Devotionals
 

Devotionals are short essays written by GSLC members and staff that explore the ways the Holy Spirit works within our every day lives.  There are several ways we invite you to use these devotionals:

  • Make them a part of a prayer practice - read a devotion and consider the ways that Christ has worked similarly in your life or works in unexpected ways.
  • Make them a part of a journaling practice - read a devotion and journal about what the Holy Spirit is stirring in you as you reflect on the essay.
  • Use them as a reminder that God works in all things, the bad and the good.

With over 400 available devotions, you can use these daily, weekly, or monthly.  It's up to you!  We just hope that by reading these inspiring stories provided by Good Shepherd's flock you are able to better see where Jesus is present in all things!  Thank you to all of our members that have provided devotionals throughout the past couple of years!

 
Daily Devotion
Pastor Alex Hoops

Daily Devotion

Have you ever been confronted by a new idea, experience, or perspective that throws you completely off your balance?

I am most often thrown off center by my expectations being dashed. Not just when there is a different result than I expected, but a completely unfounded or unforeseen negative outcome.  I am frustrated and irritated that something like this could happen. Why? How? This was never on my radar! This must be a mistake. I feel like Job when he is ranting that if God confronted him on these terrible missteps, God would have no good evidence to support why these bad things are happening to him. Even God would be speechless before the perspective of Job. Because as Job has seen it, Job has fully considered all the angles, all the traditions, all his wisdom and has determined:  God would most certainly agree that Job is blameless, and a cosmic mistake, an existential misstep, has taken place in his case.

Then God says in Job Chapter 40 (essentially) “SO, are you ready to take this to court? Is this your argument you are going with? That I am incapable of knowing more than you? That my justice is flawed? Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?  Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint? Do you have an arm like my arm?  Can you shout in thunder the way I can? Go ahead, show your stuff.  Let’s see what you’re made of, what you can do. Unleash your outrage.”

Job, of course, hears this and says (essentially)

 “I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me. 

    I should never have opened my mouth!

I’ve talked too much, way too much!

    I’m ready to shut up and listen.”

My initial reaction to challenging situations is to take the Job route and confront it right back. Express my outrage. Fight back. It’s a natural response. However, in the midst of a world that continues to challenge my expectations, am I to believe that God’s hand is nowhere to be found in it? Am I to believe God has lost God’s grip on creation? Am I to believe the Spirit has no part to play in these days? Of course not. And if I truly believe this, then perhaps I can take a page from Job and instead of expressing my outrage and seeking a court to air my grievances, it may be a good time for me to cover my mouth… and listen.

Resisting my urge to fight, separate, argue, and justify myself and instead, open my ears, my eyes, my heart, and my whole self what Eugene Peterson calls “the frustrations and failures of loving.” Loving and daring to believe that failing in love towards my neighbors is better than succeeding in my own pride.

 

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