“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 January 19, 2022
During my current sermon series, I am talking about agape love—a self-sacrificing love that is always concerned about the well-being of others.
Today, as I write my devotional about agape love, I am thinking about the life and ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. How could I not? His life is an example of “love is as love does” and his teaching is about the power of agape to change the world!
For my devotional today, I have chosen several of my favorite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes on the importance and power of love for us to reflect upon.
Here is my first quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” (From 1957 speech “Loving Your Enemies”).
What are your thoughts on these words?
In the speech, Dr King invited folks to think about the good and evil in human life. He explained that there is some good in people who do evil, and there is some evil in people who do good. Recognizing this truth makes it harder to hate your enemies. What thoughts do you have about this?
In addition, hating another person only hurts us! Have you experienced this?
Quote number two: “Hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.” (From 1967 “Where do we go from here?”).
How do you understand hatred as a burden to great to bear? Is it easier to love or hate another person? Thoughts? (This is a hard question!)
Often forgiveness is important to deciding to love instead of hate. So, it helps to remember that learning to forgive others is part of agape love.
Quote number three: “I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems.” (From 1967 “Where do we go from here?”)
When we think about the problems of this world, and there are many, what are some problems/challenges/issues love can address? Are there problems beyond the reach of the influence of love? (Some of the problems that run through my mind are the polarization of our world, global warming, the rise of radical fundamentalism, and the pandemic. As I reflect upon this, it seems to me as though love is important to each of these.)
My final quote is one of my favorite quotes:
“I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in all the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.”
This quote reminds me a little of John Wesley’s covenant renewal prayer we talked about a couple weeks ago. Think about each of these phrases. How important is it to you to be happy in life? How important is it to you to achieve pleasure and avoid pain? And, if doing the will of God is what is most important, how do we know what God’s will is for our lives? (This last question is a big one!)
Agape: love is as love does.
God bless you!
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
“Drawing the Circle Wider” Sermon Video