The Father’s Bosom

John 7:32-36 WEB

The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. [33] Then Jesus said, “I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me. [34] You will seek me, and won’t find me; and where I am, you can’t come.” [35] The Jews therefore said among themselves, “Where will this man go that we won’t find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? [36] What is this word that he said, ‘You will seek me, and won’t find me; and where I am, you can’t come’?”


Did you catch that? In the above verses, Jesus says he is going somewhere the Pharisees cannot follow. He then goes on to say, “where I am, you can’t come.” What does Jesus mean when he says where he is they cannot come? He is talking to the Pharisees in person. Doesn’t that mean they are all in the same place? No, according to Jesus they are not because he is somewhere the Pharisees cannot come.

Where is this special place Jesus is at? Jesus is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18). The bosom is a central pocket or fold in a garment tied with a sash or belt. Thus, John gives us a picture of Jesus being carried in a fold of the Father’s garments. However, the bosom also means the center of one’s thoughts. Jesus was favored by God and had access to God’s thoughts (John 14:6). And that was somewhere the Pharisees could not go.  

Praise the Lord! We are not excluded from being present with Jesus. We also are in the bosom of the Father if we have learned to rest. When we are trying to please God with constant activity, we miss the chance to go where only he can take us. The Pharisees were the picture of striving (Hebrews 3:18-19). They had hundreds of rules they believed were necessary to please God. More, they kept themselves on the throne of their lives by remaining in control.

The bosom of God is not a place one can achieve striving in the flesh (Heb 4:6). It is a place of peaceful surrender to the ways and thoughts of God (Heb 4:10). We release our own desires in exchange for God’s desires. Then God places us in his bosom and carries us. More, the bosom is the place where God’s heartbeat can be heard.


Lord Jesus, please help me rest from works. Help me cease striving. I long to be carried in your bosom Father. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Working for God

John 6:27-29 WEB

Don’t work for the food which perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For God the Father has sealed him.” [28] They said therefore to him, “What must we do, that we may work the works of God?” [29] Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”


Believing is our only job. So, what does believing look like? Is it something we say or something we do that demonstrates belief? In 1 John 3:23 WEB, the Bible says, “This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he commanded.” That’s interesting. It looks like God commands us to believe in Jesus. However, Jesus commands us to love one another. So, believing must look like the love of Christ coming out of us.

Well, that leads to the next question, what does the love of Christ coming out of us look like? It looks like carrying your cross. It looks like obedience. Jesus loved us so much he died a horrible death to see us safe in the love of God. Jesus loved us by laying his life down. We should do the same. Believing Jesus looks like humbling ourselves to the same behavior he demonstrated. If anyone wants to do the works of God, he must believe in Jesus. Believing in Jesus means imitating him. Believing Jesus looks like giving ourselves away.


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for all the times I have demonstrated unbelief. Help me trust your ways so that I begin to imitate you and thereby come into obedience. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Celebrity Jesus

John 6:13-15 WEB

So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten. [14] When therefore the people saw the sign which Jesus did, they said, “This is truly the prophet who comes into the world.” [15] Jesus therefore, perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


Jesus did not relish glory. Instead, he turned away from opportunities to maximize his visibility. It seems he recognized he was a king but refused to put himself in a position to be promoted. Jesus realized his kingdom could only be given to him by God. More, he did not jump to the conclusion the crowd was demonstrating God’s will. Rather, he deliberately remains obscure.

Curiously, to protect himself, he goes to the mountain alone. It seems like he would take his disciples away from the uproar. Instead, he leaves the disciples behind. Could it be Jesus did not trust the disciples to have God as their number one priority? Or, perhaps he left the disciples behind to deal with the crowd. Regardless, Jesus does not seem to have anyone to encourage him. So, he withdraws to the secret place, where he received encouragement from God.

What does it look like to receive from God? In the above passage, it looks like time alone with God. It also looks like humility. It was humility that kept Jesus from receiving fame and glory. He did not relish time in front of an audience. He relished time alone with the Father. Jesus simply loved and trusted God and relied on him as his source of encouragement.


Lord Jesus, please help me look to you for encouragement. Deliver me from any desire for glory and create in me a humble heart. Help me trust you fully. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Resting While Working

John 5:17-19 WEB

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.” [18] For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. [19] Jesus therefore answered them, “Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.


Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 talk about the rest of God. We are told to be diligent in our pursuit of rest. (Hebrews 4:11) Yet here is Jesus telling the Jewish leaders that he is working, and his Father is working. More, it says that Jesus could see what his Father was doing and chose to join him. Seeing is an activity that happens in the flesh. Notice the verses do not say Jesus envisioned what the Father was doing. Rather, it says he saw. So, he joined in the Father’s labor. In this alignment with the Father, miracles occurred.

How is it that Jesus had open eyes to recognize the work of the Father? The Bible says that Jesus prayed for a long time each morning in a secluded place. (Mark 1:35) The Bible also teaches that Jesus did not care what others thought. Instead, he consistently demonstrated placing God’s priorities first in his life. (John 4:27) But do these attributes account for Jesus having eyes that see and ears that hear?

Both of the above examples show us how to see and hear the Father. Before and after Jesus moved in signs and wonders he frequently prayed. (John 11:43, Mt 14:23) Also, Jesus considered doing the will of God more important than his own fleshly needs. (John 4:31-34) The Bible says in John 3:16 that the Father desires all people to come into a relationship with him. Since Jesus is the one who said John 3:16, we can be sure he believed the Father loved all people. Therefore, Jesus loved people more than himself. He did it because it is what he believed the Father wanted. So, prayer, desiring God’s will, and loving others more than himself seem to be the keys to Jesus’ supernatural success.

Jesus’ supernatural miracles proved that Jesus was aligned with the Father.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus thought He was God or thought He was equal to God. The Jewish leaders, out of jealousy, interpreted Jesus’ motives as evil. However, Jesus did not step out in the flesh. He waited to see what the Father was doing and joined him. Even when he worked, he was fully resting in the Father.


Lord Jesus, please help me pray, desire your will, and rest in you. Give me eyes that see and ears that hear so that I can join you in what you are doing. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Wellspring of Life

 John 4:11-14 WEB

The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. So where do you get that living water? [12] Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?” [13] Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, [14] but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”


Does the well you drink from give you rest or do you have to go to the well to draw over and over? The well of our best thinking will never give us rest. Nor will the well of tradition. The well which gives rest and springs eternal is Jesus. Not the Jesus of our best thinking, nor the Jesus of our forebears. It is the Living Word that comes from a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ which becomes a spring of eternal life.

Are you tired? Do you feel worn out? Does taking a vacation make you feel better or do you come back and find you are still exhausted? If so, something is not right. This is one of those places in our lives where we have a view into the truth of our faith. Isaiah says that our hearts are wicked (Isaiah 64:6). The Apostle Paul also speaks of the wickedness and deceit within our hearts (Romans 1:18). Therefore, most of us cannot see ourselves. Rather, we see what we want to see. What we need is a way of seeing the truth that goes beyond our own idealism about ourselves. The issue of being exhausted versus refreshed is one of those places in our spiritual journey where we can evaluate ourselves.

If you are tired something is not right. You should have a well springing up within you that always refreshes. A living wellspring of spiritual wellness. If not, it’s time to put idealism down and look deeper. What beliefs are your works based upon? Do you take the knowledge you have and demand an explanation? God does not seem to be inclined to explain himself. He has told us a great deal about himself in the Word. However, when we take information about God from the Word and fill in all the missing pieces with our own ideas, we are going to become bankrupt. We simply cannot make up a God in our thinking that refreshes.

We also cannot take someone else’s faith and feel refreshed. Yes, we can be encouraged by others’ faith, but eventually, we need to stand upon our own faith. Do you honor your parents by keeping the traditions of faith they passed down? Honoring our parents is good but relying on tradition rather than the Living Voice of Jesus within ourselves is a work that does not bring rest. Are you reading the Bible to learn how to live? Or are you relying on what you have been taught to make your life decisions? The Bible has the power to go inside and spring up a well within. It must be the anchor of our faith.

How is your prayer life? The ultimate spring of life within is the Voice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We must cultivate our relationship with Jesus in the same way we must cultivate any healthy relationship. We read the Love Letter He left us, the Bible. We also talk to Jesus and listen for the small still voice of His response. We must have both pieces in place or we may fall into delusion. However, it is wrong to avoid hearing the Living Voice of Jesus within because of fear of being deceived. Rather we should be familiar with the Bible so Satan cannot influence our thinking about God, His nature, and our relationship with Him. When this is our truth, we will have rest even as we work for the Lord. He will be a spring of eternal life within, eternal life we can drink from and give others to drink.  


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for looking in the wrong places for my rest. Please help me read Your Word and pray. Help me enter through the narrow gate to a life of spiritual rest and wellness. Please let my life be a place of refreshing both to me and those to whom I am sent. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Giving Birth

John 1:12-13 WEB

But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: [13] who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


Are you trying to give birth to something in your life right now? What goals and dreams are you pursuing? We all have goals. The question is are we striving in our own strength or are we resting in God? (Hebrews 4:11) It’s not hard to see striving. In our own strength, we may try to work too much and our relationships are probably going to suffer as well. On the other hand, we can rest and trust in God.

Resting in God is a spiritual path. Resting enables God to do the work of bringing our dreams alive. When we rest, we do not have to work ourselves into exhaustion or strain our relationships. We may pick up a few hours at our job as God directs, but we don’t have to work 60 or 70 hours a week. Also, we need the support of our family and social groups. But, asking for help occasionally is different from leaning on another person in place of God. (Isaiah 48:2-3)

Depending on the strength of our body or depending on the strength of our relationships should not replace depending on the strength of God. How do you do that? How do you depend on the strength of God? For me, I depend on the strength of God by praying (Eph 3:16), reading the Bible (Rev 3:8), obeying God (Psa 103:20), declaring the truth (2 Cor 6:7), fasting (Acts 13:2), and worshipping (Rom 12:1). These are my personal tools that I use to depend on God. I’m sure there are others but these are the tools I reach for the most.

I use these tools to run to God (Phi 3:13-14). In moments of doubt (Jam 1:6-8), in moments of confusion (1 Cor 14:33), and especially in moments when I feel like I need another person (John 12:43), I run to God. I do believe we all need each other, but we have to have ourselves aligned properly with God if we want God to be the one that births our dreams (Ja 4:16).


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for leaning on my own strength. Please cover me with your grace and teach me to lean wholly on you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.