Devotions

in Church

Making God Known

Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:7-10 

Paul knows that God’s grace and Holy Spirit power is upon his life and ministry. We should know that counts for us, too. As the church, we are all given the opportunity to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ out in our world. God’s grace and power is not only accessible for Paul, but it’s accessible for all. I am certain that God is working for all people—Jew and Gentile—to make known the good news of God in Jesus Christ. The Gospel message permits all people to make known God’s love, grace, goodness, and communion found in Jesus. So how are you making God known in these days? 

Paul says that through the church the wisdom of God can become known to rulers and authorities in heavenly places. I’d like to add to that. I believe that through the church, the wisdom of God should be made known in ALL places, not just those we consider “heavenly.” We can make God known in our places of employment, at the grocery store, at the school, throughout our communities, and even when driving in the car. Think about that for a moment. Our actions toward other people can teach others about God. What are we teaching, church? Are we making God known through judgment, impatience, hostility, or road rage? This scripture actually gives us pause right now to consider how we are making God known. We can now consider: what messages of Jesus are we sharing through our daily behaviors? God’s grace and power don’t make us robots, but we must choose to accept and act upon these great gifts from God in our daily lives. Let us always remember that making God known is not a task appointed for inside of the church walls and places of worship. Love, grace, and goodness need to be on the move. For in the great goal of making God known, the church needs to leave the building and to make God known throughout the community and throughout our world.  

Posted by Josh Miles
Tags: devotion
in Church

Now that Christmas is Over…

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 

I love Christmas. Although it was quite different this year, we celebrated with our family the joy and love of the season. My children and I had to visit with each other via the computer and telephone. We exchanged gifts through the mail. We did not travel but stayed home, yet we did get to connect several times through modern technology. Now that Christmas is over and we are back to our January routine, it’s time to put away the holiday and move on in the new year. 

What does it mean for us now that Christmas is over? A few days ago I did a search on my computer looking for scriptures that discussed the topic of “moving on.” The list was broad, covering a variety of subjects related to going on to what is next, and leaving behind what has just past. Here are some examples: 

  • Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing.   Isaiah 43:18 
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.   Philippians 4:6 
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.   2 Corinthians 5:17 
  • But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.   Isaiah 40:31 

All of these verses encourage us to “keep on keeping on” as we follow God in our daily lives. One of my favorite verses is found in Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The Apostle is telling us that he is focused on God’s call on his life, and that is what is most important to him. This calling moves him forward. This calling moves him upward. The call of God is steady and motivating. 

Now that we are “moving on” into the new year, it is good for us to examine what motivates us in our lives. Surely God is calling us to continue forward in faith, challenging us to grow as disciples. God calls us not just once, but over and over again, to follow what we know to be our call, to do what God asks us to do, to live with the certainty of grace sufficient for every need, to walk by faith every day in every way. 

Yes, Christmas is over and it is time to move on. My prayer for you and for me is that we set our attention on the call of God and make this new year the best.  Amen. 

Posted by Bob Winstead
Tags: devotion

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