Stop. Breathe in and out. Narrow your focus.

For a few moments, take in only what is in front of you.

Let your ears be open to the whisper of the Spirit.

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“Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time’? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

The crowd standing there heard and said, “It’s thunder.” Others said, “An angel spoke to him.”

Jesus replied, “This voice wasn’t for my benefit but for yours. Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world’s ruler will be thrown out. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.”

John 12:27-32

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When Jesus came to the end of his life on earth, he had a choice. He could decide to do the work that God had sent him to do, or he could listen to the voices who wanted to stop it. He did not want to die. His disciples did not want him to die. But Jesus was always obedient to God’s will. Because of that obedience, God was able to do great things with him.

Have you ever thought that God might do something great with you? God can! It will require that you listen to God and obey, even when it seems uncomfortable. You will probably not have to die, but others might not understand you. You may have to give up some things that you love in order to follow God’s voice. Know this: God can always be trusted, even when following is hard.

Ellen Di Giosia

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God, your voice is sometimes hard to hear, and sometimes I think that what you are asking me to do is too difficult. Help me to listen closely and to be courageous, so that you can do great things in me and through me. Amen.

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Now widen your focus.

Let your eyes be open to the whole wide world.

Remember that God’s call to obey is intended for your good.

Ellen Di Giosia

Ellen Di Giosia is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Jefferson City, Tennessee. She is a parent, a spouse, a knitter, a napper, and a proud ex-resident of the great state of Texas.

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Ken Medema

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