Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/3/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Olathe: Aldersgate UMC
Kansas City District
Olathe: Aldersgate UMC
Kansas City District
Olathe: Grace UMC
Kansas City District
Olathe: Grace UMC

Today's Lectionary Text

Deuteronomy 8:1-10

You must carefully perform all of the commandment that I am commanding you right now so you can live and multiply and enter and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors. Remember the long road on which the Lord your God led you during these forty years in the desert so he could humble you, testing you to find out what was in your heart: whether you would keep his commandments or not. He humbled you by making you hungry and then feeding you the manna that neither you nor your ancestors had ever experienced, so he could teach you that people don’t live on bread alone. No, they live based on whatever the Lord says. During these forty years, your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t swell up. Know then in your heart that the Lord your God has been disciplining you just as a father disciplines his children. Keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him, because the Lord your God is bringing you to a wonderful land, a land with streams of water, springs, and wells that gush up in the valleys and on the hills; a land of wheat and barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey;  a land where you will eat food without any shortage — you won’t lack a thing there — a land where stone is hard as iron and where you will mine copper from the hills. You will eat, you will be satisfied, and you will bless the Lord your God in the wonderful land that he’s given you.

Today's Devotional

I hated disciplining our two children, especially when they were younger. Thankfully, it wasn’t necessary very often, and when it was, it usually involved a scenario when one of them would take things a little too far and hurt the other one unintentionally. Great debates still occur whenever we’re all together of how certain scars came into being and who was at fault.

A swat on the behind. A time out. Privileges taken away. Groundings in the teenage years.

None of them were pleasant — for them or for me. But my job was not to be their friend. My job was to be their dad, to teach them about how the world works and to prepare them for life on their own. It was important to me that they knew I loved them and that I cared deeply about their future well-being. I didn’t give them directions as a means of entertainment for myself, but rather to prepare them for what they may face later in life.

I think that’s what God is telling the people of Israel in this passage from Deuteronomy. The people are wandering in the desert because they failed to have the faith necessary for God to lead them into the Promised Land. As a result, God provides some tough-love discipline by not allowing them entrance for an entire generation. But like we parents, God didn’t abandon God’s children. Instead, God stayed with them, continuing to provide for them and sustaining them.

That hasn’t changed.

I see this passage as a reminder for us, even today, that God is always present and wants what is best for us.
After God reminds the Israelites — and us — about what has been taught thus far, God says, “You will eat, you will be satisfied, and you will bless the Lord your God in the wonderful land that he’s given you.”
In other words: “I love you.”
   — Todd Seifert, director of communications

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious God, we thank you for your love. Help us to remember that you love us like a parent and that you continue to provide for us, even though like the ancient Israelites, we are sinners. We have eaten. We should be satisfied. Help us to bless You through our actions this day. In the name of Jesus Christ, Your ultimate expression of love for us, Amen.


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