Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Category: Devotions (page 1 of 19)

Devotion: God is . . .

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8, ESV)

I can still remember being a kid sitting in a wooden chair in Sunday school putting together a papercraft with the words, “God is Love” pasted across the bottom. In the midst of the broken crayons and chunks of dried glue, that simple phrase settled in my heart and mind.

When I got older, I would attend the church’s confirmation and youth group. It was through these experiences that I began to learn how much more complex the reality of one living and true God is.

“I believe,” the opening statement of the Apostles’ Creed says, “in God, the Father, the Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”

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Devotion: Blessed are the Merciful

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (Matthew 5:7, The Message)

My grandparents have always been formative to my faith. They would take in and care for sick friends, family, or church members. Meals would be prepared and made before being taken to someone who just got home from the hospital. They would regularly visit neighbors who were homebound. And it was no surprise to anyone when they invited someone who was not able to be with their family at Christmas to our family Christmas breakfast. And the list could easily go on. 

They have always been full of care for others.

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Devotion: God With Us

“I am the Lord, and I do not change; and you, children of Jacob, have not perished.” (Malachi 3:6, Common English Bible)

From Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”:

We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.

God does not change.

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Devotion: On His Little Shoulders

“The angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you – wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11, Common English Bible)

The waiting is over. The Child has been born. And we rejoice. A silent night has become a holy night. All is calm as all becomes bright with hope.

As we peek over the side of the cradle, and look at the Peace Child, we feel peace. God’s great kingdom begins with this child. And this child will have authority over that kingdom. For it is as Isaiah wrote, “Authority rests upon his shoulders.” (Isaiah 9:6)

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Devotion: A Kingdom of Peace

“The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6, Common English Bible)

We can all remember where we were when we heard about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. For me, I was walking across campus at Randolph-Macon College. I had an early class that morning and was headed to the library. As I walked, I overheard other students talking about the attack.

I couldn’t believe it. And truthfully there was a part of me that didn’t believe it. I by-passed the library and went to my car. I turned the radio on and listened with a heavy heart to the news reports of airplanes flying into the World Trade Center buildings.

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