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Sunday Worship Videos

Select a link below to view past videos of sermons. Don’t forget to also check out Pastor Paul’s blog!

 

Sunday, June 13, 2021
The Best Advice Ever – The Wisdom of Jesus – How to Be Great
Current Video Shown Above

Sunday, June 6, 2021
Breathing Deep – The Future of Worship

Sunday, May 30, 2021
Breathing Deep – Ways of Worshiping

Sunday, May 23, 2021
Breathing Deep – Why do we worship, and Pentecost

Sunday, May 16, 2021
Confirmation Sunday

Sunday, May 9, 2021
Messy Families – Celebrating Mothers

Sunday, May 2, 2021
Messy Families – Parenting Our Parents
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Messy Families – Connecting Family Systems

Sunday, April 18, 2021
Messy Families – Love & Logic Parenting

Sunday, April 11, 2021
Messy Families – Communicating

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

Holy Thursday, April 1, 2021

Sunday, March 28, 2021
The Sermon on the Mount – The Golden Rule
Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 21, 2021
The Sermon on the MountYou are Enough

Sunday, March 14, 2021
The Sermon on the Mount –  Don’t Judge Me

Sunday, March 7, 2021 
The Sermon on the Mount – Motivation for our faith

Sunday, February 28, 2021
The Sermon on the Mount – the Extensions

Sunday, February 21, 2021
The Sermon on the Mount – the Beatitudes

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Local Impact

ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO VOLUNTEER AT FOOD PICK-UP LOCATIONS?

 

Hope for the Community 
Every Thursday, Hope for the Community at Hope Church, 1264 109th Avenue NE, Blaine, provides food for approximately 700 families. The third Thursday of each month is designated as Chain of Lakes Volunteer Day. 

Volunteer any time you are available Thursday between 9am –  5pm, or choose one of the suggested shifts: 10am – noon; noon – 2pm; 2pm – 5pm. Once you are there, ask for Jeff – he will give you instructions and get you started

Volunteers are also needed on Wednesdays, noon to 2:30 to prepare for Thursday.

Manna Market
Substance Church,
8299 Central Ave NE                   
Spring Lake Park, MN 55432  
 

Mondays ~ 2:30pm – 8pm
Thursdays ~ 2:30pm- 8pm
Fridays ~ 2:30am – 8pm        
Saturdays ~ 8am – Noon                                                      
Enter Door 5, Go to Registration Desk

Wear work clothing, comfortable shoes, bring your own mask and gloves


ARE YOU ABLE TO DONATE MEALS?

Stepping Stone Emergency Housing

3300 4th Ave N, Cronin Building #14, Anoka, MN 55303

Provide food for 66 people

For details ~ call 763.208.8049

Sharon Pederson will return your call

This is a great service project for an entire family

___________

 
 

 ARE YOU IN NEED OF FOOD?                   

Drive Through Food Pick up Locations

Substance Church,  Manna Market
8299 Central Ave NE                   
Spring Lake Park, MN 55432      

Food Pick up Times:
Mondays ~ 4pm – 6pm
Thursdays ~ 4pm – 6pm
Saturdays ~ 10am – 11:30am

Hope Church, Hope for the Community
1264 109th Ave NE
Blaine, MN 55434

Food Pick up Times:
Thursday ~ 10am – 5pm

If you are in line before the end time, you will receive food, while supplies last

ANOKA COUNTY TRANSIT LINK IS COORDINATING WITH FOOD SHELVES TO DELIVER FOOD FOR FREE

Contact your local food shelf and ask them to have your goods delivered by Anoka County Transit Link. More information at Grocery and Goods Delivery – Metropolitan Council (metrocouncil.org)

GET A FREE FACEMASK

Wearing a facemask in public areas, along with social distancing, helps prevent the spread of the corona virus. Volunteers at Chain of Lakes are sewing masks, and offering them free of charge to anyone who needs one. Call the office to make sure the church will be open – 763.208.8049.
 
Printed instructions for sewing a mask, and for making a mask with no sewing, are also available at the church, or get the PDF from the Center for Disease Control.
 
ENDING HOMELESSNESS THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS
The Local Impact team wants  to be part of a movement that ends homelessness among youth and adults in Anoka County. The team does this through partnerships with groups who directly help serve homeless youth and homeless adults.
 
Since its existence Chain of Lakes has established partnerships with the following schools:
  • Blaine High School
  • Anoka Regional High School
  • Anoka Technical High School
  • Spring Lake Park School District
  • River Trail Learning Center at L.O. Jacob
The Local Impact Team has organized many events to help serve at:
 

Daily Devotions

Daily devotions, organized by week. Comments about the devotion can be emailed to pastor@colpres.org

Monday, June 14

Read Mark 9:33-37

The followers of Jesus, who we know as apostles, knew that had messed up as they were discussing who was the greatest. When Jesus asked them what they were talking about, they were silent. Busted.

Jesus had a deep desire to teach his followers about what it means to be great. Jesus wouldn’t have been critical of the apostles for talking about being great. He would have wanted to teach them a different understanding of what it means to be great.

We can only guess how the apostles understood greatness as they were arguing with each other. Most likely they understood it to be according to rank or status or intelligence or other qualities that the people in the world often reward.

In this story, Jesus changed the understanding of what it means to be great. “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

This wisdom saying of Jesus appeared in other places in the gospels. Jesus was communicating that to be first in the Kingdom, one must serve.

Do you have a story of serving that has stayed with you, an example that illustrates this saying of Jesus?

 

Tuesday, June 15

Read Mark 10:43-45

Jesus again shared a wisdom statement that to be great a person must be a servant. 

This time Jesus shared himself as an example. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

A new philosophy of leadership has developed called “servant leadership.” Robert Greenleaf was the founder of this philosophy of leadership. A servant leader is interested in helping the people being served become healthier, wiser, freer, and more likely to be servants themselves. The servant leader thinks about the interests of the people being served instead of the interest of the leader. 

Jesus is the best example of being a servant leader.

Who is a person who illustrates these qualities of being a servant leader? Who do you know who communicates that he or she is interested in helping others to be the best version of themselves?

 

Wednesday, June 16

Read Luke 22:24-30

One of the metaphors that Jesus used for a leader is the place that a person chooses to sit at a table. Really, Jesus was asking the question, “Who is first in the Kingdom? Is the person who is sitting at the head of the table or the person who serves.”

Jesus answered the question himself by sharing that a true leader is a person who serves and doesn’t automatically believe that he or she must sit at the head of the table.

At this point in Luke the Apostles did not understand this teaching, as they were still disputing with each other who was the greatest.

Jesus was saying yet again that to be great one must not receive from others, but look to serve others.

Yesterday you identified a person who is an excellent servant. Who is a role model that you have for the type of service that Jesus is teaching? A person who you probably don’t know at all, but a person with whom you are familiar. You look up to this person because the person models excellent leadership. Who would this person be for you?

 

Thursday, June 17

Read John 13:12-17

The story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet the night before he died is one of the best examples of leadership ever shared.

Jesus had every reason to be focused on himself at this moment. He knew that he was going to be killed, that the death would be painful, and that many of his followers might fall away from him. 

Yet he was not focused on himself or his own needs. He was focused on setting an example of what it means to be a leader. His model was to wash the disciples’ feet.

The words in verses 16-17 are especially significant. “Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things you are blessed if you do them.”

Jesus found blessing and greatness through serving.

Do you have a story of experiencing blessing through service?

 

Friday, June 18

Read Matthew 23:8-12

“All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

Jesus consistently taught that the quality of humility is another very important characteristic of being great. Unfortunately, humility is not well understood. 

Humility is not downplaying yourself in front of others. In his sermon on Sunday Pastor Paul shared four characteristics of humility.  They are letting go of control; knowing that we don’t have everything figured out; looking to learn from others; acknowledging when we mess up.

Which of these four characteristics are hard for you? Ask God for help today.

 

Saturday, June 19

Read Matthew 20:20-28

Jesus understood the desire that some have to be great. The mother of James and John had a desire for her sons to be great. She came to Jesus with her two sons and asked Jesus if the two could sit at the right hand of Jesus in the Kingdom. Her motivation for asking was so the two would be great.

Jesus responded in a surprising way. He didn’t criticize the mother for making such an audacious request of Jesus. He understood and accepted the desire to be great. Instead, he communicated a different understanding of greatness.  To be great meant people needed to serve.

Jesus wanted people to be great.

What can you do in the next month to be great? Is there a particular way you can serve?

This week we are going to try an experiment. We are going to read the same Scripture verse every day and reflect on a significant word in that verse. See if you can memorize the verse as the verse is very significant for our faith. The verse is this:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Each day this week we are going to focus on a word in this verse and then go deeper with that word. 

 

Monday, June 7

Read Romans 12:2

The first word we will explore this week is “conformed.” In this verse the Apostle Paul wrote, “do not be conformed to this world.” The word conformed has the sense of pattern. Do not be patterned after the ways of the world. Paul did not believe that the world was evil or bad, but he did believe and teach that some qualities of the world were not helpful, healthy or whole.

In Galatians 5:19 he wrote that the works of the flesh are fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, and carousing. These fifteen words certainly don’t make up the ways of the world. But the Apostle Paul would not want followers of Jesus to conform to these values.

Which of these fifteen words do you struggle with the most? If you have extra courage, share the word in the comment section of Facebook. And then ask for prayers from others. No person is exempt from being susceptible to at least one of these fifteen. At the very least ask for help from God that you don’t conform to that way of the world.

 

Tuesday, June 8

Read Romans 12:2

The second word we will explore is “transform.” Paul wrote that Jesus came into the world so that people could experience transformation. Though it could be, this transformation is not just a one-time “come to Jesus moment.” Transformation happens over time and can happen in thousands of small instances.

The word transformation is like a metamorphosis. Our inner spirit is moving and changing and being transformed towards something special. 

One reason to come to worship is to experience this inward transformation. Our inner spirit is growing towards something beautiful. 

One way to think more specifically about transformation is the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:5. The individual parts of the Fruit of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. When we grow in each one of these words we are experiencing transformation.

Which one of these words come naturally for you? Which one is harder?

 

Wednesday, June 9

Read Romans 12:2

Paul wrote that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. The word “renewing” is an important one to know. Each day we want to experience some sort of renewal. We are connected and re-connected to God. Our mind is renewed.

Our prayer practices can help with the renewing of our mind. Some people have trouble with a racing mind. If this describes how your mind works, learn how to slow down or renew your mind. Take a moment to sit still. Stop focusing on your racing mind. Instead focus on your breath. Close your eyes and focus on your intake and outtake of breath. If a thought comes to you gently push it away. Just focus on breathing. This exercise can help renew your mind.

Try this exercise and share in the Facebook comments section how the experience worked for you.

 

Thursday, June 10

Read Romans 12:2

An important word in this verse is “discern.” Another way to think of the word, “discern” is testing. We are always testing if the way that we are choosing is the will or way of God.

God is always leading us and wanting us to choose the direction of God. We are discerning this direction.

An important question is “how do I test if the way I am choosing is God’s way?” This is where our faith practices are so important. Through our prayer life, through our own worship, through our service and our giving we are put into a situation where we can discern God’s way. The way we practice our faith is significant for discerning the direction of God for us.

Have you had a time in your own life where a faith practice helped you discern the direction of God for you?

 

Friday, June 11

Read Romans 12:2

The “will of God” might seem to be this big idea that is impossible for any of us to discern. But often we make more of the “will of God” than is really there.

The will of God is similar to the desires of God. What does God desire of me in this current moment of my life? As we looked at yesterday, our faith practices can help us discern God’s desires for us.

The will of God is not a pre-ordained condition that was decided a long time ago; the will of God is not necessarily one distinct path and all the other paths are wrong; the will of God could be multiple paths.

What have you found to be helpful to you in discerning the will of God or the way of God? Your stories can help others in this vitally important task.

 

Saturday, June 12

Read Romans 12:2

The will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect or complete.  If you are trying to discern what God desires for you right now in a specific situation, ask the question, what is good, acceptable, and complete?

Sometimes asking a friend for discernment is helpful. Ask your friend that you are trying to discern direction from God and you are trying to figure out what is most good, acceptable and perfect. Your friend can help you do this.

Do you have a friend or even family member who can be a guide for you as you are discerning? If you don’t perhaps spend some time talking to God about who can be a guide for you. Having another person who you trust who can help you figure out what is good, acceptable, and complete is important for us. Who would your person be?

This week we have the opportunity to read stories from the Scriptures about worship. Enjoy!

Monday, May 31

Read Genesis 8:20-22

The first thing that Noah did after he descended from the ark was to worship God. If we look at this story, we don’t see the word “worship” used. Instead, we’ll notice that Noah offered a burnt offering on the altar.  This is how the people of Noah’s day understood worship. In worship people offered an animal sacrifice to God.

To our mind this is a strange way to worship God; no one today kills an animal, puts it on a fire and offers it to God as an act of worship.

However, we can understand the intention of worship in this story. God received the odor of the sacrifice and was pleased. When we worship God, we want to see ourselves as offering ourselves to God. God is the audience of worship. Whether we are leading worship or sitting with others, together the worship is offered to God. We want God to be pleased with what we share.

Pastor Paul encourages everyone to pray for worship that will happen on the upcoming Sunday. Would you pray daily this week the following prayer, “Lord, may you accept our sacrifice of worship this upcoming Sunday. May this worship service be pleasing to you.” Can you do this?

Tuesday, June 1

Read Genesis 22:1-5

This is a difficult story to read. It’s hard to understand why God would ask Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Later in the story we read that it was never God’s intention for Isaac to be killed. Instead, God wanted to test the faith of Abraham.

In verse five we read that Abraham saw the request of God as an act of worship. He said the following to the young men who were with him. “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Genesis 22:5

If we don’t see worship as a sacrifice it might seem very bizarre for the word “worship” to be used in this story. But if we see that Abraham understood a sacrifice as a form of worship, the inclusion of the word, “worship” makes sense.

One way that worship is described is a sacrifice of praise. This phrase comes from the book of Hebrews. When we worship God we are devoting our entire heart to God. Our worship is like a sacrifice of praise.

How easy is it for you to think of your own worship of God as a sacrifice of praise?

Wednesday, June 2

Read Exodus 20:2-4 & Deuteronomy 5:6-8

In these two places we see what is at stake when it comes to worship. In these two readings we read the first of the ten Commandments. The first Commandment is “you shall have no other gods before me.”

This Commandment is very relevant to our own worship of God. When we gather with others in a worship space we are gathering to worship God—the first part of the Trinity. We are acknowledging in worship that God is first in our life.

It’s hard to think that we might worship something else. But think of how easy it is to put other “stuff” before God. This “stuff” can get in the way of our own relationship and in the way of worshiping God.

Do you have stuff that you see yourself putting ahead of God? What gods do you have that you sometimes worship? You might not bow down to these other gods, but they certainly demand our allegiance. And sometimes our allegiance is ahead of our allegiance to God.

To what idols are you susceptible? It might not be easy to come up with an answer to this question, but knowing the answer is very important for our own faith.

Thursday, June 3

Read 2 Kings 17:24-28

When the people were exiled from Israel and Judah their allegiance to God disappeared.  As we read in this story, “when they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord. …” 2 Kings 17:25

We can guess that the people were very upset with God about what had happened. Many who were forced into exile had suffered the loss of their family and friends. They thought that God would protect them from tragedy. When this happened, they stopped worshiping God.

Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you were upset with God and stopped worshiping? Perhaps you’ve had times when you were apathetic about God or mad at your local congregation, and you stopped worship. But have you ever had an experience like what happened in this story, when you were angry with God and stopped worshiping?

Fortunately, God does not leave us to our own devices. It took the king of Assyria to send religious leaders to the people to inspire their worship. The key point is God did not leave the people in their deep sorrow.

Friday, June 4

Read John 4:16-26

This is the lengthiest discussion that Jesus had about worship. Eight times in this story the word “worship” is used. Samaritans and Jews had a significant disagreement about the place of worship. Samaritans thought that God had to be worshiped on a mountain; Jews thought that God had to be worshiped in the Temple.

In this story Jesus changed the location of worship. Essentially, he taught the Samaritan woman that the location of worship is not ultimately important. What is important is that people worship God in spirit and truth.

Jesus was teaching her and teaching us that the location of worship is not most important. What is important is the attitude of our heart—that we worship God in spirit and truth.

In general, how is your attitude when you worship God?  

Saturday, June 5

Read Revelation 4:6b-11

One way to think of heaven is a realm where people are constantly worshiping God. These verses from Revelation share a picture of what this consistent worship might look like.

The creatures in this story are bizarre and the vision might seem to be a bit strange.  What is not strange is what they were doing. They were worshiping the one who lives forever and ever. They were singing. Revelation 4:10

One way that worship is described is a foretaste of heaven. What we do as the gathered community is a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

The next time you worship, think of the experience as a foretaste of heaven.

Monday, May 24

Read Acts 2:37-42

This reading starts out with the people being “cut to the heart.” Their insides were touched deeply about what they had just seen and what they had just heard from Peter.

The people had learned that Jesus was alive. God had taken Jesus from death—a death that many people in the crowd had probably witnessed. The people learned that Jesus was alive—he was at the right hand of God in heaven. Peter declared that God did not view the people in the crowd with enmity.

With this new realization of what happened, the people were touched deeply—they were practically cut to the heart. As a response to being touched deeply, the people engaged in worship. They repented of their sins and were baptized.

Our motivation to come to worship weekly is similar to the experience of this group of people. When we come to realize all that God has done for us, how can we not respond but through worship?

On Sunday, Pastor Paul talked about the power of salvation. Everyone is offered the gift of life after death. We will experience perfection in heaven.

He went on to share that when we are in heaven it’s quite possible that we will think, “I wish I had worshiped God more while I was on earth. If I had known this was coming, I would have responded more deeply.”

Today reflect on the gift of salvation that you are given. How does this gift prompt you to want to worship God?

 Tuesday, May 25

Read Psalm 100

“Know that the Lord is God. It is [God] that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

Knowing that God is creator prompted the Psalmist to want to worship.

“Enter [God’s] gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to [God], bless his name.” Psalm 100:4

Each of us has many reasons for coming to worship. We might want to see friends, we might be interested in the topic of the sermon, we might have a task that we have to perform. 

The most important reason to come to worship is to give thanks to God for what God has given to us. Yesterday we looked at the gift of salvation; today we read about God making or creating us.

Each of us has 168 hours during the week. By coming to worship we are giving one hour (or so) back to God for the gifts that God has given us. Doesn’t this seem fair?

Wednesday, May 26

Read Exodus 20:2-4

In these verses we read about the first two Commandments of the ten Commandments. They both have to do with worship.

In the first Commandment, we are told “you shall have no other gods before me.” Another way to think about this is we are to worship no other gods except God.

It’s highly unlikely that we would go to a service and actually worship another god. However, the way we live our life might reflect a skewed sense of priorities. What grabs most of our attention? To what do we give our time and our talents, and our treasures? What is first in our life?

God told Moses that God wants to be first in the lives of each person in humanity. We are not to put anything else first.

How are you doing at putting God first?

Thursday, May 27

Read Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah received a powerful vision of God in the Temple. He saw God sitting on a throne with seraphs around God and with the seraphs proclaiming the holiness of God.

Isaiah was touched by this vision. So much so that he responded through an act of worship. He acknowledged that he had sinned, he was a man of “unclean lips”. He responded to this vision by sharing an act of worship.

Really Isaiah’s response is the same response as the people in the story of Pentecost—the story we read on Monday. Isaiah was “cut to the heart.” He responded by worship.

When is the last time that you were “cut to the heart?” When have you had an experience that was so marvelous and powerful that you could think of doing nothing else except offering yourself to God in worship?

Friday, May 28

Read John 4:19-26

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman, Jews and Samaritans had a significant difference about the proper place to worship. Samaritans believed that Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, was the place designated by God for worship. To learn more about this read Deuteronomy 11:26-30 and 27:1-13.

Jesus changed the importance of the location of worship. “The hour is coming,” he said “when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship. God is spirit and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

One idea that Jesus was teaching is it doesn’t matter the location of our worship. People can worship God anywhere. They could worship God on Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem, or whatever setting they find themselves. What is important is the attitude of our spirits. We share our spirits in truth with God through worship. The location doesn’t matter; the attitude of our heart does matter.

How would you describe the attitude of your own heart when you worship God?

Saturday, May 29

Read Matthew 14:22-33

This past week we’ve read stories where people were touched deeply by something that happened. We read about the people at Pentecost, and David in Psalm 100, and Isaiah who had a deep experience of God. Their response to God was to worship.

The same order happens in this story. The disciples saw Jesus walk on water during a storm. They saw Jesus calm the storm. They felt like their lives had been saved. Something significant had happened.

When Jesus came into the boat the disciples could not help but worship him. They literally bowed down and prostrated themselves in front of Jesus.

It might be too much to think that we could have these types of experiences in every week of our lives. However, the realization of what God has done does prompt us to worship. Tomorrow when you worship, reflect on what motivates you to go. Do your best to reflect and be open to all that God has done for you. May your motivation for worship be the powerful gifts that God gives to each of us.

This week we have the opportunity to read about humility. Humility has been called the mother of all virtues. Hopefully as you read the devotion this week, you can grow in humility. Enjoy!

Monday, May 17

Read Luke 15:11-32

This past Sunday Pastor Paul preached about humility. The reading that was shared was this story. He shared that this story is his favorite in the entire Bible.

We can learn so much about humility in this story. Each of the actions of each character can be seen as a reflection of humility.

Take time to read the story.

Look at the actions of the father. He illustrated humility on two different occasions. First, at the beginning of the story he gave his younger son the share of his property. In retrospect we can see that his action led to destruction. But put those thoughts away and look at the actions of the father as an action of humility. The father was willing to do something that was risky; he was willing to give his younger son the benefit of the doubt; he was willing to trust his younger son. In knowing the entire story we can look at the father’s actions and say, “but, but, and but …” But try to put yourself in the father’s shoes at that particular moment to get a taste of his own humility.

The second place he illustrated humility was when his younger son came back. If the father had been full of pride, he would have punished his son. “You disgraced yourself and our family and lost all of this money.” And though that statement was true, the father didn’t express it. Instead, he embraced his flawed son.

Is the father a role model for you? If your answer is “yes” share how he is.

 Tuesday, May 18

Read Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus described himself in these three verses.  One of the verses is “I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

At the core of the character of Jesus is humility.

Take a moment to reflect on the ministry of Jesus. Think how often he shared himself in a humble way. He was always looking out for the interest of others. He was not trying to win attention or even be the center of attention.  Ironically, it was his own humility that brought Jesus so much attention.

To what extent do you think of humility as a core principle of Jesus. When someone says, “Jesus” do you initially think of humility?

As you pray today, give thanks for the humility of Jesus.

 

Wednesday, May 19

Read Matthew 18:1-5

Becoming great is something that everyone is encouraged to attain. In these verses Jesus changed the traditional understanding of what it means to be great.

Jesus said that to become great a person first must become humble. He pointed to a child as an example of humility.

Usually, to be great a person is thought of as having great knowledge or wisdom or fame or money or accomplishments.  But Jesus didn’t mention these qualities.  He mentioned humility.  “Be humble like a child and you will be the greatest in the kingdom.” (Matthew 18:4)

We rarely hear people say that to become great a person must become humble. Why do you think our culture has not embraced Jesus’ understanding of greatness?

 

Thursday, May 20

Read Ephesians 4:1-6

The Apostle Paul shared a beautiful description of the life of a follower of Jesus. Live a life worthy of your call, he mentioned in verse one. Specifically live your life with “all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Ephesians 4:2-3.

These two verses are worth memorizing. They are worth writing out and putting in locations where you will see them every day.

Think how the world would be different if every person lived by this motto.

Each of us can’t make other people live by this motto; however, we can commit ourselves to living by this motto.

What is one small step you can take today to live out these two verses?

 

Friday, May 21

Read 1 Peter 5:1-11

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because God cares for you.”

We might believe that to humble ourselves we put ourselves down in front of God and in front of others. Doing that is false humility and is not what humbling oneself means.

Humbling oneself means we are open to learning from others. To be humble means we admit to ourselves that we don’t have all the answers, and it is okay not to have all the answers. It’s acknowledging that God does have the answers that we need. It’s turning to God with anticipation that we can receive something special from God—something we can’t receive from ourselves.

We might think that humbling ourselves is an act of self-degradation. It is not this at all. Instead, it is a recognition that our self is not the center of the Universe.

Others have ideas and suggestions that are important to hear and incorporate into our life. It’s saying to another person, “I’m interested in your thoughts and ideas because your they might be the way I need to go.”

Who do you know who is an example of this type of humility? This is a person who is very curious to learn from others.

 

Saturday, May 22

Read Luke 15:11-32

At the end of the week we’re back to the story where we began at the beginning of the week. As we read on Monday, each of the actions of each character can be seen as a reflection of humility.

Look at verse seventeen. The younger brother came to himself. The younger brother could see that his life messed up. He understood he was responsible for his mess. His actions had caused his mess.

When he came to himself, he went from a person of pride to a person of humility.

Look at how he demonstrated humility with his father. First, he confessed his sin, recognizing his actions were wrong; second, he admitted that he wasn’t worthy to be called his father’s son; third, he was willing to suffer the consequences of his actions by becoming a servant in his own father’s home. This is humility. It’s his willingness to suffer the consequences of his actions.

How easy is it for you to admit that you messed up?

When we admit that we are wrong we are not putting ourselves down. Instead, it’s speaking the truth in love and ultimately, showing humility.

The Bible has all sorts of stories about mothers.  This week we have the opportunity to read some of them.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 10

Read Exodus 1:22-2:10

Moses, one of the greatest people in the Old Testament, almost didn’t survive beyond the first year of his life.  It was only because of the courage of three women that he lived.

It was a dangerous time. The Pharaoh of the time was extremely upset and threatened by the growing number of Israelite boys. He ordered that all the male Israelite children under two be killed.

Amidst this chilling and frightening decree three women displayed courage to save Moses. Jochebed, the biological mother of Moses, hid Moses in a basket so that Pharaoh and his minions wouldn’t see him. Moses’ sister, Miriam, stood watch to protect Moses from anyone who would threaten him.  And the daughter of Pharaoh—the man who pronounced a death sentence on the children—was willing to have Moses nursed by a Hebrew woman. How ironic that Miriam, one of her attendants, was able to maneuver the situation so Jochebed, the mother of Moses, nursed Moses!

Today as you pray give thanks to God for these three women—Jochebed, Miriam, and the daughter of Pharaoh. Their display of courage allowed baby Moses to live.

All of our mothers have displayed courage. Think of a time when your mom was especially courageous

Tuesday, May 11

Read Mark 3:20-35, Luke 2:41-52

It might be easy to think that Jesus had a perfect family life, but this was not so. His family experienced many messes. Once Mary and Joseph lost track of Jesus for three days. Another time Mary and the brothers of Jesus came to take control of Jesus because they were worried that Jesus had lost his balance.

Jesus went on to say at the end of the third chapter of Mark that “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”  Mark 3:35. It had to be painful for the family of Jesus, especially for Mary, to hear these words. Jesus had a higher calling than his own family.  He wasn’t as available to his family as his family would have liked. The level of public involvement by Jesus must have caused sadness in his family. 

The myth of the perfect family is just that—a myth.  All of our families are messy. No matter how we view our family, may we know that the messes in our own family are similar to the messes that Jesus experienced in his family.  

 

Wednesday, May 12

Read 1 Samuel 1:10-11, 19-20, 24-28, 2:18-19

Hannah was an incredibly courageous woman who is a role model for being a parent.  She stayed devoted to her husband, Elkanah, even though another of his wives (Peninnah) teased Hannah about Hannah’s inability to have children.

When Hannah was accused by Eli the priest of being drunk, Hannah stood up for herself.  She explained that she wasn’t drunk, but instead had been praying in a very deep way. Hannah wasn’t willing to let the false accusation of a religious person define her. She also didn’t let the teasing of Peninnah maker her bitter.

Hannah eventually was able to conceive a child. But even then she was willing to give her child to the Lord. Hannah’s son was Samuel—one of the most famous prophets in the Old Testament. After Samuel stopped breast feeding, Hannah gave Samuel away. He was trained to be a priest. 

Ultimately Hannah wouldn’t let other people define her. Her identity was firmly set in God. As you pray today, pray that your own sense of identity can be like Hannah’s—firmly set in God.

 

Thursday, May 13

Read Proverbs 31:15-30

The writer of Proverbs shared a vision of life as a woman and as a mother. This beautiful vision was written in a culture that did not value women. The main purposes of women at that time were to be a good wife and to be a good mother to children.

Nonetheless, these verses transcend the time.

Enjoy some parts of this vision.

“She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. (verse 15)

She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong (verse 17)

She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. (verse 20)”

If you have some extra time today, you might write a similar Proverb about your own mother. What are the qualities about her which you most respect?  If you wrote a proverb for her, what would you write? 

 

Friday, May 14

Read Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-4

The passages in Ephesians pointed back to the 4th Commandment.  In that Commandment all of us are told to honor our father and our mother.

This commandment has been misused at times to demand that children obey their parents. However, the Commandment wasn’t issued to be used in such an authoritarian way.

One of the tasks of a parent is to earn the honor of their children. If you are a parent, think about what can do to continue to earn the honor of your children. Your children should honor you—most definitely!  But they have a choice about whether they will honor you.  Their choice will depend on how we love them. 

Today as we pray, talk to God about how you can love the children in your life even more. What can you do to earn their honor? If you don’t have children, talk to God about children you know, who you love.

 

Saturday, May 15

Read Isaiah 49:8-15, Psalm 131

Many images of God are used in the Bible and some of the images are feminine.

Isaiah made the case that God would not forget the people of Israel when Isaiah said this about God:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb?”  Isaiah 49:15

The Psalmist wrote about the feminine characteristics of God:

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.”  Psalm 131:2

Gender does not contain God. But we can understand God through the characteristics of our parents—and certainly through our mother.  

Reflect today about how your own mother displayed characteristics of God. 

This week we have the opportunity to read about aging and caring for those who are older than us. Enjoy!

Monday, May 3

Read Genesis 5:25-27

Methuselah was the oldest person mentioned in the Bible. According to Genesis 5:26 he lived to be 969 years, the longest life of anyone mentioned in the Bible.

According to the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible Methuselah means “man of shelakh.” Shelakh represents either the name of a weapon or the name of a Canaanite God. 

If you look add up the dates of when Methuselah’s son, Lamech and grandson Noah lived, Methuselah died in the year of the flood. It’s worth wondering if Noah had regrets about Methuselah’s death from the flood.

Who is the oldest person that you have ever known? How old did that person live—certainly not 969 years old. What contributed to that person living such a long life?

As you pray today, give thanks for this person who is the oldest that you know or have known. Reflect on the person’s qualities and what contributed to such a long life.


Tuesday, May 4

Read Genesis 25:7-11

Abraham didn’t live as long as Methuselah; Abraham only made it to 175. 

Verse eight shared some significant information about Abraham.

“Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.”

Most people would choose to die like this—surrounded by family and well-respected in his community.

In his sermon this past Sunday Pastor Paul talked about “tov sebah,” which literally means “a good old age.” This is a description of the length of years that someone, in this case Abraham, lived. And it’s a description of the life that the person lived. Abraham lived a beautiful life and was blessed to live to a good old age. He lived a good life.

“Tov sebah” is what we want for our parents. We hope that they can live until a point where they are surrounded by family and friends, and their life made an impact on many people.

If your parents have passed, did they live to a “good old age?”

If your parents are still alive, would you say that they are living to a “good old age?” 

Remember, the term is more than a description of the length of their life. It describes the quality of their time on earth.


Wednesday, May 5

Read 1 Chronicles 29:26-30

King David was like Abraham—he enjoyed “tov sebah.” He lived to a good old age.  His life was described as one “full of days, riches, and honor.”

David was the greatest king of Judah. He not only led the nation to unprecedented accomplishments, he was also part of the ancestry of Jesus.  One title of Jesus is “Son of David.” We know, of course, that David wasn’t the father of Jesus. This phrase means that Jesus was in the ancestry or line of Jesus.

Jesus knew the story of David and knew that David was related to him. He surely spent time reflecting on David and the qualities of David that were significant.

For whom in your ancestry do you have high regard? This would be a person who you would be proud to say you are the person’s son or daughter. You are son or daughter of name of this person.

 Take some time to identify this person. What qualities were especially significant and important to you? As you pray today, give thanks for this person.

 

Thursday, May 6

Read 1 Timothy 5:1-2

In the letter to 1 Timothy, Timothy received a lot of advice. These two verses are part of this advice. These verses can help all of us as we care for our parents.

As we care for our parents, we will have times where our buttons are pushed. Something is going to be done that is hard for us to accept.  At this point the words of these verses are helpful:

“do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Holding our tongue when every part of us wants to scream is a gift. For a few it is not hard to do, but for many of us we need practice to hold our tongue. As you pray today, talk to God about how you do at not speaking harshly to the people who are closest to you.

 

Friday, May 7

Read Genesis 5:18-20

Jared is the second oldest person in the bible.  He lived to be 962 years, only three shy of Methuselah. Jared was the grandfather of Methuselah.

Did Jared really live to be 962? Probably not. The oldest person who ever lived was Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to be 122.

Knowing that Jared didn’t live to be 962 doesn’t take away from the authority or the importance of the story. This story is still worth knowing and reflecting on how it shapes our own life.

The truth of the Bible does not always come from the historical truth.

Jared is mentioned in the ancestry of Jesus—see Luke 3:37. So it’s worth knowing who he is and some of his story.

 

Saturday, May 8

Read Luke 7:1-10

In terms of being a role model for care, the centurion would receive high marks. He valued his slave highly and intentionally set out to find Jesus and ask Jesus to heal the slave. The centurion did not have to do this, but he cared so deeply that he wanted to help.

Even Jesus recognized the care and faith of the centurion. When describing the centurion he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” Luke 7:9

Perhaps the centurion could be a role model for each of us as we share the ministry of caring for others. Read this story closely and see the qualities and actions of the centurion that stand out to you. Do some research on the centurion. Learn what prompted him to go find Jesus and ask for healing for the slave.

This week we have the opportunity to read the story of Jacob and Esau. It is a powerful story of what can happen when people in families hurt each other, and then offers the possibility of reconciliation at the end.

 Comments about the devotion can be emailed to pastor@colpres.org

 

 Monday, April 26

Read Genesis 25:19-28

Jacob and Esau came into a family that had unhealthy characteristics. Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob. The tension between Jacob and Esau was foreshadowed in their birth when Jacob was holding the heel of Esau.

Some of us might have grown up in families where our parents played favorites. This characteristic was probably one that our parents experienced when they grew up. Quite possibly they experienced the joys and problems of favoritism in their own family.

Esau and Jacob were almost set up to be in tension with each other. When Esau was born his body was hairy and red. This foreshadowed his being a hunter, a man of the field; Jacob was foreshadowed to be smart and a man who was more domestic. With such different qualities it is not surprising that they found themselves in conflict.

Did you grow up in a family where you were significantly different than a sibling? If so, how did those differences play out? Were they accepted or acknowledged, or did they cause favoritism or conflict? As you pray today, talk to God about any possible differences you experienced in your own family.

 

Tuesday, April 27

Read Genesis 25:29-34

The birthright was the rights and advantages that Esau would have as the first-born son. Jacob obviously wanted the birthright. His question of Esau in the last part of story did not happen in a vacuum. Jacob must have thought about getting the birthright.

Esau made a rash decision in giving up his birthright for food. Jacob used the situation to manipulate Esau. The story is not only about Esau’s mistake, it’s also about Jacob’s manipulation.

Have you ever made a rash decision that had significant implications for your own life? The point is not whether the decision turned out well or not. The point is whether you’ve had to make an on-the-spot decision like the one that Esau made. Has this happened to you?

Esau is easy to criticize in this story as he seems to only care about filling his stomach. However, the immediacy of his feelings overwhelmed him. As you pray today, pray that you don’t find yourself in these types of situations.

 

Wednesday, April 28

Read Genesis 27:1-29

Jacob and his mother, Rebekah, decided to deceive Isaac about the blessing that Isaac would give. Jacob dressed up like his brother Esau, so Isaac would think that he was giving his blessing to Esau. Isaac was practically blind.

The level of deception by Jacob is stunning.

The division in the family that started early in their life now came to bring this deception.

Verse 28 is one verse of the blessing. It is beautiful and worth committing to memory. As you pray today, ask that you would be blessed in this way.

“May God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.”

Simple and beautiful!

 

Thursday, April 29

Read Genesis 27:30-46

Isaac and Esau learned of Jacob’s deceit in this story. It is a painful story of two people who realized they have been fooled by someone they love.

Perhaps you have had an experience like this in your own family. Have you been deceived or treated in a very poor way?

This story is one for anyone who has had such an experience. The story doesn’t make what was done right and doesn’t absolve the person who deceived us. But we can have an understanding of the pain that deception causes.

The Bible doesn’t hide from the worst of human behavior. The story of Jacob deceiving his father and the pain of Isaac and Esau is an example of what can happen.

 

Friday, April 30

Read Genesis 32:3-12

The story fast forwards another year to the point where Jacob is ready for reconciliation with Esau. But Jacob didn’t trust that Esau would treat him well.

When Jacob heard that Esau had over four hundred men, Jacob divided his entourage into two groups thinking that one group could escape if Esau attacked him.

Imagine the pain that Jacob felt.

Jacob turned to God in prayer. His prayer is one made by someone whose back is against the wall. Part of his prayer is shared below. If you’ve ever had your own back against the wall, this prayer could be your prayer. For space reasons, not all of the prayer is included.

“O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, … I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, … Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children. Yet you have said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.’” (Genesis 32: 9-12)

 

Saturday, May 1

Read Genesis 33:1-17

This is a powerful story of reconciliation. Esau had no desire to exact pain onto Jacob. Instead he hugged him and cried with him.

This story of reconciliation is one reason that we should never give up on our relationships with our family. On Sunday Pastor Paul talked about choosing to be cut off from your family or experiencing being cut off by another person. Even when cut-offs happen continue to pray that God can bring you back together.

If Jacob and Esau could be reconciled, then anyone can be reconciled.

This past week Pastor Paul continued a sermon series called, “Messy Families.” He preached about parenting, specifically about “Love and Logic” parenting.

The Bible is not a handbook for parenting; however, the Bible does share stories that illustrate examples of high-quality parenting.

This week we have the opportunity to learn more about Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a parent. Enjoy!

 

Monday, April 19

Read Luke 1:26-38

Many parents—moms and dads—have been surprised to discover that they are going to be parents. Most likely an angel hasn’t come to share this news, but many have responded like Mary when learning that they would soon be a parent.

“How can this be?” (Luke 1:34a)

The full verse is “How can this be since I am a virgin?”

If you are a parent, take a moment to remember the story of when you learned that you would be a mother or father.  What was your response?

No matter whether we were happy or sad, excited or worried, the response of God is always the same. God promises that God will be with us.  Mary captured this idea a bit when she trusted God that the result would work. Despite her confusion about what was happening, she turned it over to God. “Here am I the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

That might be the gutsiest prayer in the Bible. Would you consider sharing this prayer with God? Whatever you are experiencing turn it over to God. It is a gutsy task, but one that can bring us peace.

 

Tuesday, April 20

Read Luke 1:46-56

Shortly after Mary learned she was pregnant she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth greeted Mary, Elizabeth shared a blessing with Mary. Elizabeth’s greeting gave Mary tremendous comfort and strength. If we are parents, we might remember receiving a similar level of comfort and strength when we started sharing the news about being a parent.

Mary’s song of praise is one of the most beautiful in the bible. In this song of praise Mary shared a vision for the world. She gave praise to God for what God wanted to accomplish through her Son’s life, and she shared a vision of what God continues to want to accomplish in the present day.

Read this song of praise more than once today. Consider reading it at least five times. Each time you read it, consider how God is working towards developing this vision in the world. Ask God how you can contribute to this vision. Consider how your family can be representatives of this song of praise.

 

Wednesday, April 21

Read Luke 2:41-52

Pastor Paul shared an important teaching from this Scripture in the sermon on Sunday. Watch it again at colpres.org.

Mary shared a range of emotions in this story about being a parent of Jesus. She was exasperated with him because Jesus was willing to go off on his own and seemingly not share any concern that his parents would be worried about him. She was thrilled at the level of knowledge about faith her son exhibited with the Jewish rabbis.

As parents we frequently experience these range of emotions about our children. At one moment we might be crying because we’re so angry with our kids; the next moment we might be crying because we’re so full of joy about our kids. This range is what Mary experienced in this story.

 

Thursday, April 22

Read John 2:1-11

Mary wasn’t sure what would happen in this story because the wine ran out. But she was sure that her Son would have a plan to respond to the issue.  At first Jesus was reluctant to take action. “Woman, what concern is that to you and me?” (John 2:4) Eventually Jesus did take action.

This purpose of this story is certainly not to communicate a method of parenting. And even though she did not know about Love and Logic parenting, she was exhibiting one of its principles.  She was not taking on the problem of her Son. This problem and challenge were for Jesus to handle; they were not for her to figure out.

Think about respecting that our kids’ problems are our kids’ problems. Our task is not to take them away. Our task is to be helpful, to communicate well, not to judge, and to let the problem play out. We can trust our kids to make decisions and that they have the resilience to live with the consequences of their decisions. Is this easy? Of course not. But it is a very healthy way to proceed.

 

Friday, April 23

Read Mark 3:31-35

Mary had more than one person to parent. Some have disputed whether Jesus really did have brothers and sisters. But it is not hard to make the case that he did. Just read this story.

Jesus expanded the idea of family by responding that whoever does the will of God is his brother sister and mother. But this statement doesn’t take away the reality of who was in his biological family.

The issue of whether Jesus had brothers and sisters has been one that people have disagreed about. And whatever a person’s view, our view of whether Jesus had brothers and sisters doesn’t need to distract anyone from the importance of loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

However, thinking that Mary had more than one child can increase the respect that we have for Mary.

 

Saturday, April 24

Read John 19:25-27

Mary had to experience something that no parent should have to experience. She had to watch as her son died a slow and painful death. It’s not surprising that Mary would keep watch while Jesus died. Her example as a parent is one that many would follow.

Knowing that Mary was present with her son while he died says quite a lot about Mary’s character. Mary was not willing to let any possible danger to her or to the other women who were with her get in the way of being with Jesus.

Even in the midst of terrible pain, we can get a sense of the devotion that Mary had as a mother to her son. 

May all of us see Mary as a role model of deep love and devotion as a parent. May all of us have that same love and devotion!

This past Sunday Pastor Paul began a new sermon series called, “Messy Families.” Each Sunday he is sharing tools that will help families live with their messes.

The Bible shares different readings that can help us understand families better. The Bible is not a handbook for healthy families. It is more like a guide that helps us understand.

 Comments about the devotion can be emailed to pastor@colpres.org

 

Monday, April 12

 Read 1 Timothy 5:3-8

One way that the New Testament describes families is a group of people living in the same house. The group might not be biologically related to each other, but they are still a family.

In this passage the apostle Paul shared principles for treating people who live in the same household. Some of the principles are, “Do not speak harshly to an older or younger man or to an older or younger woman. Honor widows”.  Paul went on to share teachings about how widows could stay spiritually connected to God.

You might have people who are living in your household who do not have a biological relationship to you. These people are still like your family. People who live in your household still present all the relationship challenges that family members present.

Today go out of your way to bless the people who are living with you. If you are single, pray about someone who is close to you whom you can bless. Honor these people just as the apostle Paul encouraged people in these verses to honor widows.

 

Tuesday, April 13

Read Luke 2:4

In this familiar verse we read that Joseph went to his hometown of Bethlehem to be counted in the mandatory census “because he was descended from the house and family of David.”

This extended lineage is another way that people are described as family. Matthew’s gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus. This genealogy of Jesus can be thought of as his family.

Many of us are familiar with our ancestors. And with online web sites it’s easier than ever to learn who our ancestors are. These people obviously are family.

Who in your ancestry as important to you? What qualities of someone in your family’s past do you especially appreciate. In what specific ways would you like to share the meaning of your own family by communicating these qualities?

In your prayer time today, spend time giving thanks for particular people in your past. And pray that you can pass on qualities of people in your past that are especially important to you.

 

Wednesday, April 14

Read 1 Corinthians 8:8-13

A third way to think of family is those who are connected to you through faith. Sometimes a congregation is called a “church family.” And though a congregation is not precisely a family since connection to a congregation is voluntary, and connection to a family is not, there certainly are qualities of congregations that are consistent with qualities of families.

In this passage the Apostle Paul teaches about the spiritual example that people have to others in a faith community. He discouraged people from eating food that was sacrificed to an idol. The principle that he was teaching was not to avoid the specific food that was being eaten; instead it was the example of eating that food. By eating food that was sacrificed to idols, followers of Jesus were sharing a poor example of faith.

All of us are role models in faith to others. As you pray today, ask God to give you a clear understanding of how you can be a role model to your spiritual family.

 

Thursday, April 15

Read Genesis 4:1-8

We might think that families described in the Bible are not messy. This thought could not be farther from the truth. The very first family suffered a murder. Cain killed his brother, Abel.

Most of us will not have to suffer something as horrible as a murder in our own family. But all of us can acknowledge that our families are messy.

In his sermon on Sunday Pastor Paul encouraged people to identify their own families as messy. Don’t try to portray an image of the perfect family to others. Instead be authentic and be open to communicate the challenges you encounter in your family. This doesn’t mean, of course, that everyone has to know everything in your family. What it does mean is that you are not defensive about the messiness in your own family. Instead, you freely acknowledge the challenges your family encounters.

 

Friday, April 16

Read Ruth 1:15-18

These verses illustrate the passion that Ruth had for her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Ruth had experienced terrible loss. Her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in law had died.  Naomi—her mother-in-law—encouraged Ruth to leave Naomi and find another husband.  A husband was essential for a woman’s welfare and well-being.

Orpah, Ruth’s sister-in-law, did leave Naomi to find another husband. But Ruth wanted to stay with Naomi.

Her words are significant. They reveal the passion that can keep a family together.

“Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you.” (Ruth 1:15b-17)

 

Saturday, April 17

Read Psalm 133

This Psalm illustrates a vision of what can happen when families live together in unity. The Psalm shares metaphors of blessings.

 

One metaphor is of oil running down someone’s beard. The oil represents blessings. When families love and care for each other these blessings overflow.

 

Another metaphor is the abundant dew on Mount Hermon. It represents the overwhelming number of blessings that happen when families live together in unity.

 

Think of a metaphor that you would use to describe the blessings of a family living in unity. What would it be?

This week we have the opportunity to have our own Bible Study on the resurrection.  In this devotion you’ll read the resurrection story in each of the Gospels along with two other passages that describe the resurrection.

Learning and growing in our understanding of the resurrection is a
life-long task.  We probably have read the Scriptures in this devotion before.  As you read them and reflect on them, take time to be open to the presence and nudging of the Spirit.

Monday, April 5

Read Matthew 28:1-10

As Pastor Paul shared yesterday in the Easter sermon, the first words out of the mouth of the angels and of Jesus were the same.  Both said, “Do not be afraid.”  This is quite a statement considering that the worst event in human history had just happened—the willful murder of Jesus.

The words by the angels and by Jesus can transform our own fears.  If the crucifixion can be transformed, then our own fears can be transformed.

What fears do you have right now?  Imagine the angels and Jesus coming to you and saying, “do not fear.” 

As you pray today give thanks that our fears can be transformed.  Pray that Chain of Lakes Church can be a place where people release their fears.  Praise God for the power of the resurrection.

Tuesday, April 6

Read Mark 16:1-8

The resurrection story in Mark has three endings.  The first ending ends in verse 8, the shorter ending ends in verse eight, and the longer ending ends in verse 20.  Most Bibles include all three endings.

Imagine the story ending in verse 8.  The story said that the women said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.  If that had happened no one would know about the resurrection.

What if you were responsible for sharing the story of the resurrection with the world?  Would you be quiet and afraid or would you share the story? 

God depends on us humans to communicate the resurrection story with others.  Today as you pray, ask God for an opportunity to share the resurrection story with someone today.

Wednesday, April 7

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

This passage written by the apostle Paul is like a statement of faith.  Paul shared the story of the resurrection.

Look at verses nine and the first part of ten—“For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain.”

Paul identified himself as a person of the resurrection.  He could not have become the person God wanted him to be without the resurrection.

How does the resurrection make a difference in your life?  Would you ever introduce yourself as “Hi, my name is ___, and I am a person of the resurrection!” 

As you pray today, talk to God about how the resurrection forms you as a person.

Thursday, April 8

Read Luke 24:1-12

The seventeen words of the angel in verse five are worth committing to memory today, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen.” 

The question that the angel asked is one that can be asked of us.  Where do we discover life?  Where do we discover renewal?  Hopefully we discover life in God and through the church. 

As you pray today, talk to God about where in your life you are discovering life.  If you are not discovering life, ask for help from God.  If you are discovering life, give thanks to God. 

Discovering life is one way that the resurrection still plays out in our lives.

 

Friday, April 9

Read John 20:1-18

The resurrection story in John is not often heard on Easter Sunday because it’s not part of the regular lectionary readings.  The story is quite different than the resurrection stories in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

One of the most poignant scenes in the Bible is the conversation between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.  Mary Magdalene is so overcome with grief that she mistook Jesus to be the gardener.  When she realized that Jesus was alive she exclaimed to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.”  These words started the sharing of the resurrection story.

Can you see yourself sharing frequently the words, “I have seen the Lord.” Being able to say this is a sign that we are in tune with what God is doing in the world and in our lives. 

Where have you seen the Lord lately?  When are some times in the past two weeks that you have seen the Lord?  This isn’t the physical seeing of the Lord, but the experience of God.

As you pray today, talk to God about the times you’ve seen the spiritual presence of God.  Ask God for help so that you can see God even more clearly.

 

Saturday, April 10

Read Romans 8:31-39

This passage from Romans is often read at funerals as a source of comfort.  It’s also an excellent primer on the resurrection. 

Paul was convinced that the love of God is the most powerful force in the universe.  This love demonstrates that God is always on our side.  We know that God is on our side because of the resurrection. 

Paul closed this reading with a powerful recital that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  Take some time to slowly read these verses—read them more than once if you like.  Ponder how our reality on earth is different because of the gift of the resurrection displayed through God’s love. 

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Events

Chain of Lakes Drive-In worship starts Sunday, June 20, at 10:30am on the Chain of Lakes property in Blaine’s The Lakes neighborhood. Everyone who comes to Drive-In worship June 20 will receive a bag of popcorn. Click here for directions to the property.

Drive in to the property and tune your car radio to the posted radio station. If you prefer to sit outside, bring a lawn chair to sit next to your car, or with other people. Sing, hear Scriptures and a sermon, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Activities for kids wll be provided.

Chain of Lakes will be sharing Drive-In worship with the community through August. The congregation is breaking ground on its first-phase building later in the summer, and construction will start soon afterwards.

Church Calendar

Community Gardens

 

Chain of Lakes Church is excited to share the future home of Chain of Lakes, the church property, with the community in a Community Garden Ministry. The church property is just east of  Malmborg’s Garden Center on 125th Ave NE in Blaine or .8 miles east of Radisson Rd on 125th Ave NE, Blaine.
 
Contact the office for information at 763.208.8049 or info@colpres.org
 
If you are interested in a garden plot complete this form:
Community Garden Plot Application 2021 – Chain of Lakes
 
Please print and complete application and mail to:
Chain of Lakes Church,
10130 Davenport Street NE #160
Blaine, MN 55449

Event Photos

Some highlights from recent events in the community!