March 29 – Devotional
Much of this week I have spent in purposeful awareness of the hand of God in our world. I’ve touched base with a number of missionaries and international workers, I’ve thought about travel that happened and didn’t happen, things that in general have gone well for people and things that haven’t. I know that normally when we look for God’s hands at work we are typically only looking for the good, but by noticing something of the not so good I was reminded that God is still at work.
What I mean by that is we are seeing things through our eyes, which typically means that we are only seeing that which is temporary to the moment we find ourselves in. God sees things differently though as he inhabits eternity…
For this is what the high and exalted One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)
Knowing that God inhabits eternity reminds us that he is also working for eternal purposes. So, when we look for his hand we cannot be limited to the temporal space and time we are confined to, but we must look for the eternal. God continues to build His kingdom even as we speak and he wants us to continue to be a part of that. One of the ways we do that is through song and prayer. As we sing and pray we acknowledge to him our desire to see his Kingdom expand, but also our need for his ongoing strength for us to participate.
As we continue, take time to watch/sing along with this YouTube video. (sorry for any ad pop ups you may get)
- In what ways are you seeing God’s hand at work in your life?
- Thank God for the eternal perspective he holds within our moment by moment reality
- Invite him to reveal his kingdom growth to you
- Offer yourself (if you are willing) to his kingdom service today
This week’s devotional is going to continue in a slightly different way at this point. We were originally planning on having Warren and Debbie Reeve with us, in person, this morning. We were going to hear about their upcoming move to France to plant a church and all the spots where they could see God’s hands all over this. This of course can’t happen today, but Warren shared with us a video message that he is sharing with other local churches to encourage us in this time. I want us to watch this now and hear Warren bring a global perspective to us as he speaks with wisdom and experience.
Before we spend a few minutes in discussion and prayer, I want to emphasize the beauty in being able to simply trust in Jesus during these days of uncertainty. His eternal nature and his knowledge of the future, his desire to do good for us, it all should give us confidence to trust in him.
Let’s respond to him by watching or singing along with this YouTube video.
Warren emphasized the phrase “Don’t you see” which is from the Message paraphrase of Genesis 50:19-21…
Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart.
His point was that there is a grander positive narrative that is before us. A narrative that goes beyond us personally and implies the continued growth of God’s kingdom.
- To consider, what are the positive narratives taking place around us right now? Maybe they aren’t yet realized, but is God pointing us to something?
- To consider, your role in the positive narrative of God. What is it that he wants you and I to see?
I think every email I open from an organization, business or leader tells me that we are in “unprecedented times”. They are not wrong in this analysis, but it makes me as a disciple of Jesus keenly aware that if the times are unprecedented, then I should be expecting my God to do something unprecedented too. He continues to be at work and He’s got this. Will we join him?
Before the benediction, I just want to share a few announcements:
- Although regular office hours are suspended we continue to work. If you need anything please contact myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pastor Greg (email@example.com).
- Feel free to share this and other email communications with others. Some from the church are not on the email list and we have had a few that have not received it even though they are on the list. Please help us make sure that people are keeping connected.
Anyone finding it strange to give online as opposed to sitting in the church building on a Sunday? I know some are, so can I encourage you to do two things with your giving that may help a little.
- Do your giving each week as part of this devotional/worship time. I know it is not exactly the same thing, but it does help us view our giving as worship rather than simply a financial transaction
- Take time to pray as you give. Thank God for what he has given to you, acknowledge your trust in him for tomorrow, and tell him why you give to him and the work of his church.
- Best – E-Transfer (no fees)
- firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address you will need to make an e-transfer
- Please include your first and last name in the memo box
- If you know your envelope number please include it in the memo box (*Do not include the # sign as it will not accept that)
- Still good, but with fees – Canada Helps
- https://bayridgealliance.ca/give-with-canada-helps/ and click on the donate button to give
Thank you for honouring God by supporting the Church.
Now, let’s close with one final song and our benediction…
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’