St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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Orlando, FL 32819
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Weekly Devotion – April 24 – 28, 2017

Posted on April 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm in .

April 24, 2017

The Creed: God

Read:     Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.  Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 


When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings,  and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey. . . .  The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them.  So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 


But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”


But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 


God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations. Exodus 3:1-15(NRSV)

Think about: When did you know that you believed in God? Someone once said to me, “God doesn’t have any grandchildren.” What he was saying is that belief in God isn’t something you inherit from your family. There is no question that it is easier to believe in God when we are brought up in a family that goes to church every Sunday, prays at every meal, thanks God for every blessing and essentially makes God a part of the family. However, each one of us must decide if we believe in God because we know him and not just the stories our parents and grandparents have told us. We must believe in him because he loves us, not our parents and grandparents.

If we do not establish a personal relationship with God — a one-to-one connection — our faith in him will fall apart when it is first challenged.

When the shootings at Columbine took place, one of the students came face to face with the one of the shooters. He asked her, “Do you believe in God?” With a firm voice, she responded, “Yes.” He hesitated briefly, then shot her, killing her instantly. We won’t likely have our faith challenged in that way, but we should know what our answer will be.

Pray this prayer: I believe in you Father God. Thank you for believing in me. Amen

 

 

April 26, 2017

The Creed: God

Read:     Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.  Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 


When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings,  and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey. . . .  The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them.  So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 


But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”


But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 


God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations. Exodus 3:1-15(NRSV)

Think about: Which God do you believe in?

When someone tells me that they don’t believe in God, I always ask them which God they don’t believe in. It is impossible to not believe in God unless you have a perception of God. Inevitably, the God they don’t believe in is very different from the God I do believe it, so I can pray that that person will one day meet the God I know.

You, too, if you say you believe in God, have a perception of who he is. When Moses met God in the burning bush, he had no idea who he was talking to. Moses had been raised in the house of the pharaohs. He knew he was a Hebrew, but he knew very little of what that meant, so God started to teach him. He explained that he was the God of Moses’ ancestors which automatically differentiated him from the gods that Moses had grown up with. He was the great I AM.

As Moses followed God’s instructions, he got to know God better and became God’s friend. Imagine being known as God’s friend! Jesus called his disciples his friends, and we can call Jesus our friend (“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.)

What is the God you believe in like? It is important to know as much as you can about the God you believe in.

Pray this prayer: Lord, I want to know you better. Teach me.


 

April 28, 2017

The Creed: God

Read:     Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.  Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 


When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings,  and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey. . . .  The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them.  So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 


But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”


But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 


God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations. Exodus 3:1-15(NRSV)

Think about: I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

As we learn more about the universe we live in, it becomes harder and harder to believe the creation stories in Genesis. Did God create heaven and earth? While I believe the creation stories meet the needs of past generations, I don’t necessarily view them as word for word truth. I know, for instance, that the earth is round. The writer of Genesis didn’t know that. I also know that there is no dome above the earth for God to stick the stars and the moon on. I’ve seen pictures.

But I find it more difficult to believe that the solar system is the result of an accident than I do to believe that an infinite mind thought it up and put it together. I don’t have an infinite mind, so I’ll probably never know how God created the universe, but I believe that he did.

Faith. That’s the necessary input we must provide. All those questions that the Bible raises cannot be answered because our belief in the Trinity requires faith. If God provided all the answers, we wouldn’t need faith. So study as much as you can to learn what and who you have to believe in, then believe!

Pray this prayer: Father, thank you for making us. Thank you for your Son. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. I love you. Amen.


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