04/07/2021 Mid-Week Devotion “Everything Changes”

Mid Week Devotion 04/07/2021 “Everything Changes”


GREETING

Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on when you are watching this April 4 mid-week devotion. I want to extend a greeting to those of who are joining in today, however you found us, welcome! My name is Pastor Mel, I trust you find this space comforting, refreshing and safe as we continue to journey through life together.

As we enter into this time of prayer, O God, we offer our gratitude that you are always present to us. Instill in us a desire to listen to others. Help us listen with open hearts and open minds, that people might feel safe in our presence. Instill in us a spirit of serenity that others might feel accepted in your nonjudgmental grace. Free us from the tendency to label people and ideas, and allow us instead to lean into mercy and kindness. In the stillness of these moments, we acknowledge the times when we have been less than kind, merciful and open. Thank you for never banning us from your presence, loving God; help us so to love and accept others. Amen.

Now, Lord, be with us as we pray the words which you have given to us;

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. 

Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth As it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our trespasses, 

As we forgive those who trespass against us. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, For ever. Amen.

SCRIPTURE – John 3:1-4

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

May God add a blessing to the reading and hearing of the Word.

DEVOTION: “Everything Changes”

I spoke to you on Easter about becoming something new. After Mary and the Disciples discovered the empty tomb they were never the same. Everything changed for them. I understand that you and I are not the first to arrive at the tomb, but the effect should be the same. Everything changes upon knowing the Messiah.

We don’t simply adapt the nice parts of Christianity that we like; instead all of what Jesus was, is who we become. All things become new, not some, all! Following Jesus should impact every part of our lives. We should welcome this change, for God’s way is The Way.

How many of you have trouble letting go being the master. I walk arm in arm with you in that struggle. It is when I attempt to wrench control away from God is that I am reminded of how wonderful God’s thoughts are, how amazing God’s love is. I think back at how much God has changed me from what I was before.

I really like the new attitude, new values, new sensitivities and the new priorities. The more I allow God to work in my heart, the more I feel connected to others and attempt to see them from a different perspective. A greater perspective than when I thought I was master. A Christian perspective. Meaning, how Christ sees us. There is a tremendous amount of freedom in surrendering to Jesus.

Jesus is the way and Jesus way is life. Nicodemus had trouble understanding life as Jesus described it. We see Nicodemus at the very point of becoming something new for God, an individual taking the very first steps in a lifelong journey. I often find value in looking at another’s journey.

Their steps seem so much more evident than my own. I never try to look with judgement, but with a sense of seeking understanding. I enjoy reading about Nicodemus trying to comprehend salvation, I picture myself in his shoes and I gain empathy for him. I also see how much Jesus wants to impart knowledge and it makes me more willing to think in ways that lead to receptive understanding.

Do you feel the changes continually happening inside you? Do you feel uncomfortable when your old self tries to take control? Do you sense there is something greater inside you when thinking about dealing with life like Jesus did? Everything changed and is still changing. God is never done helping us along the journey that leads to Heaven.

I encourage you to live your life as a testimony to the things Jesus has taught you. Be open to others as they speak about Jesus and their relationship. God is working inside all of us for the benefit of all of us. On those tougher days, try to recall all that God has already done in your life and trust there is more to do. 

Don’t be afraid, step out in faith like Nicodemus and see where following Jesus may lead you today.

May God’s peace be with you until we meet again, stay safe and God bless.