August 17, 2017

God’s Presence

August 16, 2017

Daily Reading (Click to read each Scripture)
Psalm 28
Genesis 40:1-23
Matthew 8:23-27
This week’s sermon text: Romans 2:17-29

Field Notes
Psalm 28 is a prayer of David. Notice the pattern within the psalm: supplication, praise, and affirmation. Imagine a scenario during which David might pray this prayer. What forms the basis for the prayer? Surely, David’s experiences of God’s presence in his life to this point have assured him that he can call out to the Lord with the hope of tangible response.

Throughout my life I have noticed that God has been present in the most challenging situations I have faced. And because he has been faithful in ‘showing up’, I have learned to look for him with some curiosity when the going gets tough. Jesus clearly stood in the corner of my dying father’s hospital room; a friend appeared at the precise moment they were needed; others offered prayer when I had no words left with which to pray. Along with David I can feel urgency and assurance at the same time.

The disciples who are following Jesus are still learning to trust. Matthew 8 lists a number of signs and wonders accomplished by Jesus. One assumes that the disciples have seen what he has done. Yet when a storm arises as they cross a lake, they don’t act like people who have traveled with Jesus; watched him heal and heard him preach for days on end. They literally freak out. Their reaction to the storm is so very human. He reacts like we might if a small child awoke us from a dead sleep, because they were afraid of thunder and lightning.

What does it take to stand on faith? For some it happens in a moment; for others it is built one prayer at a time. No matter when we lay ourselves before Christ; in whatever condition we present ourselves, we are heard.

Questions for the Field

  • When have you sensed assurance [a growing sense of calm] as you prayed?
  • Looking back over difficult times in your life, where and how has God shown up?
  • How can you be certain He will ‘show up’ in the future?
  • How can you praise God for His presence in your life?

Family Field Talk
Together, make a list of all the ways in which you have spoken to God. Think about your body posture, tone of voice, feelings, circumstances, etc. Did God hear one prayer better than another? Why or why not?

Prayer Guide
Lord God, there are days in which I sing your praises and there are days when I feel unworthy to be heard. Help me to remember that through all sin and silliness you do hear my prayer. Give me the confidence to accept that I am beloved as your son or daughter. And whether I have only just become aware of you in my life or I am wizened and well-worn, let me know your sweet love and generous mercy. Amen.