Daily Devotions

Recognizing the Gift

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Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

The Christian faith has been so popular, for so long, the radical nature of God’s love no longer feels that distinctive. We simply assume God is sitting back, waiting for us to talk, and to answer our prayers. That wasn’t as obvious to the people thousands of years ago. I’ve already given examples of the selfishness and cruelty of the Greek and Roman gods in past sermons. Before Jesus, the average person didn’t necessarily expect God to be at their beck-and-call.

Until we recognize the shocking, radical, gift that God gave us, we will never fully appreciate it. It takes the Trinity to understand the fulness of God’s loving commitment to us. God is not only all powerful, but loving enough to experience our lives in Christ. Just as amazing is the unique intimacy of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, God is available to be with us at any time. God is working in and through us at every moment of our lives. Even when we are not interested in God, God remains interested in us. More than interested, God’s love lives in and through us.

The bond we have with God is in the very marrow of our being. To deny God is to deny ourselves. When we pray, we are being fully ourselves. That is the gift God gives us in allowing our “request be made known.” We are called to appreciate this gift, to cherish it, and to use it every minute of every day. 

Today, we offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the gift of God’s attention, love, and commitment. Give thanks for the radical offer of God’s self to you and me. We might seem unworthy of such Divine attention, yet God doesn’t think so. We are left to give up our self-loathing and admit that we are loved. Accept the truth that you and I are valuable because we are loved by God. It is time to take everything to the one who resides in and through us, and makes us whole.

Fly Like an Eagle During Coronavirus?

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But those 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)

I love this passage because it expresses hope and optimism. Hope and optimism are in short supply these days. The Coronavirus is stripping the hope and optimism from our world. But this doesn’t need to be the end of our individual and corporate story. Our hope and optimism can be restored.

Too often, Charles Darwin is misquoted as saying the phrase, “survival of the fittest.” That phrase was actually coined by some dude named Herbert Spencer. Darwin’s idea of who survives, are those who adapt to their surroundings. Those who do not adapt are the ones who become extinct.

I am deeply worried that with COVID-19, there is a segment of society who is not adapting. Instead, they deny the seriousness of the virus, perhaps politicize or even make fun of those who wear masks. Pretending will not make it go away. The way to “mount up with wings like eagles…and not faint,” is to adapt to our new normal. Today, ask God to bless your ability to live with this new normal with integrity so we can protect ourselves and others. We cannot fly, while others are weary and faint. Hope and optimism come when reality is faced with courage.

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