DEVOTTIONS

August 22-27

Monday, August 22 – “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37) Just how are you supposed to live, in response to the good news of Jesus?  This is the question for the ages.  For people were asking this exact same thing 1,989 years ago.  One piece of the answer is to live in community.  Live your life in relationship with others, who are asking the exact same thing.  What does this look like?  Church.  Not perfect.  Not pretty.  But always a community of followers of Jesus trying to figure this whole thing out!        

 

Tuesday, August 23 – “All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32) One aspect of community is the ability to see yourself as a steward of your possessions.  As opposed to the owner of your possessions.  As a steward you see your possessions as a gift, for the betterment of everyone in the community.  As an owner, you see your possessions as just that, your possessions to be preserved.  A steward finds their peace in being a part of the community.  An owner finds their peace in the accumulation and possession of more stuff.

 

Wednesday, August 24 – “Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity.  We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” (2 Corinthians 1:12) The concept of community isn’t simply a Christian thing.  It’s a human thing. Yet, without God’s grace, community has been and will be manipulated.  Maybe you have been a victim of this type of community?  Maybe you have been a perpetrator of this type of community?  Whatever the case, don’t give up on Jesus’ picture of community, simply because you or some other fractured, faulty human has messed it up in the past.

 

Thursday, August 25 – “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.” (Acts 2:1) What community is, will never change.  But today, in our world, your ability to live out community has changed.  You can be in community with people who live on the other side of the planet.  For, back in the day, as well as today, community means fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.  Hopefully, you have a community that you can physically interact with, on a daily basis.  But this understanding of community doesn’t preclude fellowship with people you might never meet in person.   

 

Friday, August 26 – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28) Being a part of worshiping community is something that you do, in response to what God has done.  You worship “with reverence and awe”, because of the kingdom that you have received as a gift.  This kingdom can’t be earned.  It can’t be won.  It can only be received, “with reverence and awe”.  As you look at this weekend, where will you worship “with reverence and awe”? 

 

 

Saturday, August 27 – “Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14) Here is where community gets messy.  Like a body, community is made up of many different parts.  Parts that you won’t always understand or even like.  Yet, the body, the community, can only work if every part is present and participating.  Are you willing and able to make room in your community for many different parts?  Are you willing and able to put your own personal preferences aside, for the good of your community?  Are you willing and able to realize that there are others, in your community, that are having to ask these very same questions, when they think of you?