Weekday Devotionals

Devotional by Raquel Simmons

Verse: Ephesians 2:13 (NLT): But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ.

Thoughts: In this past Sunday’s sermon, Eric mentioned a few different bullet points about “what to expect when you’re expecting a miracle.” I listened to the sermon, read and re-read the message notes, but was having a difficult time narrowing down what to specifically focus on for this devotional. However, I noticed my eyes kept going back to the phrase, “willing and ready” when he said, “God will use unlikely messengers who are Willing and Ready to Deliver His Good News.”

Like Ephesians 2:13 says, “I once was far away from God, but now I am near to Him through the sacred blood of Jesus.” I am united with Christ. I am now delightfully close to Him. Was it because of anything good I did? No. It is simply because of His great love for me, for you, and for every single person in the world. That is some Good News.

I lived many years not knowing this Good News, and by God’s grace I have received this news, I carry this news in my heart, and I now have the opportunity to share this Good News with others who may not know it or who may not want to accept it. But am I willing and ready to share it when God gives me the opportunities to do so?

Life is busy for ALL of us. Especially this time of year. Eric even mentioned how Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange becomes like a parking lot. This is true by the way! Many of us are scurrying around trying to get all the “right” gifts for others, trying to have all the supplies to make an amazing Christmas dinner, maybe trying to get all the things completed on our “To-Do” list, because for some reason we believe if we can get all the things checked off we will finally be able to relax and have peace. (I am speaking to myself here, too.) But, if we read further in Ephesians 2, verse 14 says, “Our reconciling “Peace” is Jesus! He has made Jew and non-Jew one in Christ. By dying as our sacrifice, he has broken down every wall of prejudice that separated us and has now made us equal through our union with Christ.”

I have this wonderful, life changing news that I carry around with me everywhere I go, but sometimes I am too busy to share it with others. I may pass by a hundred people in one trip to Wal-Mart, but how many of them am I walking by looking them in the eyes, saying hello and asking, “how are you today?” If I’m not careful I can easily get sucked into the things that don’t really matter and miss the opportunities God has set before me to share of his great love.

I was once that someone who desperately needed Jesus in my life. It is because some unlikely messengers were willing and ready to stop whatever it is that they were doing in order to tell me about what it was that my soul was longing for. Because of their willingness, my life has been radically transformed. Am I Willing and Ready to do the same for others?

With Christmas quickly approaching, with all the last-minute things needing to be done, and then a huge curveball being thrown our family’s way that could wreck all our thought-out Christmas plans, I began to panic and cry. I started talking to God about all that was on my heart and when I finally paused from my frantic panting to take a breath, He gently said to me, “where’s your focus?” In that moment I realized I was forgetting the entire point of why we even celebrate Christmas. It is about hope. The hope that a Savior was born and what that means for all who believe in Him. My responsibility is not to buy the best presents for everyone nor is it to make the most fabulous Christmas dinner. It is to let Jesus interrupt my plans and schedule, to be an unlikely messenger who is willing and ready to deliver His Good News to everyone.

Application: This holiday season, let’s stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Let’s be willing and ready to share that with everyone.

- Raquel




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