Adam’s Devotional – September 17-23, 2020

From Adam…

Jonah’s sermon in Nineveh is more successful than he can possibly imagine, and he is enraged.  He yell-prays at God, “This is why I didn’t want to come– because I knew you were a gracious and merciful God, abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing!!!!” While grace, mercy, and love sound like good qualities, Jonah resents them.  Why?  He doesn’t thing the Ninevites deserve forgiveness. So he prays a prayer of hateful anger and resentment. What happens next is amazing.  God doesn’t smite Jonah for praying in that way. God talks to Jonah.  God engages Jonah in relationship and asks, “Is it right for you to be angry?”  The good news is that God can handle anything we can possibly throw.  The story of Jonah ends, and we don’t know what Jonah does.  The question about his heart is left open-ended.  Will he learn to love the way God loves?  Will he be resentful and hateful to the Ninevites forever?  In Ryan Moore’s sermon last Sunday, he said this:  “We may not know what Jonah is going to do, but we know what God is going to do. God is going to keep loving Jonah.”  The same is true for us.  God is going to keep pursuing and loving us just like God pursued, loved, and called Jonah. What are you carrying in your heart right now that you don’t feel like God could handle if you said it out loud in prayer?  Say it. Pray it. God’s pursuing you . . . be a part of it. 

Adam’s Devotional – September 10-16, 2020

From Adam…

Vomit is so gross. Think about it. On second thought, don’t.  Jonah is vomited on dry land from the belly of the big fish. And it’s there, covered in fishy digestive fluid, that the word of the Lord comes to Jonah a second time. A SECOND TIME. God is committed to working with Jonah, and this time Jonah says, “yes” to working with God. He goes to Nineveh. It would take him three days to go through the whole city, but he only goes one day in and preaches a pretty hopeless sermon. He says, “Forty days more and Nineveh will be overthrown!” Then he walks out.  The funny thing is, it works. The whole city repents. Every living thing repents. All adults, all children, and all the animals fast, put on sackcloth, and sit in ashes. The entire city!!! Don’t believe it? Read Jonah 3. So, what does this say about God and us? God is committed to working with us, and God will work with whatever we offer.  Even if what we have to offer is one third effort and a lousy sermon. What’s holding you back from offering yourself to God right now? Fear, lack of knowledge, doubt, shame . . .? The good news of this story is that God wants whatever you have. What would it look like if you offered yourself to God today? If you can’t offer God all of yourself, what would it look like to offer God more of yourself than you ever have before? Maybe pray every day this week. “God, I offer you myself today.” Or “God help me offer more of myself to you.” God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – September 3-9, 2020

From Adam…

Jonah had completely given up. He’d given up on life, and he’d run away from God. But God had not given up on Jonah.  When Jonah is thrown into the sea, thinking he’s going to die, God sends a whale of a fish to save and swallow him up.  Sitting there for three days swimming around the Mediterranean Sea,  Jonah finally returns to the God that refuses to give up on him. Jonah prays.  What’s amazing about Jonah’s prayer is that it is filled with gratitude, praise, and confession.  Jonah thanks God, praises God, and remembers Who God is.  Then God brings Jonah back to dry land by having the fish vomit him up on the beach. God brings him back to where he was at the beginning, inviting Jonah to join in God’s work in Nineveh. The same way God has not given up on Jonah, God has not given up on us.  Gratitude, worship, and confession remind us Who God is and what God is calling us to do. What would it look like for you to lean into thanksgiving, praise, and confession today? Take some time this week to stop. Be still. Remember Who Christ is and what Christ has done. You may find that the Holy Spirit brings you back to dry land, where you can stand and hear God’s call. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – August 27-September 2, 2020

From Adam…

What has COVID made you forget? In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve forget that they can go directly to the source and ask what God meant about the tree instead of debating with the snake. Freshly freed from slavery in Egypt, the Hebrews forget that God freed them, and they worship a golden calf instead. David forgets who he is and who God has called him to be when he’s on his roof watching Bathsheba. And Jonah forgets who God is and who he’s called to be when he boards a boat to Tarshish. If you look throughout scripture, you’ll find many stories of people who make horrible choices right after they forget who God is. Forgetfulness is often a precursor to sin. If that’s true, then maybe remembering is a precursor to faithfulness. What if what we remember actually shapes us? What are the things, ideas, and who are the people you remember on a regular basis?  What if you made remembering Who God is and what God has done as a regular remembering rhythm in your life? Remember that God pursues you no matter what you’ve done or where you are. Remember that in Christ, God is dying to love you. Remember that God remembers you. This week make remembering a part of your prayer practice. When you wake up in the morning, remember that God remembers you. Pray something like, “God remember me.” Or “Thank you for remembering me, Oh God; help me to remember more of you.” Remember, God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – August 20-26, 2020

From Adam…

Remember that time Jesus walked on water? Crazy, right!?! The funny thing is, in Mark’s gospel the disciples were straining at the oars on the boat because the wind was against them. They were trying to get somewhere they wanted to go, and it wasn’t working out.  So, what does Jesus do?  Jesus does what God does again and again throughout scripture.  Jesus makes a way where there was none before. He walks on the windy waters straight to them. When the disciples could not get to him, Jesus came to them. All they had to do was wait – slow down, stop straining at the oars, and wait. When the disciples saw Jesus, they were terrified.  Obviously, they were a little surprised to see Jesus walking on water. But that’s what God does. When we are stuck. when we are frustrated… when we are tired… when we are in the places that feel like God is absent… Christ comes to us. Or perhaps more accurately, when we stop straining… when we slow down… we wake up to the truth that Christ has already drawn near to us. When is the last time you were still and open to seeing Jesus walk over the rough waters of your life to be with you? The start of school in this pandemic feels like straining at the oars. Be still, and don’t be surprised to find Jesus coming to you. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – August 13-19, 2020

From Adam…

Ever seen a potter throw a bowl? For those of us not up on our pottery lingo, that’s when a potter shapes a spinning piece of wet clay into a bowl.  This art form has been around for thousands and thousands of years. It’s so old that the prophet Jeremiah writes about it. “So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord.”
It might be easy to look over the last five months of this pandemic and see many things that have “spoiled”. Things have not gone according to our plans or expectations. If we are like clay in God’s potter hands, then what has been spoiled can be reshaped into something new, good, and unexpected. What if we offered our lives to God as willing clay? The best clay remains still in the center of the wheel for the potter to shape as it spins. This season may feel like everything’s spinning out of control. The strong pull of anxiety and fear can move us off the still center of the potter’s wheel. God can transform our fear and anxiety into a call to prayer. What if this week, every time you felt out of control, every time you found yourself reflecting on what has spoiled, and every time you worry . . . what if you slow down, turn those fears in prayers, and be still for at least one minute or two in the presence of the God who shapes you into something new?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

Gray’s Devo – 7/31/20

Adam’s Devotional – July 30 – August 5, 2020

From Adam…

Hope you found the miss you M&Ms at your house. It’s true– we miss you. And we really do pray that even in the midst of this pandemic, “that your love would overflow with knowledge and full insight. . .” Yes, overflow, not just be filled to the top– but filled to overflowing.  How does a cup overflow? How does it get filled for that matter? You put it under the faucet, right? Then comes the most important part– you hold it there. You keep it still until you cup is full. When the psalmist wrote, “be still and know that I am God,” maybe it’s so we could be filled with knowledge and full insight. How much time are you slowing down, being still in God’s presence, and allowing yourself to be open to the Holy Spirit filling your life? Which have you done more of: complaining about what you can’t do during the pandemic or holding still in God’s presence? Which comes easier? What would it look like if you filled some of the space in your life with stillness to be filled to overflowing? Try it this week.  Every time your frustration, anger and sadness overflows about this pandemic, slow down, share those feelings to God, hold still, and breathe for one minute. Do that daily, and the Holy Spirit may surprise you with overflowing.  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

Garage Talk – 7/30/20

Mary Caroline’s Devo – 7/29/20

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