Filtering by: Daily Devotions for RCL
May
25
12:00 AM00:00

Luke 19:1-10, Payback

Key Verse

Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’
— Luke 19:8-10

RCL Daily Devotion for Saturday, May 25, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by R. Fergus Moir from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Sometimes “sorry” just isn’t enough. Sometimes, even changing isn’t enough. When the damage is long-standing and deep, true healing requires reparations—compensation for harms done.

As a young adult, I occasionally helped myself to office supplies at my various places of employ. I justified it in lots of creative ways, but twenty years later, I had to call it what it was: stealing. No one remained who would remember me in those places. In fact, some of the businesses were completely gone. But reparations were due. So on the advice of a friend, I purchased a comparable volume of office supplies and donated them to a charity.

It might not seem like such a big deal, but it’s indicative of a pattern of privilege, and to break the pattern will take more than “sorry” or “I won’t do it again.” Zacchaeus got this instinctively. Once he’d met Jesus and experienced the grace of acceptance—hated tax collector that he was (and with good reason)—he could not stay the same. He wanted to demonstrate that he was changed, to try to heal his past wrongs, by paying back four times the amount he cheated people out of. He put his money where his mouth was.

God, help me to see where my actions have caused harm, directly or indirectly, and with the example of Zacchaeus, inspire me to healing action. Amen.

 

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Luke 19:1-10

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May
24
12:00 AM00:00

Psalm 67, Justice! Woo Hoo!

Key Verse

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
— Psalm 67:4-5

RCL Daily Devotion for Friday, May 24, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by R. Fergus Moir from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

The Psalms are full of exclamations of joy and wonder at all that God has done. This time, it’s all about God’s justice and guidance over the people of the earth. Not just God’s chosen people, the Israelites, but “the Nations,” which is to say Jews and Gentiles alike. From the beginning, God’s love has been for everyone. It cannot be contained by one people. And so it is today.

God judges all the world with equity, not putting any one above another, and this is reason to praise God. Therefore, how can we not imitate this equitable justice? We who love and praise our God are called to this task, with no lesser guide and example than God. And when we join with our God in bringing justice to all, it’s truly cause for celebration. Woo hoo!

Righteous God, guide me in your ways, that all might celebrate your divine justice. Amen.

 

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Psalm 67

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May
23
12:00 AM00:00

Acts 15:36-41, Paul and Barnabas Separate

Key Verse

The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company;
— Acts 15:39

RCL Daily Devotion for Thursday, May 23, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Stefanie K. Fauth from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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Is parting ways the best choice?

The message of Jesus seems to be so much about reconciliation.

Forgiveness, the chance to try again.

We can’t just write people off and never see them again - can we?

Perhaps there are times when that is what is best for all who are involved.

Maybe there is deep love in the friendship, but something has happened that means you cannot be in communication anymore.

And perhaps in those cases it is best to part ways.

Can there be forgiveness without a continued relationship?

 

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Acts 15:36-41

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May
22
12:00 AM00:00

Luke 10:25-28, The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Key Verse

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.
— Luke 10:27

RCL Daily Devotion for Wednesday, May 22, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Stefanie K. Fauth from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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We are all connected.

All living beings on this Earth depend on one another.

In modern times there has been a lot of individual focus - that you must get your life figured out on your own and not ask for help.

It doesn’t jive with natural law - and it doesn’t jive with what we see in Jesus’ teachings, either.

We all have an impact on the people around us - from strangers we pass by on our way to work and on errands to the people in our home. Our choices impact others - and their choices impact us.

Let us make the most loving choices we can!

God of connectedness, help us to work together in harmony with all those we encounter. Amen

 

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Luke 10:25-28

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May
21
12:00 AM00:00

Acts 11:27-30, Sending Relief

Key Verse

The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea
— Acts 11:29

RCL Daily Devotion for Tuesday, May 21, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Once again, passages from the Bible prove equally surprising and amazing. It never fails to fascinate me how I can read a specific passage and never recall having read that passage before, even though I’ve read the Bible fully through several times in my life.

I do not recall ever reading about Agabus’ prediction and how the people gave to those suffering “each according to their ability.”

In fact, I don’t even remember the name “Agabus”, much less what Agabus had predicted!

The response, though, is one that we still see today. Say what you will about the church, one aspect of the church’s positive effect in society is that people have always been willing to give to those who are suffering because of a disaster or famine.

Sending relief, each according to what we can honestly give, is a calling God grants every one of us. It feels good, yes. But more importantly, others rely on it to live.

Think of the natural disasters that have happened in the recent past, say, Hurricane Katrina. Would the death toll and human suffering been much greater had faithful believers not stepped up to provide relief?

Without a doubt.

How do you send relief to those who are suffering? What organizations do you give your time, talent and money to?

 

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Acts 11:27-30

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May
20
12:00 AM00:00

Psalm 133, Memories & Images

Key Verse

It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
— Psalm 133:2

RCL Daily Devotion for Monday, May 20, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

oil-head.jpg

It’s funny how our memories work. All it takes is smelling a certain smell, hearing a particular phrase, or looking the way the light is cast into a room, and instantly you can remember something that occurred to you in the past.

Reading today’s psalm reminded me when I was still in seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. I believe we read this passage in our daily chapel service and sitting next to me was a fellow classmate. He leaned over and whispered, “Well that’s not exactly the image I first thought of, but hey, oil on your collar maybe isn’t such a bad thing.”

It wasn’t particularly funny, but somehow the memory stays firmly stuck up in my head. I probably remember it because today’s image is quite strange.

God’s word doesn’t always make sense to us on the surface, but through time we learn that there are many ways to experience the blessings of God.

Don’t hold your breath about me testing out the oil-on-the-head-running-down-my-collar experiment though—I’m satisfied keeping that image firmly in my imagination rather than in real life!

How does God speak to you with strange passages from the Bible?

 

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Psalm 133

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May
19
12:00 AM00:00

John 13:31-35, Laws of Love

Key Verse

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
— John 13:34

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, May 19, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Main Idea: All of God’s laws are laws of love.

Until this point, Jews had been living under the covenant God made with Abraham, and the commandments God gave through Moses. Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy painstakingly lay out all of God’s laws, ordinances, and rituals. God made sure there was no question how they were to live. The laws, when followed according to God’s command and intent, would ensure the long and happy survival of God’s people.

Over the centuries, however, those laws intended for the protection and governing of God’s people were re- interpreted and mis-interpreted, so that they became barely recognizable as laws of love. The laws were used to oppress, imprison, punish, and enslave.

Jesus’ arrival marked a renewal of God’s loving commandments. Succinctly put, all of God’s laws boiled down to this: “Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” When this law comes before all others, then God’s commandments can be followed to empower, uplift, and protect one another.

History tends to repeat itself, of course. From the crusades to the inquisition to the holocaust, Christians seem to abuse and misuse God’s laws of love to oppress instead of deliver. In light of our current political climate, I fear we may be returning again to a time when people who are “not-us” are being targeted and oppressed. This might be a good time to look again at Jesus’ actions and words, and ask ourselves what we might do to support God’s laws of love and the people who need God’s love (and ours) the most.

How can our own daily “laws” be grounded in love? What do you think?

 

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John 13:31-35

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May
18
12:00 AM00:00

Psalm 148, Everybody Everybody!

Key Verse

Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, old and young together! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
— Psalm 148:7-13

RCL Daily Devotion for Saturday, May 18, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by R. Fergus Moir from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

This psalm is nothing but a party, I tell you! It’s all God’s, everything and everyone, from the very beginning of time and space, all is God’s. God is the one and only constant in an ever-changing creation. How can we not praise God’s name?

Take a moment to revel in the joy. A life of faith is not an easy one. We are called to sacrifice and to work for the reign of God. But I, for one, can’t help but look around at the incredible beauty of all that God has created and want to start boogieing, especially when I see all of creation boogieing with me!

My favorite animal is the frog. No joke. Recently, I got ahold of a nature DVD in which David Attenborough (my favorite naturalist ever) talks all about these incredible creatures. I was like a giddy kid watching this silly video, laughing out loud, rejoicing in the beauty and variety of these little miracles. God is good, I tell you!

Party on, fellow creatures!

Eternal God, I praise your name with all of creation, overflowing with abundant joy at all that you have made. Amen.

 

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Psalm 148

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May
17
12:00 AM00:00

Revelation 11:15, A Tale of Two Kingdoms

Key Verse

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.
— Revelation 11:15b

RCL Daily Devotion for Friday, May 17, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by R. Fergus Moir from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

There are two very different kingdoms at play throughout the gospel and straight through the Revelation. The kingdom of the world is characterized by human sinfulness: oppressive power-structures designed to enrich a privileged few at the expense of the vast majority. The kingdom of God has only one ruler in three persons, and every human being is equal in every way, and lives in true harmony and mutual love.

I get frustrated being stuck in the kingdom of the world, and I long for that time when this kingdom is transfigured into God’s kingdom once and for all. In the mean time, I look for the “inbreaking” of God’s kingdom—those places where God’s action in the world is evident, where God’s reign has made itself known, where there are examples of this beautiful future in which God’s people are loved and cared for. I see it all the time: in the lives of individuals whose hurts have been healed, in the action of groups to welcome and empower the Other, in those moments of inexpressible beauty when enemies become friends, when forgiveness trumps vengeance, when justice is done.

Sovereign God, encourage me with signs of your presence, and help me always to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” Amen.

 

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Revelation 11:15

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May
16
12:00 AM00:00

Revelation 10:1-11, The Angel with the Little Scroll

Key Verse

I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.
— Revelation 10:1

RCL Daily Devotion for Thursday, May 16, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Stefanie K. Fauth from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

pexels-photo-462383.jpeg

What does an angel look like?

I have always been confused about angels…

A lot of people say that when their loved one dies, they become an angel…which is a beautiful thought.

But angels as described in the Bible seem to be another creature entirely. Their physical descriptions are not quite human - and any time an angel comes to visit a human on Earth, they lead with the phrase, “Do not be afraid.”

I do know that as messengers of God, I believe angels are all around us, working with and through the Holy Spirit.

And I’m a little glad I haven’t seen one - at least not the kind describe in revelations!

Mysterious God, you have messengers who work on your behalf and humans who do your work with the Holy Spirit. Help us to exist in peace and harmony together to do your will. Amen.

 

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Revelation 10:1-11

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May
15
12:00 AM00:00

John 10:31-42, Jesus Escapes Charges of Blasphemy

Key Verse

But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’
— John 10:38

RCL Daily Devotion for Wednesday, May 15, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Stefanie K. Fauth from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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Was Jesus the first slight of hand trickster?

OK, I know that’s a bad joke - but sometimes I think that Jesus shares a lot in common with magicians when he manages to miraculously escape arrest.

The difference is, Jesus isn’t magic, he’s divine!

His ability to perform miracles is supposed to convince people of his divinity - but a lot of folks look at him the way we survey a modern day magician. With serious skepticism.

What is different, I wonder, for those who saw the miracles and believed?

God of mystery and wonder, help us to trust in your miracles and believe even when your love seems impossible. Amen

 

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May
14
12:00 AM00:00

Acts 9:32-35, Healing Schmealing?

Key Verse

Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!’ And immediately he got up.
— Acts 9:34

RCL Daily Devotion for Tuesday, May 14, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

When you hear another healing story from the Bible, do you have the same reaction as me?

Meh.

Another one…

Don’t misunderstand, I think the healing stories from the Bible are wonderful. If there’s any speck of truth to them, too, they meant a world of difference for the people who were healed, too!

It’s just that there seem to be so many of these healing stories, that, after a while, my eyes begin to glaze over and I don’t understand the point of them anymore.

That’s the other thing: there are so many different types of healing stories too. The blind see. The lame walk. The woman who bled for decades found permanent relief.

Maybe that’s the real bit of truth we can garner from these stories, that God is the one who heals, head to toes. Our entire lives and our bodies are on loan from God, that we might see that true healing comes through God touching each one of our hearts in the way that we need.

How does God heal your life?

 

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Acts 9:32-35

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May
13
12:00 AM00:00

Ezekiel 37:15-28, Many Covenants

Key Verse

I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them for evermore.
— Ezekiel 37:26

RCL Daily Devotion for Monday, May 13, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

I find it interesting reading all the different covenants/promises God made with the Israelites. Again and again, God sets out to be in relationship with the people. Yet again and again, the people seem to forget the covenant God made with them.

Thematically, I think this says something about our own lives and the connections with make with God. I don’t know about you, but daily I need to remind myself in prayer and simply thinking about it that God has made a promise to me through my baptism. Baptismal identity is one promise that continues being a promise no matter how many times we forget it!

In Ezekiel, we read that the people needed these reminders to remember who and whose they were. Perhaps we need that daily reminder as well.

What ways do you remind yourself of your relationship with God?

 

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May
12
12:00 AM00:00

John 10:22-30, Jesus the Disruptor

Key Verse

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’
— John 10:24

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, May 12, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

29 easter 4 copy.jpg

Main Idea: Jesus was a disruptor whose words and actions affected change.

The Jews wanted answers. Jesus had been speaking in what seemed riddles to them. They wanted it plainly – was Jesus the Messiah or not? Jesus explained that he had been telling them – not in words, but by his actions. If they could not believe his actions, then why should they believe his words?

Jesus’ influence didn’t come only through his words. It came through action. He didn’t just sit in the temple talking about change – he worked for change. And he didn’t just perform miracle and acts we cannot reproduce – he ate with sinners, touched the unclean, he ate on the sabbath, he stood up for those who could not stand for themselves, and did many other things that challenged religious and societal norms.

Jesus was a disruptor. He prevented a dysfunctional system from continuing in its dysfunction. He turned a broken system upside down. He disrupted Satan’s plans to keep people from God. He prevented death from claiming God’s children. His words and actions affected change that was, and is badly needed.

We can do those things, too. We can let our actions speak louder than our words. We can change the world by the things we do. Oh, it’ll upset people. But it’ll be worth it.

May I work within your disruptive power to bring about your good will, here today. Amen

 

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John 10:22-30

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May
11
12:00 AM00:00

Luke 12:29-32, Getting Our Priorities Straight

Key Verse

And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
— Luke 12:29,31

RCL Daily Devotion for Saturday, May 11, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by R. Fergus Moir from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

I don’t worry about where my next meal is coming from, as so many do. I enjoy a ridiculous amount of privilege. So why is it that I still worry? About having enough, about being enough. God is my “enough.” Yet I forget this on a regular basis and turn my attention away from serving God and my neighbor and back toward myself. I keep thinking that when I have “enough”—enough time, enough money, enough energy—then I’ll be able to do God’s work in the world. But that’s not how it works.

The people Jesus was talking to did not enjoy privilege. They were an oppressed people under a cruel empire. And even to these, Jesus says that the first priority is to work for God’s kingdom, a kingdom of radical equality and justice, where all live peacefully in genuine love for one another. Strive for that kingdom first, Jesus says, and all those things we need will be given to us.

I can’t wait around until it’s convenient for me to do what needs doing. I need to get my priorities straight, trusting that if I put God first, my needs will be met.

What is holding me back from putting the work God calls me to first in my life?

 

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Luke 12:29-32

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May
10
12:00 AM00:00

Ezekiel 20:39-44, And it’s a Good Thing, Too

Key Verse

And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, or corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, says the Lord God.
— Ezekiel 20:44

RCL Daily Devotion for Friday, May 10, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by R. Fergus Moir from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

I, for one, don’t want to even think about what would happen if God dealt with me according to my evil ways or corrupt deeds. No matter how “good” I try to be, I sin. In my ignorance or unwillingness to look honestly at my life, I continue to be complicit in the oppression of people in my country and the world.

Luckily, God loves us because God loves us. God saves us because God is righteous, not because we are. God gives us chance after chance after chance, to once again choose the willingness to do God’s work in the world: the work of justice for those who are oppressed. We know God is the LORD because of this incomprehensible grace. God judges us not according to our deeds, but according to God’s love for us. And it’s a good thing, too!

Gracious God, I give you thanks for your endless grace. Help me to proclaim through my actions that you are the LORD! Amen.

 

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Ezekiel 20:39-44

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May
9
12:00 AM00:00

Revelation 5:1-10, The Scroll and the Lamb

Key Verse

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
— Revelation 5:6

RCL Daily Devotion for Thursday, May 9, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Stefanie K. Fauth from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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Did you ever put any stock in a lucky number?

I used to have a lot of thoughts around the supposed luck of certain numbers.

Thirteen was unlucky, too many six’s in a row and I was freaked out.

Of course, seven was a good and lucky number.

And then I was taught that luck doesn’t exist - God is all that matters. So I moved on from my number worry…for the most part. I still get freaked out if anything has three six’s in a row…

How young me would have marveled to know that a lot of those thoughts came from Biblical verses!

God you are in charge, whether luck exists or not. Help us to trust in you and the goodness you bring to whatever numbers show up in our lives. Amen.

 

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Revelation 5:1-10

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May
8
12:00 AM00:00

Luke 5:1-11, Jesus Calls the First Disciples

Key Verse

When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
— Luke 5:11

RCL Daily Devotion for Wednesday, May 8, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Stefanie K. Fauth from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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The disciples left everything to follow Jesus!

It’s amazing!

And I must confess, it made me feel inadequate.

I knew I couldn’t leave my family to follow God…and I probably couldn’t leave my electronic devices and comfy bed…at least not long term. Did that make me a bad person of faith?

We know that the circumstances around this story are different than the way life is now. Following a teacher would be the most amazing thing for a person - whether your Rabbi was the son of God or not!

Do I need to feel bad because I don’t think I can do the same? I don’t think so. There is Grace - and there are many ways to follow God!

Teaching God, help us to follow you in the best way possible. Amen

 

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Luke 5:1-11

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Acts 26:1-18, Paul's Testimony to King Agrippa (Miracles in the Mundane)

Key Verse

I asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
— Acts 26:15

RCL Daily Devotion for Tuesday, May 7, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Paul once again had been called to testify before the authorities. And once again we recall Paul’s story of Jesus confronting him on the road to Damascus.

I find it interesting that Paul continues to share this simple story without much embellishment. I know personally that as time passes I often “misremember” specific details about what specifically happened from an event I experienced in my own past.

I believe what this text teaches us is that often God uses seemingly mundane events in our lives to mold and shape us where we’re at. The encouragement I receive in my own faith life is learning to see these mundane experiences for what they really are—miracles.

Does God work miracles in the mundane for you?

 

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