Monday meditations John 2.24-25: entrusting yourself

“But Jesus, for his part, was not entrusting himself to them, because he knew all people, and because he did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2.24-25

There are some differences between Jesus and the rest of us. He knew the people he was dealing with fully, knew who to trust (fishermen and tax collectors); knew who not to trust (religious people). Not because they were fishermen or religious people, but because of what was in their hearts. We can’t know what’s in people’s hearts much of the time.
Despite this limitation, there are some important lessons for us here, attitudes Jesus had that we should emulate:
1. Cautious of who we entrust ourselves to, the default stance being don’t, then make exceptions as the Spirit leads (who does know all hearts)
2. Not needing the testimony/approval/affirmation of others, Jesus’ testimony of himself was enough, as is HIS testimony of us (not our own)

In short, we take the same approach as Jesus and put our trust in the same place he did. Jesus trusted himself; we trust him too. Spend some time reflecting on what it means to entrust yourself to others, why you need to be careful with this, and the difference it would make in your life and ministry if the only approval you need/want/accept comes from Jesus. I think some of us will find it frees us to do truly great things for the kingdom. I think some of us will find it sours us to the taste of our own Kool-Aid we’ve been too happily chugging down at the encouragement of others. I think some of us will find it does both.

Monday meditations Gal. 5.22-23: fruit of the Spirit

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

This is actually less of a meditation and more of a spiritual practice (that will lead to and include meditation). Find at least 15 quiet minutes and sit with this list of Spirit-fruits. Since these are fruits the Spirit produces in us (not self-made fruit), ask the Lord to highlight one of these that needs cultivating at this moment. It might be one you are really lacking in, but it also might be one you particularly excel at already. The Lord may want to shore up a weakness or further develop a strength. Try not to assume you know or go in with preconceived notions. Let the Spirit tell you.
When you hear from the Lord and have zeroed in on one, then meditate on what that fruit means, what it would like for the Spirit to produce that fruit (or more of that fruit) in your life. The Spirit will give you specific direction on tangible things you can do to participate in the production of this fruit. After all, even though the Spirit produces the fruit in us, we are not uninvolved in the process. Note that one of the Spirit-fruits is self-control; that is not a mistake or a logical contradiction. The Spirit produces the fruit, but our will has to be compliant with the Spirit’s work for fruit to be produced.
The Spirit will give you one specific fruit to work on for this moment and specific ways to work on that fruit – if you take time to listen.