Each week for this season our devotions will be centered around the practice of PRAYER. Like the disciples we too have the opportunity to ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” We encourage you to read all prayers and Psalms out loud – let the words of Scripture fill your prayers!
Devotional Thought // Pastor Chris
I love my brother. He is funny, kind, generous, and although he is not as handsome as I am, (I hope he reads this . . . I sent him a copy) he has become one of my best friends. I didn’t always feel this way – growing up we fought regularly (just ask my dad). We were on each other’s nerves for most of the day. After he moved out of the house, our relationship really started to blossom. What was once a burden, spending time together, became something we both look forward to. I was thinking today of the possibility I wouldn’t have ever met Nick if he wasn’t my brother. Although we share some of the same interests, we are different in a lot of ways. He is 6 years older than me; I wouldn’t have gone to school with him. He’s introverted and I’m extroverted. Now we live three hours away from each other.
What a gift my brother is to me – I say a gift because I did not choose my brother. We were born into the same family; God saw fit for us to be a part of each other’s life. Because of this, I have a relationship with someone who can know me, see me, accept me, without the question of whether he will ever stop being my family. The same can be said for our relationship with our New Hope brothers and sisters. Think about it. You did not choose the people you go to Church with. You may have chosen to stay because of a preacher, or music, or the coffee, but you didn’t know the gift of people that God would have for you. Like a family, you may be annoyed, you may get frustrated, or you may want to get your brothers and sisters grounded . . . but you also get the gift of someone who can know the worst about you and love you more and not less. Paul, in Romans 12 writes,
4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.Romans 12:4–5 (NRSV)
The New Living Translation say, “we belong to each other.” You belong to me. I belong to you.
God brought me and my family to New Hope 4 years ago. Each and every passing year I’ve discovered the gift that our Church family is. Not only that, people are being added to our family on a regular basis. We may have not chosen each other, but God had a better idea in mind; we get to receive the gift of one another.
1 We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.
2 At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.
3 When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep its pillars steady. Selah
4 I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
5 do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with insolent neck.”
6 For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
7 but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.
8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.
9 But I will rejoice forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you love us so well. You are committed to us and are compassionate to us. We want to be like you. Help us to be committed to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Help us to refrain from actions and words that tear us away from each other. Help us to learn to understand others even when we disagree with them. We need you to guide us every moment of every day. Thank you. Amen.