Devotional for Friday July 12th

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “The Gift of Being Yourself”

Our Bible verse for today: “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10 (Amplified Bible)

Our thought for today: “Jesus offers you the gift of being your best self”

I’ve told the story before about a couple who were members of the first church I was the Pastor of in Spring Valley, CA back in the 1990s, Dick and Jean DeGrow. They were both in their 70s at the time and they had been married a very long time. Each of them individually was relaxed and calm, a person who was extremely comfortable in their own skin. Together as a couple they were a hoot. They fit together like hand in glove. They were completely at ease with each other, always teasing and cutting up, always smiling at each other, and often holding hands. They were lots of fun to be with.

Dick was a retired Pastor who served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon in our church, as well as the church custodian. He was my closest adviser in the church and he was also a mentor to me. After he died Jean and I became especially close. We used to have lunch together at her house every Thursday. Sometimes she would provide the food and sometimes I would stop at a deli on the way and get some sandwiches for us. She used to call me “her third son” and to me she was like a mother.

When I think of Christians who have matured nicely and who have truly learned how to be comfortable just being the person God has molded them into, I often think of Dick and Jean. They were both old and a little chunky (Dick loved his ice cream), and they didn’t have very much in terms of worldly wealth or possessions, but they sure were happy and content. They were comfortable and settled, serene and peaceful, content to just be themselves in Christ.

In John 10:10 Jesus told us that one of the reasons He came was so that we, His followers, could have true life and have it in abundance. There’s a double meaning there. In one sense He was talking about eternal life. But He was also talking about this life too. Jesus meant that He wants us to find peace and contentment, a full and enjoyable life now, through our relationship with Him.

The deep, settled, serene, and joyful life that Jesus was describing simply isn’t achieved through worldly achievements and possessions. Achievements and possessions have their place, they come to us as gifts from God, but that’s not where the real joy and abundance comes from. My friends Dick and Jean modeled that truth beautifully. Jesus offers us the gift of being our best selves, through our relationship with Him. We’ll think some more about this tomorrow.

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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