Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/25/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Barada UMC
Falls City Bethel UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue Aldersgate UMC
Omaha Lefler Memorial UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue Aldersgate UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue St James UMC East
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

2 Corinthians 7:2-12 

Make room in your hearts for us; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I often boast about you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with consolation; I am overjoyed in all our affliction.

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way—disputes without and fears within. But God, who consoles the downcast, consoled us by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was consoled about you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it, for I see that I grieved you with that letter, though only briefly). Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance; for you felt a godly grief, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who was wronged, but in order that your zeal for us might be made known to you before God.

Today's Devotional

Like many children, I grew up with the little nursery rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." It was a catchy response to the taunts and teasing that children naturally do, unless they are taught better. The truth is, words often hurt more than the sticks and stones. Bruises from physical wounds soon heal, but the wounds from carelessly spoken words, or words spoken in the heat of anger, can create wounds in our souls that linger for years.

And yet, as followers of Christ, we are called to “speak the truth in love." And what is truth? It is the question Pilate asked of Jesus. When we speak, are we speaking God’s truth or our own? When we quote scripture, are we speaking to build up or are we using the Bible as a weapon to win an argument? In the coming months, as we digest and discern around the seeming inevitable split in our denomination, may we be especially mindful of the ability of our words to hurt as well as heal. We will not all agree but we can all be kind and loving with one another. There will be some in our congregations that will feel called by their beliefs to go a different direction from us. I hope we can show them the love of Jesus, even as we continue to pray for unity for all believers -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
-Mary L. Brooks
Five Rivers District Lay Leader/LSM Director

Prayer for Reflection

God of all, remind us we are all one family. Help us to avoid the sin of trying to use your guidance to tear apart rather than build up the body of Christ. Be with us as we struggle through these difficult times and remind us we are called to be peacemakers in a world already filled with strife and contention. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.


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