Space for Grace: Devotional

DEVOTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 7–13

Date

What Space for Grace Means to Me

Reflection

Scripture

Monday, September 7

Response to Infinite Grace

First Pres is a place where I strengthen my faith because, in part, our congregation puts Christ at the center of all and strives to love one another. Space for grace at First Pres manifests itself through our worshipping, welcoming, giving, witnessing, nurturing, learning, growing, celebrating, and engaging locally and globally. Love begat grace, and grace beckons a like response. First Pres gives me the opportunity to respond to God’s infinite grace, and for that I feel blessed.

—contributed by Jocelyne Birren

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Tuesday, September 8

Growing our faith through the generous giving of ourselves and our gifts

We seek to know Christ and the power of his Resurrection through faith. I want to share the word of God as generously as I can in my community, with as broad a reach as possible. My passion is serving in youth ministry, with its anxieties and the joy of watching kids grow in their faith. My giving empowers my ministry and others that glorify Christ in many different ways, locally and across the globe. The opportunity we each have is to give generously and extend the ability of First Pres to further our passion for outreach in as many ways as possible.

contributed by Lorenzo Bavoso

Philippians 3:7–11
7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Wednesday, September 9

For giving

A longtime First Pres member said to me recently, reflecting on his own long and very accomplished career: "All I have accomplished I have received." This holds true for both our blessings and our debts. Even when we imagine ourselves "debt free," we will still indebted to Him.

—contributed by Lanny Vincent

Matthew 6:12
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Thursday, September 10

Am I a bright light?

A shining light can make what looks like a constrained area into a large space. In our sinful world, living with hardship and stress can make life cramped…and dark. When scripture says, "Let your light shine before others..." I think this is how Christians and the gospel can make a difference. Our light can make that space for grace. Do we appear different to friends, co-workers, neighbors, or strangers? How can I spread my light today?

—contributed anonymously

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Isaiah 60:1
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Friday,
September 11

Being wise and prudent stewards for God

According to Proverbs, the "prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty". Space for Grace means increasing our margin -- the margin for First Pres to continue sowing the gospel. The margin to avoid being "slaves to our lender." The margin to avoid the snares and pitfalls that come with "balloon payments." This space for grace will help us live up to our good name -- which is more desirable than great riches.

—contributed by Avon Leong

Proverbs 22:1–9
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. 2 The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all. 3 The clever see danger and hide; but the simple go on, and suffer for it. 4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. 5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; the cautious will keep far from them. 6 Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. 7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. 8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail. 9 Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.

Saturday, September 12

From a VBS day for children whose families were Roma (gypsies)

Most of us, by the world's standards, are prosperous. You could even call us "rich." On choir tour, we saw a neighborhood with one-room homes and shared bathroom huts— which reminded us of our privileged lives in the U.S. Yet none of the wealth we have accumulated is really ours. It is all God's. Our "personal assets" are not our own. All we have and all we are—belong to God.

—contributed by Delianne Koops

Psalm 24:1
The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.

Sunday, September 13

Faithfulness for the Next Generation

Our congregation was recently privileged to share the infant baptism of a precious boy, the fifth generation of his family in our church! As a young adult, I witnessed God's faithfulness to this child's great-grandfather. The boy's grandfather grew up here and God walked with him through tragedy and triumph. The boy's mother was born into this congregation, and was loved and nurtured by many through our Christian education programs. AND NOW this boy will receive the heritage of love and faithfulness begun five generations earlier! Praise God for His faithfulness throughout all generations!

—contributed by Vivian McIlraith

Psalm 100:5
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 103:17
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children,

 

Thank you for your prayers this week!

Look for more weekly devotions throughout the Space for Grace campaign, leading up to Commitment Sunday on October 11.