WEEK 2: MARCH 6-12
God Has Come for His People
Luke 7:11-17 captures another Resurrection story for our focus this week. When Jesus raises people from the dead, sometimes we can miss some of the nuance from the story. It makes sense, though, what else is there to talk about? Jesus just told a dead person to not be dead anymore. However, look closer in this text; the response from the people after watching this resurrection is to acknowledge that surely “God has come for His people.” Yes, God has come for us and I am sure we all have unique experiences of that truth. As you are encouraged by this week’s devotionals, be thinking about Luke 7 and how this story challenges you!
The Perpetual Retreat
By Karen Forbes
Read Luke 7:11-17.
Have you ever been on a spiritual retreat? Maybe to church camp as a youth or teen? I’ve done both, been there…done that. I loved the freedom of letting go, being away from it all, and being around a group of people – that at least for a weekend – were filled with awe, joy, love, and praise for the Lord.
Inevitably, there were moments at these venues where I would feel convicted to look inward and do some major soul searching. I would always come to a place of brokenness, grieving my sin nature and worldly living. Always though, after repentance and prayer, the presence of God would be unmistakable. His grace, His love, and His promise of new life were there for the taking. I always took it.
But then I came home, and before too long I was back to being a part of the crowd. My life was good, blessed even, but on that deeper spiritual level I was back to grieving, sometimes hopeless, and many times dead in the burden of sin. I would often long for another weekend away. I would wonder: where is that awe, where is that joy, where is that truth I felt and understood in that weekend, where is God? Yes, I’ve been there…done that too.
It wasn’t until I became so broken in that cycle that I finally, truly, surrendered my life and let the Lord change my situation and become my ultimate truth. What a freedom it is to not have to wonder anymore! What a joy to understand and accept God’s love for me. To know that even in my grief, my struggles, and my sin, He is near me…with me…and has come to help me and love me every hour of every day.
Believing that, accepting that, and trying to model that has changed my life. My eyes and my heart have been opened to God’s truth, love, and power. I have been transformed…like the dead man, like the widow, like the crowd. He has said to me, “Get up”, and be alive! Be thankful! And now, I enjoy being on a perpetual retreat with God.
“Young man, I say to you, Get up” (v.14)
“They were all filled with awe and praised God” (v.16)
When have you experienced an emotional high of God’s presence?
Part of the struggle in our faith journey is knowing God’s presence every day….
how do you practice that?
How can you go on a “retreat with God today?