Midweek Reflections

Safe and Secure

Read: John 10:22-30
When you were little, did you ever have other children try to snatch candy or maybe your lunch money out of your hands? It’s really hard to hold onto something when a stronger person is prying at your fingers, trying to get it out of your hand. Tiny children often lose what they’re holding. They aren’t strong enough or tall enough to protect it. There was one kid in my 6th grade class that nobody could try that on. He was only 11, but he was already over six feet tall. He could just hold the candy over everyone’s heads! Nobody could take things away from him.
Jesus carries us safely in His hands, just like that. He is greater than everyone; nobody can reach over Him or around Him or take us away. He is smarter than all our enemies. And he is stronger, too. Jesus is the Son of God, who loved us so much that He became a human being to live, suffer and die on a cross in order to break the power of death over us. None of us could do that, but Jesus could – and He did. Death could not hold Him. On the third day he rose from the dead, and He will never die again. He gives that same life to you and me, to everyone who trusts in Him. He holds us safely in those strong, nail-scarred hands – and nothing can snatch us away from Him, not sin or death. We are safely in Jesus’ hands forever.
Make It Personal
Being safely in Jesus’ hands is not oppressive, it’s very liberating. Jesus doesn’t say, “Do this, and then maybe you will be good enough to be one of my sheep.” He says, “You belong to me already. No one can snatch you out of my hand.” Secure in this belonging, we are free to live the abundant life which Jesus has made possible. It is life that is abundant in the love of God made known in Jesus Christ, love which overflows to others (John 13:34-35). Let us spread that love of Jesus!
~ written by Lynn Marner

The Great Acceptance

Read: Acts 10

Prayers, conflict, confusion, reliance, listening, directions. Peter was confronted with it all in this encounter. Peter was a good Jew, never eating anything impure or unclean. He followed all the old ways and lived a wholesome Jewish existence. This trance confused him. He pondered it. He didn’t have all the answers right away. When Cornelius’s attendants arrived, Peter showed them hospitality and then went with them the next day.
Fear, Prayers, Gifts, Offerings. Cornelius lived in an upright manner and was wondering what this direction was all about. When Peter arrived, Cornelius recounted his story and had gathered a group to listen to what God commanded.
Verses 34-43 is Peter’s speech where he focuses on the key points: God doesn’t show favoritism, Jesus Christ is Lord of all, God anointed Jesus, There are witnesses to all this, Jesus was killed on the cross, God raised Jesus from the dead, There are witnesses to Jesus after He was raised, We are commanded to preach.
An outpouring of the Holy Spirit into Gentile believers happened because of this encounter and then they were baptized in Jesus’s name. Today, we are able to live fully in Christ Jesus because of this historical event. God doesn’t show favoritism.
Make It Personal
Do you show favoritism? Would you be open to God’s changing of that? Are you willing to act in the midst of confusion? Are you prepared to preach (or speak) in an uncomfortable spot?
God, Thank you for this passage, for showing us different ways that you speak and act in history and how that links to us today. May you allow us, your disciples, to speak boldly what we hear the Holy Spirit share, even if we are confused or fearful, let us be faithful! Amen.
~ written by Jenni Marner


Read: Jeremiah 29:11-13
This past year I have experienced the Zoom meeting. Linking up with others online has opened up some new opportunities. Every Wednesday morning, I connect with my siblings to share stories about what is happening in our families. We share stresses, joys and lots of laughter. I have found these online communications priceless.
This has me thinking about how I connect with Jesus. I can’t video chat as I do with my siblings but according to Jeremiah 29:12, “You will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.” Jesus has such love for each of us and desires to hear our joys and stresses and loves it when we express thanks and praise for all He has blessed us with.
Someone once asked a young child if said his prayers each night. He thought about it for a while and then answered, “No, some nights I don’t need anything.” Are prayers more fervent when we need something? God wants to connect with us. He loves us and cares about our daily lives.
Make It Personal
Take the time to connect with Jesus today. Spend time in prayer, praying not just about your needs, but giving thanks and praise for the everyday blessings. Your words are heard and He will be present in the good times and in the times of stress.
~ written by Gloria Yoder


Read: Psalm 96 and Psalm 150

Often when I wake up and first look at my clock the time is 6:06. The number 606 always makes me think of hymn number 606 in the old brown Mennonite Hymnal, a four part choral arrangement of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” Just mention 606 to a group of older Mennonites and all will know exactly what song to sing! One of the pastors of the church we attend in Florida often used 606 as the closing of the service. The sound of 400 + people singing this song in 4 part harmony was amazing!!! It was hard to decide whether to sing along or just listen and soak up the music!! Whenever I see 606 I think, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!”

This song, also known as “The Doxology” was written by Bishop Thomas Ken and is first mentioned in 1674. It has been said that these lines have been sung more than any other lines ever written! In the church where I was raised, we sang these words every Sunday as the offering was presented. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below.  Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” Familiar words!!

Make it Personal

There are many other numbers which can also serve as reminders to us of favorite scripture. These give us an opportunity or reminder in our busy day to take a moment and praise God. If you see 316, think of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son. The number 413 reminds us of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” or 432 “Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Ephesians 4:32. The number 23 can be a reminder of the much loved 23rd Psalm. Look for these reminders throughout your day and use them to draw your mind back to God.

~ written by Nancy Kuhns

Power In the Name Of Jesus

Read: 1 Samuel 17:33-54
What battles have you been facing lately? Do some of your troubles look like giants standing in front of you that seem impossible to overcome? So often we look at our troubles or problems and can’t see how we ourselves can solve them. The truth is we often don’t have the power to overcome difficulties on our own.
This story of David and Goliath is a wonderful reminder that we need to face our own “giants” in the name of the Lord. It also reminds us that God gives us the gifts and talents to help us overcome the difficulties we face. David began by putting on Saul’s armor, helmet and sword to face Goliath but soon realized that this wasn’t what he was accustomed to. At that point in his life, he was more talented with a sling and stone rather than a sword and armor. So, he faced this giant with the gifts God had given him. David also new that he needed more than just his talents, he needed the power of the Lord as well. David says in verse 45, “You come against me with sword and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty”. He called upon the name of the Lord for his success.
Make It Personal
How are you facing your Giants? The next time you see one, start by coming against it in the name of the Lord. Ask God to reveal the gifts he has given you to get you through the battle. Remember, there is power in His name.
~written by Lamar Miller

Ask, Seek, Knock

Read: Matthew 7:7-11

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Have you become disillusioned with prayer? Have you been asking, seeking and knocking, but God hasn’t answered your request? If that’s the case, you may be wondering why so many Christians speak about the power of prayer when it seems ineffective in your life.

Verses 9-11 of this Matthew passage help us understand the big picture. Jesus makes a comparison between earthly Fathers and our heavenly Father. Even though a human father is flawed and limited, he can give good things to his children. So it stands to reason that the heavenly Father, who is all-powerful and all-knowing, will give what’s beneficial to His children.

Sometimes we’re like spiritual toddlers in our limited understanding. We may not realize that our requests aren’t always what God deems best for us. Prayer teaches us humility, dependence, submission, and trust. The power of prayer is not that we can receive something, but that we’re able to relate to the One who supplies all our needs.

Make it personal:
Prayer helps us find direction, gives us strength to avoid temptation, and aligns our will with God’s will. The purpose of prayer is not necessarily to tell God how you want Him to do things; rather, it’s to better understand Him and His ways, and to bring us into alignment with His will.  C.S. Lewis said, “Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes us.” As you pray this week, be conscious of a change in your spiritual life. If you’re continuously communicating with God, you should feel closer to Him. Truly, there is power in prayer and it can change us in many ways. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s power to change your life!

~ written by Lynn Marner

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