Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/21/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Administrative Assistant
Hutchinson District
Salina District
Bishop Han Theological College
Hutchinson District
Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation
Hutchinson District
Covenant HealthCare

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.


Today's Devotional

I must admit to having become somewhat averse to watching the news or spending much time surfing the internet. It is not that I want to live with my head in the sand, but rather I’m concerned and saddened by the level of vitriol that is spoken every day by one group to another or one person to another or one nation to another.

It happens everywhere from sports to politics, where many engage in demolishing the other nearly every moment of every day. I must confess that when something I hold dear is torn down by others, I tend to engage in a little tearing down myself. Sometimes how we have devolved overwhelms me. I yearn for civility and even small signs of hope. Where can I turn for hope? The scriptures are a good place to look an understanding of how God would have us act in the face of so much tearing down in our lives.

Recently my pastor preached a series on Thessalonians that lifted up Paul’s earliest theology. The letters to Thessalonica are short but filled with powerful truths, such as the return of Christ is coming, but we know not when, so we must live ready.

Verse 11 above states God would have us “encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” Paul was responding to those in Thessalonica tearing down the ministry Paul was trying to build and discouraging belief in Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us. It would be a mistake to think Paul’s letter applies only to early Christianity. It would also be a mistake to think he is saying all building up and tearing down happens corporately or only at the hands of the other people in our lives. I believe his letter tells me that we human beings have dozens of opportunities each day, in every encounter in our lives, to choose to either build someone up or to tear them down.

Each and every one of us has the power to edify or demolish. We all can build up those in our church, those in our circle of friends, those who are the same as us, but that is not the challenge. The challenge is to choose to build up, and not tear down, even those people we do not know, and even those persons we know and do not like. The choice is yours -- will you build up or tear down?
--Rev. Galen Wray
Retired elder

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious and loving God, you have created us to be in community and in relationship with one another. You have given us the capacity to love, encourage and build others up. Yet yo have also given us free will which we often misuse. Help us love, choose encouraging words, build each other up rather than tear them down. Amen.


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