Gracie’s Devo – 7/27/20

Gray’s Devotional – 7/24/20

Adam’s Devotional July 23-29, 2020

From Adam…

“Sorry I can’t come; I’ve got practice.” Football practice, tennis practice, soccer practice, robotics practice, debate team practice, violin practice, play practice, harp practice, even shotgun practice. That’s the most typical excuse for why people can’t participate in church activities. It makes sense, though. If you don’t practice, you can’t play. Literally! If you never step foot on the basketball court or even hold a basketball, you’re not going to be able to play basketball. Maybe that’s part of what Jesus was getting at when he said this to his disciples in John’s gospel. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them, bear much fruit because apart from me you can do nothing. How many of us sit at a distance? We look at the crosses on top of steeples, we look at the Bible on the shelf, and then we’re surprised when we don’t know how to play. The fruit that the Holy Spirit bears in our lives– love in the midst of hate,  joy in the midst of sadness, peace in the midst of pandemic, patience in the midst of suffering, kindness in the midst of cruelty, gentleness in the midst of pugilism (look that one up!).  As all do, this analogy breaks down. Our faith is not about a set of skills to be learned but about Person to be known. If we never practice listening to God’s voice in prayer and scripture, then we won’t be able to discern God’s voice when we least expect it. How are you practicing your faith right now? Some people put a basketball goal in at their house so they can practice at home.  How do you practice your faith at home? When’s the last time you went on a walk with God around your neighborhood? When’s the last time you opened your Bible? When’s the last time you memorized a passage of scripture that encouraged you? What about prayer? When’s the last time you asked your friends how you could pray for them? When’s the last time you talked and listened to Christ Jesus like you would a close friend? Remember, the most important part of being a branch is staying attached to the vine. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

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

Mary Caroline’s Devotional – 7/22/20

Gracie’s Devotional – 7/21/20

Gray’s Devotional – 7/17/20

Adam’s Devotional – July 16-22, 2020

From Adam…

Would you rather always get what you want or always have someone who gets you? Seriously, what would you prefer?  If you had to choose between having the things you want, OR having a someone who really loves, understands, and gets you, what would you choose? It’s hard to decide. Think of all the anxiety that you wouldn’t have because you’d never be concerned with getting what you want. It’s tempting, isn’t it? Perhaps that’s what Adam and Eve were tempted by in the garden. They could have a God that gets them, or they could have the knowledge of good and evil. They, and we, often choose separation from God (sin) rather than saying “yes” to the God who gets us (communion). That “getting” is true in multiple ways. In Jesus Christ, God has come to get us. The Son has come to save us. We can say with Paul in the letter to the Philippians, “Christ has made me his own.” And there’s a second “getting” God has for us. In Christ, we encounter a God who is dying to love us. In Christ, God knows us, knows our needs, our hopes, joys, fears, doubts, and loves us still. What’s so amazing about grace is that God “gets” us in both ways. When we say “yes” to God’s getting, when we say “yes” to being got by God, inevitably we go where God goes. We are moved with the Holy Spirit to join in Christ’s continuing ministry in the world. What is stopping you from saying “yes” to a God who gets you? What if every time you felt frustrated or anxious for not getting what you want or need, you said “yes” to God in prayer?  When you’re in those places of worry or frustration or loneliness this week, try one of these prayers: Christ Jesus has made me his own, or God gets me. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

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

Ben’s Devotional – 7/15/20

Gracie Devotional – 7/13/20

Adam’s Devotional – July 9-15, 2020

From Adam…

How do we go back to school? How do we go back to church? And what about when? Wouldn’t it be nice if God just told us exactly what to do in this pandemic? In Exodus 37, Bezalel gives us a rare glimpse into what that’s like. That’s right, Bezalel.  Bet you didn’t learn that name is Sunday school. God gave him specific instructions to make the ark and everything inside the tabernacle. What’s amazing is that Bezalel does it. It’s rare to find a story in scripture where God instructs, and humanity responds with complete obedience. Bezalel offers us that rare example in this chapter. Could God have just created the tabernacle and everything in it? Sure. God did not need Bezalel but instructs him through Moses just the same. From the Garden of Eden to the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness to today, God continues to pursue partnership with us. Have you ever felt like God was calling you to do something?  Has God ever given you specific and direct instruction like Bezalel?  If God did, how would you respond?  Do you think you’d follow the instructions to the letter? Would you ignore them, or would you tweak them just a little bit to suite your needs?  What would it look like for you to say “yes” to God’s call on your life? Jesus is pretty direct and clear when he teaches his disciples; “Love one another the way I have loved you.”  In order to follow that instruction, we need to do two things.  First, say “yes” to the love of God extended to us in Christ Jesus.  And second, offer that love to others. God’s up to something… be a part of it.

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