Devotionals

What Moves You?

June 15, 2020

Matthew 9:35-38

And Jesus went about through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness.  But seeing the crowd of people, He was MOVED BY COMPASSION on their behalf because they were jaded and scattered like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to His disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  Ask, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.

Jesus was moved by compassion for the people whom he saw on a daily basis.  That has to be the starting point for us if we are to be effective in touching lives.  The crowd of people had seen and experienced the legalism of their religious leaders.  As a result, they were jaded.  They had no one in whom they had confidence.  Thus, they were scattered like sheep without a shepherd, wandering through life with no direction or purpose.  Because Jesus was moved by compassion, He was able to touch their lives through His teaching, preaching, and healing ministry.

Dear God, fill my heart with compassion today, and may that compassion move me to befriend those who are hurting and jaded.  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

~ Pastor Lee Ellingson

A Command to Love

June 10, 2020

1 John 2:7-8

Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.

Jesus gave the new commandment to love one another (John 13:35), but John indicates here the commandment to love one another was expressed long before that. It was Jesus, though, that showed us how to truly love one another. Love is not just a spontaneous, romantic feeling. It is something that also includes obedience. Obedience is the evidence of love. Jesus did not love us because we loved him. He first loved us and loves us whether we are being faithful and obedient to him or when we are being disobedient and sinful. Jesus was obedient to loving us all the way to his crucifixion. Jesus commands us to love others – our spouses, family, co-workers and friends – even when it is difficult. When we choose to love others despite differences of opinion or because of something someone did to us that hurt, we are showing the true light of Christ.

~ Pastor Allen Gemaehlich

Test Yourself

June 8, 2020

2 Corinthians 13:5-6

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

In the final chapter of the apostle Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, he gives his final warning that if he comes a third time to visit, he will be severe in his discipline as it warrants. He encourages them to examine themselves to make sure they are filled with the Holy Spirit, living and acting out of love and concern for each other instead of out of self-ambition or deceit.

Ask the question again, are we seeing what is taking place and responding with our own opinions? If we are not careful, we can get caught up in the world and acting on our own accord instead of on behalf of the Holy Spirit. Before we respond, take time to reflect and examine your heart. Are you responding in a way that reflects God? Test your thoughts and ask yourself is my response, whether in words or deeds, reflective of God.

~ Pastor Allen Gemaehlich

Spirit of Love

June 3, 2020

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Paul writes to Timothy to remain filled with the Holy Spirit to continue on carrying the message of love and salvation without him. The much younger Timothy is certainly concerned and facing doubt whether he can continue without Paul. Notice that Paul does not say “you,” but “us,” in this letter to his student, Timothy. Paul does not admonish Timothy, but encourages him to teach others the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is for everyone who accepts Jesus as their Savior. This gift does not call us to cower in fear, to lash out or judge others. The Spirit of God is not to fill our craven spirit, but to inspire strength, love and self-discipline. It is to step forward to show love for a stranger. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to control our tongue and actions. In these difficult times, allow the Holy Spirit to prevent you from saying or acting out in a way that is not selfish or judgmental, but to show compassion and love for one another. As a follower of Jesus, are you allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, words and actions?

~ Pastor Allen Gemaehlich