Welcome to the conclusion of the 4-part series on the Commands of Jesus. We have already looked at the first three Gospels this week and are finishing today with the fourth and final Gospel of John. This fourth book of the New Testament has 21 chapters, still offering a summary of Jesus’ time on earth, but also shares some different stories, miracles, and conversations from Jesus’ life. There are some details here that were omitted from the other three Gospels. Even through the repetition of the Gospels, reading the book of John offers a refreshing new perspective on the life of Jesus.
I’m not sure about you, but reading all four Gospels and concentrating on the commands of Jesus has given me a lot to study and contemplate. Because I want to encourage my readers to spend time in these scriptures and have time to reflect, I will not have a new post or devotional tomorrow. Perhaps you would like to catch up with some of the commentary of the previous Gospels: Matthew Mark Luke
Food For Thought-Commands from Jesus in John I found there to be less direct commands in this book and the ones I did take notice of seem to be focused on BELIEVE. This is key as we see Jesus’ time coming to an end on earth and he continually reminds his followers, including us, that we must believe. Believe in his word, believe in his miracles, believe in his sacrifice, believe in the cross, and believe that he is the Son of God and our savior. This action on our part leads to so many other action steps in our Christian walk. Here are the command verses I found during my study:
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” (6:29)
“Stop judging by mere appearances.” (7:24)
Believe (7:38, 39)
Know the truth (8:32)
Do God’s work (9:4)
Serve and follow Jesus (12:26)
Serve by Jesus’ example (13:14, 15)
Believe and accept Jesus (13:19, 20)
Trust in God (14:1)
Have faith (14:12)
Do not be troubled or afraid (14:27)
Believe (20:27, 29, 31)
The word “believe” is actually in the gospel of John 49 times. This would make it one of the most important, and likely the first, of all action steps we take in our Christianity. All other actions we perform are stemming from that belief.
Additionally, Jesus gives us a “new command” in chapter 13. Verses 34 and 35 state this: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus reiterates this command in chapter 15. Verses 12 and 13 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” And just in case we didn’t get it the first two times, again in verse 17: “This is my command: Love each other.” There is absolutely no room for hate in our walk as Christians. Please understand, I do NOT have to love or condone anyone’s sinful choices or actions, but MUST NOT hate my fellow mankind. My actions must reflect love, not hatred. The best way to help others understand and believe in the power of Jesus Christ is to model his love for others. It’s not just “a command.” It has been repeated three times right here and stated in very clear wording, no parables or colorful language, just plain and simple: LOVE EACH OTHER.
Today’s Prayer My Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that the information I have shared this week from the Gospels has been true and honest. I pray that my understanding has been clear and that my explanations have been understandable for others. I pray that readers will take time to further study Your word. I pray that I may put these commands into action in my own life so that I may be an example to others and serve on Your behalf. I pray that my fellow Christians will live a life of love and compassion to one another so they may serve as light to this very dark world we live in. Lord, may I always express love through my words and actions while working in Your Name. In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.
Today’s Scripture Remember in our previous three Gospels that the “Greatest Command” is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) To love the Lord your God, you must obey His commands. John shares this thought twice in chapter 14.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
Today’s Recipe I’m going to call this my “Triple Threat Thursday,” but instead of being three separate recipes, it’s one recipe with three great flavors-banana, peanut butter, and chocolate. I love these three things individually, in any combination, and all three together. The vehicle for which these three flavors are delivered today? A DONUT! So now we really can’t miss…unless you are like my brother and despise peanut butter…or you have an allergy. Otherwise, what are you waiting for?
For this recipe I used the Wilton nonstick donut pan. I bought this several years ago and there are other pans like it on the market. The great thing about these pans is you can bake your donuts instead of frying. That makes them slightly healthier, but a whole lot easier to make! My recipe yields nine donuts for the size and shape of my pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you may get slightly more or less. No donut pan? No problem, you can also use a mini-muffin pan, just reduce baking time by a couple of minutes.
Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Donuts
For the Donuts
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 TBS vegetable oil
- 1 TBS peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips
For the Glaze
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 TBS milk
- 2 TBS peanut butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray. With electric mixer, beat banana, sugar, egg, oil, peanut butter, and vanilla on medium speed until just combined. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly beat in dry ingredients to banana mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Carefully spoon donut batter into donut pan, filling about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Place donut pan on cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove donuts from pan and continue to cool completely.
Prepare glazes. In small bowl combine all ingredients, except peanut butter. Melt peanut butter in microwave-safe bowl for 15-30 seconds. Carefully spoon chocolate glaze on top of cooled donuts, spreading gently. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted peanut butter over the frosted donuts. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to allow glaze to set.