2021.01.20 Daily Devotional
The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, January 20, 2021 comes to us from James Townsend of Mississippi
Ephesians 3:16-21 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
On my first trip to New York City, I was greatly impressed by the tall skyscrapers that form the Manhattan skyline. However, the exteriors of these structures conceal much more than they reveal. The buildings can reach so high only because of what is inside them. They are fortified inside with steel, concrete, and wire mesh. This reinforcement allows the building to rise upward and remain stable and strong, even when storms come and winds blow. Each structure is a marvel of engineering and construction – on both the outside and inside.
Our Christian lives resemble these tall buildings more than we realize. Only when we look to God – the ultimate architect and engineer – are we best equipped to weather the storms of life. God is our inner strength when this world throws difficult and demanding situations at us. Prayer, Bible study, and worship are to our Christian lives what concrete and steel are to tall buildings. We can remain strong and stable and the assurance that God will always give us inner strength to meet whatever challenges come our way.
— James Townsend
Prayer Focus: Architects
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to seek the power of your unfailing strength in our lives. Lead us and guide us safely through the storms of life. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Christ is my inner strength.
As I think about the steel, cement, and wire mesh that hold my life together, I recall all of the church members and colleagues, friends, and family who have held me together when I have been faced with difficult decisions, challenging situations, or profound grief.
I know that God blesses me with loving care in the concrete presence of those who surround me, advise me, hold me accountable, and lift me up. They become God’s gifts that sustain my structure in stormy times when the wind is howling and my faith and resolution are shaken.