Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/13/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Baldwin City: Ives Chapel UMC
Five Rivers District
Baldwin City: First UMC
Five Rivers District
Burlington UMC
Five Rivers District
Colony UMC
Five Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Acts 17:24-27 

The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us.

Today's Devotional

There are several “helpful” phrases that Christians tend to attribute to the Bible that don’t actually appear there. For example, “This too shall pass” is not a verse and its attribution is ambiguous at best. “God works in mysterious ways” is not a verse but maybe someone’s interpretation of it.

Here are two of what I would consider the least helpful of these phrases.
  1. God will not give you more than you can handle. *Grrrrr*
         The Bible is full of stories of the ill-equipped who were called into circumstances beyond their ability to harness alone. Without the chance           to experience God’s greatness, many of the heroes of ourBible would be footnotes lost to time.
  1. God helps those who help themselves. *Sigh*
Doesn’t this seem counterintuitive with all we know about our God? We are to seek out God and lean not on our own understanding. As the Wednesday After School Kids at my church know we need to FROG: Fully Rely on God.

How do we square that with axiom No. 2? We can’t. Our relationship with our Creator has more to do with leaning into Him when there is too much on our plate or we are overwhelmed. He invites us, no, delights in our nearness. We are to surrender our own ability to handle it all and be in relationship with our God on whom we can rely to walk with us through the storms of life. When we “help ourselves” we miss out on the chance to draw closer to God and the opportunity for deep relationship with Him.

It’s very possible that you will be given more than you can handle but resist the temptation to do it all on your own. Our God doesn’t want that for us. He wants a deeper, more meaningful relationship with us. He seeks us out and longs to draw us near.

The difficult part is letting go of our need for self-reliance, leaning on our own understanding, lowering our barriers and letting that happen.
--Lisa Soukup
communications administrative assistant

Prayer for Reflection

Father God help us to allow ourselves to drop our guards and lean into a closer relationship with you.


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