The Gift of Grace

In Daily Devotional by Greg Laurie

Theme of the Week: Walking with Jesus

Bible Verse: “For they will be a garland of favor on your head and pendants around your neck.” Proverbs 1:9 CSB

Scripture Reading: John 20:19-29

The disciples were gathered together. Thomas was with them, and Jesus appeared, greeting them with the familiar Jewish phrase, “Shalom,” or “Peace to you!” How easily he could have greeted them with rebuke! He could have reminded them of their unfaithfulness and fear the previous weekend. He could have laid them all off and hired a new set of disciples. But grace is giving us what we don’t deserve.

Up to this point, no doubt, Thomas admired Jesus as a tremendous hero, role model, and messenger of God. But John tells us how that changed when Jesus arrived to prove his resurrection to Thomas. “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:27–28).

It’s not enough to acknowledge Jesus as God. We need to make him our God. The Bible tells us that “Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19). Also, notice that Jesus accepted this worship from Thomas, saying, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Jesus’s response to Thomas is a special blessing for us as well. It’s important for us to know that God loves to bless us. Jesus both began and concluded his earthly ministry with blessing people.

Now, we have not seen Jesus . . . yet. But the day is coming when every eye shall see him. The day is coming when every knee shall bow. Until then, we are to believe.

Mark’s Gospel tells the story of a distraught father who brought his demon-possessed child to Jesus. “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us,” he told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” So the man prayed an honest prayer: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (see Mark 9:22–24).

You might be a skeptic today like I once was. You may say, like Thomas, “Show me, and I’ll believe.” But Jesus said, “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). Just come to God with your doubts, questions, and even your skepticism, and say, “Lord, come into my life. Forgive me of my sins.”


From Walking With Jesus: Daily Inspiration From The Gospel Of John by Greg Laurie. Copyright ©2007 by Greg Laurie. Used by permission of Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI. http://bakerpublishinggroup.com

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About
Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship with campuses in California and Hawaii. He began his pastoral ministry at the age of 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed that small group into a church of some 15,000 people. Today, Harvest is one of the largest churches in America, and consistently ranks among the most influential churches in the country.
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Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship with campuses in California and Hawaii. He began his pastoral ministry at the age of 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed that small group into a church of some 15,000 people. Today, Harvest is one of the largest churches in America, and consistently ranks among the most influential churches in the country.