Devotions – June 17 – June 23, 2018
By Doris Kewley, Bethany Lutheran Church, Amasa, Michigan
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Text: Proverbs 23:18
“There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.”
Two years ago, our family had hope for my great-grandson Justin’s sight. At that time when he was in unfamiliar surroundings he was on what he and his father called “the leash”. Our hope was that he would receive sight. God fulfilled that hope.
Between August 2016 and August 2017 he had two eye surgeries. This past Christmas he, his father and sister came up to spend Christmas with us. What a blessing and great joy it was to have him looking intently at me then at each of the other family members putting faces to names he knew.
He was as able as his sister to maneuver around legs and furniture. Watching them opening their gifts was a greater joy than watching my own children do it years ago. Justin and Jocelyn were so eager, expectant and delighted with their gifts, we were all blessed.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were always eager, expectant and delighted to receive and use the gifts God has given us to bless others?
Let us Pray: Father, help us to be eager, expectant and delighted to use your gifts given for us to use for Your glory. Amen.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Text: James 4:13a, 15
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there’…Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.’”
Ours was not a year’s plan, only four short days which turn into nine days. Our purpose was to attend my granddaughter’s high school graduation in McClouth, Kansas on May 12th. We left on the
10th and arrived on the 11th. We were about an hour away from McClouth when the car made an odd sound and hesitated a couple of seconds, then ran normally a few minutes before the sound and hesitation were repeated. This happened three more times so as soon as we arrived at my niece’s home my daughter called the dealership in Lawrence. She could bring the car in the first thing Monday morning. That caused our first delay in returning home. Instead of leaving on Sunday it might be Monday resulting in a Tuesday appointment cancelation.
All the arrival excitement followed as we caught up on events in all our lives. Then we were given the itinerary for Saturday: first the high school graduation at one o’clock, a daughter-in-law’s college graduation at three o’clock and a grandnephew’s Barbershop Quartet concert at seven o’clock. Besides being in the chorus he had a solo part and was in a trio. We had a full, exciting and tiring day.
Sunday was church and visiting day. Monday the car problem was not diagnosed so our departure was postponed until Tuesday meaning a Wednesday appointment had to be canceled. Wednesday the technician from Kansas City couldn’t diagnose the problem either. Thursday morning when the telephone call came letting my daughter know she could get the car anytime we said our good-byes, prayed and were prayed for. My niece took us to Lawrence and after our thanks and good-bye she went home and we started our journey home arriving here only four days late.
Now my prayer is “Lord, if it is your will I really would like to go to Granger with my daughters in July.”
Let us Pray: Father, help us to remember to pray for guidance in making large and small decisions in our lives. Help us to remember nothing is too large or too small to be prayed about before we take action. We thank You for being interested in every detail of our lives; we ask all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Text: Acts 2:38, 39
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Him.”
Our family is praying for our straying member, my 18 year-old granddaughter whose graduation we had so happily celebrated. Two days after my daughter and I started our trip home she left home taking all her things with her while the others were at work. Her work hours were different than theirs, so her absence wasn’t known until the following day.
We are all praying for her return not only to us but to the God she was raised to know. We ask for your supporting prayers for her and for others who have made similar wrong choices and for the families who are waiting for their loved ones to return to them and to God.
Let us Pray: Our Father in heaven we pray for all who have lost their way. Please watch over them, call them and bring them back safely to You our Lord, our God and our Savior. Amen.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Text: Psalm 7:11
“For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His face.”
Who are the upright and what are their righteous deeds? From my very human point of view they are the Ruths who in their busy lives find time to take the homebound for appointments, shopping excursions and get out of the house pleasure rides.
They are the Keiths who visit people in the dementia ward at the Medical Care facility never knowing how long or if their visits make an impression.
They are the Jans who not only teach once a week at the Mission Bible Training Center but take residents to church on Sundays, make visits during their free time and help with their four yearly fund raisers.
They are the musician Lindas who are faithfully in church every Sunday, at all other services and ready and willing to play for wedding, funerals, anniversaries and other special occasions.
They are the Jons who are willing to listen and spend time caring in the store, in the bank, in the hospital waiting room, and on the sidewalk wherever they meet someone in need of listening ears and perhaps an understanding word of love and encouragement.
They are the Rays who plow snow, rake leaves, fix the gutters, transplant trees, mow the grass, put air in the tires and take away trash.
They are all the willing helping people who cross our paths every day. How often do we recognize them? How often do we thank them or praise God for them?
Let us Pray: Holy Father, we thank You and praise You for bringing upright people with righteous deeds into our lives. We thank You that the upright will see Your face. Lead us, Lord God, in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Text: Luke 15:6
“And when He comes home, He calls together His friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”
This time it is my great-grandson Judah who gives me something to think about. The family, parents of course and five children, three girls and two boys (Judah is the middle child and older boy) went on a weekend camping trip in a state park.
Their first outing was to be a hike on the longest trail but because the middle girl broke her ankle a few days before the trip the plans were altered. Mom and the girls would take a shorter path while dad and the boys went on the longer trek.
Somewhere along the way Judah decided he wanted to go with mom and his sisters. He assured his dad that he knew the way back to where the family separated and he knew which way they went. So he was permitted to go. A short distance on his way he decided to take a shortcut through the woods. When he finally came out of the woods he didn’t know where he was and couldn’t decide which way to go. Another hiker came up to him and asked if he needed help. Judah admitted he was lost. The hiker asked if Judah would like him to take him to the ranger station. Judah hesitated about going with a stranger but did say yes.
Meanwhile the rest of the family was at their camping spot worrying about Judah. Dad decided the best action to take was to go to the ranger station and report Judah missing.
Dad, Judah and the hiker arrived at the ranger station at the same time. The reactions of dad and Judah left no doubt in the hiker’s mind. It was safe to let Judah go to this stranger.
Thanks and conversation ensued. The hiker lives around the corner from Judah’s family and attends the church nearby that the family visited once and is considering going back again. They’ve been looking for a new church since dissention has broken up in the one they attended.
Let us Pray: Father, we thank You for being our watchful Father whose eye is always on us. We ask You to help us keep aware of our surroundings when we are in unfamiliar places. Guide us through the spiritual realm that we may always be with You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Text: Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?…Why do you worry about clothing?…Why do you worry about….do not worry about tomorrow… Sufficient for the day is its own troubles.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a worry-free life? Jesus asks us why do we worry. Can worry help us in any way? Doesn’t worry make every problem or situation worse not better? Doesn’t worry hinder not help? Yet I give in to worry more times than I care to admit.
For me it is a greater sin because God has taken care of me all my life, many times miraculously. Yet I give in to worry first then when I stop to think how useless it is I turn to God in prayer to forgive my disbelief and ask for His solution to the problem. Sometimes I have to wait for His answer (longer than I like). Sometimes it comes quickly. Either way it is better than wasted worry time.
I don’t know how many can relate to this confession. If you can, let’s try to remember to pray first and let worry go far away.
Let us Pray: Please, Lord God, bring prayer to our minds before we give in to useless worry. Help us to remember to use our allotted time being Your servants. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Text: John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubles, neither let it be afraid.”
Have you felt that peace that from a human point of view you shouldn’t have? God has blessed me with that peace Jesus promised to His disciples. When my first husband died, when I knew I was going back to college, when I knew there would be a place to live before college started in the fall, when I went to my first job interview and said I didn’t want a job and got it, when I resigned from it without having a prospect for another which opened up a week before school opened, when God had told me to retire and many times between those events and since.
One would think with all those experiences I would never waste time wondering and worrying about anything. I have to confess I do – too often. I am thankful that I have a loving and forgiving God. He has not forsaken me.
Let us Pray: Holy Father, thank You for the many times You have given Your peace and Your Spirit has guided my actions. May all Your children experience Your peace that passes understanding. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.