Daily Devotions
 

Welcome to Good Shepherd’s Daily Devotions Page!

During the weeks of Fall, our Daily Devotions are being written by members of Good Shepherd.  Each day one of your brothers or sisters in Christ will be reflecting on faith and life as we all adjust to many changes in our world.  I pray these writings will inspire, comfort and challenge you to grow in faith.  Our dedicated authors have written about their insights, joys and struggles and have been courageous enough to share them with us so that we can also ponder where God is showing up in our own lives. 

As a way to encourage the writers and each other I invite you to share a comment in the comment section at the bottom of the page each day.

Pastor Heidi Johns

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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