“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.

Devotional Text

Pastor David’s devotional for April 13, 2022

Romans 14:13
Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another.

Last Sunday I concluded my series of sermons on Paul’s letter to the church in Rome by talking about the end of his letter. In chapter 14 we hear about the reason for division in the church. Christians were disagreeing over whether it was ok to eat meat that had been offered as a sacrifice to pagan gods. In addition, they were disagreeing over the importance of observing Jewish special days. Gentile Christians thought Jewish Christians should think the way they did and vice versa. Of course, Christians do not always think the same! In addition, Jewish Christians found meaning in special days and thought everyone should find meaning in them as well. But Christians don’t always find meaning in the same things!

Can you remember a spiritual experience that was particularly meaningful to you? Why was it meaningful? Did the experience change anything for you? I remember attending an event called “Soul Fiesta.” Trevor Hudson was the keynote speaker and as he spoke, it was as if he was describing my life and my struggles. Out of that experience I made the decision to ask my Bishop to release me from serving as Superintendent and appoint me to serve Desert Spring. The experience was very transforming for me! But not for everyone. I know pastors who attended and shared that they didn’t get much out of the event. It was hard for me to believe!

Often when a Christian has a meaningful experience, he or she wants others to have the experience as well. The assumption is that if I find something meaningful, it will be meaningful for others. Have you had the experience of a Christian encouraging you to participate in something simply because it had been meaningful for him or her? Have you had the experience of a Christian encouraging you to participate in something and the experience was not meaningful for you? It happens. What is meaningful for some may not be meaningful for all. The difference is not a problem unless others are REQUIRED to participate and EXPECTED to have a spiritual experience. The spiritual life doesn’t work that way! For this reason, there is a long list of different kinds of spiritual practices. What is a spiritual practice that is especially meaningful for you? Have there been spiritual practices that were not meaningful for you?

Back to Romans: Behind the arguments were questions that Christians have continued to face throughout the centuries. How do we live a Christian life in a broken world? How do we interpret the Bible as we seek to live faithfully? How can we know God’s will when facing difficult decisions? Seeking God’s will is an important part to the Christian life. When faced with an important decision, how do try to determine God’s will? When faced with a moral decision, are there principles that help guide you?

St Paul encouraged Christian’s in Rome to always seek to honor God when taking moral stands and, equally important, to honor God with the attitudes by which they carried out their decision. What does “honoring God” mean to you? In the face of serious disagreements between Christians, what does honoring God look like?

Faced with serious disagreements, Paul also told Christians to not judge each other. As Christians, we make moral judgements all the time—it is part of the Christian life. Unfortunately, when we make moral decisions, and other Christians disagree, it is easy to start thinking less of them, and to give into the temptation to judge. Have you experienced Christians judging you? What helps you to not give into the temptation to judge other people?

I ended my sermon on Sunday by saying that if ever we use the Book of Romans to judge other people, we missed the whole point of Paul’s letter! Think about it.

God bless you, and I hope to see you soon!

Podcast & Sermon Video Links

Video Podcast

Audio Podcast

The Wednesday Word Season 2 Episode 14 by Desert Spring United Methodist Church – Las Vegas (soundcloud.com)

“That Which Unites Us” Sermon Video