Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Lent Devotionals: Monday, March 20

Mark 9:17b-24

17b “Teacher, I brought my son to you, since he has a spirit that doesn’t allow him to speak.18 Wherever it overpowers him, it throws him into a fit. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and stiffens up. So I spoke to your disciples to see if they could throw it out, but they couldn’t.” 19 Jesus answered them, “You faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 They brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a fit. He fell on the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been going on?” He said, “Since he was a child. 22 It has often thrown him into a fire or into water trying to kill him. If you can do anything, help us! Show us compassion!” 23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can do anything’? All things are possible for the one who has faith.” 24 At that the boy’s father cried out, “I have faith; help my lack of faith!”
 
 

MEDITATION

The disciples of Jesus were not able to cast out the devil from the body of a boy. The power of evil was greater than their capacity to heal.  The situation of the people is one of despair without solution. Coming down from the mountain of the Transfiguration, Jesus met many people around the disciples. A parent was in despair, because an evil spirit had taken possession of his son. With great detail, Mark describes the situation of the possessed boy, the anguish of the father, the incapacity of the disciples and the reaction of Jesus. Two things strike us in a particular way: on one side, the confusion and the powerlessness of the people and of the disciples in the face of the phenomenon of possession, and on the other hand, the power of faith in Jesus before which the devil loses all his influence. The father had asked the disciples to drive out the devil from the boy, but they were not able to do it, yet Jesus was.


What limitations do we place on the power of God to work in and through us?
 

Prayer:  When we expend great efforts on a good cause and see little result for our labor; when we profoundly and faithfully seek the healing of a friend, but to no avail; when we witness by word and deed to the Gospel yet see no obvious fruits; when disasters happen to the faithful, while unbelievers flaunt their prosperity; when we pray with anguish over a lost soul, when we get so frustrated with our own failures; when we seem tempted beyond that which any mortal should have to bear, when we are weary of body and soul, and feel like retreating into a closed-off piety, We believe in you, please save us from our unbelief.

For yours is the kingdom of unlimited opportunities, the innovative and resilient power of saving love, and the surging glory of the love which never ends.  In Christ’s holy name we pray.  Amen!

 

 



Lent Devotionals: Friday, March 17

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

 
Have you ever thought about the expressions we use every day and where they came from?  The phrase, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen;” is attributed to former U.S. President Harry S. Truman.  In essence it means, don’t persist with a task if the pressure of it is too much for you. The implication being that, if you can’t cope, you should leave the work to someone who can.  
There’s another phrase that applies when things are difficult as well; “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  It’s unclear whether it was first shared by Joseph P. Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy, or professional football player, Knute Rockne.  At it’s core it means, when things get difficult, the strong will rise to the occasion to meet the challenge.
We all go through times in our lives when it seems like the world is falling down around us and things can’t get any worse.  Those times when we feel like we just can’t take any more hardship, heartache, or loss.   We look at others who appear to be worry and care free and wonder why we continue to struggle during our time in the wilderness.  Everyone faces trials differently.  Some succumb to the stress and fall victim to what’s going on around them while others see struggles as a challenge to their endurance.  
Even the courageous King David faced battles and trials in his life that pushed him and his faith to their limits.  He made it through by continually reminding himself, in prayer, where his strength came from.
God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble.God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble. That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart, when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea, when its waters roar and rage, when the mountains shake because of its surging waves. (Psalm 46:1-3, CEB)


George A. Custer said, “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.”  But where do we find the strength to get back up when we’re at our weakest?  Remember, the source of our strength lies in the omnipotence of God, and God alone!

May God’s grace and peace give you strength,
Pastor Scott


“Dear friends, don’t be surprised about the fiery trials that have come among you to test you.  These are not strange happenings.  Instead, rejoice as you share in Christ’s suffering.  You share his suffering now so that you may also have overwhelming joy when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13, CEB)
 
Rev. Scott Goodfellow

Senior Pastor