July 12 – Devotional
As we begin our time, once again it’s a good reminder to remember that God is present here, but the questions we should ask ourselves is if we are receptive to his presence. Are we open to what the Holy Spirit has for us? Pray and ask the Lord to open up your heart to what he has to say to you today.
Being told you aren’t in the right on something is never fun. How we take this news often depends on a number of factors – who is telling us, how they are telling us, or even where they tell us. But I believe that if we’re honest, we all have times in our lives that we are glad someone corrected us, even if we didn’t originally see that at the time we were being corrected.
- Explain a time where you have been rebuked or corrected, and that while it might have not been something you thought of as good at the time, but are now glad someone told you.
Scripture speaks of God gently disciplining us, or correcting us put another way. Sometimes he uses people in our midst to do this.
We read in Proverbs 3:11-12,
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
The same verses are referenced by the writer of Hebrews, in Hebrews 12:4-11:
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
We don’t like correction, plain and simple, but yet we see God himself corrects us, not because he gets perverse enjoyment from it, but because it is in our best interests. And our best interests are always in greater and closer communion with Christ.
Paul’s pastoral heart for the Galatians was that they would be able to embrace the freedom that was available to them in Christ. He wanted them to experience the joy this freedom can bring.
Have you lost your joy? Paul sensed that the Galatians had lost the joy of their salvation because of legalism. Legalism can steal joy because:
- it makes people feel guilty rather than loved
- it produces self-hatred rather than humility
- it stresses performance rather than relationship
- and it points out how far short we fall rather than how far we’ve come because of what Christ did for us.
- Where’s your joy?
If you feel guilty and inadequate and your joy is gone, check your focus. Are you living by faith in Christ or by trying to live up to the demands and expectations of others? Is your faith little more than checking boxes on a list? Are you hearing the pastoral heart of Paul when he calls us to walk in that freedom and joy that Christ has brought?
Before we close, I just want to share a few announcements:
- Tuesday Prayer Meeting – We are not meeting for prayer this week. For the summer, we are holding prayer meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. This will continue to be on ZOOM at this point in time.
- Kids Zoom – a reminder that Zoom Kids Church is this Wednesday, 4-5 PM for those Preschool to Grade 3, and from 7-8 PM for those Grades 4-8. Keep an eye out for the link that will be sent out from the church office.
- Although regular office hours are suspended we continue to work. If you need anything please contact Pastor Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (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.
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.
This week’s international worker focus is Dan and Dita Poenaru, who work with Africa Inland Mission. They are asking for prayer for:
- Pastor Joshua so he may have wisdom how to reopen the church after lock down in Kenya.
- Their son Daniel, who is moving back to Canada after 3 years teaching in Germany. He is also looking for a job.
- Dita, as she is continuing to mobilize missionaries and to engage people to pray for mission via Zoom. She leads the Friends of Africa prayer meetings, and if you are interested in being a part of these meetings, please let her know.
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.”’