Friday, August 28

Apostles' Creed Focus

“the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”


Reflection Verse

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” - Ephesians 1:18


Reflection

This is a season. Even as I sit down to write this, I find that my mind is in a million different places. I have a to do list a mile long, my inbox is filled with all kinds of COVID updates, and I’m just praying I’m not missing something important in the cloud that is my life right now. And then, I read this verse. It feels like a whisper. It’s my heavenly Father whispering, “I’ve got this. Look ahead. Not to tomorrow or in a month or after COVID. Look ahead beyond all this stuff that’s of this world. I have something so much better and bigger for you.”

How I long for “the eyes of my heart” to be enlightened. I know where my hope is found and it’s not in the day to day. It’s not here on Earth. 

I kind of hate running, but I love doing races. I love the camaraderie, and if I’m honest, I love the post-race swag. When I’m running though, I often get discouraged. When I start to feel that way, I inevitably notice that I’ve been looking down. And when I’m looking down at the ground in a race, it feels like it’ll never end. However, when I raise my eyes to the horizon, suddenly I feel like I can finish. Or, I can get to the next mile marker and the next one, until I see the finish line. 

Too often in my life, I’m like the runner who isn’t looking up. I’m too distracted by the chaos around me to even think about the hope of Heaven. 

Here’s the problem with looking down: we don’t have hope. I once read a book about Ancient Rome. The doctors who examined the bodies of the Christians that were killed by wild animals in the arenas said they all tended to all have something in common -they didn’t have fear on their faces when they died. They knew the hope of Heaven, and they were excited about the riches of His glorious inheritance. It was written all over their faces. 

Christian, let’s live like that. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus so we can have that hope written all over our faces. It will change everything - how we live, how we prioritize, how we love. It will change our witness. And if it changes our witness, it’ll change other people’s lives for eternity. That’s something we can’t afford to get wrong.

Thank you for tuning in this summer for the Apostles' Creed devotions. We feel blessed that you’ve taken the time to read them because we know your inbox is full too. God bless you.


Prayer

Lord, we are thankful for this creed that reminds us of what we stand for as a church, but mostly we’re thankful that you are faithful and that you love us enough to allow us to be a part of the most beautiful story ever written. We look ahead to eternity with hope and so much joy.


Verses for Further Reflection

Matthew 5:12, Hebrews 13:14, 2 Peter 3:13


Family Focus

  1. What is hope? (Hope is wishing for something good to come true.)
  2. What is the greatest promise God made and kept? (He promised that He would send a Savior; He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from sin.)
  3. Can you think of a promise that someone made to you? Did they keep their promise?
  4. Have you ever felt disappointed that what you hoped for did not happen in the way you wanted?
  5. Why should you trust God? (Because He always keeps His promises.)

As parents, it is important to help children learn how to balance hope and disappointment. Discuss with your child the reality of not always getting everything we hope for. Explain that God has a reason for sometimes not giving us something we are hoping for. Discuss specific times your child did not get what he or she had hoped for, and then ask your child to think of reasons why God maybe did not choose to fulfill that hope in that instance. Explain to your child that God loves us so much, and that even when we do not understand, God is still in control.