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Word from the Center: Devotion

Word from the Center: Devotion (11)

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word.

WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, JUNE 14 Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are 2nd Corinthians 5:19-20, where St. Paul says,  That God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting man’s sins again them. And He has committed to us this ministry of reconciliation, for we are God’s ambassadors, as though were making His appeal through us, be reconciled to God!
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, JUNE 07, 2021 Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are 2nd Corinthians 4:16-18a, where St. Paul reminds believers,  We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.   HOPE AMIDST THE STRUGGLE! I’ve been signing my latest emails and letters, “Peace amidst the struggle,” in order to share with people the biblical reality that God is in control even when things look dire. The Christian life is full of peace, full of hope, and full of wonder, and that can always be true, even in the middle of the chaos of this sinful world. For example, one of the hardest lessons to learn as a Christian is that suffering and trials also exist in the lives of those who fervently believe in Jesus. Unfortunately, many see suffering as a sign of a weak faith. Others claim that suffering is proof that God is displeased with a person. Some religions even have names for it such as “Karma” or “Getting what’s coming to you.” I’d like to invite you today to think differently about suffering and the trials of life so that you can have God’s peace and hope amidst whatever struggle you might be facing.
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, MAY 31, 2021 Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is John 3:16 where Jesus says,  God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, MAY 24, 2021 Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are portions of Acts 2 where the Bible tells of these events on the first Pentecost Day:   6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”….. Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:….21 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, MAY 17, 2021 Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are John 17:11b and 15-17 where Jesus prays these words:    Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. ….15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, MAY 10, 2021 Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are John 15:16-17, where Jesus says,   16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.   ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE? In All’s Well that Ends Well, William Shakespeare wrote, “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” The Beatles remind us of the same idea in their song, “All You Need Is Love.” But is it really that easy? If love is all we need, if love alone matters, and if love works, then what’s the problem? Why are we as a country at each other’s throats? Why are divorce rates so high? Why are many people not even getting married at all? Why are children growing up in increasingly broken homes? Why aren’t people loving each other if that is all we need to do? Good question. One of the problems today is our sinfully, flawed understanding of “love” and our unwillingness to accept that repentance and forgiveness are part of true love. More and more, people don’t seek to love others on God’s terms. They attempt to love others on their own terms. They love what they like. They give love back to those who satisfy or bring them pleasure. We are also immersed in a sinfully and self-centered culture which demands, “Love who I am and love what I do, whatever I do, and if you think what I do is wrong, or even if I know…
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, MAY 03, 2021 Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are John 15:5–8, where Jesus says,   5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.   THE FRUIT-PRODUCING POWER OF FAITH IN CHRIST FOR LIFE!   Many people come to Washington D.C. because they want to make a difference. They want their lives to matter, to mean something. Who doesn’t? Unfortunately, politics tends to promise what it can’t deliver. In fact, a truly meaningful life is more than politics, more than the accumulation of wealth or influence, and more than one’s vocational skills and abilities can produce. Ironically, the key to a purposeful life isn’t primarily about your works at all. It’s not about “who” you are or what you do, but about “whose” you are. Jesus reminds us that He is the Vine, the source for real, lasting life. We are like branches. To really live means to be connected to the power, the perspective, and the purpose for which the very God of heaven created and redeemed you. Purposeful, meaningful life depends on being connected to Jesus through the power of His Word and the gift-giving grace of His sacraments.…
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is John 10:10 where Jesus says,  “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come to give you life and to give it to you abundantly.”     SO WHAT MAKES A LIFE WORTH LIVING?   The following saying is often wrongly attributed to G.K. Chesterton: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.” He actually said that if we stop believing in God we lose our common sense.[1]  For many, that’s that same thing. When you deny the one who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6) and who calls Himself the “Good Shepherd” (John 11:11), you don’t replace Him with nothing; you tend to replace Him with the most absurd “other things.” Absurd replacements seem to be the order of the day, don’t they? No longer do we talk about sin and repentance, grace and mercy, or honor and virtue. They’ve been replaced with so much absurdity in this world which is passed off as wisdom. In Washington D.C., they become slogans, causes for marches, and even policies. We are told that sex unconstrained, just for fun and outside of marriage, is the way of progress. Yet our broken marriages, our abuses of one another, and our callousness toward each other say otherwise. We are told that honoring our fathers and our mothers, as well as esteeming others in authority, is the way of the past. Yet the present dishonoring, even to the point of “cancel culture,” is producing more vitriol and violence than ever before. But the worst of the absurdities of today is the…
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are Luke 24:29b-35, where the Bible tells of these events after Jesus had walked to Emmaus with two of His followers on the evening of His resurrection:     So, [Jesus] went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.   WHAT FIRES BURN IN YOUR HEART TODAY? What a Bible study it must have been that day! On the road to Emmaus, Jesus ROOTED those disciples in the firm promises of the Bible that had come to fruition in Him. Even more, Jesus set their hearts on fire by anchoring their faith in Him in all things (verse 32). That’s a fire which comes from God’s love and grace through faith in the Son of God. It comes from knowing that God’s OFFER OF LIFE AND SALVATION IN JESUS BURNS, BUT DOES NOT DESTROY. INSTEAD IT EMPOWERS US AND SETS OUR LIVES ON FIRE…
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is from John 20:28-29, where the Bible reports this interaction between the risen Lord Jesus and his disciple Thomas:    Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  BELIEVING IS TRULY SEEING! Is seeing believing? Or are there things that are very real, even very true, that we cannot see with our eyes? Our garage doors open by unseen forces at the touch of a button. We put our food and drinks into little rectangular devices and hit the button believing that, absent a heating element or a flame of any sort, microwaves will make our food or beverages piping hot. Even the most empirical of scientists has things which he/she believes long before they are tested or visible to human eyes. One could make the case that observable science, the very scientific method we cherish today, was based on a belief that God had created and ordered the world in such a way that it could be tested, and its laws could be counted on. You might say that even the empirical scientist has to believe in certain things before he/she could really see them. Faith in God is a bit like that. It’s not that faith in God is totally absent of data or information. But there are aspects to faith that are beyond our control. We are the creature; He is the creator. He is the Redeemer; we are the redeemed. Yet faith in the God of the Bible is not merely an academic exercise.…
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, where the Bible says,   20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. CHRIST’S RESURRECTION – REAL HOPE FOR YOUR LIFE TODAY AND FOREVER! Jesus is risen; He is risen indeed! But there’s even more good news for those who believe in Him. He clearly says, “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). Wow! What a statement. In the midst of pandemic lockdowns, fear, and the growing cultural pressures to jettison biblical truth for public acceptance, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus call all people to an everlasting life of repentance and faith that the world can never take away. It calls believers to a confident hope that comes from knowing that even death itself has been conquered by the one who created and redeemed us. Is all that merely wishful thinking or some “hope against hope” mentality? No way! In our reading, St. Paul calls Jesus Christ the “firstfruits” of those who have fallen asleep. His resurrection is God’s down-payment of lasting hope for all who put their trust in Him. That’s a statement for you. That’s a truth that will transform your life. It will give you peace in the middle of the storms of life, courage in the chaos, and wisdom in the…