Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/24/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Goodland: First UMC
Hays District
Grainfield UMC
Hays District
Grinnell UMC
Quinter UMC
Hays District
Hays First UMC
Hays District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 23:33-43

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing.  And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Today's Devotional

In my 14 years as a newspaper editor, I somehow ended up writing the Thanksgiving Day editorial at least 12 of those years. It usually was just a fluke of timing, but I often ended up being the editorial board member responsible for providing some inspiration on a nearly universally loved holiday.

I mean, who is actually against the concept of Thanksgiving?

After writing that editorial for a couple of years, I was all out of ideas. So I went desk by desk and asked people in our office what they were thankful for that year. Some years it was a blank canvass. Anything they wanted to share, I wrote it down and figured out how to string those thoughts together for the Thanksgiving Day paper. Some years, I based it on a theme, such as “family.”

One of our dedicated readers, Berniece Godfrey, one of the most generous people I’ve ever met, told me one year that she looked forward to that list of thankfulness and that it was “worth more than the Black Friday ads” in that day’s newspaper.

Fast forward to 2019. When it appeared we didn’t have many people signed up to submit daily devotions, I talked our staff into trying something similar. We posted one of those giant Post-it Note sticky pads on an easel and invited staff members and visitors to the conference office to write down things for which they were thankful. I was hoping we could fill a page or two.

We filled up five.

So, Monday through Friday next week, the daily devotion will share with you some of those things we jotted down and shared within our office. What we hope you’ll do is share a photo or a saying on social media that reflects those topics each day this next week, using the hashtag #GPUMCgivesthanks.

For today, this Christ the King Sunday, we give thanks for the gift of grace. While Jesus hung on the cross, dying for our sins, He gives forgiveness to a man hanging beside Him. And He makes that man a promise: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

What a tremendous gift! Eternal salvation is truly something for which we all can be thankful. Let’s not keep that news to ourselves. Can you make your own promise this week? Will you vow to share the promise provided by Jesus with someone else this week?

Jesus is Lord! Hallelujah!

Let’s be thankful that Jesus is on the throne. And please take part in our devotions these next few days, and share what you’re thankful for throughout the week on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
– Todd Seifert, communications director

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious God, thank you for sending Jesus to endure pain and suffering on our behalf. Though we don’t deserve it, we accept the gift of grace and thank you for providing for us in such a powerful, loving way. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


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