Daily Devotions
 

Hello Good Shepherd!

During these summer months our Daily Devotions will continue with Good Shepherd’s Pastors along with Jen Jarman and Matthew Petersen each taking turns writing them week by week.  The topics and themes will be as varied as the Staff members themselves!  We hope you will check us out each day as you continue your daily Vine Time with God.  Open yourself to what God is saying to you through this writing, and pray that the Spirit will bring forth fruit from your life for the sake of the world. 

Also, as a way to encourage each other, use the comment box at the end of each day’s devotion to leave a thought, a prayer or a reflection of your own.  

Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion
Pastor Alex Hoops

Daily Devotion

For today’s devotion I am sharing a passage that has repeatedly inspired me. In times where the future seems so uncertain and a clear path seems just out of sight, I am reminded of this passage of Jesus talking to his disciples.

Matthew 16:13-20 

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[a] the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter,[b] and on this rock[c] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was[d] the Messiah.[e]

In the midst of these days of social distancing, I have repeatedly wondered what the church will look like when the future seems to be obscured by the present challenges. How do I live as a disciples of Jesus when the current time seems to have me in a sort of holding pattern?  It can feel as if all we are doing is waiting for things to “blow over.”

Jesus says his church will be built on a firm foundation and that “the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Many people think about how the Church is able to weather any storm, but that perspective confuses which gates/walls we are talking about. Dr. Mark Allen Powell reminded us, “Gates don’t attack. Gates get attacked.”

The passive posture of the church weathering this storm is a fine image, but the image being portrayed here is that the church is so rooted in God’s love and promise that it can boldly continue the mission of going into places of turmoil, heartbreak, loss, and suffering and shines the light of Christ with a bold and daring confidence that God’s love is enough.  As a disciple and as a member of the body of Christ, we are called in the midst of this time to continue our work. Not to wait out the storm, but to do what we were called to do. Live and love like Jesus. Share, grow, and serve with such confidence that not even the gates of Hades can prevail against this movement of love and life.

I am so inspired by how GSLC continues to share, grow, and serve in these days. That is a reflection in our faithful and daring confidence in God’s promise.

Thanks be to God!

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