URC Daily Devotion 15 April 2024

 15 April 2024
 
Matthew 16:24-26 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Reflection

It was in the summer of 1980 at sixteen years of age that I found myself sitting in a big top tent on a playing field in Bournemouth listening to a band and a preacher. I went on my own having read a publicity leaflet (no internet then of course), feeling strangely drawn is the only way I can describe it over forty years later.

I listened intently to the words of their song “when you come to the place of absolute surrender….” and I was in that place at that moment when the preacher issued a simple invitation to follow Jesus. And so, as I took that step of faith, I was powerfully conscious of the love and grace of God, present and active and the journey of discipleship for me began. For me this encounter with the living God was also accompanied by healing of a significant medical condition that I had been suffering from.

I am so very thankful for God’s mercy, acceptance and new life that has been at work in my life ever since even when I mess up, go off course, doubt, and fear. I am also so thankful that there were some people willing and able to share the good news of Jesus Christ with me.

At the beginning of this two-week Daily Devotions series, we begin with my very brief testimony because I feel that it is a reminder that we are not thinking about making a lifestyle choice to belong to some kind of religious club or philosophy. God who is made known perfectly in Jesus Christ is a God who calls and goes on calling people and this is of utmost importance.

Perhaps today we might be encouraged to call to mind God’s call upon our lives and the way God has encountered us and drawn us into being Christ-followers, whether that be over time or, like me, suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly.
 
Prayer

Living and Loving God,
I praise you today for You have the words of eternal life. 
Help me to ponder ever more regularly and deeply 
your love and grace in Jesus Christ 
that has changed the world and encountered me.
I want to call these things to mind today 
and find the words to describe and declare them. 
When memories fade and passion cools 
please do a new thing, I pray.
Amen    

 

 

 

Today’s writer

The Revd Eddie Boon is the Thames North Synod Discipleship Enabler

 

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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