Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/20/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Byoung Lee
Tisdale UMC
Wichita East District
John Martyn
Towanda UMC
Wichita East District
Michael Marion
Wichita Calvary UMC
Wichita East District
Ashley Barlow-Thompson
Wichita Calvary UMC
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

Acts 9:32-42

As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time, she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so, when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” Peter went with them, and when he arrived, he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
 

Today's Devotional

Reflect:  This is yet another story of healing as a means of spreading the gospel. What healing - or other sign and wonder - is happening in your community of faith which, if it were known, would draw more people to Christ?
Peter's reputation was as a healer. Tabatha's reputation was as one who was devoted to good works and acts of charity. What kind of reputation is God creating and you?

Encouragement: Best Kept Secrets
As I read today's reading the phase “best kept secret” comes to mind. Is often used when describing a destination or eating establishment, which has great offerings that not many people know about. Sound familiar? As I travel throughout the Conference and in and out of many communities, the reputation of our churches and their ministries do not match what is really happening in those faith communities.
 
We have such amazing things happening that if more people knew about them, they would be drawn to Christ and to be part of these faith communities. We have outreach for the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the oppressed. We have opened doors, hearts, and minds for all to have a place and be welcome. We are creative and passionate and care deeply for the communities in which we live and for the world at large. I am often in awe of how many ways we live out “Gods moments” to transform lives. However, the key is to great beyond being a “best kept secret” and get the word out about quotation what “God's up to” in your ministry setting.
 
This made me think of many community “tables” I sit around, and how almost never is the faith community represented and bringing to the table what “God is up to” as it relates to the purpose or work of those around the table. I often find myself saying, “well , I know of a church that …” and more times than not, I get the response, “Really?”…
 
We need to “make a plan” to change our reputation from being an aging, declining faith community, and find opportunities to get the word out about what “God is up to” in our ministry settings.
By Kelly Newell
 
 

Prayer for Reflection

For a rhythm in your daily life that allows for godly interruptions. Pray for God's continued transformation of lives and communities in ways that allows the word of God's hope, love, and grace to spread wildly.
 
“Excerpted from the book “Catch Fire in 50 Days: Joining the Movement of God’s Mission in the World” by Blake Busick and Christie Latona.”
 

 

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