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The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, Feburary 22, 2024, was written by Navamani Peter of Karnataka, India.



20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

John 12:20-29 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

A few months ago, I put a flowering potted plant in my garden. Unfortunately, scorching heat caused the plant to dry up. I thought it had died, but to my surprise a few days later I noticed new signs of life. Tiny green leaves began to appear, followed by little buds that blossomed into beautiful pink flowers. Even though the plant looked lifeless on the outside there was still beautiful life within it.

While telling his desciples about his death, Jesus said, "Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds" (Jn. 12:24). It is the same with us. When we let our sinful nature die, God's life-giving grace can begin redemptive work within us. As the light and love of God transforms us, our lives become beautiful, fragrant, and fruitful. Dark thoughts, despair, and doubt can make us blind to God's love and grace, but scripture reminds us that God's love is always available. As we commune with God, we are strengthened and can bear much fruit. And when we "die" to ourselves, we can see Christ glorified in and through us.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


Navamani's devotion reminds us how important it is for us to focus on the internal work of spiritual development. It is our internal work of transformation that influence our external action; leading us to have a greater impact on our churches and communities.


Author's Prayer

Loving God, thank you for your living word that transforms us into a new creation in Christ. Help us to surrender our lives so that we may bear much fruit for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.


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