Mid-Week Devotion 07-29-2020 “God’s Control”

Mid Week Devotion 7/29/2020 “God’s Control”

GREETING

Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on when you are watching this mid-week version of our online church presentations. 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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

I have no new announcements for this day.

PRAYER REQUESTS/UPDATES

I have a couple of prayer request updates.

Al Showalter is doing better.

Prayers of joy that Rhoda Walker’s son, Andy is feeling better.

Prayers of joy that hopefully scientists are getting closer to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Prayers of concern for the COVID-19 case numbers that are continuing to slowly rise in Illinois.

Prayers of concern over how and when to send children back to school safely.

Prayers of concern for Karen Decker who is not feeling well.

Prayers of concern for Mike Stocker, who might need surgery,

prayers also for his consent to the surgery.

Prayers are urgently needed for Tamara Newby’s first cousin, Sherryl Shannon, who has contracted COVID-19. On Monday, July 27, she was put on a ventilator.

Prayers are needed for her health.

Prayers of concern for Martha Vaché’s cousin, Janet, who has cancer, also for her husband who cannot be with her due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Rev Julie Azbell, clergy on disability, has been placed on hospice.  Please pray for Julie, husband Rev Randy Azbell, and the family.

Prayers of concern for DarKena, her CAT scan came back showing multiple tumors in her right chest. She will be having surgery and back on chemo.

PRAYER

Lord, you have been faithful to gather us before you this day. Receive our prayer requests and move within the lives for those whom we pray.  Quiet now our thoughts that we may together hear your word. Empty our fretful minds and fill them with the assurance of your presence. 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     Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

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

I have entitled this devotion, God’s Control.

DEVOTION: “God’s Control”

Paul’s letter seems to suggest an exchanged life. Once we accept Jesus, we are no longer our selves. At least not our old selves. Maybe we are a truer version of our old selves as we start to become the person God created us to be. When Jesus takes control of our lives we begin to see life differently. We are led to places we may have never ventured to without Jesus leading the way. Jesus becomes the strength of our lives.

We’ve heard it said before, “When I am weak, God is strong.” When was the last time you were weak and needed to rely on God’s strength and God’s control? When we face situations that baffle our comprehension, where else can we turn? We cannot generate the kind of strength we need on our own. We need Godly control in our lives. When we face the impossible it is God who helps us see possibilities.

How many of us turn to God only when we are baffled beyond comprehension? Let me tell you I never imagined I would be preparing Mid-Week Devotions into August and perhaps beyond. I started these as a way to help the church remain connected through quarantine. I still pray that the worst of quarantine is behind us. The fallout from COVID-19, however, remains an ever present reality.

I recall sitting in the sanctuary and discussing canceling in-person Easter services. “Surely this virus won’t still be an issue at Easter time,” I thought. Easter was 14 week ago, and I am still writing Mid-Week Devotions. I need to sit back an analyze my feelings as I continue to journey through this new way of living. In a way, I have exchanged my old self for this new version. The one who wears a mask, avoids large groups of people, refrains from shopping, doesn’t shake hands, and does not go out visiting.

I don’t care for this new way of living. I am adapting, as are all of you, doesn’t mean I care for it. It is in the midst of this self-pitying mind set that I begin to think about my ‘real’ exchanged life. I’m not in control, God is. That is at the heart of the exchanged life. I still have dreams of face to face ministry back in the church, but life isn’t about my dreams. Life is about following God. I can’t change things back to pre-virus days, but God can; and I believe God will.

Maybe not as fast as I would like, but, again, I  am not in charge. God is in control. That is what Paul is reminding us of today. Where God is leading us through these unprecedented day, only God knows. My role is not recreating life to suit myself, despite what the whole world is facing, my role is to allow God’s control to lead me to even more places where I never have thought to go.

It’s scary to let anyone, even God, have that much control, but if I don’t allow God to control me, then I haven’t actually exchanged my life for Jesus’ yet. If there is one lesson I am learning, and perhaps you as well through these crazy days, is that God is definitely in control. Not me, not you, not the president, not the governor and certainly not the virus. God is in control.

We need to be reminded of that, God is in control. Since God is leading, let us see where we can go from here. Forwards hopefully, but even if it is backwards for a short time, our role is to remain with God. Where you led me Lord, I will follow.

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