Weekday Devotionals

Devotional by Steve Grigg

Verse – (Ephesians 4:1) Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

     I listened to the Mother’s Day message several times.  I enjoyed the sermon and understood the principles that were raised.  Yet for two days I looked at different ways to build a devotional around it.  Here it is Tuesday evening, I have nothing.  Then I wondered, where is the Jesus in each of the women presented in the message?  Let’s see where this goes.

     For Hannah we considered a mom’s lifelong spiritual impact, trusting perseverance in adversity, and prayer is a priority.  I see Jesus reflected in each of these.  For every believer, the moment of salvation begins a lifelong spiritual impact.  There is a realization that God has a plan, a purpose for our lives.  You may be like me.  It took a while to catch on to that realization, but I do see the change in my life over the years.  Jesus had a spiritual impact upon me.

     Prayer was a priority for Jesus.  There are several examples mentioned where he goes off to be alone to pray.  In John chapter 26, Jesus takes the disciples to the garden to pray.  Not only is it a time of prayer, but a time of adversity as Jesus deals with his pending death.  (John 26:36-39) Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”  He took Peter, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed.  He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”   Jesus prays for himself, for the Father’s will, and he prays for all believers.  

     In Abigail’s story I see Jesus and salvation.  I have been a Nabal in my life.  God knows my sins and how foolish I have been over the years, but Jesus is my mediator.  (1Timothy 2:5-6) “For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.  He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”

     Jesus shows support without control.  There are no ‘I told you so’s’ from him.  He definitely shows opposition with honor.  (He accepts all blame in the matter of our lives and the forgiveness of sins.)  I once heard judgement day described this way.  We are in the presence of God; the books of our deeds and the book of life are open.  It’s my turn.  As I approach God for my judgement, Jesus steps between us so that God only sees his son.  Jesus utters the word, “Forgiven”.  I tear up every time thinking about the unconditional love displayed in that moment.
     Martha and Mary are examples of accountability and authenticity.  Our Lord is willing to have the tough conversations with us(accountability).  The Bible is full of moments when Jesus leads us into personal reflection.  Think about his encounter with the lady at the well.  

(John 4:17-18) “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.  Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”  Talk about a jaw dropping reply!  And yet this moment is not about her life, but her heart.  (John 4:21-24) “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  

     I think if we were honest with ourselves, Jesus has had this type of conversation with us at one time or another.  He is not doing an I told you so moment.  Really it is an accountability conversation.  He wants us to understand what is important to him, to the Father.

     Authenticity, willing to be vulnerable.  I see Jesus hanging on the cross as his most authentic, willing to be vulnerable, example.  His love is so real, so strongly demonstrated, and then he wraps it in more love “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

     Lastly in the sermon, the unnamed woman was quiet until the end of the event.  I am sure she was afraid for her life, but she did not plead for mercy.  She stood there as Jesus handled the matter.  (I wish I had kept quiet more often.)  In the end she only responds to Jesus’ question and hears the words, “Neither do I (condemn you).  Go and sin no more.”  Jesus’ mercy for her brokenness.  

     Taking a point from a conversation with my wife, this story shows the difference between the old way, killing a sinner by stoning them; and the new way, love and forgiveness.  In fact, as my wife pointed out, each of these stories tie in with Shaylan’s communion message.  That the old way was a blood sacrifice for sin, but Jesus paid the price once and forever.  Now the new way: communion and the remembrance of what Jesus did through the cup and bread.

     Ten principles were shared on Sunday.  Depending are where you are in your journey with Jesus, take one, a few, or all of the principles and apply them to your life.  Like the unnamed woman you may need to trade your brokenness for God’s mercy.  You may want to work on authenticity and accountability.  Whichever one(s) you choose, do not look at it as an impossible task.  In our One Year Bible readings recently, we learned that even Samuel had to learn to discern when God was speaking to him.

     You want a story of life change that can live beyond your life?  Remember that it’s a lifelong spiritual impact, one that takes trusting perseverance in adversity, and bathe it in a priority of prayer.  

God’s love to you!






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