Daily Devotions
 

We are thrilled to once again be sharing a daily devotion with you for the season of Advent. These inspiring devotions have been written by YOU the members of Good Shepherd.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who opened their hearts to share a small piece of their faith journey with us.   As we journey toward Bethlehem in this season, take time each day to walk with God and experience the stirrings of the deep love that took on flesh to walk with us.  

During the four week Advent season, each Wednesday our devotion will be a video reflection by Dr. Kevin Seal, Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd, as he shares a teaching about the Words and Music of Advent.

Each new day’s devotion will go live directly on our webpage, goodshepherd.com at 6am, (look under the worship tab at the top right of the front page) or you can follow the link that will be sent out later each morning in an email from Good Shepherd.  


Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

THANKS FOR FAITH BUILDING EXPERIENCES

In today’s devotion, I am thankful for the events that have built my faith.

The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:13, faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.  In this famous quote, faith is built upon past experiences of God’s faithfulness and love.  Hope is looking to the future with the certainty God will continue to be faithful and loving as in the past.  Love is the present which is informed by faith and hope.  When I am thankful for my faith, I am thankful for all the experiences that taught me about God’s love.  Some of these experiences follow.

I am thankful when I remember my first call to ministry.  It was a warm spring Sunday.  I was playing stickball with a friend after we climbed the 8 foot fence to get into the school’s play yard.  After the game, my friend invited me to his apartment for a soda.  Sitting in his kitchen, my friend’s mother said, “Pete, you should be a pastor.”  I walked home banging my stickball bat (a broom handle) against small fences.  When I got home, I announced I was going to be a pastor.  My faith today believes God uses a friend’s mother to call and shape lives.

I am thankful for God’s presence in my college years.  I entered college with virtually no academic background.  (I am a vocational high school graduate.)  As a result, college was not fun.  I had to learn what it meant to study, how to write term papers, and how to take tests.  Because of this experience, my faith today believes God stays with us even when there seems to be little hope of passing a course or fulfilling a responsibility.

I am thankful when I remember how forgiving lay parishioners can be of their pastor.  Over 53 years of ordained ministry, I have made some terrible unintended mistakes which deeply hurt those I served.  No pastor should be as dumb as I was in those mistakes.  I learned of some of those mistakes years after they occurred because others told me what I did.  Those parishioners forgave me without my knowing it.  When I remember these painful mistakes and the forgiveness that accompanied them, my faith today believes it is still God’s nature to forgive and to restore when mistakes are made.

When I can remember past experiences where God was present, where God called, where God provided perseverance, and where God gave forgiveness, my faith in the present is deepened and strengthened.  

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