Devos

Devotionals.

“Begin Again” is a weekly devotional for 2022, that walks through the Book of Acts. In “Begin Again”, I am trying to present teaching from a book of the Bible that is all about making a new beginning.

Begin Again”: Week 32: “Have you experienced dramatic reversals and/or deep disappointments in the past, few years? Maybe you’re at that point now. If that’s you, I found this question very helpful when I was at a similar point:…”

Begin Again”: Week 31: ‘I would bet that you’ve found the same to be true in your conversations with people who do not believe – or who are “spiritual, but not religious”: It’s never good enough to say: “Because God said so…”, or: “Because the Bible says so.”’

Begin Again”: Week 30: “Wow. This is one of those stories from Scripture that leaps off the page. And you’re either fascinated by it, or you kind of turn away and wonder why stories like it made their way into the Bible.”

Begin Again”: Week 29: ‘There are any number of things, in the past few years, that have given us the perfect excuse we need to “go it alone”: COVID, polarization, church scandals, etc.. But we may also have backed away, because it was easier… more comfortable: “I’ll just wait and see….” But that is not the Christian Faith…’

Begin Again”: Week 28: ‘Are you in a season of life where you think: “That’s it… That’s over… No way forward… Might as well stop.” Well, it may be – God may be telling you to stop one thing, and begin another. But…’

Begin Again”: Week 27: ‘The past two plus years has had the disastrous effect of isolating many of us. Perhaps we should take the example of the prophets, and join with others who make it their priority to ask: “God, what do you want us to learn in all this?”’

Begin Again”: Week 26: ‘Numbers matter. Yes, they do. They can be an indication of health, growth, and fidelity. But more important than the numbers, are the individual people who make up any “great number”.’

Begin Again”: Week 25: ‘We certainly live in a time when when a lot of money, time and effort is spent on keeping a hateful eye on “those people”, rather than developing a Jesus-like heart for each person. But this is also something Peter had to deal with: Namely, the temptation to stick to “my people”.’

Begin Again”: Week 24: ‘We can also fall into the habit of thinking that extraordinary measures are necessary to “get back to normal”, to “get back to the way things used to be”, and so on. But often, we just need to do the ordinary things of God, regularly – in fact, God may be asking us to do those ordinary things, as a way of asking us to come down off our high horse…’

Begin Again”: Week 23: ‘Are you at the place where you are wondering: “Okay, what comes next? Because I have no idea, and I don’t even know what the next right, or good, thing is!”’

Begin Again”: Week 22: ‘The whole point of Christ coming to earth, is to do what He begins to do in this story: Take good, faithful people, who seem to be living well enough without God, and say: “You are missing something – me, and my Kingdom.”‘

Begin Again”: Week 21: ‘Have you ever been sick – not seriously sick – but it clarified this for you: “People who are not sick, don’t know how good they have it!”?’

Begin Again”: Week 20: “Have you ever lived with a bad habit, for a long time, and everyone knew about it – especially your friends?”

Begin Again”: Week 19: “Each of us has that one person…. You know the one I’m talking about: The one you’re convinced is neither loved by God, nor worthy of God’s grace. That person.”

Begin Again”: Week 18: ‘”Oh, I don’t think God would want to listen to me…” “Well, I kind of know myself, and I’m pretty sure I’m not worth listening to…” “Why should He bother with me, you know, just given what I sometimes think, never mind what I sometimes do?”‘

Begin Again”: Week 17: ‘“I can do this on my own.” “Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.” “I don’t want to put you out.” These are all things we say to ourselves, when we want to show we are up to the task, or want the satisfaction of doing something, completely, on our own.’

“Begin Again”: Week 16: ‘“Wait… There’s more?” That question usually comes from one of two places: anxiety or excitement.’

Begin Again”: Week 15: ‘How does it get to that point? A person does something we deeply disagree with, and the thought occurs to us: “It would be great if he just went away, and never came back.”‘

Begin Again”: Week 14: “We live in a time when people long – intensely – to change other people…”

Begin Again”: Week 13: “It would seem that if Stephen was the man Scripture says he was, he should simply go from strength to strength, blessing to blessing – no weapon formed against him, would prosper. That’s not what happened.” 

Begin Again”: Week 12: “It is very difficult to know when you are doing too much….”

Begin Again”: Week 11: “Almost everyone I know has a rescue story of some kind, and often it is a brush with death…”

Begin Again”: Week 10: “How often is that true of us? Something new, mysterious, powerful happens in our community, and we hesitate: We are not sure if it is good, and to be joined? Or harmful, and to be shunned – or at least, ignored?”

Begin Again”: Week 9: “What’s yours is yours and what’s mine is mine. This is the way of the world. Or is it?”

Begin Again”: Week 8: “Do you remember a time when you lacked courage to do the right thing? What did you feel in that moment? Who was there, and how did they react?”

Begin Again”: Week 7: “Remember that feeling of doing group homework, and you did all the work, but the teacher gave the other group members all the credit?”

Begin Again”: Week 6: ‘“Look at us!” is an invitation to look outside yourself: The world you’re trapped in; the one you think will never change. And the invitation is not to see Peter and John, but to see the One who sent them: Jesus Christ.’

Begin Again”: Week 5: “Even if every other aspect of your life is in “good working order” – even if you enjoy security that most do not know – it is still true that you can be lonely to the point of despair.”

“Begin Again”: Week 4: “People we thought we knew, change dramatically, and for the worse. We begin to see “signs on the earth below”, and become more and more convinced that this is definitely not the ordinary, normal world we thought.”

“Begin Again”: Week 3: ‘… we often allow that person a seat at the table in our mind, our emotions, in our hearts. They’re still on our “leadership team”, and are leading us, even though we really wish they weren’t.’

Begin Again”: Week 2: “Is there something you hope for in the future, that you would like to know about today? If you could press a button, and hear the answer, would you?”

“Begin Again”: Week 1: “You could try any number of new beginnings in the days, weeks, and months ahead, but if they don’t begin with God, where will they lead?”

Is It Over Yet?“: “You’re ready… You’re so ready… For COVID to be over and done with, and for life to return to ‘normal’. Me, too: I am totally ready. And this is the thing that I’m discovering:…”