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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, April 14, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Have you ever wished you could actually see Jesus, touch him, and hear his words? Are there times you want to sit down with him and get his advice? Thomas wanted Jesus’ physical presence. But God’s plan is wiser. He has not limited himself to one physical body; he wants to be present with you at all times. Even now he is with you in the form of the Holy Spirit. You can talk to him, and you can find his words to you in the pages of the Bible. He can be as real to you as he was to Thomas. (NLT)
John 20:19-31 – That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his side. They were filled with joy when they saw their Lord! He spoke to them again and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven.”
One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.”
Jesus’ disciples saw him do many other miraculous signs besides the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life.
[Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” — John 20:27 (NRSV)
Karen E. Brown (Mississippi) titled her story “THE POWER OF TOUCH;” here is a portion of Karen’s story:
“Because I am blind, touch is important to me. I use Braille to read scripture and notes I have prepared to teach my Sunday school class. . . . For me, a warm handshake or hug is an especially important connection with someone. The sun on my skin or the gentle breeze in my hair reminds me that God is creating new life. Perhaps this is why I am drawn to the story of Thomas and his need to touch the risen Jesus.
“. . . Jesus seeks to reveal himself in unique ways to each of us as well.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How is Jesus revealing himself to me today?
Prayer: Loving God, awaken all my senses to your living presence. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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