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 Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

The Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed-On Being Made Holy (part 1)

I believe in the Holy Spirit….

The third and final article of the Apostles’ Creed introduces us to the work of the Holy Spirit.  In his explanation for this article Martin Luther reminds us that faith is a gift that does not originate with us.  He writes, “I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him.”  This of course is true for all of us.  Faith is not something we create, instead God draws us into it, through the gospel of love, forgiveness and grace.   The Holy Spirit works in us and opens us to receive these gifts from God.

Luther uses lots of verbs to describe how the Spirit helps draw us into faith when he says, “But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts and sanctified and kept me in true faith….”

First, the Spirit calls me through the gospel.  This began when we were baptized.  On that day we became God’s own, and God made a commitment to continually call us through the story of Jesus. We are enlightened, or brought to a deeper understanding of God’s love, through the gifts of bread and wine and water and word. In word and sacrament, the means of grace, God’s irresistible love is revealed and the flame of faith is fanned within us.  The Spirit holds nothing back, but simply says, “you are mine.” In all of this God is making us holy.  That’s what it is to be sanctified, to be set apart for God’s purposes.  God is always making us what we were meant to be, a new people.

Finally Luther says, “In the same way, the Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it united with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.”  In other words, we are not alone on this journey of faith.  What the Spirit is doing in each of us, the Spirit is also doing in the whole church.  Each of our lives and our life together is propelled by the Spirit.  We are propelled out into the world to live as God’s holy people, called for the purpose of sharing the fruit of the Spirit with the world.  And as you may recall the Apostle Paul names the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Generosity, Faithfulness and Self-Control.  When we see these things manifest in our lives, we know that the Spirit is at work in and through us not only as individuals, but also in our life together as a church family.

Reflection: what do the verbs, “calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies” stir up in you?  What stories would you share about how you feel the Holy Spirit is at work in your life?  What does it mean to you that God has made you holy?

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