Celebrate and Rest Devotional – Day 1

By December 27, 2021Daily Devotional

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

GOD IS ETERNAL God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being—he is timeless—and he sees past, present, and future equally vividly. 

Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Praise God for His Eternal Nature.
Praise God for his eternal nature. Praise God that he has always been and will always be. Praise God that he is not bound by time.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for Sarah H. as she lives and serves overseas.

SCRIPTURE READING:
Matthew 8:1-22 New International Version

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Jesus Heals Many
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”

The Cost of Following Jesus
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:

Jesus calmed a storm, but in the account in Matthew before he calmed the storm, he healed many people. Matthew does not tell us if all these things happened on the same day but the account of the storm is written in the context of an abundance of activity. Jesus was a busy person. He did not seem to be a hurried person though. He was purposeful, caring, and attentive. As Matthew recounts the story on the boat we imagine the disciples struggling against a difficult storm. The disciples were afraid that they would drown. Jesus, after a full period of activity is asleep in the bottom of the boat. He is fully man in need of rest. He did normal things like sleep. When the disciples come to him, he challenges them for their lack of faith. Then Jesus does what only God could do. He calms the storm and the disciples are safe. He is fully God and fully man. He is also not indifferent to their needs, but he does challenge the disciples to have faith. He challenges them to put their confidence in him. The storm was a difficult circumstance but Jesus was not afraid. He was in control and able to calm the storm.

Think about your sleep for a moment. You need sleep. Some people push themselves to the limit trying to prove their ability to do more with less sleep. There are times when we need to push ourselves, but we are limited. Rest is required. When you sleep, you are putting your body in God’s hands. Your heart rate slows; your breathing slows; you are mostly unconscious to the world around you. Use your time of rest and sleep over the Christmas break as a spiritual discipline. Use your sleep as a reminder that God is in control. When you sleep, he is still caring for the universe and watching over you. Thank him for being in control.

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