Daily Devotion Wednesday, July 24

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 – Psalm 11; 1 Samuel 25:23-44; Acts 14:19-28 and Mark 4:35-41

Acts 14:19-28 – 22There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.

I give thanks that I’m a part of the church which ordains its lay leaders. The ordination of elders and deacons is a special service. Their selection is one of the most important aspects of the church’s life; for once called, elected and ordained they become a part of the leadership of the church.

What stood out to me in this passage is two things. First they were chosen after prayer and fasting. The early church saw this as an important aspect of its life, so it is for us today. I always encourage it to be done with prayer. It’s important to seek God’s will in whom God calls to be elders and deacons. The second aspect of this text that jumped out at me was; “they entrusted them to the Lord.” I always ask God’s blessings upon those elected and I ask the Holy Spirit to be with them as they seek God’s will in the life and work of the church. I think I’ll add, entrusting them and all the leadership unto God, who is the one to whom we all should look for the guidance and direction of the church.

The reading from Mark mentions a time when the disciples and Jesus were in a boat and a storm threatened to take all their lives.

Mark 4:35-41 – 37A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

When life gets difficult; when storms seem to be upon me, I seek to remember these words of Jesus; “Peace! Be still!” He calmed the storms of the sea and he can see me through the storms of life. But what I often hear him saying is what he said to the disciples; “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” It seems I often give over to my fears instead of trusting in Jesus, in God who can see me over the troubled waters. That reminds me of the song by Simon and Garfunkel; “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. Truly Jesus is the bridge over all the troubled waters of life. May we trust in him and have faith that he will be with us, guide us and protect us throughout all our life.

Psalm 11 – In the Lord I take refuge; ….

O God, forgive me that I let my fears overtake me and control me. Forgive me that I don’t fully trust in you the creator, redeemer and one who promises to sustain me. Forgive my lack of faith and help me fully trust in you who calmed the storms and saw your disciples through to resurrected life, resurrected living. Amen.

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