21 Day Fast

The Book of John DEVOTIONAL by Pastor Dan McCluskey

 

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Day 1

Read John 1

“In the beginning!” Wow, what a way to start our 21 day fast with God’s Word. Right away we see that Jesus is God. We are told that Jesus is the Creator of everything (which is also stated in Col 1:16)! You will notice as we go through this wonderful letter that the term “life” is the key theme of John. This is exactly what we are needing, life for 2012. Not just an ordinary life, but the God kind of life promised by Jesus in Jn10:10. The abundant supernatural life!

John then proceeds to show us in verse 12 that we are children of the most high God. Verse 13 reveals that this was God’s Will for you to be called His child! Our God loves us so much that He wants our relationship with Him to be close; so close we can call Him Father… Take a minute as we begin the next 21 days of seeking God together to thank Him for how great He is!

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Day 2

Read John 2

Here we have two important events that take place. The first one is the wedding feast where Jesus did His first miracle of turning water into wine. The second is what I would like us all to see. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to prepare for the Passover feast, and on His way there He stopped by the temple (which was His custom). What He found was not good-He found the people to be more worldly conscious than God conscious. The people were distracted by material goods and worldly wealth instead of preparing for the spiritual awakening that was to occur during Passover.

Listen my friends; we are taking the time to spiritually prepare for the two great actions of 2012, Elevate and the Showers of Blessings. Do not be distracted by your personal surroundings or agendas that will rob you of your new life. Stay focused and resolved about this spiritual commitment.

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Day 3

Read John 3

Here we have probably the most well known verse of the Bible in Jn 3:16. This is the verse that changes the lives of all those who accept it. It is also the foundational Scripture and proof that God loves you! By receiving Jesus you have been “Born Again.” Just as the child inherits the nature of the parents, so does the child of God. We become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:1-4). Nature also determines appetite, which explains why we have a need for the things of God. Feeding on God’s Word these 21 days will establish a successful pattern and habit so we may grow into spiritual maturity.

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Day 4

Read John 4

I am going to probably make this statement a lot, but this is an awesome chapter! Jesus is going to do something that the religious leaders would not do and that is visit Samaria. The Pharisees hated the Samaritans so much that they would pray that no Samaritan would go to heaven! They also used the term Samaritan as a curse word! Jesus wanted all to know that the Father loves the outcasts, the ones that religion hates. He went there even though there were shorter routes to His destination. Jesus went out of His way to talk to a woman that He knew had a bad past. Her past did not stop Him from using her to impact her city for God.

Knowing our past completely, Jesus still pursues us as well. He desires to do the same thru us, but will we go? I say we will! When we embrace truth and overcome the things that hold us down, then through our obedience, others will see and follow Christ as well (verse 39).

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Day 5

Read John 5

Day 5 and we are going strong! The man lying at the Pool of Bethesda was crippled and could not help himself. The only way he could ever get help is if someone helped him. This man was sick for 38 years until Jesus showed up! Because of God’s mercy, He showed up to take care of this one man. Did you know that Israel wandered around the wilderness for 38 years! They were only able to go in to the promise land once the old was let go and the new believed. We too must let go of our past and let God help us in the pool of His new Life!

We also see that Jesus says that through our belief we can cross over from death to life. If you look around this week, you will probably see many people who need new life; People who need hope! Be that vessel of hope, be the blessing and help someone else make today a new day!

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Day 6

Read John 6

What to do with thousands of hungry people and no place to eat? That my friend looks like an impossibility to me. The disciples did come up with their own solutions to try to meet the need. First, send them away! Get rid of the problem! The second was to try to go and buy enough food. This also was not going to work because they needed over 200 pieces of silver ($12,000.00) to buy the food. The third way was just as hopeless- Take the kid’s lunch! Jesus was trying to get the disciples to look beyond their abilities and look to God to meet their needs and the needs of others. Jesus took a little and impacted thousands! Through this story we learn that we must bring the little that we have so that God can multiply it to affect thousands. Trust Him to do the impossible through your life! He is willing and able!

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Day 7

Read John 7

Alright now! We have finished the first week and things are looking up! This chapter is interesting because it shows us a very clear picture of the dangers of being deceived by religious traditions. Jesus’ own brothers (half brothers), the ones that grew up with him, could not even see the Christ in Jesus. They had the best opportunity, being the closest contact with him for years and even seeing the miracles, and still did not believe!

On the 7th day, the last day of the feast (vs.37-52) the priest would march 7 times around pouring water out of containers. This represented the water that came out of the rock when Moses struck it. This was the picture of Christ and His eternal water! Religion not only blinded them, but robbed them of Truth! Jesus the eternal water was showing them how to have eternal life and they could not see. Stay passionate for the Word of God and you will never thirst (Jn. 4:14) for spiritual things again!

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Day 8

Read John 8

Ok, this is crazy-testing Jesus! These guys were lost and evil for sure. The woman that they caught in adultery was totally set up. I’m not making an excuse for her; I’m just saying that these Pharisees had a plan to destroy Jesus and the Lord knew it. The Law says that both the man and the woman would have to be killed when caught. So, where was the man? I believe he was in on the whole thing; he probably was one of their own! Jesus would not fall for their trap, but trapped them in their own sinful lives. Not one could stone the woman because of their own sinful lives. Isn’t it amazing how the ones that want to attack and judge the most are the most sinful?

The next great revelation we have that Jesus show us is the revelation of truth. Jesus says, “If the son has set you free, you will be free indeed.” There is no sin that has not been conquered by Christ. There is no bondage that He cannot break you out of. There is nothing that can enslave you because Christ has set you free. There is one important thing about truth though that we must understand. If the truth is not acted on you will never be free in living life. It is the acting on the Truth that will manifest the freedom that Jesus gave us all! Live up and walk it, amen.

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Day 9

Read John 9

The great irony of this chapter is that a blind man that no one cared about, a so called beggar was the one that God used to humble the great religious Pharisees (who were the really blind ones)! The Pharisees were the ones that were truly blind in that they could not see the Truth that Jesus was pointing at. They were so blinded by their religious teachings that they could not even recognize God nor His power, right before them.

Check your sight my friends! Are there rules, regulations or traditions in your life that are keeping you from seeing the Truth in God’s Word? I love the comment from the once blind man, “I was blind and now I see!” Man, can I relate to that!

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Day 10

Read John 10

Jesus starts this chapter off by defining a “true” shepherd. He did this because the Pharisees professed to be the shepherds or guides of the day. They were completely unqualified by the definition Jesus gave. Jesus is the “good” shepherd. The word “good” describes that which is ideal, the model that others may imitate! God is good!

As Jesus our shepherd cares for us, we the sheep get to know our shepherd better. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. We get to know Him better by listening to His voice (the Word) and experiencing His love daily. As we follow the Shepherd, we will learn to love and to trust Him completely because He loves us! Listen my friends Jesus knows us in and out. He not only knows our nature, He also knows our needs! Read Psalms 23 and relax as we continue on our adventure together!

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Day 11

Read John 11

Here we have the smallest Scripture in the Bible (good for Jeopardy fans to know), “Jesus wept.” This story is so beautiful in how it shows us the true humanity of our Lord. Jesus knew that Lazarus would be raised from the dead, yet He felt the pain and sorrow of their loss (verse 35). This is so interesting that Jesus mourned with Lazarus sisters before He raised him from the dead. He really does feel our pain!

Listen friend, you might have or one day will experience loss. However, we must take courage in the fact that the Lord is with us and understands our pain. He can help us thru our hurts for sure.

We can all rejoice in the fact that Jesus conquered death! He said that those who believe in Him shall never die, so the truth is we really should not be overwhelmed with sorrow knowing this fact. I also rejoice in knowing that there is nothing impossible for the Lord to do, including raising the dead!

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Day 12

Read John 12

This is not only an awesome story of love, but I see three pictures of the church. First, new life. Lazarus was dead and now lives! We all were dead, but became born again thru Christ. Second, service. Martha served others and prepared a meal for the Lord. Thirdly, worship. Mary worshipped our Lord with love and adoration. This should always represent our church, amen.

I would also like to mention what Mary did. She poured out an expensive perfume (a year’s worth of wages to buy it) on Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. In today’s world she would have bought this at Saks or Neiman Markus and paid about $17,000.00 for it! Now of course, we see Jesus letting her know how terrible it was to pay that much for perfume; what a waste of money! No, we see Him rebuking her for buying something that expensive and not giving it away to those who really have needs! NO, NO, NO! Those are the evil religious people out there that are saying those things! It was Judas the betrayer, the thief that said those things, not our Lord! Like King David, Mary would not give to the Lord that which cost her nothing (2 Sam. 24:24). It’s not the amount of the purchase that matters, but the heart that purchases it!

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Day 13

Read John 13

Notice verse 2 here. The devil “put” into the heart of Judas. The word “put” means to “throw.” Satan threw a fiery dart at Judas and he could not stop it. Why? He did not have a shield of faith that quenches all the fiery darts of the enemy (Eph 6:16). We need to see this truth! The enemy is throwing darts of evil thoughts and the only way to stop them is with the shield of faith! Remember, our shield of faith comes by hearing and hearing God’s Word (Rom 10:17)! Don’t miss church and read your scriptures, ok.

Jesus washes the feet of the disciples as an act of submission and humility. He then turns to the disciples and tells them that they should do the same for each other. As you are going about your day today, commit to serve those around you. Do something nice today. As you are going about your daily business commit to serve those around you. Be a blessing. Amen!

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Day 14

Read John 14

Ok, now this is a difficult chapter! It is not that it is hard to understand; the problem is that there is so much I could talk about! In the lowest point of my Christian walk, 20 some years ago, the Lord ministered this chapter to me and it changed my life completely! There were three things the Lord showed me that turned my life around. The first was that I have the Holy Spirit (The Comforter) with me and in me always and He will never leave me (vs.16). The second was the fact that Jesus said, we are not to be “troubled or afraid.” Why should I fear? Jesus said that He has given me “Peace.” Jesus never takes back things that He gives us! Thirdly, Jesus said, “I am the way…” When we are lost and confused about the direction we are supposed to take, Jesus is the way. In the midst of hard times and tough decisions we are tempted to run to every other means of finding direction, but Jesus said that He is the way. If we seek Jesus first, all the other stuff will be made clear as well. Comfort, Peace and Direction -ingredients for success!

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Day 15

Read John 15

What does it mean to abide in His Love? Remain means to continue in, to dwell in, and to remain in. In verse 10 Jesus says that if we obey His commands we will “continue in” His love. He shows us His command in verse 12, “Love each other!” Remember, the proof of our love is not in our feelings, but in our actions! Jesus’ love for us always had proof! When we love each other, we love Christ! When we are generous toward each other, we are generous toward Christ. When we help each other, we meet the needs of Christ. When we serve each other, we serve Christ! One of the greatest ways to show love is to be involved in church. By committing to serve in church you are committing to love one another as well as Jesus! So, remain in His Love and do something for someone else!

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Day 16

Read John 16

Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world…” (vs. 33) It is very important to see what Jesus is showing us here. He is letting us know that there are going to be pressures, attacks, and rough times in this life. This is what He starts this chapter off by saying, “I don’t want you to stumble in life because of the attacks.” The word “stumble” is actually the Greek word for offense! Jesus does not want us to take an offense because of the evil attacks against us. He knows that if we are not aware of this we will take it personal! When it becomes personal, we are wide open for an offense which will entrap us; enslave us! Rejection, judgment, lies, deception, verbal and physical attacks are all things “from the world”. However, we serve a God who has “overcome the world” and in Him we have peace and hope!

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Day 17

Read John 17

In verse 22 Jesus prays that all believers would be unified. When Jesus prays something, it happens. The Father doesn’t wait around to decide if He is going to answer His prayers. In other words, if Jesus prayed that we would be unified, we are! We have been unified, now it is up to us to keep the unity! So let’s protect the unity that Jesus has given us as believers and submit to one another out of reverence for our Lord (Eph 4:3). “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity!” (Ps 133:1) Keep the peace my friends and live UP!

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Day 18

Read John 18

Mankind started in a garden and the first sin took place in that garden and man was cast out of the garden. Jesus goes into the garden and completes His final act of complete obedience to the Will of the Father, “Your will be done!” The last Adam thru His obedience, brought righteousness and life in a Garden!

Peter denies Jesus three times, three times! This could be a sad story concerning Peter, but let’s look at the Lord’s plan. He knew Peter would deny Him, but He had a plan of restoration already worked out for him! Let me throw in a side note here- Peter’s fall followed the exact pattern of Psalms 1:1. He walked, then stood and ended up sitting with evil people. Each act will produce a life of denial in a Christian’s life! Like Peter, some of you may have denied Jesus too. When this happens, be encouraged. Just like Jesus had a plan for Peter’s restoration (Lk 22:32), God already has a plan for yours. Be quick to turn back to Jesus so He can bring you into His full plan of an overcoming life! Live UP my friends!

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Day 19

Read John 19

This is a sad and happy chapter. It’s sad because from a natural view this was the greatest crime and tragedy in history. And it’s happy because it was the fulfillment of God’s plan in accomplishing His will to set us free! In Isaiah 53:10 we see that it pleased the Father to bruise and crush the Son! It was not God’s joy to see His Son suffer, it was all the suffering that would be taken away from mankind that pleased Him. Remember it was because of joy that Jesus was able to endure the cross and its shame (Heb 12:2). The Father’s joy was the same picture that Jesus had of you and I being delivered from death, sin and the curse! This chapter is the complete and final picture of God’s plan for our salvation. Therefore, we are reading more than the sufferings of Jesus, we are reading about God’s love and complete victory over death, hell and the grave! Take this time to give him praise, now! Thank Him for not giving up, but being obedient even unto death! Praise the Lord, forever!

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Day 20

Read John 20

Even in the resurrection our Father attacked the religious system and beliefs. How? The first person to witness and testify about Jesus was a woman! The religious leaders of that day had a saying concerning women, “It is better the words of the law be burned, than to be delivered by a woman!” Bam, in your face religion!!! 

I really love this next exciting message from our Lord. Of all the things that Jesus could have said when He entered the room (vs19-21) after He rose from the dead He chose to say, “As the Father sent me, I am sending you.” This is the ultimate goal of God’s plan that we would go to others. Who are you going to? It’s time that we take up our position of being the “light and salt” of the earth. Tell someone about Jesus. Invite someone to church. Better yet, bring someone to church. Let’s all reach out and spread the Good News of the Gospel!

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Day 21

Read John 21

Ok, now this is just wrong! They have just watched their Lord crucified, buried and raised from the dead! And they go back to fishing?!

I can tell you all right now with over 25 years of experience that this happens more times than not. Christians are often temped to go back to their normal and familiar way of life when something big comes to a close in their lives. It can be the end of a strong spiritual high or the low of a traumatic experience in life. Either way there is the temptation to fall back to what the flesh is used to. Remember, it is our responsibility to continue to “push” forward, to continue the race! When we stop I can guarantee that you will not only hurt yourself, but also be a tool for the enemy in that you are going to bring someone down with you! Look at Peter, the ROCK! He was fishing, and it was not for men. We see in verse 3 that his “fall back” was the downfall of 6 others! Listen, fishing isn’t wrong it’s the timing of all this. The high is gone, the hurt happened, whatever, but do not succumb to the temptation to stop doing the Lord’s work! Don’t fall and take others with you! Stand strong and continue on because whether you’re up or down you will always win following the Lord!

Wow, how wonderful has this time been! I’m a little sad right now that it is over. I have enjoyed reading and sharing with you all so much. Thank you, for being faithful in your commitment to have a better year with me. This Daniel fast has been ordained by God and I believe we will be rewarded BIG because of it. ELEVATE! This New Year was started off with a Jesus first mentality and because of it I believe that we will be the first to receive BIG things for our commitment. Thank the Lord now for the showers of blessings on your life. Thank Him now for the prayers that He will answer as you ask of Him! Give Him glory, praise and thanks every day this year. You all are very special to me and I love and pray for you daily!

I am honored,
Pastor Dan

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