Ministry, Pastoral Life, Writing

Joy in the City Devotional: (His Encouragement #24)

This post is part of the weekly series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.” 

Image: A woman holds a cup of tea and reads her Bible. Black text on a green background reads, “Weekly Devotion: His Encouragement- Words from Scripture to Strengthen Your Soul.”

 

Introduction: A City Bathed in Prayer

My Bible Verse for the Year:

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

-Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

As I write this letter to you, over a dozen churches throughout our community are joining together in order to pray for our city. Pastors throughout the city were invited to submit a brief piece of devotional writing in which we shared a message of hope for the community. These devotional writings will be bound together in a little booklet and distributed to the community. I was honored to be invited to be involved in the effort.

As I sifted through my pieces of writing, I discovered a devotion that I had written for the His Encouragement series several months ago. The devotion was inspired by the fact that one of my fellow blogging friends had asked the simple and yet spirit-filled question, “If you were going to select a Bible verse for your entire year, what would it be?”

The verse immediately jumped to my mind was Matthew 25.40. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

The number of people in my county who do not have a church home is staggering. It is my hope that these humble efforts by all of our churches working together will help to lead people to Christ. God is moving here in my city and I believe that God will continue to move and do great things in the world.   I wanted to take this opportunity to share it with you. I feel blessed that I could be part of this effort, both in my “real life city,” and in my online community.  If you are interested to read the devotion that I submitted it, I have reprinted it here.

To all my blogging friends, thank you for inspiring me! 

city street

The following devotion was taken from my blog. It was originally written for the His Encouragement series and was submitted to be reprinted in a devotional that was distributed throughout my city.

How Do We Change the World? 

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

-Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

Every holiday season, the people of Christ Community United Methodist Church and I work to provide local families in need with a Thanksgiving dinner. It is always a joy for me when I can help to distribute the boxes of food and speak with the families that we are helping. I particularly remember my encounter with one young mother who had a small child with her.

“Thank you,” she said as she looked into my eyes. “Thank you very much.”

“I’m just sorry we couldn’t do more,” I replied.

“No,” she answered earnestly, “Every little bit helps. This is more than enough.” 

There are so many people in need in our local community that it can feel overwhelming. That is why it is important for us to remember that we can’t do it alone. It is not up to us to save the world. God already did that when God sent us Jesus (John 3:16)

I think of that young mother often and pray for her every day. When I’m feeling helpless and overwhelmed, I remember that God’s steadfast love “extends to the heavens,” and that God’s faithfulness reaches higher than the clouds (Psalm 36:5).

God is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. God doesn’t expect us to save the world. God already took care of that when God sent us Jesus. Instead, all that is asked of us is that we give over our lives and our hearts to God.

We worship a God who seeks to be in relationship with us. When we love God, that love will inspire us to go and share that love with others. We spread the gospel by forming true and meaningful relationships with our neighbors (Matthew 22:39). All of us are made in the image of God. When we show love to another person in need, we are showing that same love to Jesus.

How do we spread the gospel?

One relationship at a time.

How do we change the world?

One small act of kindness at a time.


Now it’s your turn! If you picked a Bible verse for your year, what would it be? Let me know in the comments below! 

Rev Rebecca Writes Logo

This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”

Now, it’s your turn! What Scripture verse is inspiring you this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursdays are always a really long day of the week for me. As a pastor, Sunday feels like the natural beginning of my week. By the time I get to Thursday, I am tired and drained. That’s why I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday.

Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series! 

Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home

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2 thoughts on “Joy in the City Devotional: (His Encouragement #24)”

  1. How awesome that the churches from your community are praying for your city. I bet your prayers will all have a great impact. And, thank you for this post today. I found it very encouraging!

    Like

  2. It pains me to see all the people in my own community who do not have a church home, and/or want nothing to do with church! That is wonderful that the churches in your community are coming together through prayer. Thank you for the encouragement today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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