Hebrews 11:1-3 (CEB)

1 Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith. By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible.


“Martin Luther called faith a confidence on which one stakes one’s life, building on the claim in Hebrews 11:1, that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

John Wesley saw faith as important having written two sermons on faith and one describing the difference between walking by Sight and walking by Faith. The latter explains faith as trust and as belief. “Belief is knowledge about God. Trust is knowing God firsthand, made possible through prayerful receptivity and allowing God to live in us and work through us. Both knowledge and knowing are necessary, and each complements the other.”

Methodists understand that faith is about life transformation by the One in whom we put our trust.

Wesley organized people into small groups whose members could watch over one another in love. They helped each other live lives that honored and reflected God. They encouraged one another to pray, to read the Bible, to attend public worship and to reach out in love toward their neighbors. They worked side-by-side to offer, health care to the poor, to advocate for safe working conditions, and to abolish both slavery and debtors prisons. It was a holistic approach.

My wife Laura and I have been associated with MUMC for over 25 years, so we have lots of common knowledge. Having heard pastor Joe’s message this past Sunday she thought an article in the Atlantic titled “The Misunderstood Reason Millions of Americans Stopped Going to Church” by Jake Meador might have some value in today’s devotional. I think so… let’s see what you think.

The article states that American society is no longer set up to promote mutuality, care, or common life. Instead it maximizes individual accomplishments, defined by professional and financial success that leave no time for living in a community that reflects being in relationship with God and the loving interactions that involves. Life today leaves many lonely, anxious, and uncertain of how to live.

The good news is that we can model changed lives by becoming different persons, looking back at historical examples, and dedicating more time to showing greater generosity to others as well as richness in prayer and private devotion to God.         

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

It is so interesting that what pastor Joe said about spending time in scripture and prayer this last Sunday, Manny’s message the Sunday before, Wesley centuries ago and scripture through eternity really are what we need now. Reminders are always good at reinforcing this message and helping us to want to achieve a stronger relationship with God and the love that flows from that.

We all are imperfect and thankfully we are continually forgiven. How do you see all of this? What touches your heart and how does that affect how you would like to go forward?  

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for your word and the rich history we have in John Wesley’s history, empowering lay people just like us, to live out full, rich, and caring lives. We pray for your blessings on each other and the church that we may gain strength and discernment in you. Amen