Archives for April 2019

Adam’s Devotional – May 2-8, 2019

From Adam…

It’s Easter!  Did you think Easter was just one day?  Think again. It’s actually longer than Lent.  Lent is 40 days, but the season of Easter is 50 days long. We intentionally celebrate the resurrection longer than we prepare for it. Technically, we’re currently in the second week of Eastertide. Do you know where the disciples went after the first day of the first Easter? According to the gospel of John, they went back to what they were doing before they met Jesus. They went fishing. They went back to the way things were before Jesus. They didn’t know how to be Easter people. Then Jesus showed up on the beach, and he invited them to a fish breakfast.  Seriously, look in John 21. Have you gone back to the way things were before Jesus? How is your life different now because of Jesus? Nashville is pretty much land-locked, so Jesus won’t surprise you with breakfast on the beach. But where would you like Jesus to show up? When the disciples saw Jesus on the beach, they didn’t recognize him. Could it be that just like the disciples, you have a hard time recognizing Jesus? If you ran into Christ in the hallway at school, in your car, on the practice field, when you’re brushing your teeth, at work, when you get up in the morning, or in the middle of math class, what do you think Jesus would say?  What would you want to hear from the risen Christ? God’s up to something . . . it’s still Easter!

Adam’s Devotional – April 25-May 1, 2019

From Adam…

This is the last time.  Not for ever, but this is the last time for a long time.  This is the last weekly devotional about the temptations of Jesus Christ. Yes, Lent is over.  Yes, Easter has come. And yes, there is at least one more point to be made looking at the temptations.  Every temptation: turn rocks to bread, throw yourself off the temple so angels will catch you, bow down and worship the devil so you can be in charge of the whole world, and save yourself by getting off that cross . . . each one of those is about power.  The devil is tempting Jesus to misuse his power. How do you use your power? You have the power to accept or reject others. How do you use your power? You have the power to talk behind someone’s back or defend those who can’t defend themselves. How do you use your power?  You have the power to compare yourself to others or celebrate their success and grieve with them in their failure. How do you use your power? You have the power to practice gratitude or nurture entitlement? How do you use your power? You have more power than you think. God’s up to something . . . you have the power to be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – April 18-24, 2019

From Adam…

Do you know what worship services people are not lining up to go to? Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. On Maundy Thursday, we remember Jesus’ last supper, Jesus washing his disciples feet, and Judas betraying him. On Good Friday we remember that Jesus was abandoned by all his disciples; he was tried and then crucified. While you may not see many people in church Thursday or Friday, the place will be packed on Easter morning. It will take four services to handle the resurrection rush of Easter. Could it be that we are less interested in talking about how we betray one another? Perhaps we don’t want to be as gross and vulnerable as dirty bare feet; instead we’d prefer to put on our Easter best. Maybe we’d like to avoid abandonment and death altogether. We’d like to skip death and take a shortcut to the resurrection.  This Lent we have reflected on the four temptations of Jesus Christ according to Matthew. The common theme in all the temptations is the devil inviting Jesus to take a shortcut in relationship with us. The good news is that Jesus takes no shortcuts when it comes to loving us. Are we taking shortcuts by avoiding authentic intimacy, embarrassing vulnerability, and real reconciliation with God, ourselves and others? What would it look like for you to take the long way this year? Maybe you could go to the Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services somewhere. God’s up to something . . . dying to love you. 

Adam’s Devotional – April 11-17, 2019

From Adam
If you’re really the son of God, save yourself.  After the devil tempts Jesus the third time in the dessert, the devil leaves him, angels attend him, and Jesus begins his three years of ministry. Eventually, Jesus winds up on a cross. As he’s enduring a slow and painful death, he hears the fourth and final temptation. If you’re really the son of God, save yourself. And Jesus does something incredible . . . something unbelievable . . . something that 2,000 years have made normal. He stays on the cross.  He resists the fourth and final temptation and dies. That’s many people’s problem with Jesus. He dies. He doesn’t save everyone the way we want or expect. He’s not being the son of God we imagined.  He dies. He loses. He is totally exposed; his ministry has come to an end, and it’s over. Where are the places in your life that feel like failure? Where are the places in your life where you are totally exposed? And how do you feel about a God who loses?  Have you wanted God to be different or do things differently? Has God ever not done what you expected, imagined, or even wanted? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – April 4-10, 2019

From Adam…

The devil did it!  We don’t really talk much about the devil.  Which could be a good thing, it could also be a bad thing.  After all, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn’t exist. (Thank you Usual Suspects, ask your parents) Jesus definitely thought the devil existed. Jesus was tempted by him in the desert right before he began his ministry. The third dessert temptation is all about power.  The devil offers Jesus all power and authority on earth. All it will cost is Jesus is his soul. All Jesus has to do is bow down and worship the devil. Obviously Jesus doesn’t do it, but how often do we face the same temptation? If we compromise our integrity to get ahead.  If we tell a little white lie here and there to get more influence and power. How much do we live and work to gain power, influence, and status, but along the way forfeit our own souls. Who or what are you worshiping right now? Is it power, popularity, and social status or is it God. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

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