Let’s Go Run


Jeremiah 31:1-6Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4John 20:1-18

Can you hear the church bells ringing? Can you see the look on the Mary’s face as she runs to find the disciples to tell them of the empty tomb? Can you hear the winded breath of the disciples as they arrive to find the tomb as the women described? It is Resurrection Sunday and Christ-followers around the world declare, “He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!”

For the past six weeks we have been on a powerful spiritual journey. We have experienced greater sacrifice. We have engaged in deepening devotion. We have explored our spiritual life through the lens of repentance and confession. After all of that it sure does feel good to rejoice!

Resurrection Sunday is a great day to remind us that we are people who have been raised with Christ. When we were baptized into faith in Christ we took on a new life. Our season of spiritual focus does not end with this day but its focus moves forward to Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit.

Because of Christ our entire vision has been recast from that which longs for this world to that which longs for the world to come. We realize a piece of that alternate Kingdom by being the living extension of Christ to our world. We have died and our lives are indiscernible because Christ is so evident in us.

Shawna Songer Gaines, Chaplain at Trevecca Nazarene University, shared a few weeks ago about a child she met at a local pharmacy. The child asked her to watch her as she ran. You see, the child had recently been fitted with a new prosthetic leg and even though she fell a couple times running, she could run and her heart was filled with joy. Life in Christ presents to us that kind of joy. Our being clothed in Christ goes beyond a Halloween party. Because of Resurrection Sunday the life of the Risen Christ has appeared in us.

This Resurrection Day we are privileged to run after Jesus with the same passion as the disciples did two thousand years ago. As you journey beyond these days of Lent, do not return to old patterns that are born from the old self. The death and resurrection of Jesus have provided for your victory. Set your mind on things above. Live with no regrets. Run down the isle of life empowered by our Resurrected Lord. It is Resurrection day. Christ is not only risen but is alive in you! This devotional needs to end. It is time for us to go run!

Rev. Terry Weyman – Lead Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene (GFN Church) – Greenville, SC

Holy Saturday

Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24

Life can be such a paradox of emotions. We can celebrate the birth of a newborn and shed tears at the loss of a loved one in the same day. We can rejoice over a person turning to Christ and weep over someone running away from Jesus. Life is filled with greetings and departures, healing and decay. You read the heading of this passage and you are left to wonder, “Where is the faithfulness!”

When you experience a period of lamenting, the temptation is to call into question the faithfulness of the Lord. However, we are reminded that, even in the depth of our tears, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and we can keep our hope in Him. This is good news my friend.

  • The writer lists his affliction and they are many! Take some time to speak out your affliction before the Lord.
  • The writer does not remain there. He moves to affirm who God is. Spend some time today reflecting on the Holiness, faithfulness and steadfast love of God.
  • Reaffirm that, even in the middle of affliction, you will place your hope and trust in the Lord.

A Prayer: Father, my afflictions are many but they do not compare to your majesty and glory. All power and majesty and praise belong to you. Your faithfulness is beyond compare. From generation to generation you have proven yourself true, just and righteous. I affirm my faith in you and this day my hope is found in you alone. Father, I belong to you.

Rev. Terry Weyman – Lead Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene (GFN Church) – Greenville, SC

Good Friday



John 18:1-19

One of the temptations we face in our familiarity with the stories surrounding the crucifixion is that we can easily remove ourselves from them. We look at the betrayal in shock. We see Peter warming himself by the fire and are mortified at his denial, asking, “How could Peter do that!?” The truth is much darker. There have been times when we have been hesitant to share our faith. There have been times when we watered down our witness to make us more likeable. There have been times we knew what we should do and didn’t do it. Don’t forget that you are found in the story and Jesus went to the cross for you. No matter how close we are to Christ, we still need the cross.

  • Do you readily recognize your need for more of Jesus today?
  • Do you readily recognize your need for ongoing transformation into the image of Christ?
  • Do you find yourself uttering the words of the Pharisee, “I am glad I am not like those sinners?”
  • Do you believe the sacrifice of Jesus, which has destroyed the power of ALL sin has the power to bring you freedom from YOUR sin?

A Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times I have forgotten my own need for ongoing transformation. There is more to relationship with you than typing an “amen” to a Facebook post. I want to know you more today and be transformed by your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross. Father, I belong to you.

Rev. Terry Weyman – Lead Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene – Greenville, SC

Maundy Thursday


John 13:1-17

Today is a day that allows us to connect to some significant emotions that Jesus faced. Loneliness, isolation, impending doom and sorrow gripped the heart of Jesus on this day. The shadow of the cross loomed large. The Garden of Gethsemane was strangely quiet. Into this darkness we see a powerful image. We look into this story and see a Savior on His knees as He demonstrated what it means to love by taking last place.

I know that the American culture was built on an exceptional work ethic, advancement and entrepreneurial drive. However, we would do well to remember that this story is more than a story. This is a model for living. We can work hard, have a great work ethic and even get promoted but not at the expense of getting on our knees to serve others. We might find ourselves alone in doing so but if we look close enough, we just might get a glimpse of Jesus nearby.

  • How do you think Jesus felt on this day 2000 years ago? What emotions did He feel? What or who was He thinking about? How deep was His love for you that motivated Him to walk to the place where He knew the Betrayer would find him?
  • During your work week do you ever consider what it means to wash the feet of others? Granted, it would be odd to ask people to take off their shoes so you can literally wash their feet. However, in what ways could feet washing become your metaphor for engaging in selfless service to others in Jesus’ Name?

A Prayer: Father, I thank you for walking to the Garden on that fateful day. You placed yourself where the enemy would find you. You willingly walked into what others thought was a trap. Before doing so you modeled for us what service and sacrifice require. Help me to not be afraid of last place. Help me to willingly kneel before others and serve. Father, I belong to you.

Rev. Terry Weyman – Lead Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene – Greenville, SC

Joy and Peace


Hebrews 12:1-3

One of the things I try not to do is engage in the comparison game. “I have been so busy!” is one that is a favorite of many. “Busy” is a relative term that leaves people to engage in a “who is busier” contest where no one wins. We are, however, instructed by scripture to engage in at least one comparison game. When we struggle, are persecuted or experience hardship, we are to compare ourselves to the hardship that Jesus faced. The scripture explains what will happen if we do this comparative analysis correctly. The result is that we will not grow weary or fainthearted. The result is joy in being counted worthy to suffer in Jesus’ Name. The result is peace.

  • Are you engaged in the right comparison game or the wrong one?
  • Compared to what Christ suffered, especially in his last three days of earthly ministry, how is it going with you?
  • Why is it we find it easier to compare ourselves with those who have it easier than us rather than compare ourselves with Christ?

A Prayer: Father, too often I compare myself with how good others have it. I realize that the scripture asks me to compare myself to you and how hard you had it. I am thankful for the hardships I face, that you would count me worthy to grow in my faith and represent Jesus well. I am not going to sadistically hope for adversity, but whatever is in your will is where I will find contentment. Father, I belong to you.

Rev. Terry Weyman – Lead Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene – Greenville, SC


Our Refuge


Psalm 71:1-14

Have you ever seen a person holding on to the top of a tree while the flood waters rage all around? It is easy to feel forsaken while hanging on for dear life. One thing is interesting about the image of a person in a tree while the floodwaters rage. I have never seen the tree let go of the person hanging on. People may try to convince you that the adversity you face is a clear sign God has abandoned you. However, the adversity, as David teaches us, is an opportunity to trust and praise God like never before. Hope can still spring up in the adversity. Like David, you can praise God more and more. Watch what happens when you do!

  • Are you going through a particularly difficult time? If so, are you entertaining any doubts concerning who God is in your life?
  • Do you have people close to you who try and get you to abandon your faith? If so, why do you continue to allow them to influence you?
  • While you are hanging on for dear life, is your mouth filled with misery or praise?

A Prayer: Father, I am in a time in my life when I am just hanging on. As David prayed, be to me a rock of refuge. I declare that you are unshakable. I praise you for your faithfulness. I thank you for the promise of your presence. While others try to get me to doubt, I want praise to rise up from within my heart. So, I praise you today. You are my Father and I belong to you.

Rev. Terry Weyman – Lead Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene – Greenville, SC

Selective Hearing


Mark 10:32-34

Selective hearing. Most have heard the phrase and seen it in action. There’s a humorous meme floating around social media in which three different photos of an owner’s dogs show them sound asleep through the doorbell, arrival of a burglar, and approach of a “masked killer,” with a fourth photo showing those same dogs suddenly excitedly wide awake at the faint and distant sound of a cheese wrapper.

I have a couple dogs like that! In order to have a quick cheese snack all to myself, I have to run the kitchen sink so they won’t hear me remove the wrapper! Sometimes they still hear it and come running. But let me call them to go outside when I’m in a hurry, and nothing. It’s like they’re totally deaf! So I open a piece of cheese, and voila! There they are.

Selective hearing.

In our Gospel today we see it. Keep in mind that in the previous few chapters of Mark, the disciples had witnessed many miracles and heard life altering preaching from the Messiah, and three of them had experienced the Transfiguration. So, in their defense, they had a lot going on in their heads. Still, when someone you love dearly tells you they are about to die–and RISE? You’d think that might get a reaction. It didn’t.

If you look ahead to verses 35-37, you see just where the disciples’ heads were at: themselves. And so they didn’t really hear Jesus’ prediction about his death, or that last part: that three days later He would RISE! The disciples were so busy thinking about themselves that they missed it! …Until it happened. Jesus tried to prepare them for both the struggles and the glory! But they missed it. If we look at the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ arrest, Passion, and death, we see that the disciples fell apart. Because they were absorbed with themselves here in chapter 10, they missed those oh so important last six words of verse 34: “Three days later he will rise.”

Six words. The disciples missed it. Jesus tried to prepare them–just as He does us. Struggles and challenges in life will always come. Always. There is no way around the cross; only through it. But Jesus reminds us of those six words! When it is hardest to listen; when we are most distracted by our pain or struggle or busyness, He longs for us to turn off our selective hearing and remember those key six words! “Three days later he will rise.” Whatever struggle or challenge we may be facing, He will bring us through! He goes before us! Jesus leads the way, just as in verse 32, just as He always did, just as He always will do! Listen to Him!

Lord, help me focus on myself less and on Your words and Truth more! Not selectively, but fully. Today, I surrender completely to Your ways.

Rev. Leslie LaPrise – Pastor – Graham Correctional Church of the Nazarene – Columbia, SC

The Message of Christ


John 8:21-30

Jesus is here giving the truth in terms that seem pretty clear to those who have the retrospection to understand. Jesus has come from the Father to deliver a message of life directly to His children. A message they should hear, recognize, and believe because it comes from the One who made them and chose them.   Some who actually heard these words from the Messiah himself were either unable or unwilling to listen and believe. It can be the same even for us today concerning those issues we feel strongly about. This tendency becomes especially evident in our recent political interactions that we will sometimes deliberately ignore the truth that contradicts our desires because we just don’t want to admit we were wrong, or we will enthusiastically believe anything that supports our cause regardless of its veracity. Even as Jesus breaks it down in simpler terms, there are those who will refuse to believe.

We hear the frustration in Jesus’ words, “Why do I speak to you at all?” He wants so much for them to accept His message and believe. There are times when I think I understand exactly what Jesus is saying and in my frustration may make a mistake in my attitude toward others. Yet, where we might write someone off, He doesn’t give up. Even in the face of their disbelief He holds out hope that they might still come to understand, turn from their sins, and believe. This passage is such an incredible reminder of how far He is willing to go to love and forgive. After they fail to understand His words, He reveals that His act of submission to the Will of God by his sacrifice on the cross will clearly demonstrate His message. It calls to mind the words attributed to St. Francis, “Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.” When words fail, act.

In what ways might you be able to preach the gospel to those in your sphere of influence by demonstrating the sacrificial love of Christ through daily action?

What thoughts, prejudices, or attitudes do you struggle with that might interfere with your ability display such selfless love? Will you submit them to Christ?

Rev. Joshua Keith – Lead Pastor -Abundant Life Church of the Nazarene – Columbia, SC

In Between


Psalm 31

I’m so thankful for the Psalms. They are gritty, raw, honest, breathed as a prayer and crescendoing in worship. Many of them flow out of what feels like an in between in David’s life. Our reading from Psalm 31 today is the “already, not yet” of what we find in 1 Samuel 16. God had spoken, the oil had been poured yet there sat David in a cave…

It’s not hard for us to understand the frustration of the in between. If it takes longer than the national average of 203.29 seconds from the moment we say “#1 with a Sweet Tea” to when the window opens and it’s handed our way we are not happy. If the time between us clicking a link and the page loading is longer than 3 seconds 40% of us leave. Hospitals pay for billboards that list the current wait times for the Emergency Room to help us decide if it’s really worth it. We are not a culture that likes to wait.

Yet when we look to the Word we discover it is FILLED with in betweens. Creation, the desert, marching around walls, David, silence after the prophets’ promise, Jesus’ early life, the exhale of his last breath… God, it seems, is not afraid of the tension of the in between.

What if the “good work” Paul speaks of in the Philippians passage actually takes place in these “already not yet” moments? What if, in the tension between what was and what will be God is seeking to form the very things required to see us through what is to come? It’s in these moments I find the grittiness David’s words so refreshing. Fear, hope, frustration, and joy pour forth with a beauty that flows from the rawness of his own in between and having spent time with the emotions of those moments. Rather than ignoring the tensions David enters into them honestly within the shelter of his radical trust in God. There, in that gritty, raw, transparent place the fullness of God and the fullness of David enter into one another and worship seeps out.

Perhaps you are living your own “already not yet”. Remember, not a single word of God has ever fallen to the ground. What God has spoken will come to pass. But while you wait, don’t miss the gift of the in between. Enter into the tension in the shelter of a radical trust in God and allow the “good work” to be carried to completion.

Rev. Ben LaPlace – Outreach Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene – Greenville, SC

God’s Good Work in You


Psalm 31:9-16; 1 Samuel 16:11-13; Philippians 1:1-11

Being brought up on a farm in eastern Sumter County one of the things made me feel good was to complete a task and to complete it well. Take for instance, preparing a field for planting. Some of the fields were many acres and some were small just a couple of acres. Sometimes difficulties such as a high stand of weeds would take several passes with the plow to get prepared for planting or some would be so dusty that you could hardly breathe or see where you were going. Some fields were wet and the last thing you would want to do is to bog the tractor down. These things could hinder completing the work to be done. However hard the task, it was a good sense of completion when the last row was planted. You would exit the field knowing that you did your best and the seeds that were planted would sprout and produce a crop. It was really satisfying when my father would say, good job son. It gave me confidence knowing that he could depend on me to complete what he asked me to do.

In Philippians 1:1-11, Paul gives these words of confidence to those at the church in Philippi. He includes everyone when he said, “to all of God’s holy people in Christ Jesus”. He also said that he prayed with joy because of their partnership in the gospel and that he was confident, that God that started a good work in them would carry it on to completion until the day that Christ Jesus returned. To each believer in Christ Jesus, Paul said you are God’s holy people and He has begun a good work in you.

Today, God may lead us to a field that is head high in weeds, it may be dry, or it may be so wet that we could become bogged down. The work God has for you may seem too difficult to complete, yet He depends on us to complete it. If we believe in God’s Word, we should have confidence that He will empower us with His Holy Spirit to bring to completion the work that He has begun in us. He began the work at Calvary with His Son Jesus Christ and in our salvation he has begun it in us. Our work is to do the will of the Father so that we will be found pure and blameless on the day of Christ. Remember, we are God’s holy people and “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”(v.6). We do this, “to the glory and praise of God” (11b).

Rev. Roland Evans – Lead Pastor – Cottageville Church of the Nazarene – Cottageville, SC