Devotions

Calling on the Lord

 

“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.” Psalm 138:3 

Growing up I learned what it meant to memorize phone numbers. I had several of them memorized. My home phone. Grandma’s house. Aunt Jane. Luke Mauldin’s house. And the offices where my parents worked. Thinking back on it, I enjoyed calling familiar numbers when I knew what to expect on the other line. The psalmist here tells us that when we call on the Lord, we can surely expect that God will answer us. This is a great gift, church.  

But if you’re anything like me, it can be somewhat frustrating when we call on other people and it keeps ringing through to the voicemail. I stink at voicemails! It’s no fun when we call on other people and we get the busy signal. Bummer! And don’t even get me started when we call a customer service number and it feels like we are not being served or helped at all. This is NOT the case with God. When we call on God, we never have to leave a voicemail; the communication and connection is direct. When we call on God, we will never get a busy signal; God is available to us on a personal and invitational basis, 24/7. And even as the psalmist points out, our Creator desires to help us, and to strengthen us on this journey called life. In these days, let us continue calling on the Lord, the one who always answers, our hope and our help.   

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    Posted by Josh Miles

    Pause in Wonder

    “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart.” 2 Chronicles 6:14 

    Focus for a moment on your hand. There isn’t any other hand like your hand. You have fingerprints, and no one else has them but you. Your eye color, your shoe size, the shape of your nose are yours and yours alone. You are a unique creation of God. I am too. Isn’t that amazing?! God has fashioned humanity out of dust and breathed into us the breath of life. Each one of us is a rare and uncommon individual made in God’s image. 

    Such thoughts are a nice change from checking news and wondering about what might happen next. 2020 continues to be an unforgettable year with a lot in it we might prefer to forget. Dwelling on that is like revving my car engine while it’s in park. There’s a big noise, but I don’t get anywhere. It helps to dwell on something more fruitful, and I’ve noticed that the people of faith I admire most tend to grab hold of God’s goodness rather than give up. They pause in wonder of God’s presence rather than worry about their circumstances. They meditate daily on God’s love. 

    2 Chronicles 6 is part of Solomon’s prayer offered at the dedication of the temple. The prayer has in it hearts lifted up seeking to repent and to receive God’s mercy. Solomon recognizes God’s unique and faithful nature, celebrates his steadfast love, and highlights God’s deep desire to be with his children. The temple was the place everyone came in order to be with God. Over the centuries and even now, God’s children crave that connection. How blessed we are that God sent his son in the flesh to dwell among us. Think about that. Meditate on that. Our days can be smooth or rough depending on what happens to us and what happens in us. Have you noticed that actively, intentionally thinking about the love of God through Christ changes the way you experience your day? Christ came to live in our hearts, to be in the thick of our everyday experiences with us. A hand can do whatever you decide for it to do and it will usually respond to what’s going on inside your heart. We choose more wisely, offer ourselves more willingly, forgive more quickly, love more readily when we place our hand in his and welcome his presence into our hearts. May you find a quiet place today to focus on the incredible, heartbreaking beauty of God's love for you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

    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

      Apple Podcasts

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