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Comfort

Tuesday

April 4, 2017

Lukewarm Faith

Read

Revelation 3:15-16, 19, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

Think

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sat confined in the Birmingham city jail and wrote the following: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright objection.” Dr. King took a page from Jesus’ words to the ancient church in Laodicea as he addressed his letter to fellow clergymen. In the midst of great civil unrest, he did not admonish the racial segregationists or the hate-filled Klansmen. No, his extreme disappointment was with those who could stand and make a difference, but out of comfort and self-sufficiency did nothing.

Likewise, Jesus rebuked the wealthy, self-sufficient, complacent, and spiritual arrogance of the Laodiceans. Due to their lukewarm approach to their faith and non-productivity within the kingdom of God, Jesus threatened to “spit them out of His mouth” with distaste if they failed to repent. Therefore, within the crazy climate of today’s culture and our microwave mentality, we must be mindful to not invert our posture of surrender and pervert our necessity for Jesus Christ.

Pray

Take some time before the Lord to meditate on just how reliant you are upon His power and provision. And pray a high-risk prayer availing yourself for God to work through your reignited passion for His fashion.

Act

Take your spiritual temperature by answering the following questions:
• How many people are you praying for on a regular basis?
• On average, how many people are you inviting to church each month?
• How committed are you to serving within house?
• How great is your willingness to step out of your comfort zone for Christ?

Tuesday

March 28, 2017

Cycle of Circumstance

Read

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

Think

We’re all familiar with the circle of life: birth, childhood, adulthood, and death. As babies breathe their first breath others are breathing their last on this side of eternity. But isn’t it true, especially as adults, that we overlook the cycle of circumstance: change, conflict, and growth? We get so caught up in the what and the why questions that we fail to maintain focus on the Who—God. We start out in a place of orientation, we have clarity and understand our calling. We feel at home and at peace with where we’re at, when suddenly a big change occurs and we are thrust into a season of disorientation. Life no longer makes sense. We begin to worry and question God. We feel at odds with the world around us. This is the precise moment when we need to shift our focus from ourselves to God. Eventually, as things begin to resolve, we enter into a time of reorientation. Here we feel at home again and clarity returns, yet we’re experiencing life in a totally new way. As we push past the breakthrough, we’re thankful not only to be on the other side, but for this new level of understanding and growth.

Where are you in the cycle of circumstance? If you’re in a period of disorientation, keep on praying even when you feel as if God’s not listening. He’s at work in our lives whether we realize it or not. Remember, His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are not our thoughts. So even when it seems as if the bottom is falling out and nothing makes sense, God has a plan. There’s purpose behind the pain. Trust God, and amazing things will happen in ways you’ve never before imagined.

Pray

Father God, thank You for always meeting me where I am and not where I think I should be. I put my trust in You, knowing if I lean on Your understanding, You will faithfully illuminate by path. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Act

Today, spend a few Psalm 46:10 moments being still before God. Open your heart and allow Him to flood you with His presence.

 

Wednesday

September 21, 2016

Righteousness by Faith

Read

2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”.

Romans 1:17, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous shall live by faith’”.

Think

Martin Luther, one of the greatest theologians of all time, was a markedly intense person. He zealously refused to accept one of the most important tenets of Scripture—that by faith we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Instead of focusing on what Jesus secured for us on the cross, he took the performance route. Therefore, as an outward display of repentance he deprived himself of sleep, refused to use blankets in frigid temperatures, and literally beat himself up. Why? He felt it was the only way to prove his devotion to God. Well, to be such an accomplished scholar, it was out of sheer ignorance that he felt the need to attempt the impossible. Nothing he could ever do or not do would make him righteous in God’s sight.

Luther spent hundreds of hours scouring Scripture and developed a special distaste for Paul’s theology. He even said he hated the phrase ‘The righteous shall live by faith’. Wow, hate was an awfully strong word for a man so terrified of God’s wrath. After years of erroneous thinking, he had a sudden epiphany. As an act of compassion God removed his spiritual blindness while he was reading Romans 1:17, the very verse that had haunted him for so long. God’s Spirit boldly brought his attention to the word ‘faith’, and it clicked. His life was forever changed. He then understood his need to be comforted by Christ and realized that when God looked at him He didn’t see Martin Luther the sinner; He saw the purity of Christ. He was finally free from years of mental, physical, and spiritual bondage. Sound familiar? Although not to the same extent, we too have a tendency to self-condemn and beat ourselves up with guilt when all we need to do is work it out in daily prayer. Remember, we are incapable of perfection, but we are made perfect in Christ Jesus.

Pray

“I thank You, God, that you have loved me enough to accept me as a work in progress. Today, help me to remember who I am and to model Christ to all I encounter."

Act

Read Acts 9:1-19. How is Martin Luther’s conversion similar to the Apostle Paul’s? Knowing the truth, what belief or action do you need to let go of in order to experience the ultimate freedom found in Christ?

 

Friday

April 15, 2016

Neither Hot Nor Cold

Read

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” Revelation 3:15-16, 19

Think

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. sat confined in the Birmingham city jail and wrote the following: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright objection.”

Dr. King took a page from Jesus’ words to the ancient church in Laodicea as he addressed his letter to fellow clergymen. In the midst of great civil unrest, he did not admonish the racial segregationists or the hate-filled Klansmen. No, his extreme disappointment was with those who could stand and make a difference, but out of comfort and self-sufficiency did nothing.

Likewise, Jesus rebuked the wealthy, self-sufficient, complacent, and spiritual arrogance of the Laodiceans. Due to their lukewarm approach to their faith and non-productivity within the kingdom of God, Jesus threatened to “spit them out of His mouth” with distaste if they failed to repent. Therefore, within the crazy climate of today’s culture and our microwave mentality, we must be mindful to not invert our posture of surrender and pervert our necessity for Jesus Christ.

Pray

Take some time before the Lord to meditate on just how reliant you are upon His power and provision. And pray a high-risk prayer availing yourself for God to work through your reignited passion for His fashion.

Act

Take your spiritual temperature by answering the following questions:

  • How many people are you praying for on a regular basis?
  • On average, how many people are you inviting to church each month?
  • How committed are you to serving within house?
  • How great is your willingness to step out of your comfort zone for Christ?