Devotions

Devotions

 

Memory Verse of The Week

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:6–7 (ESV)


Monday

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,…an average little girl in a galactic problem. “It’s happened...he’s come for us...you know what to do….” A Father says to Jyn, “Remember…everything I do, I do to protect you...do you understand? I love you.” As a mother leaves her child to protect her husband, she says, “You know what to do, don’t you…? Trust the Force.” Yet the child doesn’t run away as instructed, but turns toward the challenge. She hears her father say to the enemy, “You are confusing peace with terror.” She sees her mother shot. The epic struggle begins by leveraging a man’s family against him for selfish purposes. Fear rules!

Saw Gerrara calls to Jyn when he arrives to retrieve her, “My child...my child...come...we have a long ride ahead of us.” Isn’t that the truth for most of us? We have a long ride ahead of us in this life. We feel like we have been left alone for a long journey with an unknown destiny. We are not alone! Jesus told the disciples in John 16:32 (ESV), “…the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered...and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” Jesus tells his disciples, “In the world you have tribulation. But take heart I have overcome the world.”

Like Jyn, we sometimes feel we have been left alone to take care of ourselves. She had a resource she did not learn to use for a very long time. We have the Holy Spirit within us always. God Himself is with us always.
By Wayne Wilson


Read: John 16:32-33; Joshua 1:5; Deuteronomy 31:8;
Tuesday

Good and evil…sometimes it’s hard to tell one from the other, like with the Empire versus the rebellion. One team member kills another because he becomes a liability. The spy looking for the leader of the rebellion says, “Is that him? It’s hard to tell.” Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?

Thrown to the ground and knocked out of air, Jyn hears…“Congratulations...you are being rescued. Please do not resist!” Jyn is then accused of being sympathetic to an extremist group, led by the person she knew as a father figure (Saw Gerrera). Pressed with the uncertainty, Jyn chooses to serve herself as a means of survival…“to be free.”

We do live in dark times. There is evil in the world. There is no doubt about this reality. We, too, are in an epic battle between an evil empire and the God of love. In our battle, however, the final battle is won in Jesus Christ. In fact, we have already been given the victory in Christ Jesus. But at times, like Jyn, I have taken matters into my own hands and tried to manage on my own. Haven’t you? It didn’t go well for me, just as it didn’t go well for Jyn. However, God’s love can transform our lives and minds, giving us courage to engage in love and life rather than despair and desperation.

God says, “Light shall shine out of darkness” 2 Corinthians 4:6a (NASB). This treasure is within us. His light and Spirit lives inside of you and me. This power is from God, not of our own strength. Like Jyn and those who invited the Force to guide them and protect them, we must learn to trust and depend upon this treasure of God’s Spirit and proclaim it. Chirrut Îmwe said, “The Force is with me and I am with the Force.” Believers say: “My God is with me. He will never leave me.” By Wayne Wilson


Read: 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; Romans 5:10, 8:11;
Wednesday

“Rebellions are built on hope,” declares Cassian Andor. A blind man, the warrior monk Chirrut Îmwe, calls to Jyn out of a crowd, seemingly at random. Later, he appears out of nowhere to save her life, using the power of the Force to defeat overwhelming odds, saying: “I fear nothing, for all this is as the Force wills it.” But his friend, Baze Malbus, scoffs: “No Jedi here; only dreamers.”

There is a way...but it seems like a dream. There is a way...but it is for dreamers. Hope, faith and dreams are closely connected. Jyn and the small team of those who follow her are seemly dreamers. They believe in the message Jyn carries and in the hope of defeating the evil Empire.

God knows how and has already defeated evil within us and in the world. We are the message carriers. We live our lives by faith in what we know, but cannot see (2 Corinthians 5:7). We cannot see God, but we know Him. Believers don’t have the Force. We have something more precious and powerful: we have the Holy Spirit, a Person, not a force or energy source.

We are the message bearers of the Good News of Jesus. There is a way to live in hope. There is a way to destroy the evil within us and in the world. That hope is Jesus Christ. We are not dreamers; we are disciples (Jedi). By Wayne Wilson


Read: John 20:29; Hebrews 11:1; Romans 5:1-5;
Thursday

“There is more than one source of prison, Captain. I sense that you carry yours wherever you go,” says Chirrut Îmwe. Saw Gerrera asks Jyn, “Do you not care about the cause?” Jyn explains, “All the cause has ever brought me is pain!” She declares the flag of the Empire—even flying over the entire galaxy—is not a problem…if you don’t look up. This might be similar to believing if you don’t pay attention to sin, it is not a problem. Just take care of yourself and ignore the rest.

Is there a greater love than to give of your life to deliver another from his/her own personal prison? Jesus said there is no greater love than giving up your life for a friend (John 15:13). He called the disciples friends and then gave His life for them.

We too can give of our lives when we stop and talk to a homeless person, invite a friend to live with us for a few months while he/she looks for a new place to live, share the Good News, or go pick up someone we have invited to a service at The Cove.

Do you carry your prison wherever you go? Is your prison hopelessness and bitterness like Cassian’s? To care only about oneself is to be trapped in one’s own internal prison. When we care about “the cause” of Christ and give of our lives for others, we are free… no matter our situation. By Wayne Wilson


Read: John 15: 14-17; John 10:11; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 3:16;
Friday

They could have chosen other paths, but they gave their lives to bring hope to the universe. They fight, they embrace, they protect…but in one way or another, they all give up their lives for one another and for the hope of freedom.

Jesus gave His life in love. In the garden, He chose the will of His Father by facing the fear and images of what He would endure. He chose to give His life and face the death of crucifixion. It was the only way of hope for all mankind. It was an extraordinary love.

This extraordinary love has brought an end to the separation between humanity and our Creator, God. A separation that started in selfish ambition and deception (Genesis 2) ends in the Father giving His only Son to die with an extraordinary love for us. The Father gives Jesus to death, then raised Him from that death in an eternal and forever victory. The love of Jesus’ resurrection!

The apostle Paul quotes an Old Testament text when he says, “Death swallowed by triumphant Life! Who got the last word, oh Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?” 1 Corinthians 15:55 (MSG). He proclaims triumphantly “Now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!” (MSG) This is an extraordinary love! It belongs to you! By Wayne Wilson


Read: John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; Philippians 3:20-21 ;

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