DEVOTION FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2017
In 1979, China’s one-child policy was introduced. According to records in the Jiangsu province, 4,091 infants—98.5 percent of them girls—were abandoned there between 1981 and 1982. Like many, Zhou Maodu, a factory manager, faced beatings, fines, and imprisonment if he tried to keep his newborn daughter. Decades later, when they were finally reunited, he told her how he cried for days after abandoning her.
In John 14, Jesus comforted His disciples in anticipation of what was to come. He assured them they would never be abandoned. The passage begins with a tone of consolation: “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (v. 1). Jesus offered them two specific promises to give them hope.
First, He assured them He would be back to take them to His “Father’s house.” He was going away to prepare a place for them and would return for them. “You know the way to the place where I am going” (vv. 2–4).
But how could they possibly know the way to this place? Jesus reassured them, “I am the way” (v. 6). If we know Jesus, we already know the way to heaven and to the Father. Our access is through faith in Him. Philip then asked to see God Himself; if they could have one glimpse, perhaps they would feel certain. Jesus reminded His disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (v. 9).
The second promise is the presence of the Holy Spirit (vv. 15–31). The Spirit is our advocate, providing comfort and hope. Jesus’ followers are not orphaned when He is physically absent from the earth. His Holy Spirit teaches us, turns our hearts to the Lord, and brings peace (vv. 25–27). Our God will never abandon us.
APPLY THE WORD
Many hope to get to heaven on the basis of their good works—but have they done enough? Others hope heaven awaits because of their religious affiliation or family connections. Jesus removes our anxiety of doing or being good enough, for He alone is the way to heaven. That is good news! Share this amazing truth with someone today.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries