“The Wednesday Word” Devotional & Podcast
We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!
Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.
You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.
Pastor David’s devotional for October 6, 2021
II Corinthians 5:11a, 14-15
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
At age 35, John Wesley started preaching grace, and he did so with great enthusiasm. Wesley knew the difference God’s grace had made in his life and he had to preach about it. Grace is a small word that captures a huge variety of experiences. God is gracious, and God expresses grace in many ways. It is grace that brings us to believe. It is grace that saves us. It is grace that grows us in our faith. It is grace that convicts us when something in our life needs to change, it is grace that comforts us, heals us, encourages us, assures us. We experience God’s love in action in our lives in countless ways—and the experience of God’s love is part of what we mean by the word grace.
Looking back over my life, I can see grace working in my life in many ways. It was the grace of God that led me to Desert Spring. While preparing to preach each week during the Revival series, God’s grace has been bringing revival to my spirit. And, because of God’s grace at work in my life over the course of the pandemic, I am more patient and understanding. God’s grace continues to impact my life, guiding me and growing me in my faith.
Looking back over your life, what are some ways you can see God’s grace at work in your life?
John Wesley, relying upon scripture, preached that God’s grace is offered freely to all people. At that heart of his proclamation was the understanding that Christ died for all people (not just for some), which means Christ died for you and for me, for everyone you know and encounter—for everyone! In today’s scripture from II Corinthians, St Paul said we try to persuade others about the grace of God offered through Jesus Christ. And Wesley was excited and determined to do the persuading! Of course, at its best “persuasion” can be an act of love for another person, but at its worst persuasion can be an act of manipulation and misuse of power. So, thinking about persuasion at its best, what do you believe is the best way for you to persuade someone of the importance of Jesus Christ for their life? Do you believe your stories of experiences with grace could be helpful for another person to hear?
Once people were persuaded by grace, Wesley would organize them into small groups of people who would meet regularly for encouragement, support, accountability, prayer and more. To help guide the groups, Wesley created “Three General Rules” to live by. These rules were intended to help people answer questions about what faithfulness requires, and how to live as a Christian in this world. Bishop Job, in his book “Three Simple Rules,” paraphrased Wesley’s Three General Rules: “Do no harm, do all the good you can and stay in love with God. While these rules are simple, they are not easy. Sometimes it is difficult to know if our actions cause some harm; it is not always easy to know what doing good requires, and temptations and distractions can result in losing sight of our priorities. Even so, I have found that keeping these rules in mind challenges me to think carefully about my priorities and actions. And, when I don’t know what to do in a situation, I can fall back upon the rules and try to “do no harm” or try to find a way to “do good” or simply turn to God with gratitude and praise.
How might these 3 simple rules help you live a life of faithfulness in a world like ours? Can you think of ways each of these rules could be helpful to you this week? What is one step you can take to align your life more closely with the spirit of these rules? Ask God for the strength to do it!
God bless you,
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
The audio podcast is available on Soundcloud, Spotify & Apple Music
“The Necessity of Grace” Sermon Video