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
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

We are officially in the second half of the Advent season.  So far we have focused on preparing our hands and our homes for the coming of Christ.  This week we will spend time preparing our hearts. This work is about getting our “interior” ready—attitudes, hopes, fears, struggles and joys—what is inside of us that helps or hinders our readiness for Jesus coming?  The question we ask this week, “Is your heart in stable condition?” (do you see what I did there?)

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

One of the traits that I am most grateful for in many of my friends and loved ones is that they are forgetful.  Forgetful, not in a “I forgot your birthday,” or “I forgot to get milk at the store” kind of way, but grateful that they are forgetful when it comes to my screwups and shortcomings.  Grateful they can forgive and accept me even when I step on their toes or act in ways that could potentially damage our relationship.  In short I am grateful that my friends and loved ones are practiced at offering me grace, because I would live a lonely existence if they were not.

Our God is also forgetful.  As is pointed out in John’s Gospel Jesus came to live among us, full of grace and truth.  A theological definition of grace that I find helpful is this, “The freely given unmerited favor and love of God.”  God’s grace comes to us in spite of our screwups and shortcomings, freely given, unmerited.  Let us not forget this as we prepare our hearts in this season, grace can only be received, not earned.

How often do we find our hearts on a treadmill of striving—striving to be good enough, faithful enough, generous enough to earn God’s presence with us?  Part of preparing our hearts is to get off of the treadmill of striving—and remember that our God is forgetful.  Jesus just comes among us full of grace.  Author Scott Erickson says it this way in his book Honest Advent:

“To see Jesus as full of grace means there wasn’t any perfection checklist that was met to deserve his presence.  His arrival  stands against the idea that if you do what is right, you get access to his presence.  His presence was freely given.  He never withheld it.  Grace is presence not withheld.” 

Grace is presence not withheld.  What a powerful statement.  Preparing our hearts means acknowledging that the one we wait for is already with us.    What are the obstacles that keep you from trusting we have a forgetful God who comes to dwell among us full of grace and truth?

If you are reading Luke’s Gospel this month, today is Luke 15, here is the link: Luke 15

 

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