Archives for September 2017

Adam’s Devotional- September 28- October 4, 2017

From Adam

We live in a world today not too dissimilar from the world of Jonah.  It is a world with rampant segregation and dehumanization.  If someone doesn’t look like us, live like us, vote like us, believe like us, love like us, or go to school like us, then we are all too happy to passively dismiss, discount, or ignore the validity of their experience.  We love to get angry at ideas and opinions that are not our own.  God asks Jonah, “Is it right for us to be angry about me saving the Ninevites?” That’s how the book of Jonah ends.  We are left with an open question from God to Jonah, which is also from God to us.  God basically says to Jonah, “They are real people! They are humans!  They are made in my image just as you are.  Can’t you see that?  Look for me in them, and you will find me.  Look for differences and reasons to hate them, and you will find it.”  Who are the people in your life that you too quickly discount?  Who are the people that you love to discredit and dismiss?  Who are the people that you dehumanize . . . in whom you refuse to see the image of God?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional- September 21-27, 2017

From Adam

The foundation of so much pain, brokenness, and sin in the world is entitlement.  The idea that we deserve all that we have and more. When we suffer from entitlement, we see ourselves as victims of a system or of our parents or of our job or of our school.  As victims, we behave in ways we think are justified because we deserve better. This is exactly how Jonah felt. While he sat outside Nineveh, God causes a bush grow up to offer him shade. Jonah iss grateful for the shade, but before sunrise the next day, a worm eats the roots of the bush, and it dies.  The sun beats down on Jonah, the wind blows, and the dead bush offers no relief.  Jonah is filled with anger about the bush. He thinks he deserves to be treated better.  He suffers from entitlement. How often is your faith dependent on what God gives you or does for you? How often do you suffer from entitlement?  What are the things in your life that you think you deserve: school, car, phone, friends, family, money, fun, etc.? How would your life look if you replaced entitlement with gratitude?  God is up to something . . . Be a part of it.  

Adam’s Devotional – September 12-20, 2017

From Adam

Do you ever feel like God says no to the thing you want most of all? This is how Jonah felt.  He wanted God to destroy Nineveh.  They were evil, and they were Israel’s enemy.  But God didn’t destroy them.  God forgave them.  It’s possible that Jonah felt betrayed by God–like it was God who was supposed to be on Jonah’s side and not the other way around.  Romans tells us that if God is for us, then who can be against us? Jonah was operating out of an us vs. them mentality. When God forgave Nineveh, God was expanding the definition of the word us. Jonah couldn’t bear the thought of God also being for Nineveh.  How is God saying no to your prejudice? Who are the people God is challenging you to invite into your us? Who are the people that you refuse to let in to that group?  Is one of them Jesus?  God is up to something . . . Be a part of it.  

Adam’s Devotional- September 7-13, 2017

From Adam

When was the last time you were really, really angry?  What about the last time you were ticked at God? When God decides not to destroy Nineveh, Jonah is enraged.  He yells at God saying, “I knew you were a gracious God . . . abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.” In general we think about God’s grace as a good thing.  We are grateful for a God who loves us.  But here, Jonah isn’t.  Jonah wants a God who is for him, a God who is on Jonah’s side.  How often do we do that? How often are we more comfortable with God’s grace for us but not for others? God invites Jonah and God invites us to increase our capacity for grace: the grace God offers us and the grace God offers others. How might you join in God’s forgiveness for you and God’s forgiveness of others?  God’s up to something; be a part of it!

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