First Pres Joliet

A Daily Devotional from our faith community @



Watching for God’s Word

Jeremiah 1:12

It is easy to watch the birds to return, the flowers bloom and the tree buds become leaves.  What is really hard is to watch for God’s word.  What are we looking for?  What does it look like?  Who is doing it?  Our first reaction is that we don’t know, we don’t know and it sure is not us.  But are you sure?

Being a Night Deacon I have answers very quickly:  Saturday morning pancake breakfast, school lunch program, homeless shelter ministry.  You do not have to be a church officer to be seeking and carrying our God’s word.  Opening a door with a smile, giving a word of encouragement, really asking how someone is doing,  wishing a person well.  It does not have to be a big event but a small gesture filled with God’s love can share the love of God.  That is why I end my blog with Shalom.  I want you to have peace, contentment, wholeness, well being, just plain feeling good. So watch for and carry out God’s word.

Shalom Mark.

God Never Changes

Hebrews 13:8

If you ever need a conversation starter try mentioning Daylight Savings Time.  Everyone will have something to say.  When it should start when it should end.  The joy of falling behind, the sorrow of springing ahead. If it should exist at all.  Everybody has ideas and most are willing to share them.  What we need to remember is that the day has the same amount of sunlight no matter what. The only thing that changes is if there is more light in the morning or the evening.   The sunlight itself remains constant.

So it is with Christ. Whether it is the quietness of a Quaker meeting, in Latin with incense, a paraphrased Bible reading with guitar riffs, of a Middle English Bible reading with a harpsichord, it is the same God who is worshiped.  Worship has and will change but God remains the same.  After all Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Shalom Mark

John 6:48-58 “I am the Bread of Life”

Let’s face it folks there is a lot going on in these 10 verses. Instead of getting caught up in the particulars I am going to deal with the general message. The people following Moses it the Exodus had to gather manna everyday, if they kept it, it rotted. People had to go our again and again just to be satisfied. If you remember the story even with the bread that God supplied them they were not content.

Jesus says He is the bread of life and whoever eats of it will live forever. In order for us to truly appreciate the bread of life, we need to hunger. We have to have a yearning, a want, that will not be satisfied any other way. Humans have all sorts of ways to fill that need: drugs,sex, work, play, appearances, even religiosity. Religiosity may surprise you. Activities at church, no matter how good there are will not satisfy the real need, real hunger.

What we need is a relationship with Jesus to satisfy this hunger. By relationship I mean a personal, intimate, closeness with Jesus. It begins with confessing that we are sinners in need of a savior, and accepting Jesus as our Savior. From there all else begins. To really feed of the bread of life we need to start with loving Jesus with our hearts.

Shalom, Mark

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