Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

How Should I Pray, Week 3, Day 6

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GENESIS 2:7

The spiritual life is always worked out among the regular relationships of life which we have with family, co-workers, fellow students, neighbors, church members, and also people in political, artistic, intellectual, and sporting realms. The spiritual life is thus grounded in ordinary life, it is as Dallas Willard eloquently remarks, part of the human “condition of labor, glory, dust, and death. It is one of constant incongruity between human dreams and dignity, on the one hand, and human realities, on the other. We are incarnate and finite beings, trailing clouds of over-aspiration and ragged incompleteness.”

We must not think of the spiritual realm, or the Kingdom, as separate from life as it is with its wonder and exasperation, its giddy anticipation and terminal boredom, its endless change and unceasing repetition, its hints of eternity, and its reminders of eternity! It is this world where the Kingdom comes! This world God transforms. It is in this world that we must learn to trust and pray.

Prayer

Great God, Since Adam and Eve were made from dust and you breathed life into humankind, we have been contradictory creatures full of God-given glory and dusty mess. Help us to be spiritually grounded in this word as we experience your Kingdom Rule, mindful of our limits and our destiny. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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How Should I Pray, Week 3, Day 5

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COLOSSIANS 2:6-7

This brings us to the central characteristic of the community of Christ. In distinction from all other kinds of communities, there are no strictly individual relationships, no strictly one-with-one moments.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Life Together, teaches that in the church Jesus mediates all relationships. No true relationships exist apart from his action and presence. We must always remember that when we act for and with one another, we are to act with Jesus. Our fellowship is not merely psychological but spiritual, not a task we undertake or accomplish, but a reality created by Christ—who is its “ground, strength, and promise.”

We love others not for their sake but for His sake. Earthly loves bind others and seek to regulate them, often to coerce and dominate. Spiritual love knows the most direct way to others is through prayer to Christ. Their wellbeing, their salvation, their wholeness, and vocation rest with Him. Do you think of others this way?

Prayer

Gracious Father, Help me to remember that the basis of all my relationships must be my relationship with you. Only you know, really and truly, what others need. Only you, really and truly, can provide it. Stand with me in all my friendships, my work relations, my family ties. I ask through your wonderful Son. Amen.

 

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