Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Lent Devotionals: Tuesday, March 21

Doubt – Where will you lead us?

 

Uncertainty. Indecision. Hesitation. Suspicion. Confusion. Skepticism. Insecurity. Uneasiness. Apprehension.

These words all have one thing in common. They are used to define the word doubt. Being a follower of Christ does not exempt us from doubting. Sometimes I believe it is a requirement.

In an article written by Lee Strobel, author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Case for Christ, he shares the story of the worst news he could have ever received as an atheist. His agnostic wife had decided to become a Christian. He says, “I thought she was going to turn into some sort of self-righteous holy roller—and I didn’t want anything to do with it.” He even went so far as to say he thought he “could extricate her from this cult. “

Strobel had his doubts. Over the months after his wife became a Christian, he saw changes in her character and values. It was then that he decided to use his journalism and legal expertise to investigate whether there was any credibility to this thing called Christianity.

I am going to end Strobel’s story there.  If you are intrigued and want to know more, pick up his book The Case for Christ or Google search his article, How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism.
 

I ended his story there for a reason.  I look at his situation and realize that through his doubt, he became a follower of Christ and has had a huge impact on others making that choice as well.   It paints a picture of the boy’s father in the scripture from Mark.  “I have faith; help my lack of faith!”  Strobel’s journey of doubt led him to become a follower of Christ and grow his faith.  So that leaves me with the question I will end with, “Where will our journey’s of doubt lead us?”



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!