Bible Readings and Devotion for August 13-15, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for August 13-15, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Decades ago I heard this story. There was a young man who made very specific promises about when he would arrive at a location. This could be for a meeting, a party, a date with a girl, or any number of other things. He would say something like, “I will be at the park at 7:15 to pick you up.” There is another thing about this young man. He would often be running late from one thing to the next. His solution was to drive his car at speeds way above the speed limit to get to a location. He would tell his friends that specific time, but he really needed more time to get there. They would see him driving toward them like a maniac doing all he could to beat the clock. So, rather than adjust his plan to be more realistic, he would endanger himself and others to get to the location as promised.
In our reading from Mark, Peter and the various Apostles heard the difficult news that Peter would soon deny that he knew Jesus. Peter’s bold response was, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” The others affirm their same belief. This seems to come from their sense of commitment to Jesus. As we know a few hours later Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, just as the Lord predicted. It also appears that all the others, except John, abandoned Jesus in his most difficult hour. Thankfully, later, Jesus restored the Apostles to the fellowship.
This enthusiastic promise of the Apostle was not the first time, nor would it be the last time, a person of faith has made a promise such as this. It is not the last time that a person could not or would not fulfill the promise. This is regrettable, but it is also real.
This is the struggle of knowing the right but doing the wrong. It is the struggle of sensing the call to faithfulness, yet sometimes being unfaithful to the Lord. It is the struggle of promising great things, yet sometimes falling quite short of the goal. It is a bit like that young man who over promised on his schedule and risked his life and the lives of others to get there in time.
It is important to note a couple of things in this:
1) God is good. We are reminded many times in Holy Scripture that the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
2) Living out our Commitment to God and striving to live according to his will are both good and holy things to do.
3) We sometimes are inconsistent, but God loves us anyway.
4) Even when we seem to fail in our faith, it is not the end for us. By the grace of God we can revisit God’s love for us and our commitments to him. These commitments may need to change, to be adjusted, or, in some instances, be abandoned. Once adjustments are made, we get to continue our connection with the Lord, both now and forever.
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, but always to your glory and the welfare of your people, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen