Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/25/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Holton: First UMC
Topeka District
Horton: First UMC
Netawaka UMC
Whiting UMC
Topeka District
Hoyt UMC
Topeka District
Lecompton UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Acts 1:15-20

During this time, the family of believers was a company of about one hundred twenty persons. Peter stood among them and said, “Brothers and sisters, the scripture that the Holy Spirit announced beforehand through David had to be fulfilled. This was the scripture concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus.  This happened even though he was one of us and received a share of this ministry.” (In fact, he bought a field with the payment he received for his injustice. Falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines spilled out. This became known to everyone living in Jerusalem, so they called that field in their own language Hakeldama, or “Field of Blood.”) “It is written in the Psalms scroll,
Let his home become deserted and let there be no one living in it; And Give his position of leadership to another.[b]

Today's Devotional

Today we conclude a brief devotional series about Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf. I shared Tuesday about Jesus being our advocate and how He shed His blood so that we might have life. Wednesday, I shared how Jesus nourishes us as the bread from heaven.

Today’s lectionary text might seem out of place at first glance. It’s early in the life of the church. In this passage, Jesus recently ascended to heaven. Followers of Christ are trying to figure out what that means now that their rabbi is no longer physically among them. But they decide that  the now-deceased Judas, who betrayed Jesus, has to be replaced. What does that have to do with our salvation? Look below the surface.
Peter proclaims that scripture had to be fulfilled. No doubt he referred to the times Jesus had told His disciples that He would have to die and would be raised on the third day. For Jesus to fulfill the mission given to Him by God, our Savior chose to offer Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf. Judas was the vehicle for setting this selfless act into motion.

I recently saw something on Facebook that grabbed my attention. The post pointed out that Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him as He at the last supper with his disciples. Remember? Jesus bowed like a servant to wash their feet — all of them, including the feet of the man who would betray Him. 

Jesus serves as our advocate. He is the bread of life from heaven. And He knew exactly what He was doing because He loves us so much that He was willing to endure betrayal, shame and anguish on our behalf. Jesus carried out God’s divine plan to provide us the opportunity to believe and to be saved.
   — Todd Seifert, director of communications

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious God, we know we fall far short of deserving Your love. Yet, you provided Jesus for us, to serve as our advocate, as our nourishment and as your divine son to die on our behalf. Help us muster the courage to tell others of such an amazing display of love for all humankind.

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