Monday, August 26, 2013

What Do You See?

It would be incredible, indeed, to have someone seek me out with a request to meet Jesus. Candidly speaking, it isn’t a regular occurrence in my life. But people did come to Philip with that very request:

John 12:20-21 (NIV)
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival.
 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus."
Photo by Taston (Flickr)

How did people conclude that Philip knew Jesus? Did they observe Philip spending time with Him since he was one of the twelve apostles? Perhaps they heard testimonies of how his life had changed since meeting Jesus. Maybe they noticed the way he conducted his relationships and business transactions. Was Philip known as a man of his word and as one who considered others’ needs above his own? These are some of the attributes I hope to attain as I spend time with the Son of God. 

So I ask myself: Do people observe me as someone who knows Jesus? Does my behavior reflect Him after I have spent time with Him? I wonder if my countenance encourages people to ask about my Savior?

Would you consider joining with me in praying for one another as we determine to become more Christlike? Let’s ask God to help us to be the kind of people who attract others to inquire about Him.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I pray that as I spend time in Your presence and in Your Word, I will become more like You. I would be honored if You would change my heart (and life) until I become the kind of person who attracts others who want to seek You. Teach me, Lord, how to be Your representative everywhere I go.

This week’s goal:
To be transformed into a true representative and witness for Christ, as I spend time in His presence and His Word.

What do you think?
  • Do people observe you as someone who knows Jesus? 

  • Does your behavior reflect Him after you have spent time with Him? 

Monday, August 19, 2013

We Did It!

Memorizing and Applying 1 Corinthians 13, One Verse per Week Series, Part 13


Photo by Marcelino Rapayla, Jr. (Flickr)
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I am using the Message Bible for this week’s quote:

1 Corinthians 13:13b
... Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

How about it?

Let’s commit to trust steadily in God! Let’s grow in our confidence that He can do absolutely anything. And that He cares about our every concern. It would mean trusting Him to take care of our children as they start a new school year and knowing He is able to speak to the hearts of our unsaved loved ones.

Let’s hope unswervingly! Let’s be unshakable in our expectations in what He says He can do in every area of our lives. It would mean hoping in spite of the doctor’s diagnosis or when the house payment is already one month late.

And finally, let’s love extravagantly! Since the greatest of these attributes is love, let’s love God and people generously. It is my prayer to love as lavishly as God loves me. And I want to consistently practice loving those around me, even when they cut me off in traffic or say unkind things about my child.

Do you feel as if you aren’t anywhere near these kinds of commitments? Me, either.

But I refuse to be discouraged. Instead, if we focus on God – how much He loves us, and all the reasons we love Him – then perhaps our ability to mature in these areas will soon become a reality.

Friends, we can learn to “1 Corinthians 13” love! But only with God’s help. Let’s pursue this, with expectations of succeeding.

We can love better because God (Who is love!) dwells within us.

Prayer:
Father, help me to trust You steadily, hope unswervingly, and most of all, love as lavishly as You love me!
 
This week’s Goal:
While memorizing 1 Corinthians 13:13, I commit to trust God steadily, hope unswervingly, and love God (and others) extravagantly. I resolve to consider how I choose to respond to others, every time, choice by choice.

We did it!
Congratulations! We have just completed memorizing and learning to obey the entire 1 Corinthians 13 chapter. Don’t worry if you didn’t get the verses down perfectly, regarding memorizing and living them out. God is faithful to complete the work He has begun in us. (Phil. 1:6)

  • How did you do?

  • Which verse(s) do you need to spend more time on?
  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Need Someone to Help You Stop the Game Playing?

Memorizing and Applying 1 Corinthians 13, One Verse per Week Series,
Part 12

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.


Photo by Sharizah (Flickr)
“We are safe to reveal our true selves to God. As we dare to do so, he will surely respond.” – "Knowing and Being Known" New Life Daily Devotion, Steve Arterburn, Sept. 25, 2010

One of the safest feelings I have about God is that He fully knows me. Fully! I need the kind of security in which Someone knows me better than I know myself.

Someone I can’t hide from.

In my past, I lied to myself (and others) in order to conceal my eating disorder and other bad and sinful habits. I played so many games that eventually I didn’t know for sure who I really was.

But God never stopped knowing the real me. Therefore, even today, He reaches into my life to help me. I’m thankful He knows me so well, and always knows exactly where I am!

His desire to know and love me completely causes me to want to fully know and love Him. I look forward to the day when I shall see Him face to face!

Prayer:
Father, I can’t begin to imagine all You know about me – good and bad. But I’m glad You know everything about me. I’m grateful You still love me – in spite of knowing me so well! Lord, show me the things I need to know about myself. Then give me the grace to yield to Your discipline and guidance.

And lastly, Father, I desire to grow in my knowledge of You. Please reveal Yourself to me as I spend time in Your Word.

This Week’s Goal:
While memorizing/meditating on 1 Corinthians 13:12, I will try to allow God to show me “hidden” things about myself and seek His directions regarding them. I will also pursue a clearer knowledge of Him as I spend more time in His Word.

What about you?

  • Have you gotten so lost within yourself that you need Someone to fully know the real you? Someone to help you stop the game playing so you can become the person God intends for you to be?

  • Would you like to share how we can pray with you? (You may use a pseudonym.)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Choice by Difficult Choice


Memorizing and Applying 1 Corinthians 13, One Verse per Week Series, Part 11

Corinthians 13:11-13 (NIV)




Photo by Wendy Lloyd

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

 “Love demands we be mature people. Love demands we all grow up, become responsible and self-controlled. Love or God makes these demands for we cannot be fully Christ-like if we keep our childish ways.” – Shepherd’s Care Ministries Daily Devotionals

I almost named this blog, “Let’s Grow Up Together!” or something like that. I wanted to portray a title that would encourage the Body of Christ to hold each other accountable as we make choices (goals) to mature in our Christian walk.

This week’s verse encourages me to continue growing up regarding the choices I make, the way I respond to people, and the way I live my life.
This includes me being a better wife. For years I hated the way I often treated Bert with my disrespectful attitude, including giving into a lot of complaining. Recently, I made a firm commitment to show respect to my husband and expressing thanks to him for the things he does. Of course, I am not doing this perfectly. But having made that commitment, I am behaving more grownup, and less like a whining child.

I honestly believe that if we dedicate ourselves to put the ways of childhood behind us, we will see a difference in the way we live. Eventually, others will witness Christ’s work within us.

So let’s choose to stop behaving like children and become mature men and women of God. We do this choice by choice. In fact, let’s be determinedly determined, in Jesus Name, as we pursue this week’s goal!

Prayer:
Father, show me the areas of my life in which I still behave like a child. Increase my desire to grow up in You. Teach me Your ways, O God, and give me the grace to obey.

This week’s goal:
While memorizing/meditating on 1 Corinthians 13:11, I will choose to mature in Christ every day – choice by choice. (Even choice by difficult choice!)

What about you?

  • How determined are you to leave childish ways behind you? Name one or two areas in your life in which you are still behaving like a child. What concrete steps will you take to leave those ways behind you?

  • Are you willing to have God show you the areas you need to grow up in? Will you go a step further and ask a friend to hold you accountable? If so, call or email that person today.

Let me know if you would like a copy of any of these verses and what translation you prefer, by using the comment link below. I will email them to you, formatted to fit a standard index card. (Be sure to subscribe to the blog, via email).
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