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February 15, 2021

Devotional for Monday, February 15

Hello Friends! This is Chris Pieters checking in on Monday, February 15th.
Our Scripture for today’s devotional is Philippians 4:11-13.
 
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
 
Paul is very honest with the Philippians about how to endure life’s circumstances thru Christ’s power. As we seek to live this modern life as followers of Jesus, we will surely face troubles, pressures, and trials. We often wonder how we are going to find the strength to endure the current circumstance we are facing. When I am tempted to be overwhelmed or discouraged, God seems to find a way to remind me of his power at work in my life.
 
God is not limited by our circumstances, our fears, or our feelings.
…When life is too hard.
…When we feel alone.
…When we wonder where the strength or the money is going to come from.
…When we think we aren’t capable of completing the task or walking the road we are on.
…When we are confused about what to do next.
 
We can find our purpose today and for all time because of Christ’s love and the transforming power of the Resurrection!  God is not held down by our fears, by our insecurities, by our lack of money.  Responding to Christ’s call will always challenge our human limits.  God is not limited by any of these things.  In Philippians 4:13, Paul says “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”.  We can draw on Christ’s power for the strength to take the next step!  We are able to step out in faith because we have Jesus walking with us and the Holy Spirit working within us. We don’t need to fear living life boldly and purposefully for Him.
 
As you head into this new week of life, work, school, and family demands…HAVE NO FEAR!  God can sustain you! Christ will do amazing things in your life but sometimes it takes a willingness to take that first step of faith.  Live into the truth today that there is no limit to what God can do in us and through us.
 
PERSONAL REFLECTION:
What step of faith might be in your near future?
What do you sense God is nudging you toward?
Where in your life would you like to be more bold?
Devotional for Tuesday, February 16

Yesterday, we had a guest preacher in the Mosaic service (!!) Josh Harrington, the new Apprentice Pastor Candidate, shared a word with us from Mark 5, the beginning of which is quite a strange passage. Cool! But strange. The word that God put on Josh’s heart was focused around how, after Jesus frees this demon-possessed man, he tells him not to come along with him but to go and tell people of what God has done for him. The scripture reads:

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[b] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

All Jesus asked this man to do was to tell other people what Jesus was doing in his life. That’s it! Not eloquently or from a position of power, just tell people! Decapolis means “ten cities”, so this man, commanded by Jesus, went out into this wide area and told about what Jesus did for him and how he had been freed, and as a result “all the people were amazed”. That sounds like a lot of people were affected by this one man’s story – by his obedience to simply do one thing that the Lord asked of him. For all we know, this was an important cog in the larger picture of Jesus’ ministry. Those people who were amazed may have formed the seed of a community of believers in this area. 

This message reminded me of a few things: A) Jesus always knows best, despite our desires and what we want to do and B) it only takes a little faith to move mountains.
Ash Wednesday is this week, and as we enter Lent together, let us remember that small acts of obedience can have a supernatural ripple effect, the result of which we may or may not ever see. But we can trust that God is making all things work together for the good of those who love him and is orchestrating something far beyond us to bring glory to himself and make a way for humanity to be reconciled to God. A single prayer, a simple statement to a friend or neighbor of “God has really helped me with x, y, or z lately”, taking action on a nudge from the Holy Spirit or the words from a message – all these things can wrap us up together with our Lord in what He’s doing. Let us be gracious with ourselves, remembering that when we are obedient, what we have to give is enough.

Merrin Bethel
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