightness of this event because our Lord Jesus Christ carried it out. Three times Peter had denied his Lord, and three times he had to confess that he loved him. In his love Christ not only accepted the confession but also gave to Peter the work he would do in the church. Peter’s bold spirit would be useful, but Christ also told him that the work would bring him to his death. We, too, must confess our sins. Sometimes we must do it publicly, but Christ’s love is always there to sustain us. We, too, have work in Christ’s church, and for some of us it may mean our very lives will be at stake. Even in that circumstance Christ’s love will sustain us. Sing Psalter 83.

July 11 Read John 21:20-25

As John finishes this gospel he relates a common misunderstanding in the church of that day. He also tells us that he had only written about a small part of all that Jesus had done while on the earth. John wanted all that read his writings to know that Jesus was Christ. He was the one who came into the world for his people. As we read the gospel according to John, we must look for those truths knowing that the “half has not been told us.” As we wait for the return of Christ “let not our hearts be troubled.” He has gone “to prepare a place for us” and he will “come again” and receive us unto himself. Thanks be to God for our Savior! Sing Psalter 337.