Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Lent Devotionals: Monday, April 3

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

1 It is necessary to brag, not that it does any good. I’ll move on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. I don’t know whether it was in the body or out of the body. God knows. 34 I know that this man was caught up into paradise and that he heard unspeakable words that were things no one is allowed to repeat. I don’t know whether it was in the body or apart from the body. God knows. 5 I’ll brag about this man, but I won’t brag about myself, except to brag about my weaknesses. 6 If I did want to brag, I wouldn’t make a fool of myself because I’d tell the truth. I’m holding back from bragging so that no one will give me any more credit than what anyone sees or hears about me. 7 I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited. 8 I pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me alone. 9 He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. 10 Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.
 

MEDITATION

“I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited.”  

Nowhere is it written what this metaphorical “thorn” is in Paul’s side.  Perhaps, in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. Paul prayed to God three times to remove the thorn.  Have you ever wondered why God wouldn’t remove the “thorn?”  Did God even want to remove the “thorn?”  Did God want Paul to be in constant pain?  Did God simply want to keep Paul from thinking too highly of himself?  Did God want to remind him that, though his words and actions led thousands to Christ, he didn’t do it alone?  
 
How do you handle the “thorns” in our life?  What do you do with the things that cause us pain?  Do you pray to God to remove them?  Do you complain if the relief you’ve asked for doesn’t appear to come?  Does the way Paul responded affect your thoughts or the way you view your “thorns?”
 

Prayer:

 
Merciful and mighty God, I pray that you keep us from all that causes us pain and sorrow in this world.  I pray for the grief stricken, for the tormented, for the ill and the lame, for the hungry and the poor; may your bountiful strength and mercy remove our afflictions.  But not our will but thine be done.  

Should we remain in our distressed state, give us the comfort we need to see it through and to know that your grace is sufficient enough for us, that your power is made perfect in our weakness.

 

 



Lent Devotionals: Friday, March 31

“Been There–Done That”

Have you ever been faced with something you had to do that was so difficult you weren’t sure you could go through with it? Then, when you tell your friends, one of them stands up and says, “Been there, done that.”? How did that make you feel?
Not long after receiving a promotion to oversee the construction managers of a larger regional homebuilding company, I was faced with an employee that wouldn’t show up for work and, when he did, wasn’t as attentive to his responsibilities as he should have been. It was the first time I had to fire someone. In the days leading up to the firing, I was so stressed that I couldn’t sleep. It was an awful experience.
I was playing golf with some friends one afternoon and I told them what I had to do when one of them chimed in, “Been there, done that.” When I heard those words, that he has been in the position of letting someone go too, I immediately began peppering him with questions: How did you do it? When did you approach them? What did you say? I wanted to know what he thought went well and what he would have changed as he spoke to his employee.
The fact that he had already experienced what I was preparing for, gave me a sense of comfort and confidence.  I thought, if I could use his experience to help me through my situation that I would do just fine.
The author of Hebrews reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by Satan and came through with shining colors.  He writes; “because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin (Hebrews 4:15).”
Because Jesus went through trials and temptations in his life, we can have confidence in learning from his example, in leaning on him for guidance and direction.  Because Jesus can say, “Been there, done that,” we have hope that, with God’s help, we can make it through the trials and temptations in our lives too.

May God’s grace and peace give you strength,
 
“No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people.  But God is faithful.  He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities.  Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, CEB)

 
Rev. Scott Goodfellow

Senior Pastor