The Picnic

Sunday, July 22, 2018
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Church's One Foundation"1 (Lyrics)

Recently, we had a church picnic planned for a Sunday afternoon at a local conservation area. The weather forecast for the entire weekend wasn't good. Saturday was dull all day. The forecast for Sunday didn't look much better.

Early Sunday morning, a decision had to be made, and we decided to have it at the church. As we don't have more than a handful of children, most of us being seniors, it didn't seem like a very big deal. We would play some board games — crokinole, Scrabble®, cards — and have our potluck supper afterwards.

Wouldn't you know it! Just before the time for the picnic arrived, the sun came out! We couldn't really change our plans, though, as it had been announced at church that morning, and it had also been posted on our church website.

Our plans don't always work out the way that we expect them to or the way that we hope they will.

On the other hand, God has a plan for each of our lives. The plans that He has for us are so much better than what we could possibly even begin to imagine!

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (TLB)

God loves us, and He wants us to be just like His Son, Jesus. In the words of Max Lucado, "God loves you just the way you are. But He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be Just Like Jesus."

So, what does it mean to be just like Jesus?

God wants to create a new heart in each one of us and renew a right spirit within us. When we give our lives to Jesus, we are changed.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! (TLB)

Romans 8:29 – For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him — and all along he knew who would — should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers. (TLB)

God's plan for us is to become more and more like Jesus, who showed us how we should live by:

  • His obedience to His heavenly Father in all things;
  • His compassion that moved Him to help others;
  • His humility as He willingly washed the disciples' feet;
  • His forgiving nature — He even forgave those who crucified Him on the cross!

Living our lives in a way that pleases God gives us purpose, a reason for living.

How can we do this?

We can't do it on our own, but we can pray for the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit. And we can learn more about Jesus by reading the Word every day.

Are you willing to let God change your heart so that you can become more like Jesus? Are you willing to let go of your old self and become the new person that God wants you to be? Are you willing to let God fulfill His plan for your life?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we want to be the people that You created us to be. We want to be more and more like Your Son, Jesus, through the help of Your Holy Spirit. May we honour You in all that we do and live our lives for Your glory, so that others may see Jesus in us and long to know Him, too. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Dee Renaud <>
Sauble Beach, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouraging word, Dee.

    Always enjoy your writing. We had a wonderful week at VBC. So happy to get to visit with you and Ed.

    Thanks for today’s inspiration, Dee.
    As for the picnic, I had a minister who would say on such occasions, I’m only the manager not the owner.

    Our church had the same experience as this church. Oh, yes, this was our church. You are so good at taking everyday circumstances and turning them into God sightings. I thank God that he has encouraged this gift in you. It helps to open my eyes to him.

    Thanks Dee,
    What a great devotional for this cloudy Sunday! Do we have our outdoor “Church in the Pines” where the locals can walk or do we go a mile or so down the road where we can meet inside?
    I’m trusting the sun will come out shortly and we’ll meet outside!
    God bless you.

    Thanks for a good word today Dee.

    Hi Dee, I enjoyed your devotional, The Picnic, very much. Thank you and God bless!

    Dee, Boy can I ever relate to that church picnic! Thanks for sharing this with us. Blessings.

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