Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK ONE
ORBIT – DAY TWO
Here’s a second edition of Orbit for you – a daily thought from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. We’re going to call this a devotional – because it gives us a chance to show a little bit of daily devotion to God. We hope you can spend just a few moments each day either reading or listening to it, and that it will help to encourage you in your faith and your everyday life. Over these first few weeks we’re looking at the life and writing of the Apostle Paul, because he was someone who knew what it was to take Jesus seriously even in a chaotic and uncertain world.
First of all – how did you get on with yesterday’s challenge – to talk to someone about that passage, and what it means to ‘be content in any and every situation’ – even a global pandemic? If you didn’t manage it, you can still do it today.
Here’s today’s reading:
BIBLE READING – Acts 8 v 2-3
“Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.”
Right… so who wants to suggest a contender for a less encouraging Bible reading than this? One of the heroic leaders of the church – Stephen – has just been murdered by an angry mob, and then many other members of the early church are being thrown in prison. The church is actually being destroyed – and that’s a strong word isn’t it? And the destruction is being led by Saul.
Believe it or not, this actually is your encouragement for the day. And honestly, it is quite an encouraging passage – at least once the rest of the story unfolds. Because as we’ll see tomorrow, Saul – the destroyer of the church – goes on to become Paul, probably the second-most important man in the New Testament, who goes on to spread the Christian message all over the world.
From a moment of destruction – of the church on the brink of ruin – God brings new life, and more growth than ever before. And not only that – he actually uses the same person who was bringing about the destruction, to lead the growth.
I don’t know about you, but I find that extremely encouraging for two reasons. For a start, it can sometimes feel like the church is getting smaller, less relevant. So many people today only know the name of Jesus as a swear word; and if we’re really honest, we can even feel embarrassed to tell our friends that we go to church. And yet the Bible gives us many examples of how God has brought his people back from moments of decline, even from times when they had almost faded away completely. So even if right now it feels like the church is struggling a bit – we can be encouraged that God always breathes the life back in.
And here’s the second – and even more encouraging thing… he chooses to use the most unlikely, unqualified people to do it. People like Saul – who was actually the one tearing the church apart; people like you and me. God doesn’t need us to have it all together in order to use us. All he needed from Saul was a change of heart – and when Saul changed, he became an incredible force for good. In the same way, God doesn’t need us to have everything sorted if we’re going to be used by him; he just wants our hearts.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord, thank you that you want to know me, and that you want to use me in your mission to transform the world. I give you my heart today, and ask you to use me to build your kingdom, however you want.
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
Think about your daily life – the things you do each day. Is there one thing that you often do, which you know doesn’t demonstrate that you’ve given God your heart? Or is there something that you could do, regularly, to show God that you are serious about him; that you have given him your heart. Reflect on this today and see if you want to make a change. One easy way might be to commit to doing Orbit each day for the next little while.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email email@example.com, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!