Monday, June 1, 2009

Devotionals Part 2

Wednesday Night

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."

-Love is a decision, not an emotion
-Love is the greatest gift of all that God gives each of us. It is the only spiritual gift that is substantial. 
-Loving is difficult, but it is also very serious. 
-A different version said "Charity." When we think of charity we think of giving. Love is basically giving. Jesus gave His life.
-You don't have to like someone to love them. You can dislike someone and still love them. 
-It is good to have knowledge of the Bible, but we need to have relationships with people.

Matthew 5:1-12
"Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying,
'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. 
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Earlier in the evening, we went out to a place called The Wall and fed the homeless. It was so humbling and heartbreaking to see how very grateful the homeless were for the food we were giving them.

Deuteronomy 20:3-4
"He shall say: 'Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."

Oh you foolish Christians! If you only knew the power of God that you have!

Thursday Night

Living for God

1 Peter 4:1-11
"Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do - living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the Gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."

-People may not hear our understand our words, but they see how we live. 
-We are putting forth the image of Christ.

James 1:22
"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Ecclesiastes 7:20
"There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins."

1. How can we live a life that is pleasing to God?
-Loving others above yourselves
-Time with God and mimicking what He does. 
-Gifts we are given are better used reaching out to different people in different ways
-Following the gifts and desires God give you - following God
-Being alert and aware
-Having accountability partners, spiritual mentors
-Don't have to have just one, can have multiple
-Authority figures are important

2. What are certain things we can do to remind ourselves that we are temporary residents of this earth - that we are aliens?
-Listening to secular music - but not too much
-Continuing to do things like this intentionally and purposefully (mission trips, ministry, fellowship, etc.).
-Have a mentality of giving 
-Investing in relationships vs. material things
-Everything fades besides love
-Love is everlasting
-Watching the news, knowing what is going on in the world
-By Katrina happening, we have the opportunity to come down to New Orleans and share God's love. just like before the Tsunami hit, it was difficult for people to go to that location, but when it hit, doors were opened wide for people to go there and serve by rebuilding and share Christ's love.
-Looking for open doors and opportunities, big and small, to share the love of Christ.
-We are supposed to die every day to our flesh. We should also remember though that the real zombies are the people walking around us everyday, because they are still walking in darkness.
-Sharing our experiences, revelations, thoughts with other Christians instead of just keeping it to ourselves.
-1 Peter 4:7 - be ready for Christ's return.

Friday Nights, which became Saturday Evening

Luke 9:23-24
"Then He said to them all: 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.'"

How can we take up our cross (New Orleans) daily?
-Come back, intentionally make a plan
-Keep in contact with people from Carpenter's House
-Give up everything, just as our fellow servants in NOLA give their whole life to this ministry
-Support financially
-Talking to people from Carpenter's House, building those relationships

Luke 13:18
"Then Jesus asked, 'What is the Kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."

Philippians 2:12-18
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."

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