I Got You Babe (Wednesday)

by Hannah Alford

Monday we learned that about how service can be hard when you’re young. But what about when you start to run low on resources? Resources can mean anything; it can be time, money, even motivation, and God will always be right there to provide for us. 2 Corinthians 9:8 states, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” God has “got you babe” and he will help you through your journey to evangelize his good works and spread his love to every corner of the world. Let’s look back to Cher’s song…

 

“They say our love won’t pay the rent,

Before it’s earned, our money’s all been spent

I guess that’s so we don’t have a plot

But at least I’m sure of all the things we’ve got…”

 

We know that the worst thing isn’t the last thing, even when we think we have nothing left, when all the cards are against us and some might think our story is over, God is still actively working in our lives to give us everything we need to complete his good works. If you think about it that way, the bad times are necessary to give us experience and wisdom, the good times too, but everything is representative of God’s active role in our lives.

I Got You Babe (Monday)

by Ruth Hallstead

Last week we learned all about stepping up to serve others. That can be hard for so many reasons, and unfortunately the biggest reason is something we have absolutely no control over; our age and experience level. So often, we are discounted and pushed to the side. Yet that’s not the way it has to be or the way it should be. Paul wrote to Timothy about this very issue in 1st Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young”. Great, that sounds pretty straightforward; how hard can it be? If you’re like me, it is very hard. I struggle to ignore naysayers and overcome the low expectations set up immediately upon learning my age.  I start feeling like no matter what I do, it will somehow come back to my age and I will be looked down on. It is in moments like these that we can turn to Cher. Just kidding, turn to the Bible… but Cher does sum it up very elegantly,

“They say we’re young and we don’t know
We won’t find out until we grow
Well I don’t know if all that’s true
‘Cause you got me, and baby I got you…”

God has us. We can rest secure in that knowledge. We don’t need to listen to the doubters. We’ve got God and He has us, and that’s enough. Mark tells of Jesus picking up the little children and holding them in his arms. While He may not literally hold us, every day He is holding us, raising us up, and guiding us in following Him. Despite our youth, we’ve got this, because we’ve got Him.

A Thousand Miles (Wednesday)

Many of you probably know about the parable of the Good Samaritan. As is my norm, in case you don’t, quick story time (for the full version check out Luke 10:25-37ish).  Okayyyy…. So. This guy is walking down the road and he gets attacked and is hurting pretty bad and all of these people pass by (including a priest and one of the “good guys”) and don’t help.  Then, this Samaritan guy (aka the one who is supposedly less holy) walks by and is like “bro, that looks pretty bad, let me help” and he gets the hurt guy all bandaged up and sets him up in a hotel and pays for his stay and makes a plan for the guy to be taken care of even without him.  Now, this parable is directly about knowing who your neighbor is.  Jesus is making the point that our “neighbor” is anyone, thus, when we are commanded to “love our neighbor as ourself,” we really need to love everyone that way. But, I’ve always wondered why the first two guys didn’t stop to help – is it because they simply didn’t have time? They thought they were too good to help this man? Maybe they figured he brought it on himself, after all maybe he looked like the type of person that would be caught up in all that…  I always thought it was interesting that the “bad guy” stopped and I always wondered if it was because he understood.  Maybe he knew what it was like to be beaten up. Maybe someone helped him. This week you’ve already read devotionals about showing up for people and loving sacrificially and this man did both and so can we, because we might not have the exact same struggles as someone else, but we know what it’s like to be beaten up by sin and someone (Jesus) helped us out.  We always know that we’re supposed to serve, but, for me, remembering why makes all the difference in whether I stop or walk on by.

A Thousand Miles (Tuesday)

by Hannah Alford

On campus, we can get in a rut just thinking about ourselves and our needs and wants. How many times a day do we say the word “I” when Paul calls us to be servants of God under the direction of Jesus. Romans 12:1 states. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship.” Sacrifice is a word with heavy connotation, usually negative people think of sacrifice as having to give something up, or loss of some kind; but this is not the sacrifice that Paul is referencing. This sacrifice although it does carry loss, has a glorious gain in the end. On Tuesday nights you sacrifice study time or going out to go to Wesley and that’s wonderful! But to truly live by Paul’s advice the best way to praise God is to serve others, give up our time to help those who need it. Maybe you don’t have much time to give, then you could do something simple like pray for someone else while walking to class, you are serving the person who you are praying for and are bettering that person and yourself through prayer. Finding ways to serve can be hard, but once you find the joy in serving you become closer to God and the community you are supporting!

A Thousand Miles (Monday)

….and you were sad, very sad without the usual crowd. Check out today’s devo! (there’s no more cringe-worthy parodying, promise)

by Ruth Hallstead

There are people in this word that will drop everything the second they are needed by another. That somebody you can call (and wake up) at 2 am who will listen to your existential crisis, who will wake up at 4 am to take you to the airport, who shows up at your door with cookies when they hear you’ve had a rough day, that person who would walk 1000 miles to rescue you. They don’t do it for recognition, they do it because it’s who they are, it’s their way to show love. While somedays they may move mountains for you, other times they simply say hello, and that’s enough. It’s not big, and they may not even remember doing it, but it made your day. The focus today though, is for you to be that person for someone. God asks us to “love our neighbors”, and simply showing up is one of the best ways to do that. Even if you can’t fix your friend’s broken pipe, you can mop up the water, you can be a shoulder to cry on in frustration, you can simply be present as living proof that they are loved. Serving others is hard, but still harder is helping with the little things, the in-the-moment, personal crises. Sometimes it seems like you’re not doing enough. You’re not in Houston, cleaning up flood waters; nor are you in Mexico, attempting to salvage things from the rubble of earthquakes; you’re not even in a homeless shelter in Tuscaloosa. It may not seem like serving others when you send someone a text wishing them a great week, but you are. John 3:30 says that “This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines” (The Message). God is the important one. No job is too small to be important, because that’s not what it is about, that’s never what it was about. God is the star, we are simply the stage hands making his love known to the world.

What’s Your Name (Thursday)

Mark 5:21-34

Do you ever feel like you’re so busy you might explode?  Just me?  When I get overstressed, my first move is to lock myself away in a study room and tell my friends that I’ll see them another time.  Far too often, my work comes first and people come somewhere way at the bottom, after I’ve passed my test or finished just one more essay. At the outset of this story, Jesus was pretty busy – He had just gotten into town, there was a crowd surrounding Him expecting great things, and He was on the way to heal a girl on her deathbed.  I’m stressed out just thinking about the pressure.  But, in the midst of all the chaos, He stops everything when he feels a tug on His hem.  He made time to listen and care for this woman.  If He had had tunnel vision on his task, he might not have even felt her reaching for Him, but by being available to the Lord’s interruptions and making time to really listen to this woman’s complaint he was able to change her life.  As someone who is trying to learn how to be more like Jesus, I feel pretty challenged by this story.  How often have I maybe missed something the Lord was trying to do because I was too wrapped up in my own schedule? Where, in my life, can I be more intentional about learning someone’s name and story?