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Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Devotion

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” (Romans 12:10)

One of the keys to fellowship are the relationships the Lord intends to be developed as He gathers us together.  Relationships are dependent and produce reciprocal benefits.  Being devoted means doing for the other because they are in relationship with you, regardless of whether or not they reciprocate.  We are to honor one another and be devoted to one another as the Lord has been devoted to us through grace and has honored us with life in Him.

Lord, I am fickle in this world.  I want to pick and choose with whom I will associate.  Help me see that You place me in a fellowship for the sake of continued growing and strengthening. You grow me into the person You have always intended.  Grow my heart to desire true fellowship built upon these principles and not upon the world’s measure of building relationships upon mutual benefit.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for extending Your hand of fellowship to me even though I do not deserve it.  Guide me to extend my hand of fellowship to others that they too may have the opportunity to grow in grace.  Help me in every time of sinful judgement to move beyond first impressions to build those relationship You give me.  May I be faithful in every call You give, living for the Father’s glory.  Amen. 

Monday, April 28, 2014, Devotion

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.”  (Romans 12:9)

Do not love to gain something, or else it is not love.  Do not say one thing while doing the opposite.  Flee from all that is evil, and cling to what is good.  Keep your eyes on the Lord and His ways.  Love people, but do not try to impress them.  Hate evil, but do not hate people, even if they are filled with evil.  Cling to the Father, for He alone is good.  Do these things, and it will be well with your soul.

Lord, it is here that the way of the world clashes with the truth of Your Gospel.  Help me simply live life honestly and without hypocrisy.  Help me see evil and refrain from being in places where evil is celebrated.  Above all, teach me Your goodness that this may be the driving motivation in my life.  Lead me into godliness, that I may become like Christ my Savior.

Lord, You know all things, and You know where I need work in my life.  Lead me this day to work on eliminating hypocrisy.  Show me clearly the difference between good and evil that I may flee from the evil.  Above all, help me to reflect Your goodness and mercy today that others may know the difference You have made in my life.  Guide me today to do what is right in Your eyes.  Amen.  

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014, Devotion

“So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  (Romans 12:5) There are many parts of the Body of Christ.  Each has his or her purpose, but we are a part of the whole.  This is why we confess that we believe in the communion of saints.  We are in communion with the whole Body of Christ, and we are called to live together under the reign of Christ our Lord and Master.  He is the Head, and we are the parts, knit together by Him through grace. Lord, help me understand that Your gifts and callings are irrevocable.  Guide me to understand what Your Word says about being a part of the whole that You have put together from the beginning, that I may live as a part of this mysterious Body You have woven together.  Guide me to see my fellow members as a part of the whole and join them in praising You forever. Lord, You are the author and finisher of faith.  Help me today to live as one of the whole, which You are putting together to join You in Your gentle rule forever.  Help me have a godly attitude and a gracious manner that by my person, they will know that You are my Lord.  Help me today to be a faithful witness of Your unending love and compassion, that the kingdom might increase through my witness.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Devotion

“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function” (Romans 12:4)

We differ in function, but we are all a part of the whole that Jesus is gathering together in His grace.  Although our functions may vary, we should leave behind any thinking in terms of who is superior or inferior.  Each has their part, and all are necessary.  Think, then, in terms of partners, each doing their part for the sake of the Gospel.  The Lord is head, and we are the parts.

Lord, remove worldly thinking from me that I would not think in terms that are not pleasing to You.  Help me live according to Your Word, knowing that You have freed me from the bondage of this world in order to be a part of Your Body, the church.  Guide me to think what is right and to do what is right, treating others as parts of the Body and not with an air of either inferiority, or superiority.

Help me this day, Holy Spirit, to have the demeanor that is right in every situation.  Guide me to say the right words and be an encouragement to brothers and sisters in You.  Help me be a bold witness of the Gospel, and lead me to speak as You would have me speak that others would have the opportunity to be a part of Your eternal reign.  May I be Your instrument in the world today.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Devotion

“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”  (Romans 12:3)

Neither think more highly, nor more lowly, but think in terms that are truthful and helpful.  We are all saved by the grace of Christ and apart from Him, there is no grounds for boasting.  However, we are to be bold in sharing the truth of Christ, not as someone superior, but as one who sees the need for all to be saved by grace.  Have sound judgment to be appropriate in every situation.

Lord, the world loves to categorize and think in terms of superior and inferior.  Help me to live knowing that all are under Your authority and that our only ground for boasting is in what You have done.  Help me to be sound in judgment, thinking clearly and honestly that I may meet every situation as You would have me meet it.  Guide my thinking to be humble, yet bold in telling the truth of the Gospel.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for leveling the playing field.  Apart from You, there is no hope, but with You, all things are possible.  Guide me today to not boast in anything but You, and help me be firm in commitment, but humble in circumstance that I may have the opportunity to share with others the Gospel’s truth.  Guide me to be Your disciple today, knowing that in You, I can accomplish what You would have me do.  Amen.

Monday, April 21, 2014, Devotion

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  (Romans 12:2)

Either you will remain conformed to the world, or else You will enter the journey of sanctification in which you are conformed to Christ.  Daily, our minds need to be renewed.  Daily we sin; therefore daily, we need to see Christ apply the Gospel to transform our minds to be on the path He has prepared for those who follow Him.  This is a journey that will last the whole of this life on earth.

Lord, help me not fall into the trap of thinking that all that needs to be done has already been done.  Help me live into and through Your Word, knowing that daily there are parts of the journey I must make in order to progress in growing and understanding this faith You have given me.  Guide me today into Your Word, and teach me, that I may learn and understand the truth You have revealed.

Thank You, Lord, for providing everything I need in order to increase in wisdom and stature as You did while living on earth.  Help me learn from You today and apply what You teach me that I may increase in Your likeness and live according to Your eternal principles.  In all I do this day, may I do those things that are pleasing and acceptable to You. Provide me with glimpses of perfection to encourage me on this path You have made.  Amen.

 

Sunday, April 20, 2014, Devotion

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  (Romans 12:1)

In one sense, we do die at the cross with Jesus, so presenting ourselves as a sacrifice should make sense.  In another way, we are to die to sin all day long that we may live according to the Word of God and not according to the world.  We are called into continual worship, and the worship that pleases the Lord is living a life that is conformed to the image Christ.  Therefore, be diligent in living toward this kind of life.

Lord, I need all the help You will give to enable me to live toward the prize of salvation, which is becoming like Christ.  It is not that I seek to be Christ, but to become like Him, willing, obedient, and in eternity perfect according to Your Word.  Help me seek toward this prize today and every day that I might learn how to live this life into which I have been called.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for preparing the way for all who would follow You.  Guide me today to be diligent in seeing those places in my life that need to die at the cross in order to free me to be like You.  Help me overcome each obstacle that I would increasingly become an obedient child of the Father.  May my life be one of worship today, praising You with all that I do.  Amen.

Saturday, April 19, 2014, Devotion

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”  (Romans 11:36)

The Lord is the author of all life.  In Him is life, and apart from Him is nothingness.  His work alone endures, and those who are in Him through faith and by grace are the workmanship of His gracious hands.  We are to live knowing that He is the author and finisher of our faith and that all things will work according to His plan.  Trusting in the Lord, we are to live each day as He gives it, knowing He is working all things together for good.

Lord, I look in the moment and often forget that all things are in Your hands.  Help me have an attitude that instantly understands that nothing happens apart from Your sovereignty and that all is now and always in Your hand.  Turn my heart to praise You in every circumstance, knowing that although I may not understand, I can always trust in Your never-failing provision.

Thank You, Sovereign Lord, for sharing the Gospel that I might be included among Your saints.  Help me this day to live as one of Your saints, sharing with others as You have shared with me and pointing always to You, the Good God who provides for all and leads those who are in Christ to eternal life with You.  May this day be a day of praise of You, whose work alone endures forever.  Amen.

Friday, April 18, 2014, Devotion

“Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?”  (Romans 11:35)

The Lord owes us nothing, but He is gracious and kind and has shared with us in His goodness.  We are to become a people who are thankful and live with the same graciousness toward others.  It is not a matter of payback, either to the Lord, or to our neighbor, but of grace and mercy, offering every opportunity to live under the sovereignty of the Lord God Almighty.

Lord, I am often tempted to do things seeking to pay for my sins and thereby offending what You have done in paying the price of my sins.  Help me learn to not be reactive, but instead praising all that You have done and are doing.  May my life be directed to be thankful in every circumstance, rejoicing in the goodness You have already displayed in preparation for an eternity of praise and thanksgiving.

Lead me this day, O Lord, to praise You in every situation.  Help me understand and react first with the knowledge that everything is in Your hand.  Help me simply reflect Your love to others that they, too, might know the riches of Your grace and mercy.  Guide me to live faithfully this day, giving as I have received and sharing as You have shared with me in order to do what is pleasing in Your sight.  Amen.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014, Devotion

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?”  (Romans 11:34)

We all need to step back and be aware of those sinful times when we think we know better than God.  He is the One who created all things, and He does not need our counsel.  When we come to Him, we come as we are in order to submit ourselves to His care.  He will teach us, but we are to refrain from thinking He needs our counsel.  Remember this principle in your prayers.  We are to come to the Lord with every concern, but that does not mean we tell Him what to do.

Lord, I often believe I know what needs to be done.  Help me to trust in You and Your wisdom, so that I come to You with my needs, but do not do so making demands.  Help me understand fully that everything is in Your hands and that I can learn and grow, but that I will never fully grasp the totality of Your knowledge.  Counsel me, Lord, and keep me from thinking I can counsel You.

Thank You, Lord, for Your patience and willingness to listen to me, a sinner.  Guide me this day to lean not on my own understanding, but instead to lean wholly upon You, knowing that You know all things and will do what is right and just.  Guide me to live according to Your principles this day, living my life within Your perfect plan.  Amen.