Space for Grace: Devotional

DEVOTIONS FOR OCTOBER 5–11

Date

What Space for Grace Means to Me

Reflection

Scripture

Monday, October 5

Bear One Another's Burdens

In conversations about these devotionals, I've recognized there are some among us who do not think their perspective should be included because of their financial stress, relational struggles, unemployment, health issues, disquiet, even a desire for a church family with fewer unresolved issues (assuming that exists). Brothers and sisters, God’s grace is for all of us! Your perspective is as vital to our devotions as any other. “Space for Grace” is not only something we give, but also something we receive.

—contributed by Kristin Loo

Galations 6:2 ESV
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Tuesday, October 6

Joyful Singing

Geneva and McKinley Halls generally get the focus, but for ten years the Chancel Choir has enjoyed a wonderful new rehearsal space (shared with CAYAC, Network and many other choirs). Sacred music changes who we are! The Holy Spirit uses music to touch singers and listeners alike. Consider the various ways that worship touches you and changes you. Choir rehearsal is worship! “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.”

—contributed by Paul Davis

Psalm 100
1Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
      2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
      come into his presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
      It is he that made us, and we are his;
      we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
      and his courts with praise.
      Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good;
      his steadfast love endures forever,
      and his faithfulness to all generations.

Wednesday, October 7

Looking for Jesus and Living Water

Questions, questions:
Would we recognize Jesus if he lived among us today? Would we take advantage of his offer of living water...even if not in a form we currently know and understand? Is “Space for Grace” for the gift of the gospel that we have been given AND for the gifts we are to give?

Look for Jesus his living water in your life today...and see what you see...

—contributed anonymously

John 4:10
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

Thursday, October 8

Helpful Assessment
for Me

When the Bible talks of God loving “a cheerful giver,” I feel challenged to give with my whole self: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I've found over the years that getting myself into a space of gratefulness is helpful in making decisions about giving. If “every good and perfect gift comes from above,” what gifts has God granted to me? I give thanks for those things. From that space of gratefulness, I ask “What am I currently giving? How am I using my time, talents and tithes for the Kingdom of God?”

—contributed by Melissa McKinney

James 1:17
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

2 Corinthians 9:6–7
6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Friday,
October 9

An Honest Reflection

I’ve had moments of disappointment at First Pres. Moments of deciding whether or not to stay when the messiness of life in community has been exaggerated. However, I can honestly say that for each disappointment, I have received countless blessings in committing. In my three years here, I have been stretched spiritually and relationally, have been supported emotionally and financially, and have found a place to give and receive. Now I’m challenged to commit here for “Space for Grace.” Decisions will be made that will affect us all, but will we leave in the messiness or commit in the midst of it?

—contributed anonymously

1 John 1:7–8
7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 Corinthians 12:12–27
12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Saturday, October 10

Waiting with Open Hands

God is here. That's the reality whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Are we rearranging the furniture, responding to his presence so that he can set up shop, or are we asking him to work around our things? Space for Grace means letting God's presence and action in the world drive our response and not the other way around.

—contributed by Calvin Sodestrom

Exodus 25:8
And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them.

Sunday, October 11

With thanks for our “Life Together”

In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us, that the time that still separates us from utter loneliness may be brief indeed. Therefore, let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.”

—contributed anonymously

Ephesians 6:23–24
23Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Thank you for your prayers leading up to Commitment Sunday on October 11!