A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at
A printer-friendly version of today’s devotion is available at DDGN 20201013
Good morning! It’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News! It’s October 13 and we’re reading from Philippians today, chapter 3:13-4:1.
Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
Here ends the reading.
I think this passage is an intriguing one for Lutherans. One of the things that I think is awesome about Lutherans is that we rest in the grace of God. Knowing that it’s not our works that earn our spot in Heaven, that Jesus died for us and that gift is a free gift, given to all of us, and that we don’t have to do anything to earn that or achieve that.
So knowing that truth, and putting that slightly to the side for the moment, there’s a component that I think Lutherans forget, or tend to overlook. That is, that God calls us out of the spaces where we’re stuck. The places where we’re frozen, where we’re immobilized, God calls us to persevere towards what God is calling us forward and into. Part of that is the theology of cross, that may require some sacrifices from us, some suffering in that, but we do persevere through that, even when we do feel stuck. Sometimes feeling stuck is the hardest part, I think. Feeling immobilized and feeling like there’s not a path forward. People may feel that in spades right now, with the pandemic. As people are dealing with whatever struggles they have, and it can feel like it’s hard to get traction. I’ve heard that a lot from people recently, a sense of feeling stuck.
I love that this passage isn’t about, look back at the past, and beat yourself up over what you haven’t done in the past. It is: ‘put that aside, persevere and strive towards what is ahead and run the race that God has called you to run! The race that God has called you to run in fun and in glory of God and with God. God calls you to that’. So, today, I thought it might be intriguing for you to think about: ‘where do I feel stuck? Where do I feel immobilized? Where do I feel overwhelmed or helpless or powerless; there’s this component of my life that I try to overcome, and I can’t. I keep tripping over the same tree root, it keeps snagging me and tripping me up’.
What God is calling you to do is: to embrace the power of God and to run with God and persevere through some of those things that are hard.
And, in these days and times that the Bible was written, there were lots of footraces, there were lots of competitions that involved people racing and striving. We think of that with the Olympics and the crown of laurels that people used to wear that was a sign of victory. Your victory is in God! It is in Jesus Christ and God certainly can empower you through whatever struggles you may face, through whatever things you need to run toward God in how God is calling you! And get out of things that are tripping you up or helping you stay stuck. So, I thought it might be fun for you to think about where God is calling you into glory and where does God want you to wear your own laurel crown, your own victory in God? So, a little symbolic gesture out of some ivy today (laughs). But, I suggest you pray to God and ask God to help you think about where does God want you to go? And how does God empower you to do it? And thank God for that and get running! Take care everybody. Bye-bye.