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“Let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.”

January 4, 2024
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Daily Scripture

Micah 6:6-8, John 15:4-6, 8

Micah 6
6 With what should I approach the LORD
        and bow down before God on high?
Should I come before him with entirely burned offerings,
        with year-old calves?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
        with many torrents of oil?
Should I give my oldest child for my crime;
        the fruit of my body for the sin of my spirit?
8 He has told you, human one, what is good and
        what the LORD requires from you:
            to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

John 15
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. 6 If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned.

8 My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

More extremes—full to empty, all things to nothing. The key words in this part of the prayer, the phrase that sums up the inner meaning of praying all these nearly unreachable ends of life’s spectrum, is “I freely and heartily yield all things.” The Covenant Prayer is a way of saying, “I do not serve God for the sake of external rewards, material or psychological. I serve God because I know serving and worshiping God is the only fitting response of a created being like me.”

  • What do you make of John Wesley’s choice of “freely and heartily” as words to characterize the way you yield all things to God’s pleasure and disposal? You may recognize Micah’s words in today’s Scripture as the foundation of Resurrection’s “BE” campaign in 2022. How did Micah 6:8 embody free and hearty service of God, as contrasted with the grudging, reluctant tone of verses 6-7 in that chapter? How can you translate that into your day-to-day walk with God?
  • Pastor Folmsbee captured the effect of freely and heartily yielding to God’s pleasure and disposal in a powerful phrase: “The Church does not have a mission; the mission has a Church. Therefore, God’s authority exceeds all, and we are to know it, believe it, and live it.” * As we renew our covenant with this prayer, we show that Resurrection (as much as many of us love it) is not an end in itself. How can you yield yourself, and your church, to God’s purposes?
Prayer

Creator God, may my life be marked by abandonment of my own interests and measured by my submission to you, and simple, faithful generosity toward others. Amen.

GPS Insights

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

One of my favorite shows growing up was “MacGyver”. If you’re not familiar with the show, Angus MacGyver (simply known as MacGyver) was a secret agent for the United States. With a background in physics, MacGyver was famous for his ability to take everyday objects and turn them into extraordinary devices that saved the day. For example, he once made a telescope out of a magnifying lens, a watch crystal, and a newspaper. Brilliant! Another time he used jumper cables, a generator, and quarters to create a welding tool. Amazing! Just when you’d think that there was no way that MacGyver would get out of a tricky situation, he’d find some way to use anything and everything in sight to devise a solution.
I loved MacGyver’s ability to think outside of the box. You never knew what he was going to come up with. When all hope seemed lost, there he was with his trusty pocketknife and duct tape to save the day.
I find this kind of thinking helpful when I consider what God might use to save the day, to bring hope. God can, and does, use our time and our financial resources. I think most of us get that. But I believe we’re being too limiting if that’s where our thinking stops. Is God not more creative, more crafty, more brilliant than MacGyver?! I think anything and everything can be used for God’s purposes, or as Wesley prayed “I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.” Maybe you’ve got a spare room in your house and know someone who could use a place to stay while they get their feet on the ground. That’s freely and heartily yielding all things. Perhaps your expertise could help others. I know of volunteer opportunities all across the church, even in areas you might not even think of such as Facilities, Finance, Risk Management, or even Human Resources! * That’s freely and heartily yielding all things. Or maybe you’ve walked through great darkness in your life and experienced the overwhelming light and love of a redeemer. Your story might help someone navigate their own dark path. That’s freely and heartily yielding all things.
Our God is bigger than what our tiny imaginations might perceive. We shouldn’t restrict God’s plans by our lack of creativity. My hope is that we’ll be generously open and wildly innovative as we pray to freely and heartily use all things to God’s pleasure and disposal. God can take our time, our resources, our expertise, our story, or anything and everything we have to bring hope and light to our broken world.

* If you think God might be nudging you to serve in any of these areas, simply call the church (913.897.0120) and ask to speak to the Director of the department.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Folmsbee, Chris. The Wesley Prayer Challenge Participant Book (p. 100). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.