Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/21/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Rock UMC
Wichita East District
Rosalia UMC
Wichita East District
Rose Hill UMC
Wichita East District
Tisdale UMC
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

Romans 8:35-39

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today's Devotional

I’ve discovered in my life that great theology is often found in secular music. Sometimes you have to really look for it (and sometimes you have to edit it to use it) but it is there in many songs. One song that I have used illustratively many times is “A Father’s Love” recorded by George Strait. It tells the story of a boy who gets in trouble at school and expects punishment for what he has done from his father, only to hear his father say "a father’s love is without end. Amen.”

This scene gets repeated when the boy becomes a father and shares the same words with his son, but the great message in this song comes when the now adult man dreams that he died and went to heaven. He is puzzled by being at the pearly gates, for “if they knew half the things I had done, they’d never let me in.” It is then that he hears the words of his earthly father, and his heavenly Father “a Father doesn’t love just every now and then, it’s a love without end. Amen.”

In my 24 years of active ministry as a pastor, I encountered countless numbers of people who did not feel worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. Or many simply doubted that God could love them if God only knew what they had done (spoiler alert! God knows anyway!). When I say many people expressed this, I mean not just non-believers but even devout members of the church! I mean family members, church leaders, people today and people in history. I was astounded when I read about John Wesley’s heart-warming experience at Aldersgate where he said he realized that Christ gave himself for and loved even him!

I mean myself as well, when I realized in my mid-30s that God loved even me, despite my failings and the harm that I caused. St. Paul also realized that God’s love is without end, when he penned these words in his letter to the Romans: “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It’s a love without end — even for Paul, for John Wesley, for the churched, for the non-churched, for the world, for me and you. Amen.
Retired Elder

Prayer for Reflection

Lord help our unbelief. Help our world to know you are love and that God’s love is a love without end. Amen.
Galen

 

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