Roswell Pres Blog

A Name to Match the Message - Easter Sunday, April 16 - Lenten Devotional 2017

A Name to Match the Message
Easter Sunday - April 16
Sinners to Saints: Becoming Who God Sees - Lent Sermon Series

Acts 13:2-12 (NRSV)
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

The Apostles Preach in Cyprus
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for this is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, "You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen - the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

On Easter Sunday we celebrate the fact that over 2000 years ago God intervened in human history to let us know that evil and death do not have the last word on any of our lives. In Jesus Christ, we hear the good news that he has been resurrected from the dead and has made God's grace available to each of us.

This news was just as surprising to the first-hand witnesses as it is to us. Our sermon today will focus on one of the key figures of the early Christian movement, the apostle Paul. We will see that Paul found the news to be so good that he would stop at almost nothing to share it with everyone he met. This Easter news can transform our lives just as it transformed Paul's!


If you enjoyed receiving information from us via text during Lent 2017 and you want to continue to receive information and updates from RPC on a periodic basis, you can sign-up now. To receive messages via text, text @rpcinfo to 81010. You can also sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpcinfo.

Shaped by God - Saturday, April 15 - Lenten Devotional 2017

Shaped by God
Saturday, April 15
Lectionary

Hebrews 4:12-16 (NRSV)
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Jesus the Great High Priest
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

REFLECTION:

  • What does it mean for the word of God to be living? Active? Sharp? Judge?
  • Why can Jesus sympathize with our weaknesses?
  • What does it mean to approach the throne of grace with boldness?
  • What do we receive when we do this?
  • Spend time before this throne today and receive the mercy and grace of God.

You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Lent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpclent to 81010 or sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpclent to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page.

Shaped by God - Good Friday, April 14 - Lenten Devotional 2017

The Slocum's - Rev. Lyndsay Lee, Scott, Brandon, and Drew

The Slocum's - Rev. Lyndsay Lee, Scott, Brandon, and Drew

Shaped by God
April 14 - Good Friday
Rev. Lyndsay Lee Slocum, Senior Associate Pastor, Roswell Presbyterian Church

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. - Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV)

I can still remember the first time I opened the door and Scott Slocum was standing on the other side. He was the best looking man I had ever seen! It was our first date - although I did not know we were going on a date! I was under the impression that a friend of a friend had some theology questions and wanted to talk to a seminary student. Scott (the friend of the friend) had called me (the seminary student) and now we were headed to dinner so we would talk theology. If I had known it was a date I am not sure I would have gone. I had just gotten out of a very difficult relationship and my heart was still tender from the hurt it had endured. I needed some time to heal and think through my own identity before jumping back into the dating scene.

But Scott turned out to be unlike anyone I had ever met. I fell in love with him almost immediately. Being with Scott was something new like I had never experienced before. The whole way he wanted to approach our relationship was slow, deliberate, and faithful. He wanted us to know each other in every season of the year before we could talk about being married. He wanted us to worship and pray together. He wanted to make sure we had a solid foundation and that we were faithful to God, each other and ourselves. One year after our first date, Scott proposed and four months later we were married in my home church.

Meeting Scott and our budding relationship was a time in my life when God did a new thing. Scott and I had each been in terrible relationships, and when God brought us together, I began to experience what it meant to love another person and be loved in a healthy way. What a gift Scott is to me!

I am so grateful that we have a God who continues to do a new thing! When you look back over your life, how can you see the ways that God brings about something new for you? What blessings are unexpected and yet so significant? Give thanks to God for the mighty ways God works and the goodness that comes even when we least expect it.

PRAYER:
Holy God, although you are always doing new things in and around us, we often do not see it. Help us to see where you are at work today and give us the boldness to join you. Amen.


You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Lent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpclent to 81010 or sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpclent to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page.

Shaped by God - Maundy Thursday, April 13 - Lenten Devotional 2017

Shaped by God
April 13 - Maundy Thursday
Lectionary

Psalm 27 (NRSV)
Triumphant Song of Confidence
Of David.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh - my adversaries and foes - they shall stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.

4 One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

6 Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! 8 "Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, LORD, do I seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! 10 If my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me up.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. 12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

REFLECTION:

  • What are the three things that the Psalmist asks of the Lord in Verse 4?
  • What do these three things mean to you?
  • Verse 14 tells us to "wait for the Lord". What do you need to wait on the Lord for today?
  • Close in prayer asking for patience, strength, and courage to wait for the Lord.

You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Lent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpclent to 81010 or sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpclent to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page.

Shaped by God - Wednesday, April 12 - Lenten Devotional 2017

Betsy Homer, Associate Director of Music

Betsy Homer, Associate Director of Music

Shaped by God
Wednesday, April 12
Betsy Homer, Associate Director of Music, Roswell Presbyterian Church

The human mind plans the way, but the LORD directs the steps. - Proverbs 16:9 (NRSV)

I tend to always say that my life has been full of, "I should have knowns." Meaning, looking back to how God has been at work in my life, "I should have known this or I should have known that." In fact, I often beat myself up about having chosen paths in life that could have been chosen differently.

Growing up as a preacher's kid shaped so much of my faith. Having been raised weekly going to church, participating in youth group, spending all my time with my church friends, really has made me the woman I am today. There have been times in my life when I have heard God speaking to me and telling me where he wants me to go, but as a strong and determined woman, I like to choose my path.

"I should have known" that even though I chose a different career path in the beginning, God would bring me right where he wants me to be. Should I have known, or should I have just let God shape me into who he wanted? It is not always easy to let yourself be shaped, but God knows our every need, for he created us.

Proverbs 16:9 says, "The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps." May we lean on God and his directing of our steps, while we listen for the ways in which he is leading and shaping us as his followers!

PRAYER:
Gracious Lord, as much as we want to choose our own paths today, may we resist and allow you to lead us. Amen.


You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Lent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpclent to 81010 or sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpclent to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page.

Shaped by God - Tuesday, April 11 - Lenten Devotional 2017

Shaped by God
Tuesday, April 11
Lectionary

Philippians 3:15-21 (NRSV)
15 Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. 16 Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.

17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

REFLECTION:

  • What are the earthly things that Paul is referring to in Verse 19?
  • What earthly things are you tempted to set your mind on?
  • What heavenly things can you set your mind on today?
  • Consider what it means that you are a citizen not of this earth, but of heaven.

You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Lent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpclent to 81010 or sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpclent to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page.

Shaped by God - Monday, April 10 - Lenten Devotional 2017

Carrie Weatherford, Director of Children and Family Ministries

Carrie Weatherford, Director of Children and Family Ministries

Shaped by God
Monday, April 10
Carrie Weatherford, Director of Children and Family Ministries, Roswell Presbyterian Church

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. - Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV)

I love new things... well sort of. There are some new things that I don't love because they require change, and change can be hard! Ten years ago, I was working as a middle school teacher. I was comfortable, content, and I loved my job. So, it came as a big surprise when I felt God calling me out of my comfort zone into something new: seminary and ministry. I tried to avoid this call and really struggled with God about the timing because it didn't match up with the timeline I had created for my life. I didn't even know if it was truly a possibility given my circumstances at the time.

Through much prayer, reflection, and conversation with trusted mentors, I realized that God was indeed calling me to this new thing and I needed to be obedient and allow my life to be guided and shaped by God. The word shaped in this sense means to determine the nature of or have great influence on. When we give up control and allow God to determine the nature of who we are and allow God to have the greatest influence on what we do, it is then that God can use us and do a new thing in us and through us. Sometimes new things can be hard and we may not even have a clue how they will work out in the end, but we can have faith that when we allow God to be in control of shaping us, God "will make a way in the wilderness" and God will be with us every step of the way.

PRAYER:
Holy God, Today, help me to put you first and allow you to be the great shaper of my life. Guide my steps in the direction that you will for me, and help me to have an open heart and an open mind to the new things you are doing in and through me. Amen.


You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Lent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpclent to 81010 or sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpclent to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page. Hard copies are available at RPC.