Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 01-04-22

Intro: Like many people around me, I am making some goals for this new year that will improve my overall health. First, I am trying to take a nice 1/2-1 mile walk every day—sometimes twice a day—and exercise my muscles to improve my physical health, because I am a temple of God (1 Cor 3:16). Second, I am giving myself permission to just sit quietly each day for 1/2-1 hour to use my “calming” muscles in order to improve my emotional health; sometimes life is just to stimulating or draining and so, during this time, I tune out the world and tune into God’s presence with me (Mark 4:39-40). Third, I am spending even more time in the Word of God reading chapter passages each day and inviting the Spirit to help me practice the Truth with my faith muscles, because the deception of the world is gaining strength and I must be stronger in order to walk in wisdom (James 1:22). Fourth, I am exercising my prayer muscles, because God honors the prayers of his children who desire to pursue righteousness (James 5:16). Whether I am focused on physical, emotional, or spiritual health, I am aware I belong to Jesus and every aspect of me must bow to Christ’s authority. I must use all my muscles or they will atrophy and I will not have the proper strength when I need it.

In our passage today, Jesus shares with those around him what it means to belong to him—to be related as a family member. Jesus’ biological family does not necessary fit his criteria, because Scripture tells us even Jesus’ half-brothers and sisters did not believe he was the Messiah in the midst of his teaching. You know who meets Jesus’ criteria for being in his family? Those who are hungry to hear and willing to exercise God’s Word—his holy standard for living; to use one’s faith in order to put God’s instruction into practice which will cause one’s whole being to flourish for the glory of God (Ro 10:17).

Luke 8:19-21 Jesus’ True Family
19 Jesus’ mother and his brothers [half-brothers] came to where Jesus was teaching, but they couldn’t get through the crowd that had gathered around him. 20 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak with you.”

21 Jesus told the crowd, “These who come to listen to me are like my mother and my brothers. They’re the ones who long to hear God’s words and put them into practice.”

Prayer: Lord, thank you for inviting me to be a part of your true family. I know this means I follow your lead by hearing the Word and putting it into motion in my life. Help me, in 2022, to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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