Weekly Devotional

   "A weekly prayer devotional guide."

Week Four

 Timothy 2:1-4  1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God’s words tells us to pray for our leaders, not just the ones we agree with. It is often very difficult to pray for someone who we don’t trust or approve, someone who has hurt us or our family. No matter our political affiliation, who we support or have not supported, God’s word instructs us to pray for those who have authority over us.   God’s word also tells us that it is His desire that all men be saved.  This should be our focus.  Even if we don’t agree with a particular parity’s platform or agree with a particular person in power, we must pray daily for them.  We most certainly should pray for God’s direction in the decision they make daily, but as instructed we must also pray for their salvation. Who knows who leaders come in contact with daily, but it may be someone who can lead them to Christ.  Wouldn’t it be great to see all our nation’s leaders profess Christ as their Savior?  We need to pray for this daily.  We need to pray that God will place people in the lives of leaders who will show them Christ.  If we do this we are being obedient to God’s call to pray for the leaders.  I don’t know how many politicians will be in heaven but I do know it is my responsibility, as a Christian, to pray for them daily.  


Week Three

Philippians 2:3-11  
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
What does the Bible mean with the word humility?  If we are truly humble we don’t think of ourselves first. According to Warren Wiersbe “humility is that grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it.”  A truly humble person will yield themselves to Christ and be used to bring honor and Glory to God.  Our eyes and hearts should be turned outward to see others and focus on their needs, knowing the God will take care of our needs.  This of course, does not mean we are a doormat for others to walk all over.  But we are called to be single minded and become servants for Christ.  Jesus exhibits four characteristics of a single minded, submissive person.  
 
     1.     He thinks of others and not about himself.  We should take on the attitude of servitude that Jesus himself exhibited.  
     2.     He serves. We need to get down to where the rubber meets the road in true service. In the four Gospels it was Jesus who served.  He even washed the feet of the disciples.  
     3.     He Sacrifices. A lot of people are willing to “serve others” if it means that there will be no hardship or cost.  Sometimes we have to get down and dirty in the trenches to serve others.  One true test of our submissiveness is not how much we are willing to take in terms of suffering but how much we are willing to give in terms of a sacrifice.  
     4.     He glorifies God.   This should be every Christian’s goal.  To bring honor and glory to God.  Jesus humbled himself to others and even to death on the cross.  However he defeated death and rose again.  Men had done all they could to hurt, kill and destroy Jesus.  However, God exalted Him and honored him.
 
 Our happiness should not just come from helping others, but should come from the fact that we are glorifying God in what we do! We may not see the joy now, but upon the return of Jesus we will surely see it when we receive the rewards in heaven and hear the words, well done my good and faithful servant.  
 

Week Two - Love One Another

1 Corinthians 13  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

What is your definition of love?  Is it an attitude, action or perhaps a combination of both?  Often times love is determined by what we can see or touch. Paul, in chapter 13, was very concerned about how we feel about others we come in contact with daily.  Self-giving love should be more concerned with giving than receiving something.   Gifts from God need to be administered with love. The love we have received should be given to others with love.  Love is an action word, it involves an act towards others.  The love we give to others should outlast all failures.  Think about the love we received from Christ.  It was in an act of love that he gave himself in death for our sins.  This is the type of love we should have for our fellowman.  A sacrificial love, one that knowns no bounds and will last forever.  If we don’t have and show love towards others then our actions may be like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  Lots of show and noise but no real love, love that can only be through Jesus Christ.  One day we will know true, prefect love.  Heaven is a place where we will experience the love of God like never before. What type of love are you showing towards others, true love through Jesus or just some noise?  


Week One - Show Christ love

Summer Enrichment - How much is it?
Colossians 3:12-17 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

These verses should help us as Christians by encouraging us to walk with Christ in newness of life.  God showed grace to us who are nothing more than sinners.  We are saved by God’s grace and mercy.  Being a Christian we are called to have a heart for certain things; Compassion, kindness humility, gentleness and patience are listed in these verses as things we should all strive to have, even though sometimes in the world we live in it may be very difficult to accomplish. Also listed are certain things we should all do as Christians.  Forgive others, just as God forgave us.  I look at some people and have to ask how can I ever forgive them?  But then, if we are Christians we are called to forgive them.  I look back over things I have done and wonder how God could ever forgive me.  Thankfully, his son paid the price for mine and your sins.  We are also called to be unified, letting the peace of Christ rule our lives.  Unity is something we are lacking in this country.  I think back on September 11, 2001.  Do you remember where you were and what you were doing?  I certainly do.  I remember watching the news all day, mesmerized by the images I saw hour after hour.  But I also remember September 12th, how we all came together as a nation.  No barriers, no obstacles, no walls between us.  We were all Americans in those days that followed.  We were unified, a perfect bond of unity.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have this unity with others again? If we let Christ’s peace rule our lives perhaps we can all be unified again.  When we love through Christ it is the same love Christ has for us.  A never ending love.  One that has no bounds, no beginning and no end.   How do we do this, how do we love as Christ does?  We let his word dwell in our hearts.  We read and study his words singing songs of praise and worship always thanking God for his goodness towards us.  As Christians we bear the name of Christ.  Before we do or say anything we should ask ourselves will what I am saying or doing going to honor and glorify Christ?  Is this helping others to see Christ love through me?  If the answer is no, we may want to reconsider our motives and check our hearts.  Bearing the name of Christ is a privilege, but it is also a great responsibility.  As we go through this week, think about what motivates you.  I pray it is the love of Christ and what he has done, is doing and will do in our lives.  Everything we do should point others to Christ.  
Pray this week for unity and a willingness to follow Christ no matter the circumstances.  Pray for opportunities to show others Christ love in and through our lives.