Space for Grace: Devotional

DEVOTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 28–OCTOBER 4

Date

What Space for Grace Means to Me

Reflection

Scripture

Monday, September 28

To Every Generation

“Ministry is about the people of God participating in the work of God. Our ministries happen all over the place, wherever we live, work, and play. Berkeley is our gathering point and the base for our shared life together. Being located where we are is one of our greatest assets. It contains all the promises and challenges of our ministry: the reality of the world and all of the grace of God.”

—from “To Every Generation” Capital Campaign, 2000

Psalm 100:5
...The Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to every generation.

Tuesday, September 29

Grateful for the Places for Grace

So many places: Fellowship Groups (ECs), Stephen Ministry, Street Meals, Men’s Breakfasts, Children’s Programs…All the “places” that exist at First Pres have allowed me to experience grace – both in the giving and receiving – never really knowing which direction the grace is flowing – probably both simultaneously.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Life Together, said “…how inexhaustible are the riches that open up for those who by God’s will are privileged to live in the daily fellowship of life with other Christians!”

—contributed by David Wagner

John 1:16
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

Psalm 133:1–3
1 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes. 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

Wednesday, September 30

On This Corner

“We have a vibrant rhythm to our life on the corner of Dana and Channing. The unique vibrations of Berkeley and of the Bay Area set significant patterns for our lives. Yet deeper than all that is the rhythm of the Gospel itself that first draws most of us to this corner, and it's the Gospel which sends us back out from here as well.”

—from “On This Corner” Capital Campaign, 2003

2 Corinthians 9:13–14
13 Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you.

Thursday, October 1

Delight in the Lord

Do I truly delight in the Lord or simply in His blessings? Do I ask Him to give me the desires of my heart or to simply satisfy my own? Once we give ourselves completely to Christ, we will take delight not in the things of this world but simply in Him. When we are so completely His that our only delight is in the Lord, then God’s desires become our very own. When we lack clarity and peace in our lives, we should ask ourselves: Are we delighting in Him, or are we distracted by our own preferences and agendas? When we truly delight in Him and Him alone, His desires will be our desires, and our calling will be clear.

—contributed by Doug Chin

Psalm 37: 4
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Friday,
October 2

That which goes deepest to the heart goes widest to the world

“I am in awe of the gospel. The wonder that the God of the universe has come to us in Jesus Christ for our sake and for the salvation of the world stuns me. I find it overwhelming to conceive that the same God who knows all, knows each part. God's grace is one of both profound depth and of encompassing breadth. This is why the confession that ‘Jesus is Lord’ is the hope of the world.”

—from Mark Labberton's letter from “Deeper and Wider” Capital Campaign, 2006

Ephesians 3:18–19
18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Saturday, October 3

My Heart—Christ's Home

I recently came across My Heart-Christ’s Home, the version retold for children, by Robert Boyd Munger (who was Senior Pastor here 1945-62 and pastor emeritus for a time). This passage rang out to me:

“When I am with you, other people may not see me,” Jesus told me.
“I know.”
“Here is the hard part,” Jesus said. “You may not always see me either – even when you want to.”
“I want you with me anyway. I belong to you.”
“Then I will make my home with you.” Jesus smiled.

How can we not share this humbling simple truth?

—contributed anonymously

Revelation 3:20 KJV
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Sunday, October 4

God's Promise to Zion and to Us

God, in gratitude we offer
Ourselves and this place.
Come, enter and dwell
And weave wide a space.

Where brokenness meets mercy
Where sin is erased.
Where healing flows freely
And truth speaks with grace.

—excerpt from Prayer of Thanksgiving for 2005 Dedication of Geneva and McKinley Halls by Rebecca Buckley

Isaiah 30:18–19
18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. 19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you.

 

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.