Daily Devotions

Include God

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"He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him." (John 1:11)

 

We tend to think of God as this other worldly, distant, omnipotent being. That thinking is theologically mistaken. Many places in Scripture, including this one, God is loving and does care how we humans relate to Him/Her. You can feel the hurt in the phrase, "his own people did not accept him." Most of us know the pain of not being accepted, at one point or another.

 

God came to be with us, as a fully human being. God came to earth for the purpose of intimately relating with us. Jesus felt all our feelings, including the horrible feeling of being rejected. I went to twelve schools between kindergarten and 10th grade. Being the new kid almost every year, meant that I often felt the uncomfortable feeling of not being accepted. Now, I rarely felt full out rejection, but especially at the beginning of a school year, it felt more like being invisible.

 

I often worry about children and youth because acceptance is so vitally important for a young person's emotional development. If not being accepted is hurtful to God, just think how hard it can be for we very imperfect humans. But the feeling of not being accepted is not just something that occurs in childhood. Adults have subtle ways of creating our own cliques, which are by definition, exclude.

 

God does not want to be excluded from your life. God desires your acceptance as much as you wanted to be included in that middle school group that always seemed to have so much more fun than you were having. Include God in your life today by being conversational. Take little spiritual moments throughout your day to talk to Jesus. Do it out loud. Talk like you would to a friend. That is the easiest way to include God in your life and allow God to feel accepted by you.

I'm Not a Nocturnal Being

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"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." (John 1:5)

I was riding my bike this morning (Thursday, Sept. 29th) well before dawn. I was on the bike path along the Des Moines River toward Saylorville Lake. It is so cool to ride in the dark. With my bike light leading the way, and the trees leaning over the trail, it felt like I was encircled in a celestial tunnel. That is until I had to swerve to avoid an irritating possum, who made it clear the trail was his, and I was not invited.

I was half way between my turn around and turning back, when my bike light started blinking. This meant I had five minutes before the battery shut down. I started peddling hard, in the hope

I could make the turn around with a lit parking lot, and wait for day break. I didn't make it. I had a decision to make. Ride in the dark, following the line in the trees, or stand in place and risk an attack from a snotty possum. They are so gross, so I decided to ride on in the dark.

The sun started to rise as I made the turn around. The ride back was so much more enjoyable. I didn't have to worry about running over a stray twig that would bounce into the bike chain, or run into a group of wild turkeys. (They never move off the trail because they are dumber than a box of rocks!) We rarely think about the blessing of light, until we are without it. The world is more frightening and nearly impossible to maneuver without light. "Christ is the light of the world." It would be frightening to live in a world without Christ's merciful light guiding our way. Our path through life would be dark, colorless and void of joy. Today, give thanks for the light of creation. Tonight, when you flip the switch giving light, thank God for Thomas Edison's invention. But also give God thanks for being the light that guides our way,

bringing color and meaning to our lives. Finally, thank God for the light that chases the nocturnal

beasts from scaring us half to death, i.e., the Evil Possum. Let your light shine!

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