3 Devotions based on the upcoming 16th Sunday after Pentecost
16th Sunday after Pentecost-OT
TEXT: Isa. 55:6-9
TITLE: The One and only Mr. Know-It-All
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
Job thought he knew a lot. He even wanted to try to match wisdom with God but where did that leave him…repenting in dust and ashes. Years ago, Shirley MacLaine had written a book-‘Out on a Limb’ where she made the claim, ‘we are all gods!’ From that I pictured a scene in heaven where God says, “Hey Gabriel, Michael, and all you angels, want to see something funny? Look what Shirley is saying…He points to earth and they hear this tiny squeak of a voice shouting…”I AM GOD! I AM GOD! And there is a burst of laughter from heaven.
In a sense, people think they are God and no better than him when they try to live life their own way, including their sins! God knows best for all of us and because we ‘know so little’ and sin, God sent us Jesus! Imagine the wisdom of the Creator, this world with all its complexities including life itself. The Macro-size of the universe as we know it and beyond, and the Micro-size world of molecules, atoms, gene-strands of DNA. God knows it all and continues to create, maintain, and control according to His will. God is truly the one and only Mr. Know-it-all!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being helping us in ‘knowing’ Jesus and the things You would have know to Your glory and our every blessing, in Jesus Name, Amen.
16th Sunday after Pentecost-Epistle…
TEXT: Philippians.1:12-14, 19-20
TITLE: The Good Germ of the Gospel
“I want you to know what’s happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.”
It never fails! Baby gets a cold; brother gets a cold, then finally the mother and husband get colds. One little cold germ passes on one of life’s little conundrums starting with one and spreading to others. In a certain way, that little cold germ works a lot like the Gospel. Eliza Davis-George was a Texas-raised daughter of slaves who returned to the land of her roots, Liberia in the early 1900’s. She spent most of her 100-year life sharing the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to her ancestors. She constantly faced starvation, political unrest, and near hopeless financial means. Given no more instructions other than “do what you can,” this single woman was responsible for starting 4 missions and 27 churches and bringing countless thousands to Christ.
On the one hand, Paul had the seeming misfortune of being put in prison for professing the Gospel. These trials came about as a result of sin in his life! Instead of this message being quelled or quieted, it actually flourished and advanced as a result. One woman with trials, one man with a trial, on the other hand, God used them both to spread His Gospel message to eventual millions upon millions. In our lives, we face various hardships and trials. God can use us to be a witness of His love as well, as He sees us through the strain of our trial. The “good germ” of the Gospel spreads for our good!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for using me as You will to bring about Your eternal good. Use me also to bring others to You, in Jesus Name, Amen.
16th Sunday after Pentecost-Gospel
TEXT: Matthew 20:1-16
TITLE: Grace That’s Fair
“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money or are you envious because I’m generous? Matt.20:15
“NO FAIR!” On the one hand, that’s what the workers who worked all day; morning till evening, during the sun’s hottest hours were perhaps saying after finding out what those who only worked for an hour got paid. Sun’s heat…product of sinfulness ! On the other hand, there are other examples from scripture where one could say, “No Fair!” For example; the thief on the cross and his same day ticket to paradise as compared to other Christians who perhaps suffered much persecution all their lives for Jesus Name sake. “FAIR?” they might ask. Or, the prodigal son’s older brother working years for his father and no party but when wild little brother comes home and its red carpet treatment. “FAIR?” These are all product of God’s grace!
The statement written above represents God’s response to this question of fairness. God would rather have our attitude be one of joy that another soul has been snatched from the jaws of eternal damnation than to sulk over someone who appears to be getting grace without suffering. Whether it’s our good works or suffering, neither count for anything in regard to receiving God’s grace or heaven. We’re all undeserving of His grace yet we’re given it through Jesus. So instead of “NO FAIR!” we shout-“PRAISE GOD!” Praise God for His Love which endures forever!
Dear Heavenly Father, help us be thankful of You instead of envious of others! When it comes to Your mercy help us share it with each other, in Jesus Name, Amen.