May 17 Devotional
This past summer at my dad’s funeral I had the opportunity to visit with people that have been part of my life since I was a baby. In these conversations, I didn’t notice a lot of change in them because I had only ever known them as adults. They on the other hand saw all sorts of changes in. I was no longer the little kid they remembered and one in particular commented on my speaking abilities as she has never seen me in that capacity.
The point is that in life, change is constantly happening in us. Some of the changes are more drastic and obvious, others are subtle. When we experience the grace of God in our lives change is going to happen. Some of it will be drastic and obvious, some will be more subtle over time, but change is taking place.
I want us to watch a video testimony of a Paralympic Athlete named Jessica Jones this morning. I want us to listen for the changes that relationship with Jesus made and the areas of life that were impacted. While doing this, be thinking of your own relationship with Jesus. Consider some of the changes and transformations he has made in you.
Last week, we had discussion around the question, “Who or what did God use in your life to bring his salvation joy to you?” This week we want to continue that discussion.
- How did God’s grace in Jessica Long’s life change and transform her?
- How has/is God’s grace in your life changed and transformed you? What do you notice him transforming even now?
The base of this transformation and change is that God does it through his Spirit. We respond to him, we cooperate with him, we make choices in accordance to his will and character, but he does it.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
One of the pressures we often place on ourselves is the idea that I have to make this change happen. I have to accomplish this. You’ll notice that these ideas are about what I do and not what God wants to do. God wants to bring about change in our lives, God wants his holiness and glory to be evident in our lives, and God is the one who will do it.
Paul affirms this very thought in Philippians 1:6 when he says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” We need to hold onto this truth and rather than trying harder acknowledge our need for God in every part of life.
Let’s acknowledge this need as we sing along with this YouTube video of Lord, I Need You. (sorry for any ads)
Let’s sing – The Table
As we transition to communion, I want us to read from I Corinthians 11:23-26…
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The practice of communion is a time where we get to proclaim the Lord’s death. It’s a time where we examine ourselves and consider if we are living in the fullness of all that He died for. It’s a time for us to receive from him all that he has for us. It is an invitation from him to come.
Christ’s body given for you…
We start with a piece of bread or cracker that represents the sacrifice of Jesus’ body for us. He willingly gave himself up for us.
Before eating the bread, take time in prayer to thank God for the willing sacrifice that was made for us.
Let’s partake of the bread
Christ’s blood shed for you
Likewise, the cup represents the blood of Christ being poured out for us as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. It is called the cup of the new covenant. Gone is the practice of yearly sacrifice of atonement and in its place, we live as children of God because of the grace of Jesus which has brought us eternal life.
Before we drink the together, take time in prayer to thank God for his eternal sacrifice which has brought us forgiveness from our sins.
Let’s partake of the cup.
Let’s sing one more song, Blessed Assurance
Before we close, 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.
- BAC Show & Tell – Check out the email about this ZOOM event coming up on May 27
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.
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.”’