A Reason to Trust
People love superheroes and heroines—Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther to name a few. Why are these characters so popular? We like them because of their strength and goodness. They have the power to right wrongs, to restore good from evil, and to protect the vulnerable. They allow us, at least briefly, to feel that evil is defeated, good wins, and all is right with the world.
What if we could feel that way all the time? What if we could always be confident that evil is defeated, good wins, love prevails, and we are always protected? We can! God calls us to be followers and witnesses in the world. God also assures us that we can take the bold, uncertain step into discipleship because God’s love, power, and protection will accompany us. In today’s reading, the psalmist reassures us of the firm foundation upon which we can build lives that daily hear God’s call. Standing on that foundation allows us to walk confidently into unknown tomorrows, following where God leads.
The psalmist reminds us that so much in which we place our hopes, especially humans and human power, are temporary and will disappear. But God’s love and care for us are eternal. The psalmist writes: “God has spoken one thing—make it two things—that I myself have heard: that strength belongs to God, and faithful love comes from you, my LORD—and that you will repay everyone according to their deeds” (CEB). God loves you. God’s strength will care for and protect you. With that firm foundation of faith, when God calls you by name, answer, “Here I am. I will go where you lead.”
God of love and strength, thank you for your daily protection and care. Send me into a dangerous and hurting world to be your hands, feet, and voice. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Things are not always as they seem. To Jonah, the people of Nineveh seem beyond hope, so he runs away rather than going to preach to them. But God has other plans. To Jonah’s surprise, the Ninevites turn to God. In our eyes, social standing and wealth may seem to divide people into different classes, but the psalmist declares that in God’s economy all are equal. Paul echoes the theme of the temporary nature of all things in this life; they should not be our source of security. Jesus opens his ministry in Mark by proclaiming that God is breaking into history to overthrow what has been accepted as the way things are. Sometimes God’s perspective is not our perspective.
Read Jonah 3:1-10. Can you think of a time when you sensed God calling you to do something you didn’t want to do? How did you respond?
Read Psalm 62:5-12. How have you experienced God’s “awesome deeds” in your life? What is your response?
Read 1 Corinthians 7:29-31. What distracts you from focusing on God? How might you reorder your priorities?
Read Mark 1:14-20. What might have led Simon, Andrew, James, and John to immediately stop what they were doing and follow Jesus? Are there things that make you hesitate in following Jesus’ call to you?
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