Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/11/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Wichita St. Paul's UMC
Wichita West District
Valley Center: First UMC
Wichita West District
Wellington: First UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita West Heights UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

2 Peter 1:16-21

We didn’t repeat crafty myths when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Quite the contrary, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes.  He received honor and glory from God the Father when a voice came to him from the magnificent glory, saying, “This is my dearly loved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.”  We ourselves heard this voice from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.  In addition, we have a most reliable prophetic word, and you would do well to pay attention to it, just as you would to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  Most important, you must know that no prophecy of scripture represents the prophet’s own understanding of things,  because no prophecy ever came by human will. Instead, men and women led by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Today's Devotional

Let’s start the day by saying a simple “thank you” to the men and women who have served the United States over the years as a member of our military. Today is Veterans Day, the day we honor these brave people who have stood in harm’s way on behalf of others they will never meet. They reflect an uncommon bravery and sense of service.

One story I’ve found interesting over the years involving our military was the promise by Gen. Douglas MacArthur that “I shall return” — three simple words that have made their way into movies and into our vernacular. As I understand the story, the Japanese military was closing in on the Philippines, where MacArthur led U.S. and Filipino troops. Having a U.S. military leader of MacArthur’s stature captured or killed would have been devastating, so he eventually was ordered by then-President Franklin Roosevelt to leave for the safety of Australia. MacArthur reportedly didn’t want to go, so when he was ordered to leave, he promised his troops that he would be back as a means of providing hope in terrible circumstances. More than two years later, Oct. 20, 1944, he kept that promise.

As important as keeping that promise was, it pales in comparison to the promise explained in today’s scripture. Peter — or someone writing with his pen name — alludes to teaching that the Risen Christ will return one day. The author tells the audience that this is not a mere myth, a story that entertained but that would not come true, like so many of the pagan teachings of that day. Instead, this writer is speaking from the position of an eyewitness to seeing Jesus, to hearing the voice of God.

Later, in chapter 3, we learn Jesus will come again “like a thief.” The writer warns of coming judgment and of destruction because of our sin.

But there is hope — even more so than the return of a powerful general. In 2 Peter 3:13 we read, “But according to his promise we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.” Now that is a hopeful image, a view of a promise we can count on.
   — Todd Seifert
director of communications

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious God, we thank you for people who serve bravely to protect others. We ask that you place your shield of safety over them. And we thank you for the promise of Jesus’ return. Amen.


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