Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/19/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Shawnee: LifeBridge UMC
Kansas City District
Shawnee: Monticello UMC
Kansas City District
Shawnee UMC
Kansas City District
Stilwell UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 7: 1-9

When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.

The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed. Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah. Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying, ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’ But this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“This invasion will never happen;
    it will never take place;
for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus,
    and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin.
As for Israel, within sixty-five years
    it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
    and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
    I cannot make you stand firm.”

Today's Devotional

As a leader of a family, a team or a company, our resolve is meaningful. Resolve conveys strength to the entire team and when we do not have resolve, it is our weakness that is conveyed. Does resolve matter? I believe it does. When our team’s resolve is strong, synergy grows and power to deliver results increases. There are many forces that help to move a company. The forces are like the blades of a windmill. Each blade takes on some of the energy as the wind rushes by and together they turn the spindle, gears, and pump. As leader, if we are not focused, lacking resolve, we can be like the gear being broken on the windmill. When our team lacks focus and resolve, it is like a blade being removed from the windmill’s grouping of blades that catch the wind. We need to know why we provide value and have the focus to deliver it. Windmills provide water to the stock tank to keep the herd alive. That is valuable. What is your teams why? The rancher has firmly resolved himself that the wind will blow even though he does not know the time or the place. This develops the courage and conviction to put the herd in the pasture. How is your team delivering their purpose? Where do you need to share your resolve with the team members whose resolve might have been worn out by the wear and tear of the world? As leader, our focus on others is what keeps the team providing value. What is the first thing you can do about it in the next seven days? 

As a people of faith, the winds of this world blow upon us. The activities of this world and being a productive person is a call. We react and sometimes are moved by those call of the winds. But our faith is our strongest shield. We read, “Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm” (Isaiah 7: NLT). It seems to me that this passage is telling us that God wants us to stand strong. It does not say that the winds of change will not blow, that the thunderstorms will not come, or that destruction is guaranteed to avoid us. No, like the base of the windmill which is anchored into the ground, we too are to stand firm in our faith. As we are anchored with Christ, we can count on God to strengthen that base through our study of the word, through living with our brothers and sisters of the church, and by being in relationship with Christ. Where might you want to check on the anchors of your base? Who are you in relationship with that you might be able to assist in strengthening their base? When was the last time that you focused on the foundation? What is the first thing that you can do about it in the next seven days? 

-Mark Queen
Lay Leader
Manhattan First UMC

Prayer for Reflection

Let’s pray, Heavenly Father, we are forever close to the comfort of the palm of your hands. Thank you for our relationships and your word. Even though the winds blow, and changes come daily, you do not change. We get scared and live in fear on occasion but our faith is a shield. May we be inspired to be firmly planted in faith. We want to be anchored with you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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