Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/2/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Brad Kirk
Kingman UMC
Wichita West District
Margaret Johnson
Hardtner UMC
Kiowa UMC
Wichita West District
Kane McEntire
Maize UMC
Wichita West District
Valjean Warman
Argonia UMC
Mayfield Federated Church
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

James 3:13-18

Are any of you wise and understanding? Show that your actions are good with a humble lifestyle that comes from wisdom. However, if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, then stop bragging and living in ways that deny the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above. Instead, it is from the earth, natural and demonic. Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and everything that is evil. What of the wisdom from above? First, it is pure, and then peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good actions, fair, and genuine. Those who make peace sow the seeds of justice by their peaceful acts.

Today's Devotional

A sense of wisdom. It is hard to come by on a day like today.

Christmas and New Years are now in our rear-view mirror. My Advent Wreath might represent our collective energy level. New Year’s Day is barely behind us, and we can probably still feel fatigue from celebrating a few hours later than usual a day ago. Our collective candles may be burning low. Like the lingering effects of New Year’s Eve, we are reminded that our experiences in life never leave us without some sort of wisdom. Wisdom that can be used somewhere along the way. Wisdom is hard won knowledge that envelops us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

James, who wrote the wisdom book of the New Testament, invites his readers with a rhetorical question: “Are any of you wise and understanding?” And I’ll paraphrase from here, If you’re wise, live with humility like you really learned something from what you’ve been through! That is wisdom from the heavens above. Do not live selfishly, taking advantage of every situation for your own benefit. You are living a demonic lie. A lie that only embraces unbounded ego- creating disorder all around you and chaos in your relationships.

Instead- live with great patience, humility, gentleness, and fairness. If you start with these things, then you will sow seeds that create gardens of justice and seasons of jubilee. Wisdom such as this is a glimpse of heaven on earth. 

Friends let us live with the wisdom that comes from above! Let us live with the hard-won wisdom that tells us to follow Jesus wherever he leads us this year. With faith in God and trust in Jesus, may we lean on the direction of the Holy Spirit to search for wisdom from above. Wisdom that is won in a relationship within the church. Wisdom that is won when we are scattered outside the church building sowing seeds of justice, love, and service. Wisdom that is won when we show great patience with one another. 

Finding wisdom and understanding that comes from the heavens is not fast or easy work. It is a journey. But it is always worth it. Let us begin this journey together.
-Reverend Nathan D. Stanton
 Director of Congregational Excellence,
Connectional Ministries and New Church Starts

Prayer for Reflection

God of wisdom and justice, let us take on attributes of wisdom from above. Let us be people of great patience, humility, gentleness, and fairness, in how we live today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 


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