January 31, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God.  Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

. . . and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.


Ephesians 3:19


There is a line in the children’s story, and a scene in the animated version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. If you’ve seen the cartoon, you’ll remember how the Grinch—who has robbed most every vestige of Christmas from the town of Whoville—sees the people gathering and celebrating with joy.


The original story reads, “And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say—that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then—the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!”


There is a sense, I believe, in which those of us who follow Jesus—who strive to be his apprentices—long for our hearts to grow three sizes (if not more). We want our hearts, our souls, our lives, to filled with the fulness of God.


And that can happen.


The funny thing is that we can’t make it happen ourselves, or on our own. We must depend on the grace and the goodness of God to change us.


And the Lord will, and the Lord does, but only when we choose to allow it to happen—and it happens when we position ourselves before God to receive his fulness.


And how do we do that? Well, I’m glad you asked. It is through the ancient practices, the classic disciplines, of the Christian life, which we are exploring and practicing all this year.


It’s not a matter of willpower. It’s much more a matter of choosing to do some new things, or do some old things differently. We all have that toddler tendency to say “I do it myself!” when we really need to trust God to work in us.


And the remarkable reality is that “filled” is not as far as God goes with us. He fills us to overflowing, so that his love and goodness splashes out of us on all those around us!

For Reflection

What moves you to want to live for God and others?


What do you see “splashing out” of you on the people around you?


Lord of grace and goodness, you know my heart’s desire. You know that place in my heart that needs to, and longs to grow “three sizes.” Help me today to place myself before you in such a way that I truly can be filled with all of your fulness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.