5 Smooth Stones – Devotional Series
Scripture Reading: John 6: 25 – 35
Jesus the Bread of Life
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[a]”
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
We are all familiar with Jesus’ words, “I am the bread of life.” He is the incarnate word of God. His words feed us. God’s word sustains us and gives life to us.
I want us to think about David and Goliath for a moment. We know the story well. David took five smooth stones and attacked the giant in his life. I would like to suggest that we can attack the giants in our lives with five smooth stones as well. Think of one smooth stone as being a promise found only in God’s word – so five promises in all.
The biggest giant in my life is grief. I lost my dad, brother and mum in that order. When mum was Promoted to Glory I truly felt like an orphan. With both parents in Glory I was left with a real feeling of abandonment. I struggled with these giants for many years. I would talk to the Lord about it but I didn’t want healing from the pain, I just wanted to share my pain with Him and lick my wounds in His presence. It wasn’t until I read about the idea of using God’s promises as five smooth stones that my outlook was changed by His grace.
I asked God to lead me to five promises for my life. These are the promises He gave me. They have become the bread of life to me, sustaining me, and healing me in ways I didn’t think was possible.
2 Corinthians 6: 18
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
When I read these words I cried. Now when I am tempted to revel in grief and abandonment I pray this promise right back to God and I sense the Father’s love surround me.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
God was really speaking to my grief.
Psalm 30: 11 & 12
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
Grief must have had a strong hold on my life . . . if three out of the five promises God led me to are all about grief! He has indeed turned my mourning into dancing!
Exodus 15: 26
He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
This promise made me cry too . . . the words “I am the Lord, who heals you,” are so precious to me.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
This one made me laugh – “you need only to be still.” This part of my spiritual journey was in June, coinciding with the lock down during Covid. How could I not be still? But what was God’s plan? What was He going to do? What was I supposed to do now that God had revealed these promises to me? They are pretty and handy to carry in your pocket as a reminder of God’s love. But if David had kept his stones in his sling or his pocket Goliath would still be alive. I became aware that God wants me to use these stones and fight spiritual battles with these stones. So I pray them all back to Him, reminding Him of His promises to me. God is requiring me to trust him. Trusting is easy when life is normal, but not so easy when there is danger and uncertainty all around. But yet that is what we are called to do.
I wrote a song in the fall of 2019 for our Congress, for a documentary called “Hope” that our Communications Department was creating. Lia Anthony (Port Jervis corps, GNY) recorded the song on a snowy December morning in Phil Bulla’s studio. The words are written by General Albert Orsborn. The poem is called “Trust On!” It spoke to me when I read it and while I was writing the music. Now it continues to speak words of comfort and strength. Please click on the link below (you have to click play to play video) and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Maybe ask the Lord to lead you to your own five smooth stones of scripture to slay the giants in your life.
written by Dorothy Gates, Territorial Music Department, USA East