Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Reason to Be Reasonable

Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900) or on the Cove Presbyterian Church Podbean page. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information.

If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

John 7:37-44

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

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The Reason to Be Reasonable

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our expectation cross the line that separates what’s reasonable and what’s not. And even though when we allow that to happen we only hurt ourselves, sometimes the pain we end up feeling is pretty bad. For example, I remember, when I was about eleven and my brother was six years younger, I had a little toy movie projector that could play about 50 feet of 8 mm film. The only problem was that the lamp had burned out. Now, remember, I said this was a toy; therefore, there was no replacement bulb. This was something I knew, but my brother didn’t. And so when a family member promised to fix the projector, my brother believed her. His expectations sky-rocketed only to crash when my Father told him that the toy couldn’t be fixed. If we’d been able to keep his expectations reasonable, he wouldn’t have been so disappointed later.

And I think that’s something we need to remember as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others and even invite folks to join us at church. If we’re excited enough about our faith actually to do it, we probably expect others to become excited too. And for those close to us, we’ll more than likely expect them to be positive, if only because of their relationship with us. You see, it’s easy for our expectations to be high, maybe too high. And that’s why we need to remember that, in the time of Jesus, not everyone responded positively to him. There were divisions. Therefore, it makes sense to be reasonable in our expectations, not as an excuse to do nothing, rather as a way to keep our excitement and energy high as we do what we’ve been called to do in the real world.

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