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.  


Daily Devotion
Pastor Alex Hoops

Daily Devotion

I have a really hard time in election seasons. I just struggle with the polarization of every matter under the sun. Being encouraged by one another to demonize, vilify, distrust, and discredit our neighbors because of their party affiliations and voting preferences brings down a gluttonous extrovert like myself who has, on more than a few occasions, been compared to a labrador retriever. I love people!  
 A word that I have been encouraged by in the midst of these seasons is from Mark chapter 9.
 
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
 
This text reminds me that the good works of our neighbors are to be encouraged, not critiqued. Not stifled. In this case, other followers are casting out demons but they were not part of the “Jesus clique,” and that was an outrage to the loyal and obedient disciples of Jesus. Jesus hears their outrage and is stumped. “Why would you stop someone from doing a good thing?”
“Well… because they are doing it… not us!”
“Well if it's good, it’s good.”
 
I am reminded that I would do well to fix my eyes on the good works done by my neighbors before I fixate on where they have missed the mark or failed to meet all my expectations. Like Jesus explains, when someone gives someone a drink of water, that is a good thing. I may need to better investigate my own insecurities and fears if I find myself questioning my neighbors’ motives or sincerity. Good work is good work.
 
 

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