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Recognizing God’s gifts

CEO NOTES | Staff devotional time provides opportunity to appreciate what we’ve been given

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WORLD’s weekly Wednesday devotional time, in person and via Zoom, remains the centerpiece of the workweek for our staff, and I’m thankful for that.

Most of the time, a staff member shares a few verses of Scripture along with some thoughts pertaining to it. Almost always, we allow others to add their own reflections on the passage. With all that, it’s more sharing than teaching.

We have a few regulars who lead our devotional time approximately once a month: Andrew Belz, who organizes the gatherings; Jacob Roberts, a pastor and a member of our development team; and me. The remaining weeks of the month we hear from others, sometimes staffers and sometimes invited guests.

This variety of voices encourages more active participation from our staff, and it also allows for a range of topics and perspectives. Even though we don’t dictate the direction a devotional should take, sometimes we suggest themes or emphases.

For example, we had a whole series of devotionals on the New Testament’s “one another” passages. One year, we spent months framing almost every devotional in the context of God’s love for us. At the beginning of last year, we decided to look at what the Bible had to say about the Holy Spirit’s work of revival in our lives and in a community. Providentially, just weeks into the year, we had the opportunity to witness and discuss the “time of spiritual renewal” ­taking place at Asbury University.

This year, we’ve been looking at God’s gifts to us. That broad topic certainly allows for 52 unique weekly approaches, even with the devotional from a few weeks ago covering the “Top 10 Underappreciated Gifts From God.” (Among those underappreciated gifts were repentance, suffering, not knowing everything, and people—the difficult kind).

We have most of the year ahead of us for our review of God’s gifts, and we hope it proves to be a spiritually healthy exercise that leads to greater gratefulness. As one of my former pastors used to say, “Everything we have, from the shirts on our backs to the salvation of our souls, is a gift from God.”

We are grateful for our so-so shirts, our so-great salvation, and everything in between.

Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin is the CEO of WORLD News Group.


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