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Lockdown Devotional

April 09, 2020
By Administrator

 

April 9, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #22:

Bobby Pflaumer
 

Faith at a time of crisis

Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
 
Hebrews 11:3
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
 
My faith journey has brought me to lockdown. But faith isn’t something you feel or touch or hold onto. Faith is there the day you believe Jesus Christ is LORD. Faith is the day you believe Jesus is GOD. Around Thanksgiving I thought my faith was fading. I still desired everything I was doing as this new creature, but that "feeling” wasn't strong. I longed for it so much, I prayed for it rush back.....
 
I go on my first mission trip to Guatemala.
 
So we stayed at San Lucas San Toliman. We stayed at Hotel Toliman. We exited the van and we walked up a kind of incline. I need to roll the story back we drove past poverty like I had never seen before. We are walking up and there in the distance is a restaurant. As we are approaching others that had been here before looked anxious at my expression. What I saw renewed my faith and has sealed it since. I am posting what I saw that MADE me believe that GOD is GOOD All the TIME!!!  So when you think about this virus or anything else pull this devotional out and sing. Out loud "How Great Is Our God"
 

 


April 8, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #21:

Becky Teague

God is a God of Order

This morning, when I first came downstairs and looked outside, there was a strong breeze. The tree in our front yard is just past its flowering peak, and the air was full of the white petals, gently drifting down towards the ground.
 
In my pre-caffeinated state, just for a second there, I thought, “What? Is it snowing? It’s APRIL!!”
 
The momentary confusion is understandable, yes? It’s a confusing, out-of-order time. We all feel it, and for reasons far more significant than some blowing petals. Things that were supposed to happen, have not. We have missed out. Other things that should not have happened, unanticipated and never wanted, have, in fact, taken place. It all seems out of order.
 
We worship, though, a God of order. From our imperfect perspectives, it often doesn’t appear that way. We struggle with matching our hope and wishes with reality.
 
Trust in the Lord is always called for, but not needed when we “get it.” Trust is not relevant when the situation is in hand and predictable, and we have no worries. Trust is what we are called to when it’s hard and the way forward is hard to see. We want to know what’s going to happen, and how.
 
Galatians 4:4a
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son… 
 
Colossians 1:17 
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
 
Because God is a God of order, because all things hold together in him, because his view is complete and perfect, because in the fullness of time his perfect will is accomplished, we can trust him.
 
 
“Sovereign” – Chris Tomlin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjfq1vWx3mU


April 7, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #20:


Carolyn Mancer

The little girl made her way from the very top of Yankee Stadium to the temporary platform erected on the playing field. Such a long way to go. Passing by hundreds of spectators was a daunting task but one she willingly made alone. Two, maybe three times she looked back over her shoulder for her grandmother sitting at the top. She was easy to spot, wearing her fancy Sunday church hat and white gloves; her grandmotherly smile reassuring her to continue down to the platform. Carefully inching her way through the pressing throng of people, the singing of the hymn, “Just As I Am”, tenderly drew her closer to the edge of the platform. Standing on tiptoe, she was barely able to see the stately gentleman towering over her. She was standing at the feet of Dr. Billy Graham. Listening intently with her small hands folded in front of her, she learned of salvation, life eternal and God’s love to have forever. She accepted Jesus Christ into her heart. She became transformed in that glorious moment. Total strangers put their arms around her, prayed with and for her. Some were crying. It was time to go back to the top and sit by her grandmother. She did. The year was 1957. The little girl was 8 years old.
 
                Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews, heard Jesus say, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).  Nicodemus, in his confusion, asked Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
 
                And so it is with you and me. In this time of confusion and uncertainty, we have the promise that God will provide. He will never leave nor forsake us. His word is truth. May we humbly bow before the throne of Grace, hands folded in front of us and say, “Thank you” to the King of Kings.


April 6, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #19:

Chet Marshall

Isaiah 53:3-12
 

Holy Week was different from all other weeks. For us, this Holy Week is different from any we have ever known. In 1971, I spent Holy Week in Vietnam, but we still gathered to worship our Savior. There will be no gathering this week. Instead, like Jesus in the garden, many of us will be alone. Maybe, just maybe, we will take the time to have a deeper connection to our God. Our prayer might be more thoughtful, more personal, more touching. And the confession of our sins might be deeper.
 
Each time I watch The Passion of the Christ I cry. I used to watch it every Holy Week. But the last few years I find I can’t watch it anymore. It’s just too painful to me. You see each time the whip strikes the back of Jesus, each time the hammer strikes the nail in his hand, I see the pain being endured by my Savior as paying for one of my sins. That I caused that insufferable pain.
 
The final price that Jesus paid was intolerable - separation from God. He willingly paid that price for you and me. 
 
This Holy Week, so different from any other, take the time to make a personal connection to God. And maybe, just maybe, this will be a Holy Week for you to remember in a very special way.

 


April 3, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #18:

Sandy Heuckroth


As I looked out the window this morning I was struck by what a beautiful day it is following such a dreary yesterday. I can’t see them from here but there is a nesting pair of geese at the edge of the pond behind the forsythia, and a couple squirrels racing along the fence. So much new life at a time of such unimaginable death. Isn’t that what Lent is all about? Sacrifice and death on a cross so that we might enjoy, unconditionally, eternal life with our Savior.
 
As we “shelter in place”, protect and pray for your neighbors, lifting them up for physical and spiritual strength and health.  Pray for our medical workers, for those on the “front line”. But be sure to open the blinds, draw up the shades, breathe in the fresh air, look to the blue sky and thank Christ that in death He gave us new life.

 


April 2, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #17:

Anonymous

The old hymn “When Soldiers Take Their Swords” has been my prayer for doctors and nurses and all the army of health personnel on the frontline. Last verse for those who meet their Lord through this pestilence:
 
Through life’s conflicts guard us all,
Or if wounded some should fall
Ere the victory be won,
For the sake of Christ, Thy Son,
These Thy children, Lord, defend;
And in death Thy comfort bend.
 


April 1, 2020
Lockdown Devotional #16:

Every week, included in Sunday's bulletin is a letter from one of our mission partners. Let us continue to pray for them.

A Couple of Christians (Guatemala)

We ask that LPC join us in praying for the families affected directly and indirectly by this event. We pray for the parents trying to occupy children and keep them calm and healthy. We pray for all the medical, retail, and police employees dealing with people. We also pray that the restrictions put in place protect everyone as much as possible in the months ahead. 

And of course, we pray people will turn to God in these challenging times, draw closer to Him, and emerge with strengthened faith and hope in Christ. 

In Guatemala and the United States. 

Thanks for everything. You are all in our prayers, as always!
Pat, Yesenia, and Cata


March 31, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #15:

Chris Casten

N.T. Wright, the Gospels, Easter and looking forward with hope.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading a book by NT Wright – Surprised by Scripture. I like reading books by NT Wright because he has ideas that are challenging to understand so I have to really think about what he’s saying. In this book he’s discussing Contemporary Issues like Science & Religion, the Resurrection, Ordaining Women, Evil, Idolatry and Politics.
 
He starts out discussing the Epicureanism worldview – a worldview in which God, or the Gods, may perhaps exist, but if they do they are far away and remain uninvolved in the world. Therefore, we should live in such a way as to derive the greatest amount of pleasure. He accuses our 20th Century Western culture of adopting this Epicurean philosophy.

This I understand and agree with. It makes sense. But further on in the book he starts discussing the message of the Gospel. And it gets harder to understand…he makes the following statements:

The central message of the gospels- the creator God, Israel’s God, is at last reclaiming the whole world as his own, in and through Jesus of Nazareth.

The point of the four Gospels is that the coming of the Kingdom on earth as in heaven is not to impose an alien and dehumanizing tyranny but rather to conform alien and dehumanizing tyrannies with the news of a God, the God recognized in Jesus- who is radically different from them all, and whose justice aims to rescue and restore genuineness.

Gospel – saving humans so they can be part of this project to save the world; story of God’s public kingdom project.

Wow, what does the Gospel mean in our current COVID-19 world? How does the Coming of God’s Kingdom work in a pandemic? How can I help with God’s public kingdom project? I told you NT has challenging ideas that encourage us to think…..     
                                                                                   
He ends this book with the following paragraph….

"It is love that believes the resurrection. It is, conversely, the resurrection of Jesus that awakens love – love for him, love for one another, love for God’s world. This is the message of Easter. This is the message of hope. This is the message for, and through, the whole church, through all of us together. This is the message of Jesus. May it be for us, in us, and not least through us."


March 30, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #14

Becky Teague

Today on Facebook, a friend posted a message from a doctor friend of hers. We also know him. His message was timely, and in the middle of all the posts and news articles from experts near and far, it was original. And challenging. Wow. How many would give up their package of face masks and take it to the local hospital for the doctors and nurses on the front line?  He and his wife are faithful Christians. Here is an excerpt from what he wrote:

It’s time to see what we’re made of… What do we do? Or not do..?

  • Your local healthcare workers are about to take it on the chin. Pray for them. Text them encouragement. Perhaps most importantly, stay home and don’t be a moron (bless your hearts). Don’t become the patient that tips them over the edge.

  •  If you’ve stocked any N95 or surgical masks, you get one chance to do what’s right and take them to your local hospital. The CDC just gave the okay for healthcare workers to use bandanas when we run out of masks… Do the right thing.

The attitude of concern for others was such a welcome one. I was reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies. With apologies for the length of this devotional and to anyone who never saw the movie, and to those who might not care for a lighter tone, below is a re-write of Aragorn’s speech from the third movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, “Return of the King.” The remnants of the army are before the Black Gate, facing what seems to be their certain end:  


Hold your ground! Stay at home!
Sons and daughters of the Lord of life, my brothers and sisters!
 
If we could meet, I am sure I would see in your eyes
the same worry that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of women and men fail,
when we forsake our love for the other,
and break all bonds of fellowship and care for our fellow citizens,
 in the name of self-interest grabbing the last bottle of sanitizer on the shelf
when we already have half a dozen at home,
but it is not this day.
 
In a season of isolation and making do,
with the corona virus creeping ‘round,
we may be tempted to give in to a doubt and anxiety that infects those around us,
but it is not this day!
 

This day we pray!!
for one another, for health care workers,
for the people who clean the grocery stores
and restock the shelves,
for those struggling to support their families financially,
for those who are infirm and at higher risk,
and did I say, health care workers?
This day we trust in God and his promises!!
By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
I bid you stand, followers of Christ!  Members of LPC!!! Stay at home, stay home
holding to the assurance that comes from the One We Serve.
This day does not belong to one person, but to all.
We stand together, in the name of Christ.
That we may share in the Days of Peace...
 
Philippians 1:27
"Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."

Movie clip, no violence; just a bunch of men wearing medieval armor: 


March 29

Lockdown Devotional #13

Norma Brown

Devotional Thoughts for Covid 19 world

I was reading an article from the New York Times: 

I was struck by the fact that our Creator God is interested in the thermal regulation of butterfly wings.

I thought I would share this amazing photo from the article with you.
 

Researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities found specialized scales on the living parts of the wing that have tiny, intricate structures allowing them to dissipate heat. 
 
Previous temperature research had focused on the thorax, because butterflies cannot fly if their thorax is too cold. But their thin wings build up heat quickly, and the new research examined how that heat is dispersed so it does not kill the fragile living cells in the wing.

Using imaging techniques, researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities  found specialized scales on the living parts of the wing that have tiny, intricate structures allowing them to dissipate heat. This enhanced thermal radiation allows the parts of the wing with living cells to remain cooler than other parts of the wing, by as much as 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.

Matthew 6:25-24--paraphrased

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the butterflies of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them and keeps their wings cool. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:  they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
 
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Prayer:
Creator God, Thank you for scientist who can find out about the thermal regulation of the butterflies, for photographers who can take thermal images  of these butterflies, but most of all thank you that you care about the details of butterflies—help us remember all the issues that seem so “hot” to us—you regulate our details.  THANK YOU.



Lockdown Devotional #12:
Bob Taylor
March 28, 2020 

What Is God doing?

Natural question for these times, even the most unbelieving among us must be asking this question. I am too but I am couching my questioning in Scripture. Question, can you think of times and events in Scripture where what was happening just didn’t make sense, especially to the people living at the time? During these events I can imagine them saying, “What is God doing?” I can think of three, two in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament (you’ll have to ask me if interested). Each of the events seen in hindsight, and only in hindsight, made sense, but not at the time, not to the participants. Bottom line as I ponder current events, “What is God doing?”, well back to Scripture, the Biblical characters didn’t know at the time and certainly I don’t know during this time. But humble faithfulness to God in the midst of this questioning is what was required then, and what is required of us now. In conclusion consider Job, can’t you imagine him saying “What are you doing God?” By far two of my favorite Chapters in Scripture are Job 38 and 39 starting with “Then the Lord answered Job...”, an answer for Job, finally! Read the chapters for yourself, Chapters 40 and on give you a look into Jobs response to the Lord’s answer, it was humble faithfulness, may We, may I, be found with the same response in whatever the times ahead bring.


Lockdown Devotional #11

March 27, 2020

Chet Marshall

Reading Maureen Sweeney’s devotional and listening to Micah Tyler’s powerful song "Different" (Lockdown Devotional #7), made me think of a song that came to mind this morning while I was taking a walk in the rain.

I was thinking about how powerful scripture is and how spending more time in God’s word during this time of staying at home was having a nice impact. And a song popped into my head. It’s an old, simple, children’s song. And while it went through my mind one little change was made.

Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so
“Older ones” to him belong,
“They may be weak” but he is strong.
Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

And of course the next song that popped into my mind was:

The B-I-B-L-E
Yes that’s the book for me,
I stand upon the word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E.

In this time of unprecedented social separation, and pandemic, sometimes its best to go back to the basics of our faith. Read scripture, sing praises to God, and remain constantly in prayer.


Lockdown Devotional #10

March 26, 2020

Barbara Ferraro

The title of this devotional is “When Peace Feels Impossible.” It was written by Lysa Terkeurst, paraphrased by myself and with my thoughts interjected.

 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock” Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV) 

The devotional speaks to how turning to our feelings to steady our souls instead of turning to truth is dangerous ground. It’s like we’re addressing God’s goodness based on how we feel. This is dangerous because feelings are fragile, change on a whim depending on circumstance, and can be based on our moods and many distracting factors. God’s truth is unchanging, solid, perfect even when life feels like it’s falling apart. Believe me, the battle between my feelings and circumstances and God’s Truth is daily for me, but He speaks clearly. Perfect Peace.
Isaiah 26 Isaiah knows while things may not look good right now, God promises us His plans are good. He is moving us toward that day when death will be swallowed up, and He will wipe every tear from our eyes (Isaiah 25:8). He has ordained our peace (Isaiah 26:12). But we aren’t just promised peace on the other side of eternity. In the today’s verse, Isaiah tells us how we can experience and walk in strength and peace today.
 
The English phrase “perfect peace” means an “all-embracing peace.” It is God, by the power of His indwelling Spirit, giving us the strength internally to face whatever comes our way externally. This doesn’t mean our circumstances will feel peaceful. Nor does it mean the prayers we pray suddenly all get answered. But what it does mean is our mind can be steadied with Truth instead of overrun with thoughts of fear, anxiety and worst-case scenarios.


Lockdown Devotional #9

March 25, 2020
Dick Stover

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord ! (Psalm 27:13, 14 ESV).  
 
God has given me the Holy Spirit through his grace alone, which in itself is the ultimate “goodness of the Lord”.  The Holy Spirit also equips me to see the goodness of the Lord because it inclines me to the Lord - to find it.  Additionally, the Psalm says we are to wait for the Lord (by faith) to see the goodness, which could be many things - such as opportunities he lays before us.  In these times of lock outs, shutdowns, and forced togetherness or separation can we see the goodness of the Lord?  Is this an opportunity to recalibrate our “normal” to what God teaches it should be? Should we spend more time with family and less in front of a screen?  Should we eat as a family and less on the run with cell phone in hand?  Should we finally carve out time to pray? How about calling that supposed friend you been meaning to call or resolve a strained relationship?  Finally, the Psalm says (my twist) we should be courageous in our waiting; in other words do not be impatient with God, the goodness, whatever it is will come in his time, as promised.


Lockdown Devotional #8

March 24, 2020

Bonnijean Fry

Psalm 13

    How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
        How long will you hide your face from me?
    How long must I take counsel in my soul
        and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
    How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
       
    Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
        light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
    lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
        lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
        
    But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
        my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
    I will sing to the LORD,
        because he has dealt bountifully with me. (ESV)


Back in 1997 I was led to this at a extremely low time in my life. Given the emotional, political, economic and physical environment today, many of us can relate. Peaceful anxiety: I’m anxious because there is nothing I can do about it; I’m peaceful because there is nothing I can do about it.


From Bill Brown on a morning walk


Lockdown Devotional #7

March 23, 2020

Maureen Sweeney

My devotional for today is the testimonial, song, and bible verse as presented by Micah Tyler in the link below. The song ends with the bible verse Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." I came upon this video last year as I was praying through whatever my problem was at that time. I do not remember what the problem was about, but I do remember that listening to this song helped me to transform from my worldly view of the problem into the Lord's view of the problem as something He was choosing to walk WITH me through. After this transformed view, I was at peace with the situation. My prayer right now is that this song may help others to find peace as the Lord walks WITH us through the days, weeks, and months ahead. 

God Bless. 

Micah Tyler - Different


Lockdown Devotional #6

March 22, 2020

Abby Cramer

I wanted to send along this devotional I read today. I have made a point to enjoy the coming of spring and what a blessing it is to be home and see the beauty! I have started taking daily “signs of spring” photos.

Natural Beauty from Daily Bible Inspirations

Here are some of the photos I’ve taken.
 

Lenten Rose in my yard

My magnolia tree

Lily of the valley bush in my neighborhood

Tulip bud


Lockdown Devotional #5

March 21, 2020

Don Leypoldt, Jr.

I love sports ministry because athletics are a vehicle to teach Biblical and life lessons.  This June 2nd marks the 10th anniversary of a powerful, real life instruction in grace.

A perfect game is one of baseball’s most difficult achievements.  It means that all 27 batters that a pitcher faces gets out and no one gets on base.  There have only been 23 perfect games in the 130+ year history of Major League baseball.

But it looked like Armando Galarraga was going to throw one on June 2nd, 2010.  The Detroit Tiger pitcher had gotten 26 outs in a row, and the last batter-Jason Donald- hit a routine ground ball back to Galarraga.  The pitcher threw Donald out at a close play at first base to end the game.

So everyone thought.

Yet Jim Joyce, a highly respected umpire, called Donald “safe” even though video replay clearly showed Donald was out.

Galarraga’s reaction embodied Philippians 4:8-9: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (ESV)

After the initial shock of the call wore off, Galarraga calmly got the next batter out to end the game.  After the game, he passed on ample opportunities to criticize Joyce, instead telling reporters "Nobody's perfect. I understand. I feel for the guy."  When Joyce saw the video of the play after the game, he broke down in tears and apologized to Galarraga in both English and Spanish. Galarraga gave him a hug and said, “We are all human.”  

The next day, Galarraga delivered the line up card to Joyce in a public display of forgiveness.  The two later teamed up to write a book called “Nobody’s Perfect.”

These are frustrating and scary times right now.  It is easy to worry about health and complain about constraints and aggravation.  That is not what Christians are instructed to do. Galarraga’s exemplary behavior is a reminder of Paul’s admonition.  There is still the lovely, the commendable and the excellent out there, and by turning our focus and practice on those, God’s peace will indeed be with us.


Lockdown Devotional #4

March 20, 2020

Stephanie Golden

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

How appropriate that this should be the verse that popped up in the Bible Gateway daily verse. 

What comes to mind as I reflect on these verses is "TRUST." We are called to trust the Lord even in the direst of circumstances. In the last three decades of my life, I have learned the world can take so much from us. The list is long: our ability to worship together (during Lent of all times), our lives, our loved ones, our health, our homes, our jobs, our savings, etc. How depressing! 

Yet, verse two reminds me there are things on which this world has no claim. How thankful I am the list is just as long (maybe longer): our faith, our joy, our hope, the gift of grace, our salvation, our ability to worship at a distance, our ability to pray and trust the Lord. However, above all else, I am thankful that our story, bothers and sisters, will always remain the same: "And they lived happily ever after with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in Heaven. Hallelujah!" Of what then shall I want or desire? 

Lockdown Devotional #3

March 19, 2020
Anonymous

And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the Lord looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
1 Chronicles 21:13-15
 
May our hearts be the Altar where the Holy Spirit Intercedes for the world. 
 
And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord ; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering. So the Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath.
1 Chronicles 21:26-27
 

March 18

Lockdown Devotional #2

Becky Teague

The very day the invitation to submit Lockdown Devotionals arrived in my inbox, my personal devotional was based on Psalm 3.  As is often the case, the psalm begins with the problem, reasons for fear and anxiety. And then, the voice of the psalmist changes his tune to one that recognizes and praises God.

Psalm 3:3

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill.

In these coronavirus days, we don’t have human enemies but emotional foes. Fear, anxiety, the unknown looms before us. Just as for the psalmist, God’s shield for us is spiritual.  The “shield” around is not a magic bubble of physical protection, but the very nature of God’s being and the reason for our own.
 
Trusting in him does not mean there will be no trials in our own lives. It means with him always and everywhere present in them, we have every reason to look towards him and not fear. He is glorious, the reason to lift our heads and look toward him in trust. He sustains us (v. 5), we will not be afraid (v. 6). 
 
The author of my devotional* wrote this:
 
When a believer gazes too long at his enemies, the force arrayed against him seems to grow in size until it appears to be overwhelming. But when he turns his thoughts to God, God is seen in his true, great stature, and the enemies shrink to manageable proportions.
 
* Come To The Waters, by James Montgomery Boice 

March 17, 2020

Lockdown Devotional #1:

Bill Teague

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:28-33)
 
It’s a rainy March morning, but still the daffodils call out reminding me not to be anxious and of the care of my heavenly Father. “Consider the lilies…”  Do I not consider my world?  Do I not consider the threat of the unknown and the plight of our friends close to home and in Guatemala, Burundi, Brazil, the Philippines, the Bucks County Jail, and North Philadelphia? Of course, consider them all. Consider our lives in a time like no other. Pray. Seek the Kingdom. Act (stay home, reach out to a lonely friend by phone, email, or text message). Pray some more. “Do not be anxious,” Jesus said.
 
The daffodils are blooming. Consider them. 

COVID-19 UPDATE