“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 Wednesday, August 25, 2021
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This past Sunday, I talked about disciples of Jesus Christ being a part of Jesus’ “generational influence.” For the past 2000 years, from one generation to the next, Jesus has influenced the lives of his followers. Jesus’ influence is passed on from one generation to the next through the work of the Holy Spirit, and the faithful witness of Jesus followers. God has been at work people’s lives throughout time, wooing them into the faith as Jesus followers have partnered with the work of the Spirit to give witness to what God has done. Of course, as followers of Jesus, our witness includes the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as well—the Holy Spirit wooed us too, and it is the Holy Spirit that gives us power to influence the lives of others.
Take a moment to think back over your life. Is there a person whose witness planted seeds of faith in your life? For me, my parents certainly planted seeds. And I remember a Sunday School teacher who taught me about grace and forgiveness. I also remember a youth worker who helped me become prepared to share my faith. Who is it in your life who taught you about Jesus, who planted seeds of grace?
In today’s two scripture lessons, Jesus instructed his disciples to influence the lives of others by giving witness to all Jesus had done and by teaching all Jesus commanded. When it comes to teaching all Jesus commanded, it is helpful to remember that Jesus commanded very little. He commanded us to love one another as he has loved us. He commanded us to celebrate the Lord’s supper. And he commanded us to “Go and make disciples” and to be his “witnesses.” Passing on our faith to others, including those who will come after us, is so important that Jesus commands it! He didn’t suggest it. He didn’t recommend it. He said “Go!”
Jesus’ emphasis on teaching and witnessing is important for us to think about. Are we doing it? Do you find opportunities to share your faith story? To answer that question, it helps to take a few moments to think about our faith stories.
How have you experience the presence of God in your life? What experiences do you have with God? How has Jesus changed your life?
I think about my life, and I can point to many times I have experienced God at work. I remember claiming the faith as my own and experiences grace upon grace—God’s forgiveness, and I knew I belonged to God. God brought Geri and I together. God opened doors for me to attend Princeton Theological Seminary. God provided for our family often and in unexpected ways (like finding an envelop on our doorstep with money inside and a note that said “just thinking of you” at a time when we were financially strapped). God led us to adopt children, God led us to Desert Spring. God healed me of fear. I can go on and on.
What about you? How has God been at work in your life? What stories can you tell about your new life in Christ, and all God has been doing for you? Think about your story.
Being ever aware of our faith stories prepares us to give witness. As we live our lives, we interact with others, and we hear their struggles and desires. By the power of the Holy Spirit, doors open for us to share our faith. And, in sharing our faith, opportunities arise to talk about Jesus and what he taught. As Christians, we influence the lives of others!
Can you think of people in your life who would benefit from hearing your story? Who? Are there people with whom you have been sharing your faith? For some, faith sharing comes easy (especially for those who have the gift of evangelism), for others it is difficult. Which is it for you?
If it is difficult, it is good to reflect upon why that is for you. Is it that you are unsure of yourself? Or that you aren’t certain you have anything to say? Or that you are concerned about how faith sharing will be received? Thoughts?
(If it is difficult, here are a couple of suggestions that can help: 1. have your story rehearsed, 2. Pray asking God to help you be aware of the right time to share, 3. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you—the Spirit gives us power, 4. Listen carefully to the stories of others.)
These are tough questions. They are also important questions to think about. Jesus has asked us to participate with the Holy Spirit in influencing the lives of others for Christ. How do you feel about being a Jesus influencer?
God bless you! And I will see you in church.
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
“Influencers” – Part 2. “Building Up” – Sermon Video