Friday, June 26, 2020

LHM Daily Devotions - June 26, 2020 - "Marching Forward"

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200626

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Marching Forward"

June 26, 2020

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

This has been a tough year for graduates, across the board.

There's a lot of hard work that goes into finishing a degree. There are the lectures to attend and all the books and articles to be read. There's the note taking and, later, the hassle of deciphering what you were trying to say in that fit of inspiration. There are papers to write—long and short—and all kinds of deadlines to meet. And then when everything has been finished to your school's satisfaction, there's graduation day and the prospect of the road ahead.

The victory on the face of a graduate holding up her diploma, throwing his cap in the air, beaming at her parents, or clenching his diploma far outshines dire job market predictions. She's looking ahead with great expectations; he's confident in his skill to take on the world. And why not? The adrenaline rush of graduation plays into our pure potential.

In the Bible, God comes right out and says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). It pleases God when we ask for clarity on those plans. He adds, inviting us to trust Him, "You do not have, because you do not ask" (James 4:2b). Meanwhile, He teaches us through the ups and downs, the ins and outs, as He "graduates" us from one circumstance to another.

As God shapes us through life and its transitions, He molds us into who He wants us to be. Lovingly, with patience and great skill, He applies His touch to our lives. "We are the clay; You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand" (Isaiah 64:8b). For those finishing their studies, starting a new job, getting married, going into the military, or poised at some other one of life's many starting points, now is a good time to ask God's direction in all that you do.

"Show me Your ways, LORD, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long" (Psalm 25:4-5).

So here's to all the recent graduates! I pray for great connections with your God-given talents, your fulfillment in serving Him with those gifts, and your contribution to a world in need of exactly what you have to offer! I pray too that you walk in a confident faith in Christ Jesus as your Savior, trusting your lives to Him who has saved you for this world—and the next.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, be with us as we move through life's many transitions. Keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, who loves us and gave Himself for us. In His Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Is going through a graduation ceremony a big deal? Why?

2. Do you have a sense that your life is a work in progress with God at the helm?

3. If you've graduated from some school in the past, did it give you a sense of new possibilities?
This Daily Devotion was adapted from a message by Phyllis Wallace. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Is going through a graduation ceremony a big deal? Why?

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