The Instruction

Saturday, January 4, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Head That Once Was Crowned"1 (Lyrics)

John 21:20-22 – Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." (NIV)

Raising two large puppies at the same time is quite an adventure and a real challenge. At present, I am seeking to instruct them to heel when we are out walking. As the one pup, Sophie, is two months older than Bonnie, I sometimes instruct Sophie to obey the command to heel, but allow Bonnie more free time. When this occurs, Sophie really has a struggle to follow my instruction, as she sees that Bonnie is not required to do so.

The other day as I was working with her in regard to obeying what I had asked her to do, I found myself saying, "Stop looking at Bonnie, and you, Sophie, follow me." As soon as the words were out of my mouth, today's Scripture popped into my mind, and I wondered how many times Jesus has had to say those same words to me and to us as His children.

So often, our eyes are focused upon what others are doing or not doing for the Lord, instead of being focused on what we are to be doing. So often, we struggle with envy or jealousy concerning the talents, gifts, or tasks that God has given to others, instead of being thankful for what we have received, and having the faith to believe — as we present our gifts back to Him — that He will indeed use and multiply and bless them for His kingdom. So often, we think that what God has asked others to do is so much more exciting or important than what we are asked to do, and yet, anything that God instructs us to do is an exciting, important part of His eternal plan, a small part of His larger picture.

This year, in light of Jesus' words to Peter, may each of us simply strive to follow His instruction in regard to what He would have us to do, and not to worry about what anybody else is doing — for after all, what is that to us?

Prayer: Father God, You have called us to follow Jesus. Strengthen us this day and each and every day this year to simply do that, and not be looking with longing or envy or jealousy about the works You have called others to do or not to do, but simply be taking pleasure and joy in what You have called us to do. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    That’s a big amen sister!

    A good word Lynne. Happy New Year.

    Lynn. I just wanted to say thank you for all your good devotionals. They are thought provoking and a real blessing. Lord bless in this new year.

    Dear Lynne, good advice for all of us to follow and so needed.
    Keep writing. Your devotions are always filled with uplifting messages that enable us to strive to do better.

    Dear Lynne;
    I thoroughly enjoyed your devotional this morning. Your words are truth! Amen to your prayer!

    It’s amazing – just yesterday I was talking with a friend about what it means to follow Jesus and today your devotional confirmed our thoughts.
    Very well written Lynne. Thank you for the instruction!

    Thanks Lynne. I figured it was yours as soon as the dogs were mentioned.
    You’ve demonstrated your love and care of animals since you started writing for Daily. May the year ahead be a great one for you and your loved ones, especially all your 4 legged ones.

    Dear Lynne,
    A good lesson today. As you have pointed out we need to pay attention to our own calling. We would do well to do what we have been asked to do for Him. It almost is like children who want to make sure God is not playing favorites. Interesting.
    God bless.

    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for illustrating for us, “You must follow me.”
    I pray that each Christian in all the world will hear this, “You must follow Me.”
    For those who do not yet have The Word in their own language, we pray, ‘God speed the translators.”
    Keep writing.

    So true Lynne.
    I think growing older gives me more time to “think on these things”. I realize there is no use asking God to give me a job that requires a lot of agility and energy, because that has gone by the board, and thankfully, He knows it. So he has given me the privilege of a sitting job, i.e. sitting and writing to His glory, and I am very grateful for that.
    Bless you.

    Excellently put. I often, in the past, have had to hear God telling me, after a bit of my own complaining about why some people are or are not doing what I think they should or shouldn’t be doing, to NOT worry about that, but to look at what I am to do (or not be doing).
    Thanks for the reminder.

    Sometimes burning bridges is not a bad thing…it actually prevents you from going back to a place you should never have been in from the first! Peace of God!

    Good challenge. Keep writing. You have the gift!
    Bless you in 2014.

    Hi Lynne,
    I really related to your message about taking pleasure and joy in what God has called us to do and be, instead of worrying about what others are doing. We’ve been doing some studying on our gifts and using them to bring glory to God so this was meaningful to me. Thanks for writing,

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