Pastor Mark’s Devotions, May 27

“God on Display”

“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14

 

God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt by performing miracles of great power. God delivered 10 plagues that put God’s power on display for all to see. This displayed power led to Israel’s freedom.

In Psalm 77, King David recalls God’s great power. He writes, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” (77:11). He goes on to say, “Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” (77:13)

God’s power can be seen on display in the past. His power can also be seen on display in creation. Paul writes in Romans 1:20, “Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

Beyond creation, God’s power can be seen on display through the cross. Even though the world considers the cross foolishness, Paul says that it is the power of God for all who are saved. He says that the Jews seek miraculous signs and the Greek look for wisdom but they are ignorant of God’s ways. Paul states, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

God’s power is even displayed in Paul’s weakness. Paul learns more about God’s power as he prays for healing. He describes pleading with God, 3 times regarding a “thorn in his flesh.” But God wants Paul to understand the perfect display of God’s power. Paul records God’s reply, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Additionally, Jesus tells his disciples that God’s power will be put on display when the promised gift of the Father comes upon them. Jesus states, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Jesus describes that they will put God’s power on display when they have received the Holy Spirit and witness about the truth. This takes place when Peter and John heal a lame man in the temple courts. They are brought before the Sanhedrin and asked by what power this man was healed. Peter responds, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” (Acts 4:10)

Peter and John put God on display in front of a powerful group of men, in a mighty way.

But this week, I watched a news story about Monica Salinas. Monica displayed God in a mighty yet very ordinary, unassuming way.

Monica is a delivery driver for Amazon. She was bringing a delivery to the home of Lucas Pearson. Lucas is an 8-month old baby with a critical heart condition. His health makes him extremely vulnerable to Covid19. Because of this vulnerability, Lucas’ parents have only been ordering food and supplies to the house throughout this pandemic. That day, when Monica delivered the supplies to Lucas’ family, something special happened. Something special was recorded; unbeknownst to Monica. When Lucas’ mom looked through the doorbell camera, she realized that Monica was doing something besides delivering the order. In a wonderful, simple, yet mighty way, God was put on display. For Monica paused and prayed to God for little Lucas and his family. This small gesture was caught on camera and has allowed millions of people to see God displayed through a loving, humble believer.   

Thank you, Monica for your humble, quiet, faithful example that has set God on a platter for so many to see.  

Let us Pray:

“Thank you, Father, for being worthy of all our praise! Thank you for being our Provider and Protector! Guide us, that we may put you on display in simple ways, in ordinary ways, in any way that will lift you up. In Jesus’ Name.” Amen.

God Bless You All!

Pastor Mark     



Pastor Mark’s Devotions, May 22

“Testimony”

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to

give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15

 

In the Spring of 2014, Jeriah and I were sorting out potential colleges to which she might apply. She had her wish list of schools. She also had her realistic list of schools. But no where on the list was Whitworth University. Whitworth was a small Christian school, in Spokane. We knew a number of people who attended that school but Jeriah had high aspirations to study science. We made the assumption that larger schools had stronger science programs. We were praying hard through this process, because we wanted a school that would challenge her academically, yet not trivialize her faith.

One fateful morning, Michael McCune showed up at church. Michael was attending Whitworth at the time. After church, we were all in the right place at the right time. Michael asked Jeriah about her future plans. She talked about her ambitions in science and brought up various schools. Michael suddenly became pretty excited. He began to enthusiastically describe Whitworth’s science program. He wasn’t in that area of study but was quite familiar with it. He acknowledged that it was a small school but they had a great science program. He said that the program kind of flies under the radar. He encouraged Jeriah to put Whitworth on her list. He also said that he could set up an appointment with one of the leading professors in the program. Whitworth was not even on our radar, but suddenly because of Michael’s testimony, it was now on the list.

That summer, Jeriah and I drove to Spokane to visit the Whitworth campus and meet Dr. “K”. As we arrived on campus, the winds picked up and it began to rain. The wind blew so hard that it was picking up chairs and tables and throwing them across the quad. As we were running for cover, suddenly a large fir tree in the center of campus snapped like it was a match stick. Lighting was cracking and thunder was exploding. I had never been in such a fierce storm that came on so suddenly. In the midst of this wild storm, we were able to find the science building. We walked to the basement and located the office of Dr. “K”. It was Friday afternoon. He greeted us warmly with a smile. He asked Jeriah about her goals and he seemed genuinely interested. I will always remember that first picture of walking into Dr. K’s office. He had science books and papers smeared across his desk. But alongside those books was a Bible and a Bible Commentary. In our discussion, he explained that he was preparing for a Bible study he was teaching at his church on Sunday morning.

My heart immediately paused, “Lord, is this the place you want Jeriah?” I thought, “Is this the space where science and faith are being held together?” As fate would have it, Jeriah would not be accepted to her dream schools – Princeton and Stanford were not interested in the girl from Stanwood. Rather she was accepted and would attend Whitworth University. Ironically, she would later find out that her two most influential professors had both graduated from Princeton and Stanford. Rather than being taught by teacher assistants in these larger schools, Jeriah was blessed to be one on one with professors from these world class institutions. Jeriah would also learn later that they left these larger institutions so that they could invest more directly into student’s life and be free to share their faith more openly.

The disappointment over “dream schools” quickly disappeared and in the coming years, we witnessed God’s guiding hand in many and various ways. Opportunities opened up for her to study in Florida, return to Stanford, and travel to Chile, among other things. As she just finished her first year of graduate studies in New York, these years have not always been easy. But God knew that Whitworth was the perfect place for Jeriah to study, grow and develop both academically and in faith. And Whitworth was the perfect place to set the table for Jeriah’s larger dreams. Over these past six years, we can give testimony and witness to the fact that God’s hand has continued to lead, guide, and provide for her in incredible ways.  

Below is a link to Dr. K’s faith testimony that is in the current issue of Christianity Today. I hope you will take the time to read his testimony and be strengthened in your own faith. The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to call and transform people’s lives.  

Perhaps take a moment today and consider your own testimony. We all have one. What has been your journey of faith to know Jesus Christ? Identify a few marker moments that are easy to remember, jot them down – so that when someone asks you the reason for the hope that you have, you will be prepared to give an answer.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/kamesh-sankaran-humbling-proud-hindu.html?fbclid=IwAR3lXPhpeMTgOgsDQTexvhn69p5WfgtnLVWdYY9D001iwTPYO938HlYVqMA

God Bless You All,

Pastor Mark