Thank you, Lord Jesus, for demonstrating to us so clearly that if we love you and we love each other, then we must serve each other. Of the many ways we can do this, help me to see the ways you would have me serve my brothers and sisters. Lord, you also taught that we must allow our brothers and sisters to serve us. That can be difficult for some of us. Help me, Lord, to willingly receive the service of others as they seek to demonstrate their love for you and the brethren.
Help me, O Lord, to recognize the people you send so that I can receive them, and in so doing, receive you. You know how many false teachers are in the world today. Help me to reject them and accept your true messengers.
Lord, I donít know how Judas Iscariot could have allowed Satan to deceive him. Having spent three years with you, listening to you, watching you, working with you, how could he turn against you? I donít understand. It seems so clear to me that you are the Messiah. Maybe he thought he was helping, that you needed to be prompted to take action to overthrow the Roman government. If he did think that, then he still didnít understand you, but then, the other disciples didnít really understand at this point, either.
Lord, we have a tendency to judge people without knowing them or their circumstances. Help me not to do that. Help me, to remember that all human beings are sinners and we do despicable things and think horrible thoughts. You have changed me, Lord, but I know that without you, without your Holy Spirit to guide me, I would be like Judas Iscariot, seeking only to serve myself. Help me to remember that, Lord, when I encounter others who act like Judas. Let me remember at that moment, that, if not for the grace of God, I would be no different than those people. Help me then to share with them the good news that you can change them just as you have changed me.
O Heavenly Father, how we need to heed Jesusí words. We claim to be Jesusí disciples, yet when I look around what we refer to as the ďuniversalĒ church, I see so much bickering, arguing, and condemning. Thatís not love. Help me, Father, to be one of those who loves rather than argues. Father, please fill your people to overflowing with your Holy Spirit so that we truly will demonstrate our love for Jesus by our love for each other.
Such sad words these are, Lord, that Peter will deny you, but I know the rest of the story. I know your Holy Spirit turned Peter into a bold and courageous disciple who would help lead the church through its days of infancy when the Jews sought to destroy it. What a tremendous example of the power of the Gospel to change lives! You have changed my life, Lord. Help me now, to live for you and not for myself. Thank you, Lord. Thank you! Amen.