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January 13, 2021

Devotional for Wednesday, January 13

Happy Wednesday to you all. This is Pastor Doug checking in for January 13.

As a church, we’re about to begin our Gospel study of the life of Jesus which will lead us into Easter. We’ll be walking through the Gospel according to Mark this year. Jesus’ first recorded words in Mark are these, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

I can’t help but feel the urgency in those words. As if there isn’t any more time to dawdle. There isn’t room any longer for hemming and hawing. The time has come. It’s here. It’s time to choose, it’s time to decide. Is our walk within the kingdom that is not God’s over or are we going to try and continue to live according to old, broken parameters and logic? The kingdom of God is near. Will we be citizens of that kingdom or will we stay citizens of the kingdom of the prince of the world (John 14:30)?

I’ve been feeling urgency lately in my own life not to ease into the decisions which reflect my allegiance. Time is short. “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty if our strength endures.” In the scope of time, that’s a blip. I don’t have a lot of time to waste…so why do I waste it on things that do not reflect God’s desires for me?

God bless and keep you all. May His kingdom and His will be your priority in the time you have on this earth.
 

Devotional for Thursday, January 14

Good morning, Community siblings!  Lyn Walker here.  Today I just want to share with you the thoughts that came to mind as I was interacting with Jesus the other day.  Thinking with him, using a basic template called Immanuel Journaling, has become a huge, life-giving part of my relationship with God.  Although I don’t always strictly follow the template, it helps get me started in hearing God’s thoughts toward me.  First, I ask Him to help me “hear” Him. Then I listen for how He sees, hears, and understands me and my current situation, both physically and internally. And I listen for His perspective on my situation – that He’s glad to be with me in it, and that He can provide what I need. When I’m journaling, I put God’s thoughts in red so I can easily go back and re-read what He said to me.
 
For some context, I had recently been talking with some friends about the parable of the lost son and the waiting father, who has also been called the prodigal father because of his extravagant, some would say wasteful, love.  And I had woken up that morning feeling heavy about my to-do list.
 
I hope He speaks peace to your soul as He did mine.
 
I see you sighing, clasping your hands and trying to quiet the low-grade anxiety you feel about today.  There’s so much to get done.  I hear you already problem-solving before there’s a problem.  I understand how important it is for you to at least meet, if not exceed, expectations, but that it is an unbearable burden.  An unreachable goal. I know that even now you’re having a hard time connecting with Me so that I can give you bread for today, breath for the moment. But I can’t give you what you won’t receive.  Slow down.  You remember, the prodigal father was quick to lavish his love, and not merely his wealth, on his younger son once he was willing to receive it.  The younger son finally received, but the older son, even though everything the father had was his, did not receive or enjoy the father’s love.  The older son lived like a slave in the father’s house unnecessarily. Please don’t be like him, even for one day. I long to be gracious to you, my daughter.  I am the Way, and I have everything you need.  Let’s do this day together. 
 
Luke 15:31 - “’My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’”
 
Isaiah 30:18 - “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the LORD is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!”
 
Psalm 139:1-2,16-18 – “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar . . . All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I were to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.  When I awake, I am still with you.”
 
P.S. If you would like to learn more about having an interactive relationship with God, I would love to share what I’ve learned with you.  My email address is lwalker@commref.org.  Let’s talk.
 
 
 
 

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