Daily Devotion for October 26, 2020

Distance and Direction
I love to play golf, especially in beautiful and peaceful surroundings with family, friends or even alone. I am not a good golfer at all, but I have moments when I hit a couple good shots and I have made a par or even a birdie on a hole! Good holes, however, are a rarity. So often I have hit a ball out of play in the Cherokee marsh, or I take nine or 10 strokes to get the ball in the hole while others make it in five. Golf is a simple game that comes down to accurately and consistently hitting the ball in the right direction with the right distance. Distance and direction. Simple, but not easy.
Life of faith is also not easy, yet there is simplicity of direction and distance. The apostle Paul exclaimed, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Paul has come to understand that salvation does not come by human effort and works. Rather, right relationship with God is a gift of grace as we trust in Jesus Christ. Paul is determined to trust in the grace of God until one day he finishes the race of life and wins the heavenly prize. In I Corinthians 2:2 Paul speaks of this fervent direction of his life by saying, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” In Ephesians 2:8-9. “ For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Paul’s life direction is clearly trust in God’s goodness and grace as revealed in Christ Jesus.
Our direction? Faith in Christ!! What a relief! My relationship with God is not all up to me! God’s love is a gift, freely given. I will trust, and not be afraid. What about distance? We run this race of life and faith as a marathon. If we try to sprint in our own strength we burn out, tire out and risk collapsing along the way and giving up. Rather, we are called to run this race of life and faith trusting in the one who fills us with the Holy Spirit and who sustains us, Jesus the resurrected Christ. Further, we have a community of faith around us, called the Church, to remind us of God’s sustaining presence. Our cooperative part with Christ is to keep delving into scripture, keep praying, keep serving, keep growing in grace until one day we hear the commendation from the crucified and risen one, “Well done, though good and faithful servant.”

Gracious God, as we direct our hearts to you, remind us your love, fill us with your Spirit and allow us to lean upon your grace and trust in your goodness. As we stay focused on your mercy, strengthen us for our ongoing journey of faith and witness we ask. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.