Wednesday, April 2, 2014

iKnow in Part

iPray eVotional

iPray eVotionals exhorts those who pray.  It's the glass of water held out around each month's turn for the runners who can use a quick and easy quench in order to finish strong.

iKnow in Part  
Approx. reading time: 7 - 10 minutes

When I know in Part
Yesterday morning I watched my 11-year-old daughter board a bus for a 5-day outdoor education camp. I'd love to know what she will eat, the conversations she will have and the lessons she's to learn. I hope that the time is special and pray that it goes well for her. Until Friday, I will not know how she slept and who she spent most of her time with. I'll hear some stories, the ones that seem to be most important to my daughter I'm sure, and will know in part. I will never know a play-by-play of every moment.

I will admit, it is much easier to trust things will be fine when I know some of how things might turn out. As my daughter boarded the bus I did know some things. My husband took a tour of the camp a few weeks back and got to see the facilities where many of his questions were answered.  He was given great advice on how to pack and what not to forget. Without ruining any great surprises he was given a glimpse into some of the activities including group treasure hunts, swim days and night hikes. Still I had questions.  I read every word of the papers that were sent home including answers to parent's most frequently asked questions.  I was able to wrap my brain around a few more unknowns. I followed the suggested packing check-list perfectly labeling all items. Trusting it will all be fine came easier as each preparation for this week was made.

A Week of Unknowns
Living in an area prone to earthquakes there are known responses to the shaking.  Without thinking twice some may run to a door frame, some under tables and others will drop next to their bed protecting their heads.  We ride'em out hoping it won't get too bad and if it does we hope we will survive.  Usually the first thing that's said after the shaking subsides is, "I wonder how big that one was." 

After turning on the news we can find out in minutes how big it was.  Our reaction to the magnitude depends on how close we are to the center of the action.  Someone right on top of the first jolt could say, "What? It was only a 4.4?  It felt bigger than that!"  Another that was miles away and felt the rolling effects might say, "I didn't realize it was that big."

Releasing a child into the hands of God as they go off to camp for a week might seem like a 3.1 earthquake to some while others might feel it's stronger.  Everything we face in life seems to have a self appointed crises scale attached to it whether it is a 3.1 shaking of camp or a 6.8 shaking of a hospital or a 7.2 shaking of a terrible loss.  The longer the shake and the stronger it becomes, the greater the magnitude is on our lives.

There is one week in history when a certain group of men stood closest to the center of a quake that measured off of the human Richter scales.

These men were Jesus' disciples. The things they witnessed became increasingly more intense.  Being called out was quite a shaking.  Life-altering teachings and revelations, a little more so.  Then there was the jolt of Jesus' healing power.  His authority over the elements made them have to catch their balance.  Raising the dead to life knocked them off their feet.  These were shakings they had never experienced before and each time the disciples attempted to wrap their brains around what they were experiencing. "How big was that one?"  These were the trembles of awe and excitement of who Jesus was revealing Himself to be.

Then the unthinkable happened.  Jesus predicted His own death (John 12)!  That one felt more than a little stronger than the last.  What fault line could have caused him to say such a thing?

In the upper room, Jesus knew that they were going to experience "The Big One".  On this night Jesus prepared them for the shaking that was to come. Earthquake preparedness at an eternal level. 


John 13:3-17
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
Jesus answered, "Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

JESUS PREPARED THE DISCIPLES by revealing the betrayal and allowed Judas to leave and follow through.

John 13:18-30
 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

JESUS PREPARED THE DISCIPLES by giving them just enough insight:

John 13:31-38
Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
"My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

JESUS PREPARED THE DISCIPLES as they became troubled at the thought of being shaken away from Jesus' side with encouragement: 

John 14:1-4
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

JESUS PREPARED THE DISCIPLES by giving them promises:

John 14:25-31
"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

JESUS PREPARED THE DISCIPLES because He knew what they were about to endure.  Instead of tapering off, the shaking only intensified. Jesus was betrayed by Judas and taken away.  Peter fled for his life and denied Him just as Jesus said he would.  His disciples were scattered. Jesus was accused, flogged and put on the cross.

Although Jesus told them it would happen, when Jesus died the disciples did not expect to be shaken like they were.  In fact nobody expected that the whole earth would quake.

Matthew 27:50-54
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"

Three days followed of shifting through the destruction and the ruins; of all they thought they knew!  The disciples experienced doubt and great despair.  They waited, wondered and hid from sight.

As the end of the trembling week arrived and as the sun came up, the resurrected Jesus Christ did too. (Luke 24)  He showed himself and spoke to his disciples face to face, opening their eyes to the truth of what had happened.  They had experienced the fault lines of sin and the shaking-off of sin and death, the disciples knew then that He had indeed overcome the world! 

JESUS PREPARED THE DISCIPLES and the disciples made it through!

The One Who Knows in Full
Crises and struggles come at all different levels.  If Jesus can faithfully see His disciples through THAT week, giving them all they needed to survive and still believe, surely He can see us through ALL of our "weeks" as well as our weaknesses.  We can trust that through His Word and His Spirit He has given us all that we need too. 

When the ground starts to shake and things are not as we expect, we too can look back and trust His words even when they don't seem to make any emotional sense.  When the shaking is done and the ruin is left, we too can cling to the promises that seem unnatural and impossible.  When the weak can say, "I am strong in Christ Jesus," and faith experiences the resurrection of life, we too can know and understand the things that didn't make sense before.  We will see Him face to face, just like his disciples did.

1 Corinthians 13: 9 - 12
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Jesus knows!  He knows when we are strong and when we will deny our faith.  He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we need. 

In every circumstance and through every unknown, we can know this: The fault line of our sins was crucified on the cross and Jesus has given us everything we need so that we can survive every quake and still believe.

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.


iPray... will not leave the "upper room" as Judas did but instead you will listen in, tune in and take in every word spoken in The Holy Bible and through God's spirit, so that you will be faithful to the end.

iPray...for stillness of heart when things get shaky. you remember the preparations God has given you for such a time as this, it will become increasingly easier for you to trust Him with the outcome.

iPray...that as you know in part now, you will trust what God is doing in full.

In Jesus Name iPray, Amen.

ALL for Him,
Michelle Fozounmayeh
In This Issue
When I Know in Part
A Week of Unknowns
The One Who Knows in Full
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Michelle Fozounmayeh

Michelle Fozounmayeh
A joy filled wife and mom that enjoys writing, praying, speaking at women events and being an Area Coordinator with the ministry Moms In Prayer International.




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