Devotions

Dancing for the Lord

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre Psalm 149:1-3   

This psalmist is ready to get their praise on! They are remembering and recounting just how good God has been to them and their people. God has been so good that they are wanting to praise God by dancing and making a melody to the Lord. Can you imagine the joy in this praise?  

 I can still remember the first time I saw dancing in church. It was at Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church when I was a youngster. It was most obvious to me that the congregation was filled with gladness for how good God had been to them. People were dancing, clapping their hands and stomping their feet. Music filled the air of the sanctuary as a beautiful melody for God was lifted up by all manner of voices. I’m so glad I got to be a part of that. It helped me to realize that praising God is a bodily experience. Our praise of God is not just for our minds and our hearts, it is also something that can be lifted up with the activities of our bodies that God created. Dancing for the Lord proves that we can set our feet to moving, move our hands to clapping, raise our arms to praising, and lift our voices to singing a melody for our great Lord. Yes, dancing for the Lord can happen in the sanctuary, but it can also be a daily mindset to making our praise of God a bodily experience.   

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    Posted by Josh Miles
    in Church

    You’re Here To Be Light

    “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” The Message Matthew 5:14-16 

    A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday school presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him. She gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it did not help. Her son's memory was blank. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue, "I am the light of the world." The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, "My mother is the light of the world." 

    The line was supposed to be what Jesus actually said which was “You are the light of the world.” And I like how The Message translation puts it: “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” While reading I came across a sweet prayer which says, “Lord as I walk through this world, let your grace light my path, your mercy shelter my soul, and your love heal my heart.”  This is a wonderful prayer to keep our hearts nourished in faith as we become “light-bearers” for one another. God’s grace through Jesus is not only the light that guides us, this light is designed to fill us as well. We are to shine with faith and show others how to shine too. 

    Think for a moment about what truly refreshes your heart and mind. Judging from a few articles I’ve read, people are baking more, watching a lot of Netflix, and improving their homes. Those actions provide some blessings, but they fall short of meeting the deep needs we have for assurance, direction, and transformation. The light we are given by the presence of God shines into dark corners of fear, assuring us he is with us. Scripture reminds us that God’s word is a light to our paths, and you can also find strength-renewing power there. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future.”  And if you’re ready to make changes in your life, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” As we experience these challenging days, you may wonder what to do with yourself since you aren’t doing the things you expected to be doing. According to Jesus, there is a greater purpose for your days. Let the light of Christ soak into your life and find ways to shine it into the lives of others. “You’re here to be light!” 

    Daily Devotions Podcast

      You can listen to devotions read aloud by following or subscribing to the Athens First UMC Daily Devotions on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

      Spotify

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