Daily Devotion - Friday, March 11, 2016
3 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. - Philippians 3:1
I was exchanging emails this week with someone, and our conversation turned toward uncertainty and how our paths seemed to be filled with it at the moment. My conversation partner wrote that he had been reading a devotional book that day and the verses he read from Proverbs 3:5-6 landed on him. The verses read:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
When I read those verses from Proverbs, I was instantly transported back to when, as a young a child, I had memorized them. I memorized them in Sunday school, and then again in the Christian schools I attended over the years. In one way, shape or form, these verses have been part of my life's journey.
My email partner used these familiar verses to remind me once again that I needed to trust God completely, to let go of my pride, and the need to be in control of everything, and turn everything over to God, who loves me more than I can imagine.
In Philippians 3:1 the Apostle Paul tells the Christians who are reading his letter that it's no trouble for him to write "the same things to you again," and the reason for his repeating himself is because "it is a safeguard for you." That one verse from today's lectionary texts spoke to me.
Paul knew all too well the difficulties that those early Christians faced. He reminded them over and over again about the incredible love and grace of God through Jesus Christ, and the surprising hope that all followers of Jesus have because he defeated death through the Resurrection. His exhortation to "rejoice in the Lord," was a mantra intended to keep this knowledge in their remembrance.
Sometimes we have to be reminded over and over again about the goodness, mercy, love and grace of God. Mostly, I think, because we have a difficult time truly believing that anyone could ever have that much goodness, mercy, love and grace for us. We know our own shortcomings, we know the ways we have grieved the heart of God with our willfulness and pride. We know how far we've tried to run from God's presence.
But just like in the Garden of Eden, God keeps seeking us, calling to us, asking, "Where are you?" and reminding us once again how much we are loved, how much we need to trust God, and to hear once again about the great lengths to which God has gone to redeem, restore and repair our souls.
May you be reminded today of just how much God loves you, and desires to be in relationship with you. May you hear God's promises over and over again in a hundred different ways each and every day of your life. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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