Just a simple (yet hopefully profound) Sunday devotional today. It’s based on five Bible verses shared in a recent newsletter from Our Daily Bread Ministries.
The newsletter reminds us that we live in anxious and uncertain times (not that we need reminding) and that peace can seem like a rare commodity. God’s peace is something completely different and reliable though.
It’s suggested that when we need to experience his peace, we dedicate some time to meditate and reflect on these five verses. I would also add that you might like to consider them in context, as this is always important in our reading of God’s word. So, why not find a quiet place, and immerse yourself in these verses?
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.Psalm 4:8
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.Isaiah 26:3
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.John 14:27
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.Colossians 3:15
Prayer: Peace to you from God who is our Father. Peace from Jesus Christ who is our peace. Peace from the Holy Spirit who gives us life. The peace of the triune God be always with you. Amen.
Social distance with emotional and spiritual connection.
For a variety of reasons, I’ve not been able to put together the same type of online worship meeting as I published last Sunday (although I hope to be able to in the future). So this is something of a DIY Sunday worship meeting. I’ve put some useful links and resources at the bottom of this page, and I’ll add to these in due course. Blessings, John.
Today we celebrate children and youth during the Salvation Army’s International Day of Prayer, please click on the link for a variety of resources for you to use in creative ways in our new circumstances.
Then little children were being brought to Jesus in order that he might pray for them.Matthew 19:13
Let’s not be too critical of the disciples. They were simply reflecting the social values of their day. Children were on the lower rung of the ladder of social importance. The disciples were simply trying to be protective of the time and energy of Jesus. What they were learning as disciples of this Teacher is that the Kingdom of Heaven has a different set of social values. Women, as well as men, are integral to the Kingdom. All races and ethnicities are welcomed in the Kingdom. Abilities and disabilities are not a factor in being loved by God. And children, especially children, have an important place in this realm of God’s grace.
Were we to overhear Jesus blessing the children I wonder if it might sound something like this: ‘Hey kids. I want you to know I’m really proud of you. We are going through some difficult days right now, aren’t we? This virus is making a lot of people sick. I hope you are keeping well. Thank you for washing your hands as much as possible, and for keeping your hands away from your face. Thank you too for helping the adults in your family. Your help around the house is very important. And thank you for praying for your friends. We are part of a team that is fighting something important. You can help us to make a difference in our world. We need your help. Know that I love you, and appreciate you very much. May you be blessed this day!’
This Sunday, 29 March, will have a particular emphasis in The Salvation Army world. It is an International Day of Prayer, with a focus on Children and Youth. It is being called The Power of One. Each child within our influence is important to God, and us. Each child has the possibility of making a difference in our world. We are grateful for every Salvationist who takes a particular interest in our young people. Thank you for your time and efforts as teachers, coaches, musical leaders. And thank you for befriending the young people in these formative years. During the COVID-19 crisis, our young people are particularly vulnerable. They may have a difficult time comprehending what is happening. We adults have a difficult time comprehending what is happening! Thank you for your explanations that help, for your patience as they seek to adjust to new boundaries, and for your love that sustains them in difficult moments. Even as we pray with the help of our digital world, may our united praying help to affirm that The Power of One is very real.
There are people hurting In the world out there. They need you, they need me, they need Christ. There are children crying and no one to care. They need you, they need me, they need Christ. And they’ll go on hurting In the world out there, And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair, And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care! They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
(Joy Webb, Song Book 935)
Be affirmed and be still, encourage and be encouraged, love and be loved. God bless you all, Major John Ager.