Daily Devotions

Welcome to Good Shepherd’s Daily Devotions Page!

In the church year the season of Epiphany falls between the seasons of Christmas and Lent.  It is a time when we focus on how God’s hope is revealed in Jesus.  In this season we read the stories of the Baptism and Transfiguration of Jesus and the calling of the Disciples.  Each story reveals a bit about who Jesus is, and what his life means for us and our call to be disciples.

Our Devotions for the season of Epiphany have been written by members of the Good Shepherd staff.  May they enlighten and inspire you and light your path to a deeper walk with God.

Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Mark 1:16-20
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

How do you approach big decisions?  Do you make a list of pros and cons?  Pray for guidance?  Do research on the various options?  Talk it through with family or trusted friends? Go with your gut?  I guess we each have our own formula for making big decisions.  Many years ago I had a decision to make about a couple of job offers.  They were very different opportunities and each would have taken me to a different part of the country.  I was working my formula for discerning which direction I should take, but to be honest, I wasn’t getting much clarity.  Then, a friend asked me a question that pushed me through the fog.  She asked, “five years from now, which opportunity will you wish you had taken?”  There it was, the clarity I was looking for. I believe God worked through that question to give me direction to make the decision. 

So, let’s throw all of what I just wrote out the window and take a look at the story from Mark’s Gospel about Jesus calling the first disciples.  The word “immediately” appears two times in this story, which is a word we would probably not associate with making big decisions.  Simon and Andrew and James and John were fishermen, which was a respectable and stable career in those days.  In the case of James and John they were part of a family fishing business with their father Zebedee.  They were probably making payments on their boats and equipment.  They had started investing in an IRA.  Maybe recently purchased a starter home. They had bills and aspirations and a set plan for their lives…. 

Then Jesus casually walked by.  Jesus walked by and said, “follow me.” Perhaps that was an invitation worth considering.  A big life change, but no harm in taking some time to consider the pros and cons, right?  The thing that gets me about this story is that those disciples didn’t seem to take any time to discern this decision—they immediately left their nets and followed Jesus, not having the foggiest clue what it would mean for their lives.  Somehow they trusted Jesus and knew which decision to make.

So, have we been approaching our big decisions all wrong?  I don’t think so.  There is wisdom in seeking God’s guidance at a more intentional pace than Simon, Andrew, James and John when making life changing decisions.  I guess the thing to remember is that God is providing opportunities for us to live our faith in new and meaningful ways.  And those opportunities mean making decisions.  Perhaps, when faced with a fork in the road, we can ask ourselves, “which opportunity will bring me closer to God and/or provides a way to better serve my neighbor?”  Jesus promised those fishermen that they would soon be fishing for people.  Maybe that was the lure that caught them.

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