Archives for April 2017

Adam’s Devotional- April 27-May 3, 2017

From Adam

According to Matthew, on the first Easter, a few female followers of Jesus don’t find him in the tomb and are told by an angel that He is risen. Upon hearing the news and seeing the empty tomb, they are terrified and filled with joy.  They run to tell the disciples.  As they sprint back to town, the risen Jesus shows up.  Jesus says, “Greetings.”  Imagine the women running past him at first, hearing him, doing a double take, almost crashing because they turn around so fast, and then falling to their knees in delightful disbelief and worship.  If you think about it, when the women left the tomb, they were on completely new faith footing.  The world had literally been rocked by the unbelievable reality of the resurrection.  That’s why they are filled with fear as well as joy.  They are afraid of this new reality.  The women encounter Jesus on the way when they are apprehensively, but courageously, rushing out on this new faith footing. Jesus isn’t waiting for them in the tomb, but he surprises them on the road. Could it be that when we venture out into territory that is unfamiliar, into territory that we may be apprehensive to enter, that we find ourselves bumping right into the risen Savior?  Where is the place in your life that is new territory in your faith– the place that you might even be afraid of?  What would it look like for you to venture out into the reality of the resurrection there?  How might you take steps in the direction of new faith footing this week?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devo- April 20-26, 2017

From Adam

In the 28th Chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, we read an account of the first Easter morning.  Women (that’s right not men) went to the tomb.  They were, as we can imagine, grief stricken.  They wanted to go to the tomb to mourn . . . to find Jesus where they left him.  But they are in for an earth shaking surprise.  Jesus is not where they left him.  When they arrive at the tomb the earth shakes and an angel comes and rolls away the stone revealing an empty tomb. The angel tells them that Jesus is risen and on the move!  Jesus doesn’t wait around for them in the place of the dead, he’s on the move in the land of the living.  How often do you think you can just leave Jesus somewhere and he’ll stay put? You ever think you can keep Jesus safely sealed away in places like church on Christmas and Easter, or just on Sundays, or just with other christians?  The scary good news is that Jesus reveals a wild untamable God that won’t stay put.  Where are the places in your life that you’ve left Jesus?  Where are the places you don’t expect to run into him? Do you ever find yourself wishing you could go back to the way things were?  Could it be that God has something better for us than what used to be? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional- April 13-19, 2017

From Adam

The temptation during Holy Week is to skip Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and jump to Easter.  This may also be the great temptation in life as well.  We know about Jesus’ betrayal, and we know about Jesus’ crucifixion, but it can be tempting to jump to resurrection and forget about death.  When we, or people we know, experience painful emotions or experiences, we can be tempted to push those feelings away or try to fix others by saying some version of “everything is going to be okay” or “just count your blessings”.  When you really stop and think about it, it’s a guarantee that those experiencing the first Holy Week felt as though their entire worlds were crashing down upon them.  They may have felt like their greatest nightmare was coming true.  On Holy Saturday (the day between Good Friday and Easter when Jesus is in the tomb) you can bet they were not looking forward to an Easter egg hunt the next day.  The point is, you have to go through Good Friday to get to Easter– you have to go through death to get to resurrection. What is the figurative death in your life that you are avoiding?  What are the painful emotions that you or your friends are dealing with that you are trying to avoid, ignore, or fix?  Matthew’s gospel records these last words of Jesus: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Is there any place in your life where you need to pray that same prayer Jesus prays?  Good Friday reminds us that God is with us, even when we feel God-forsaken.  God’s up to something . . . Be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – April 6-12, 2017

From Adam

Jesus told his disciples to take up their cross and follow him.  For those of us who want to follow the way of Jesus, this is a challenging teaching.  Its challenging because it’s two fold.  “Take up your cross.”  In other words, you can’t pretend that you don’t have any issues; you can’t leave them and never deal with them.  “And follow me.”  We expect Jesus to say this.  If we’ve paid any attention in sunday school at all, we’re not surprised when we here Jesus ask us to follow.  However, It’s tempting to do one or the other of this twofold teaching.  We either allow our issues and stresses to distract us from following Jesus or we think that following Jesus means we can leave all our issues and stresses behind us.  Jesus is carrying his cross and asking us to carry ours.  On the eve of holy week, it’s helpful for us to be reminded that Christ didn’t suffer so that we would be freed from suffering.  We are going to suffer, we are going to have our own cross to bear, but we do not have to bear it alone.  Which way are you tempted to go?  Are you tempted to focus on your personal problems and issues allowing your cross to eclipse Jesus?  Have you confused running away from your pressures and stresses with following Jesus?  How can you intentionally take up your cross and follow? What does that even look like?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.  

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