Daily Devotions 

Rev. Jay HansonIn the opening worship service of General Conference, San Francisco Area Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., president of the Council of Bishops, said, “Like the first disciples, some of us may have come to this meeting of Jesus’ people we call General Conference with some mixture of hope and uncertainty. There are many issues on our agenda. So many things for you to consider as the plans for the church’s future are adopted.”

As General Conference delegates continue to grapple with this hope and uncertainty and make decisions that will shape the direction of The United Methodist Church, we invite you to join in scripture reading and reflection through a daily devotion written by Rev. Jay Hanson, senior pastor of The Chapel UMC in Brunswick, Ga. and a South Georgia Conference delegate to General Conference.

We pray that these devotions will help us unite as brothers and sisters in Christ and “strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up,” as Paul wrote to the Romans (14:19).  


Devotion - Monday, May 16: A Spirit of Unity

By Rev. Jay Hanson

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Romans 15:5-6

Be encouraged to continue working together, for through your unity God will be glorified. God empowers supernatural teamwork! Live in that reality.

Reflection:

  • Have I been selfish?

  • Am I harboring any hard feelings toward someone?

  • Who could use some extra encouragement today?

Prayer:

Father, forgive your family for feuding so frequently. Give me a generous spirit toward my brothers and sisters and enable me to have a Christ-like attitude. Your Son came to serve, not to be served. He redefined true leadership. Help me to live like Jesus so that others might see Him in me. In the holy and matchless name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Action + Belief = Faith

Find a way to encourage someone today – anonymously!


Devotion - Tuesday, May 17: Above All Else

By Rev. Jay Hanson

“He (Jesus) must become greater; I (John) must become less. The one who comes from above is above all, the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.” John 3:30-31

John the Baptist understood God loved him. He knew he was a child of the King and his confidence in his position enabled him to serve the Savior by living a life designed to point others to Jesus.

Reflection:

  • Are you living like you realize the ultimate head guy, the one above all others, the greatest there ever was, is or will be, is on your side? You are a child of the King!

Prayer:

O God our Father, who didst send forth thy Son to be King of kings and Prince of Peace: Grant that all the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdom of Christ, and learn of him the way of peace. Send forth among all people the spirit of goodwill and reconciliation. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. – Taken from The Book of Worship

Action + Belief = Faith

Initiate one act of kindness to point another toward Jesus today by selflessly serving.


Devotion - Wednesday, May 18: God has got it under control

By Rev. Jay Hanson

“It is written: As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Romans 14:11-13

God is God. He has everything under control. So we can trust him to deal justly with us and with everyone else. Therefore we need only worry about living a life for which we can proudly account.

Reflection:

  • Am I showing Christ-like love to those that see things differently than me?

  • Is there anything that I am doing that could cause someone to stumble or develop an incorrect image of Christ?

  • Am I playing God by passing judgment on people?

Prayer:

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

Action + Belief = Faith

Put your belief that God is in charge into action today by allowing Him to correct those you think are wrong and by being open to Him correcting you where you might be wrong.


Devotion - Thursday, May 19: The eyes of the world are upon you

By Rev. Jay Hanson

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joy.” Colossians 1:9-11

You are re-presenting Christ to the watching world. What a huge responsibility! Yet you are not alone. A great cloud of witnesses is praying for you. Praying that you would be empowered to live worthy of the call you have been given. Praying that you would endure with great joy the challenge set before you.

Reflection:

  • Are my words conveying an appreciative attitude?

  • If my life is the only Bible some people are reading, are they getting a good picture of Christ?

Prayer:

Lord, help The United Methodist Church, from top to bottom, have a heart which loves you above all else. Help each of us to seek only your glory. Enable us to persevere for your sake. Give us patience to face the challenges in front of us and put your peace, which passes understanding, in our hearts. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Action + Belief = Faith

Convey joy, great joy, a joy that is unexplainable. With words, with expressions, with body language, with actions, scream that you are full of joy!


Devotion - Friday, May 20: Let Them See Christ in You

By Rev. Jay Hanson

“The mystery has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:26-27

The great secret, the hope of glory is that Christ is in us! That is the wonderful news for the Christian. Christ has risen and he lives - in me!

Reflection:

  • Am I abiding in Christ? Am I allowing him to rule in my life?

  • Am I allowing others to see Him in me?

  • How many people really know where I stand with God?

Prayer:

Lord, use me for your purposes. Build me up or use me up. Call me out or pour me out. I only desire to be a dwelling place for your Spirit. Take possession of my life, Lord. May I decrease so you can increase to the point that when others look at me they will see only you, my Lord. May we be one as you and your Son are one. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Action + Belief = Faith

This is a busy day, so prayer is even more necessary. Make it a practice to silently pray for the people with whom you come in contact today.