Silence and Centering
Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
Loving God, On this day, Your Son entered the rebellious city that later rejected Him: we confess that our wills are as rebellious as Jerusalem’s. Our faith is often more show than substance. Our hearts are in need of cleansing. Have mercy on us, Son of David, Savior of our lives. Help us to lay at Your feet all we have and all we are, trusting You to forgive, to heal, and to receive us as Your own. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
Reading & Devotional:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The ways of God are radically different than what we experience in the world. The world tells us that only the strong survive. The world values those who can take care of themselves. We’re taught to look to our own strength as our source. We’re taught never to let others see our weakness. But God values those who acknowledge their weakness in humility. His heart is for the destitute, the needy, and the lost. Jesus spent his valuable, limited time with the prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, and sinners. And as a result, we who can never be perfect, who even at our best still can’t cut it, have renewed hope.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul writes, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” True growth and transformation aren’t the result of working in our own strength. We can’t change ourselves no matter how hard we try. Transformation is only possible when we declare the truth of our weakness, stop living in our own strength, and receive the power of a loving, present God. Transformation comes when we make room for the Holy Spirit to fill us, empower us, and set us free, not because we are deserving of his help, but because he loves us.
Psalm 103:14 says, “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” God doesn’t expect perfection from us. He knows perfection is unattainable. And instead of perfection he asks for honesty. Instead of valuing our strength he values our humility. What he asks of us, all of us can give. All of us can boast of our weaknesses as Paul did. All of us can look at our lives and declare our need for God’s grace. And in doing so we receive power from on high. In acknowledging that “we are dust” we gain the help of an Almighty, all-loving, ever-present God.
Stop trying to attain perfection in this life. Stop finding your value and identity in what you do. And look to God as your strength. Allow his love, power, and help to be your source. Live in light of the truth that his strength is both able and available to you. May you enter into a season of peace founded on the limitless grace and power of your heavenly Father.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.