Living in the past is a bit like listening to the call of the Sirens in the Greek stories. It’s song can seem so lovely and the temptation overwhelming, but it’s deadly. Today’s devotional by Margret Manning Shull, part of the writing/speaking team at RZIM differentiates remembering from living in the past and helps focus our hearts on living forward.
“But remembering is very different from making one’s home in the past, or seeing the past as the place of refuge, or the sum total of one’s identity in the present. To remember is to draw forward into the present what has been learned from the past. It is not the clinging to the past as one does with nostalgia. It is, as one ancient writer put it “letting go of what lies behind and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Perhaps Mary Magdalene was lost in the past when she entered the garden where her beloved Jesus had been entombed. Perhaps she was read more
Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all of our veterans and those currently serving in our military forces. We appreciate you and are grateful for your service.
What does it mean to be just? What does it mean to be justified? Can you be just but not justified? Can you be justified but not just? Steve Webb explored these questions using a military theme in honor of Memorial Day. Click on the arrow to listen to this message.
Most people have experienced traumatic events in their lives that ended in or were the consequences of some type of personal failure. Today’s devotional throws a lifeline of hope out for the ones who is currently going through or who has gone through such a storm. You may fail and lose it all, but you don’t have to lose you, your soul, or your faith. You may be stripped down, as the author says, but you won’t be lost.
During that storied final meal Jesus shared with His disciples, only hours away from all the torments that awaited Him, there is an extraordinary exchange between Jesus and Peter. The truly remarkable thing is that this is just before Jesus tells Peter he will disown Him. Sitting at the table, where the peculiar alchemy of wine turning to blood and bread becoming body was already at play, Jesus looks across the table at the fiery, well-intentioned disciple whose face was not yet shadowed by the guilt of betrayal. And He speaks words of heartbreaking tenderness to the man who says he will die for Jesus but will in actuality curse him by morning:
Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.— Luke 22:31-32
There are many article and devotionals devoted to the subject of faith. Some are very scholarly and theological. Others are the tried and true, been-through-the-fire-and-out-the-other-side kind of articles. Today’s devotional from Biblegateway.com by Max Lucado offers a perspective drawn from the experience of a biblical character who persevered in faith and was abundantly rewarded.
“If I can just touch his clothes,” she thinks, “I will be healed.” (Mark 5:28 NCV).
Risky decision. To touch him, she will have to touch the people. If one of them recognizes her … hello rebuke, good-bye cure. But what choice does she have? She has no money, no clout, no friends, no solutions. All she has is a crazy hunch that Jesus can help and a high hope that he will.
Maybe that’s all you have: a crazy hunch and a high hope. You have nothing to give. But you are hurting. And all you have to offer him is your hurt.
Maybe that has kept you from coming to God. Oh, you’ve taken a step or two in his direction. But then you saw the other people around him. They seemed so clean, so neat, so trim and fit in their faith. And when you saw them, they blocked your view of him. So you stepped back.
If that describes you, note carefully, only one person was read more
Todays devotional sheds light and truth into the dark corners where fear and shame like to hide. It points the way out for those who are caught in the sticky web spun by those twin life sucking spiders.
One of the things important for any believer to understand is how fear and shame impact our identity. Whether I could verbalize it or not growing up, too often I envisioned God sitting on the clouds, waiting to throw thunderbolts at my every sin. I looked at my own shortfalls and could only imagine a God who was frustrated with humanity, especially my humanity. Why wouldn’t He punish me or be disappointed in me? That would make total sense.
It’s uncanny how we allow fear to seep in. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear of being found out. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of judgment.
Fear leads to shame. Shame causes us to doubt. We begin to doubt God’s love and we begin to doubt God’s grace. Ultimately, we begin to doubt read more