Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Lent Devotionals: Monday, March 27

Hebrews 4:11-16

11 Therefore, let’s make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience, 12 because God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. 13 No creature is hidden from it, but rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer. 14 Also, let’s hold on to the confession since we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, who is Jesus, God’s Son; 15 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. 16 Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.
 

MEDITATION

What does a high priest do? For an answer to this question we need to imagine ourselves being in a worship service of the ancient people of Israel in the temple. That’s where priests did their work. Their main tasks were bringing sacrifices for the sins of the people, praying for the people and, in this way, standing between God and his people. The high priest had the privilege of entering into the holy of holies behind the veil where the ark, the ultimate sign of God’s holy presence, was located, once a year.
Jesus is our only and unique high priest. He did not bring sacrifices, but sacrificed himself. He always prays for us. He eternally is the one who stands between God and us so that we can be united to our Father in him.
The beautiful thing about Jesus as high priest is that he is not far from us, but that he knows us very well. He sympathizes with our weaknesses because he himself also experienced them when he was here as a human being on earth. He was tested just like we are often tested. But he never sinned when he was. This is why he can be our perfect and eternal high priest.
 
Prayer:  Lord, we thank you that we have a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses: who was tempted in every way, yet did not sin, and who now stands before the throne of grace interceding on our behalf.
So we bring our prayers before you with confidence, in the name of our ascended Savior, Jesus Christ, seeking your mercy and your grace…..  In his holy name we pray.  Amen!


Lent Devotionals: Friday, March 24

He Gave 110%

Those of us who have been Dallas Cowboys fans since the Tom Landry era remember the name Bill Bates as well as we do names like Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, and Bob Lilly.

Bates wasn’t known for being the most gifted or talented player on the field.  In fact, after running a 4.8 second 40-yard dash in the NFL Scouting Combine in 1983, Bates went undrafted in the NFL Draft.  His determination and grit forced him to sign as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, his favorite team growing up.  He wasn’t likely to make the team but his heart and hustle earned him a spot on the roster.  

It was that same heart and hustle that earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl in 1984, his second year in the pros.  Many have said that Bates gives 100% on every down of every game he’s ever played in.

Bates received the team’s Bob Lilly Award four consecutive seasons from 1990 to 1994. This award is selected by a vote of the fans and annually goes to the Cowboy player who displays leadership and character on and off the field.
 

Tom Landry once said, “If we had 11 players on the field who played as hard as Bill Bates does and did their homework like he does, we’d be almost impossible to beat.”
Imagine what would be possible if our faith were as strong as Bill Bates’ efforts on the field. Imagine if we were 110% sure God would take care of us the way he promises to.

In this week’s text, a man brought his son to Jesus’ disciples to heal him from an ailment. They had been in the practice of healing leading up to this but, for some reason, they were unable to do so this time.

“Someone from the crowd responded, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, since he has a spirit that doesn’t allow him to speak. 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 (Mark 9:17-18).”

The man then, out of desperation, brought his son to Jesus who was able to heal. Jesus responded; “You faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? (Mark 9:17-18).” Then goes on to heal the boy. He then tells the crowd; “All things are possible for the one who has faith (Mark 9:23b).”

All too often, when things don’t go our way, we’re eager to blame God for not answering our prayers. How many times, when we go to God in prayer, do we do so half-heartedly? How many times, when we go to God in prayer, do we have a plan “B” if plan “A” doesn’t work.

Have faith!!! Give God 110%!!!!

May God’s grace and peace give you strength,

Pastor Scott

“Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, CEB)
 
Rev. Scott Goodfellow
Senior Pastor