Devotions

in Church

Going Outside to Sit and to Listen 

“For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12  

Have you ever tried going outside just to sit and listen? Simply listen. Simply observe and take it all in, the work of our great God. Listen to the birds, the bees, the breeze, the trees. Take it all in. See the rays of light from the sun, feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. See the leaves doing cartwheels and the blades of grass doing some semblance of the wave. Experience the wonder and beauty of all the life directly in your midst. I know this… Times of sitting and listening have been especially meaningful to me in these days. Sometimes I am doing so much that I fail to fully recognize how much God is doing and how much God has done in my midst. 

Our God is the God of creation! God spoke life into existence and called it good. And the life forms on this earth include more than just human beings. Perhaps we can learn something from the trees and their firm roots. Maybe the bees quest for something sweet is something to emulate—even today—because we recognize that all is not good in this world. But, church, can we, too, take the time to find the good and praise it? Perhaps the entirety of creation has a chorus and a melody that we need to hear in this season. So, let us make room to step aside from all of our busy doing. That work shall still remain. But, for right now this day, let us go outside to sit and to listen. Then, maybe then, we too shall experience the full measure of the words the prophet Isaiah penned longed ago.   

-Josh Miles 

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Where is the love?  

“Finally, brothers and sisterswhatever is truewhatever is noblewhatever is rightwhatever is purewhatever is lovelywhatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things” Philippians 4:8 

These words have been used lyrics by a number of music artists, and they’ve been running through my mind everyday over the past two weeks. Whether I am watching the news, scrolling through social media, or reading the paper, I often find myself thinking, where is the love? 

Even in the darkest of days, God’s love is always there; he is always there for you and for me. 

I recently read Finally, brothers and sisterswhatever is truewhatever is noblewhatever is rightwhatever is purewhatever is lovelywhatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Philippians 4:8). This scripture is a great reminder for us to intentionally make an effort to think lovely thoughts.  

Just imagine your mind being free from the stress and sadness of this world. We know God’s love for us is bigger than any sadness we could ever feel. We must trust Him with our whole lives, give Him all our worries and fears, leave them at His feet and walk away filled with His love. 

So often, we feel overwhelmed by doubt and negativity and fear as we see all that is going on in the world. It can become hard to stay connected to what is true, noble, right, right, lovely, and admirable. We must make a choice, rather than searching for love, we must focus our hearts and our minds on God, we must rejoice in his love every single day, and share it with others. By doing so, we’ll know the answer to ‘where is the love.’ 

Kimberly Liebowitz 

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