fbpx
South Fellowship Church

About John Egland

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far John Egland has created 0 blog entries.

A New Mission | Luke 24:46-49

He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:46-49

I hate sitting in the unknown. I tend to get anxious and impatient. I find myself thinking, “If only I knew what was coming, I could work to prepare for it.” I just want to get there and get going!

Jesus has just appeared to the Disciples and reminded them that His resurrection is fulfilling what the prophets had written about Himself. In doing so, Jesus is bringing the forgiveness of sins- so long as we repent to Him. Then He previews the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples, but tells them they need to wait. At this moment, the Disciples are probably getting uncomfortable, knowing that they are to go out and spread the good news of Jesus, but having to wait before they go. What the Disciples didn’t know was that the Holy Spirit was about to move amongst each of them, giving them the ability to share Jesus’s teachings and forgiveness with the entire world, regardless of language and in one day bringing 3,000 new followers to Jesus (Acts 2:41).

Jesus calls us to share His teachings with everyone in the world, making disciples of all people and obeying His commands (Matthew 28:16-20). Think about how you can work to fulfill this calling today. How are you able to share the Gospel message with all ends of the Earth? Look into South’s local ministry partners and see if God is prompting you to get involved with one of them.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

A New Mission | Luke 24:46-492021-07-22T13:58:22-06:00

Joy and Amazement | Luke 24:40-43

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. Luke 24:40-43

Have you ever received news that was so amazing you couldn’t believe it? We might be excited and joyful, but approach the news with trepidation until we know for sure it’s real; in other words, we believe it when we see it.

The Disciples are in a similar situation. Their friend, teacher, and Messiah has returned to them, but they still cannot quite believe it. Even after showing them His scarred hands and feet, they continue in joy, but hesitation. To relieve them of their doubt, Jesus asks for something simple…a bite to eat.

When Jesus takes the fish and eats it, He provides them with tangible proof of His Resurrection. The Disciples thought if He was just a spirit, He would not have been able to eat. By eating the fish, He lifts the fear off of their hearts; showing them that He is in fact their friend. This allows them to truly rejoice and bask in His presence.

Take some time today to rejoice in joy and amazement like the Disciples. Listen to your favorite worship song and give thanks to the Lord who created everything on Earth, who sent His only Son as a payment for our sins, and who continues to create and shepherd us throughout our lives. If you’re having trouble deciding which song to listen to, listen to “Nobody Like You” by Red Rocks Worship or “Good Grace” by Hillsong and give thanks for His amazing works.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

Joy and Amazement | Luke 24:40-432021-07-22T12:44:42-06:00

The Dinner That’s Not Really A Dinner | Luke 24:30-35

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:30-35

Have you ever had something you just had to tell someone? Maybe you got a promotion or maybe you found out you were going on a surprise vacation! Nowadays, we tend to get excited and share our news over social media; instantly telling our friends, followers, and acquaintances all of the good news in our lives.

These two disciples had a similar experience (and I bet they wish they had Twitter to immediately share their good news with everyone around). After Jesus journeyed with them to an inn, He sat down and shared a meal with them. As He broke the bread, the disciples’ eyes were opened and realized that it was Jesus who was dining with them. Without even finishing their dinner they got up and ran nearly seven miles to tell the other disciples about Jesus’ return.

When we encounter Jesus, something changes in our hearts. We are filled with this sense of joy and love that is so great and overflowing that we end up needing to tell people about it! This is the core basis of the Great Commission in Matthew 28: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” As we follow and experience Jesus, we are called to share those experiences and work to bring others into His love and grace. Today, look for an opportunity to share what Jesus is doing in your life with someone, whether it be a family member, coworker, or stranger in a coffee shop. Then ask how you can pray for that person and ask God to help them experience His love in their lives today.

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to us. Thank You for the death and resurrection that has freed us from our sins and brought us into Your everlasting love and redemption. Help us to share this love with others today in order to help bring them closer to You. In Your mighty name, Amen.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

The Dinner That’s Not Really A Dinner | Luke 24:30-352021-07-15T15:49:12-06:00

Explaining it All | Luke 24:25-27

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27

When I look forward to vacations, events or other gatherings, I tend to get in my head about what they’re going to look like. If something doesn’t pan out the way I thought it would, I can be completely thrown off. Have you ever experienced this? Unmet expectations can affect how I feel in the moment, taking truly amazing experiences and manipulating them into something disappointing in my mind. It often takes good conversations with friends and family to readjust my mindset and help bring me back to enjoying what we are doing.

Throughout Jesus’ teachings with the disciples, He foreshadows His death and resurrection while pointing to the scriptures, reinforcing that He is the Messiah. In his Gospel, John references how Jesus’ actions worked to fulfil the prophets and mark Him as the Messiah. Although many of His disciples had been present during these teachings, His death massively shook them to their core. In that time, many left! They decided He must have been just another prophet to come and go without freeing the Jews from the Romans. They had built an expectation of Him in their heads, not understanding His own teachings in the process and forgetting He had told them about His resurrection multiple times.

To address this, Jesus starts at the beginning with two disciples, reviewing with them everything the prophets foretold about Him and the acts He had performed during His teaching. In doing so, Jesus emphasizes the importance of reading and understanding scripture. He also teaches us to entrust our hopes to God and listen to Him as He speaks into our lives. As we do that, we begin to hear God’s voice and His plan for our lives. Today, think about what hopes you’ve put aside that, when looking back, God was or is still moving in. Take the time to sit in prayer, thanking God for working in your past hopes and for Him to speak into your future.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

Explaining it All | Luke 24:25-272021-07-15T15:45:50-06:00

The Last Supper… And a Future One | Luke 22:14-20

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Luke 22:14-20

Having had the opportunity to travel in both Europe and Israel, I am always awestruck by the amazing artwork dating back centuries, if not millenia. While I love the portraits and the grand scenes depicting great battles or significant people, the ones that stick with me most are those depicting the Last Supper. One of my favorites is Last Supper, a fresco by Cosimo Rosselli within the Sistine Chapel. It depicts the scene of the Last Supper, emphasizing the cup on the table and the “bread,” depicted behind the table in a triptych of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, His arrest, and His Crucifixion.

This is not a pleasant meal for Jesus or the disciples. Jesus has just told them that, at the table, one of this group of friends is about to betray Him, leading to His death. He provides them with the breaking of the bread as the symbol of His body being broken for them and us, dying for our sins. He then provides them with the wine as a symbol of His blood and covenant with us, that through His death and Resurrection, He is removing the barriers to our being free of sin as we follow Him.

When Jesus engages the disciples in the partaking of the elements, the bread and the cup, He is establishing a legacy to remind us of His sacrifice and His promise. We are told in 1 Corinthians 11:26 that “whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” We are left with a tangible reminder of His sacrifice and the removal of our sins through the Cross.

This week, take the time around your table to break bread and drink wine (or juice) in remembrance of Jesus’s sacrifice and promise to us. Feel free to pray the following prayer from Veit Dietrich, the German theologian, after you take the elements.

O Lord God, heavenly Father, we praise and thank You… By Your Holy Spirit, help us to use this gift worthily, to confess and forsake our sins, to confidently believe that we are forgiven through Christ, and to grow in faith and love day by day until we come at last to the joy of eternal salvation, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

The Last Supper… And a Future One | Luke 22:14-202021-07-08T13:41:52-06:00

Honor | Luke 14:7-11

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:7-11

Growing up, one of my favorite movies was Mulan. In case you haven’t seen it, a young woman named Mulan is expected to gain honor for her family by acting in a specific manner. In the midst of her striving to do so, Mulan’s aging father is called to service in order to defend China. Rather than following what is expected of her, Mulan disguises herself and takes her father’s position in the army. She chooses to sacrifice her position, her name, and potentially her life in order to protect her father. Instead of following expectations, she brings her family honor by going against convention and saves China.

In this passage, the Pharisees believed something similar. They needed to follow a specific set of rules in order to receive honor and be seated at the head of the table. In this culture, status was everything. Having one’s name known to others often became more important than serving God and others. However, Jesus tells the Pharisees it’s better to take the lowly place at the table. It’s in that space that they could be raised up to the place of honor.

How often do we find ourselves putting our needs or desires in front of others? In doing this, we are raising ourselves into that position of honor at the table rather than taking the lowly place and putting others before ourselves. This week, actively focus on putting others before yourself. This could mean letting others choose where to go to lunch, allowing someone to go ahead of you in line, or completing chores for your spouse or roommate when you’d rather be relaxing.

Father God, thank You for sending Your Son to us. Thank You for His example and His teachings. Allow us this week to follow His example and set others before ourselves. Help us to identify moments where we can take on that servant’s heart and exalt others through our actions. In Your mighty name, Amen.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

Honor | Luke 14:7-112021-06-29T10:40:12-06:00

Bringing Conflict to the Table | Luke 11:37-53

When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. Luke 11:37-43

Gathering around the dinner table is a wonderful chance for community and connection with friends and family. Some of my best memories with friends and family are those around the dinner table that go for hours. As these conversations go on, they seem to move from genial, fun conversation towards more serious topics. This is where laughter can turn to tears and fun conversations can turn to difficult, uncomfortable conversations. These conversations provide us with a different perspective that guides us in growth.

A similar thing happens in this interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus knows that what He is saying is difficult for the Pharisees to hear, but He is not trying to keep the peace. He is not trying to be kind or gentle at this moment, but rather is fighting for their souls. It looks like Jesus is angry, but in calling out these woes, Jesus is giving the Pharisees a chance to address their struggles and shortcomings head on. He is saying these things not from a place of anger, but a place of love. If Jesus did not care about the Pharisees, He would not be warning them to make a change. In our lives, we find that we need truth spoken through love into our souls to help us better grow into His image.

Today, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a spirit that is open to correction and that He would draw you back to the way of Jesus, even if it is challenging to you. Picture Jesus speaking these woes to you. Are there any that you resonate with? Are there hard conversations Jesus is trying to have with you? Pray a prayer of confession about the things you have done and left undone.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

Bringing Conflict to the Table | Luke 11:37-532021-06-17T10:20:44-06:00

The Spirit of Mary | Luke 10:40

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Luke 10:40

In one of his sermons, the British preacher Charles Spurgeon spoke at length on the spirit of Martha and the spirit of Mary. The spirit of Martha, Spurgeon says, is a “restless spirit” that culminates into “an elaborate method of doing nothing.” He contrasts this with the spirit of Mary that feeds the soul by focusing on the spiritual nature of Christ. It refines the soul through “the process of musing and learning.”

In my personal life, I find it so easy to fall into the “spirit of Martha”. Several years ago, I found myself putting a copious amount of effort into serving at a church instead of a balanced scale of learning, growing and giving back. This pattern quickly led to burnout and I was left wondering if I was really being filled by going to church in the first place. In processing this, I realized I had to make sure I was intentionally taking steps back in order to support my journey with Christ. It also meant I needed to surround myself with people who understood the importance of focusing on being in Christ’s presence. Having these individuals check in on me helped ensure I was taking time to be in His presence. Serving isn’t bad in and of itself, but this experience taught me the importance of focusing on having a “spirit of Mary.” I want to focus on the works of Jesus in my life rather than trying to appease Him through my actions.

This week, focus on how you can help others spend time in Jesus’ presence. Maybe it means supporting them with their workload and chores, or it could be taking them to coffee and spending time together in community focusing on Christ’s Spirit.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

The Spirit of Mary | Luke 10:402021-06-10T14:05:46-06:00

You Give Them Something to Eat | Luke 9:12-13

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” Luke 9:12-13 ESV

I love a good potluck, but don’t you hate it when the concern arises of having enough food to go around? The questions come up of, “should we go grab some Little Caesars?” or “is there a KFC nearby?” Inevitably, nobody ends up running out to get more and, in the end, everyone ends up taking way too much home. The verse above takes this situation to the extreme. The disciples wanted to send people away to eat and come back filled to continue learning later. Instead, Jesus calls on them to feed the crowd, magnifying the food provided in a glorious way.

In a similar way, Jesus works in our lives to magnify our callings. Often, what Jesus puts on our hearts for how we can glorify His Kingdom seems out of reach to us. We feel underequipped, underqualified, and undeserving of the path He set before us. Our prayers often mirror the comments of the disciples, “but Lord, I am only ___. I can only do ___.” We sit and wonder how God will use us in order to fulfill His purpose. It is in these questions that God moves in us and shows that He is capable of more than we can ever imagine and magnifies our talents and gifts to their full potential for His Glory.

We are not called to do this alone. Instead we work alongside others to fill each other as we work to fulfill His purpose in our lives. This week, think about how you can help fill someone else. Maybe start by grabbing coffee or inviting them to dinner, but focus on how to help fill their lives with God’s goodness.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

You Give Them Something to Eat | Luke 9:12-132021-06-04T13:31:59-06:00

Parable Comparison | Luke 7:40-43

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”  And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher. “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Luke 7: 39-43, ESV

Unfortunately, Simon’s response to the sinful woman Jesus can be familiar to those who have come to Christ later in life and are burdened by past sins. Instead of appreciating the beauty in the woman anointing Jesus with oil, he silently sits and judges, going as far as to question Jesus’ status as a Prophet, let alone as the Messiah. How often have we at various points in our walks been the same; judging someone by their outward appearance or by what we know about them, rather than how God views them?

Jesus sees Simon’s heart. He doesn’t need to hear Simon’s thoughts to know how he feels about the situation. Instead of calling him out directly, Jesus responds in parable. Jesus does this to explain how individuals with deep needs will respond to forgiveness with an extreme outpouring of love, while those with little need for forgiveness often will respond with less. In this moment, Simon is measuring himself against the woman and increasing his personal view of himself when compared to her.

In our personal walks with Jesus we might relate more to the first debtor in the parable; being in need of deep forgiveness. When we receive that forgiveness, we have an outpouring of love and thankfulness for Christ in our lives. However, while we try to maintain that mountain top experience, we can often find ourselves slipping; becoming more like Simon and falling into the motions of faith rather than focusing fully on the ways God has moved and forgiven us in our lives. This type of thinking can lead to complacency and judgement against others.

Take some time in prayer and reflection today. When was the last time you forgave someone for a great offense against you? When did you last ask God for forgiveness for an offense you made against Him? If you have something to confess to the Lord, bring it to Him in this moment.

By John Egland

South Fellowship Daily Subscribe Form

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This Devotional

Parable Comparison | Luke 7:40-432021-05-27T20:15:01-06:00
Go to Top