Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/23/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Wichita Saint Mark UMC
Wichita East District
Wichita Saint Mark UMC
Wichita East District
Wichita University UMC
Wichita East District
Winfield First UMC
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Peter 3

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.  Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Suffering for Doing Good Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Today's Devotional

Reflect:  How would you apply the example of Christ’s suffering to your life?  Where does it have practical application? 
When was the last time you repaid evil with a blessing?  Are you prepared to do so in the future? 
How would you describe the hope which is within you? 
Encouragement: Spirit
Currently, this “Catch Fire in 50 days” study encourages us towards being a part of the huge cosmic/internal “movement of grace transforming the world.”
However, often there the “hugeness” of this mission seems, well ... Just so/too huge!
Ah, but just in good time, the scripture calls out; “Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.... Let [those who desire love and desire to see good days in quotation bar turn away from evil and do good; Let them seek peace and pursue it .... In your heart sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.] (1 Peter 3). 
With this scripture, the hugeness of our mission becomes more individualized and accessible. It seems to become “way” less dramatic. But is this, also, way less effective?
Have you seen those ads on television where one good person strike that where one person's good - often lifesaving - act, becomes a chain reaction of goodness?
It seems to happen as one person, a carrier of goodness, lives out the action of goodness. When “others” see that action, they are impressed one can almost hear the “others” say, “Wow!” or “That is so great!” or even just give approving signs. The “others”- and perhaps we, two - are infected. We are exposed to the virus of goodness.
The “others”, (perhaps we) become a part of the chain reaction of goodness that continues. The goodness, as they say, “goes viral”.
Imagine the fire of the Holy Spirit, the message of the gospel, “going viral” every time any one of us might testify to the hope that is within us. Such individual word or action would be huge. Such would certainly be in the realm of what is cosmic and eternal! And, such would be, and is, in the realm of what we can and are called to do.
When I see that television ad, I generally start humming the hum song that sings out:
“It only takes a spark to get the fire going.  And soon all those around, warm up to its glowing.
That's how it is with God's love, once you experience it.  You spread his love to everyone.
You want to pass it on.”  
We certainly can – and must - be a must this “movement of grace transforming the world in”.
By Mariellen Yoshino 

Prayer for Reflection

For all who will be gathering for worship tomorrow that they would expect and encounter the living Christ in a way which sets them on fire to join the movement of God's mission for the world.   
“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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