Weep with the Weeping, Rejoice with the Rejoicing – Romans 12:9-21

Sometimes it’s harder to rejoice with those who are rejoicing than it is to weep with those who are weeping. “How come she lucked out? How come they got that? Why does he get the big breaks?” we wonder all too often. Paul doesn’t say, “Preach to those who are weeping.” No, he says, “Weep with those who are weeping.” Concerning those who are weeping, we don’t have to preach at them or speak something profound to them. We just need to weep with them without questioning God’s goodness in the process. We are called to be there for each other lifting each other up. We are in this together! Which do you struggle with the most: weeping with those who weep, or rejoicing with those who rejoice? How might you reach others by allowing God to soften us?

PRAYER – Jesus, I am forever grateful of everything You have done in my life. Help me and show me how I may live out that gratitude by seeing others as You see them. Thank You Lord.. In Your precious name, Amen.

Don’t Complicate The Gospel – Luke 10:29-37

Believers in the church often attempt to live under the law, even though we have been freed from the law. You see we often seek to justify our actions and rationalize things that we do or have done. This occurs most often when we compare ourselves to others – “Well, I would never do that to someone.” Let’s look at another story to better understand this point:

Two campers got out of their tent and began to pour their morning coffee, when suddenly one of them saw a huge black grizzly bear running their way. “Look at the grizzly!” he said. The other guy immediately dropped his cup and began to put on his tennis shoes. “If you think you can outrun a grizzly, you’re crazy,” said his friend. “I don’t have to,” the smarter of the two called out over his shoulder as he sprinted away. “All I have to do is outrun you!”

That’s the way of the law. Religion says, “God will accept me into heaven if I’m just better than the next guy.” But that’s not what the law declares, for it says that whoever violates even one point breaks the whole law and is doomed and damned unless he receives the free gift of salvation from the One who paid for his sins completely on the Cross of Calvary. Religionists call for a definition of terms in their attempt to muddy the clarity and simplicity of the gospel. Are you walking in freedom seeking to love God and love your neighbor? Or seeking to fulfill the law by justifying your actions? Freedom is found in the simplicity of the Gospel.

PRAYER – Jesus, in this situation I have nothing to offer of my own ingenuity or strength; I need your wisdom and power as badly as I need the air that I breathe.  As I move forward may I do so in desperate dependence on You every second.  I joyfully and unreservedly confess that I am inadequate to answer Your call, in fact, I can do absolutely nothing without You.  I’m not able to handle this situation on my own and any good that results must come solely through You.  I simply ask You right now to flow through me, Lord Jesus, and cause me to stay out of Your way. In Your name, Amen

Go To God and Rest – Colossians 3:1-17

Since we as believers have been raised together with Christ, we are called to set our minds on things above instead of the things of this earth. God is calling us to not focus on the situations or circumstances of this life as they appear to the natural eye but in reference to their importance to God and to eternity. By having Jesus as our life, we are instructed by Paul to put to death vs.5, and take off vs. 8-9 the old man and old self. But put on the new self and the fruit of the spirit vs. 10-14. But look at vs. 15. When we put on God, walk in Him and set our minds on things above – we let the peace of Christ rule our heart. The little word, let, implies a sense of surrender. Let the peace of Christ fill you heart and life. Decide to rely on Him and not your own strength. To rule is to govern and control. There is no space for two things or people to be ruling at once. The position of rule is absolute and all-encompassing. With Christ’ peace ruling in your heart, there will be no room for anxiety or fear. Whatever you are going through today, give it to God and rest!

PRAYER – I hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. I take my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: every habit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that means anything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at the Cross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according to Your Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I was buried; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. I deny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up the Cross believing that You are in my and I in You. I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this moment on I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead of me, to do what I can’t do, quit what I can’t quit, start what I can’t start, and–most of all–to be what I can’t be. I am trusting you to renew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank You now by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Your grace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness as my inheritance. Even if I don’t feel anything, I know that Your Word is true; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says– to set me free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived out through me, and that You may receive all the glory. I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Obedience – Ephesians 2:1-10

People find it difficult to accept something so free, so willingly given, so available to anyone. We want to feel as though we did something, that we somehow earned our salvation by our merit. Paul’s words are unmistakable: if salvation is by God’s grace and is accepted through faith, then it is “not a reward.” If salvation could be earned by good works, then people would, by nature, “boast” about their good works, compare the goodness of their works to others’ good works, and do good only to boast about it. Then, what would be “good enough” for salvation? But no one could ever be good enough to please a holy God. He casts aside all human effort and pride by offering salvation for free to all people by simple acceptance. People are given salvation on the grounds of God’s grace alone. But wait, there’s more. We are God’s masterpiece. Salvation is something only God can do—it is his powerful, creative work in us. People are re-created into new people, and those new people form a new creation—the church. I did not earn my salvation and living for Christ is  not about me. We make it about us though when we beat ourselves up when we fail. We are human – we will fail. But we are His children and all He ask of Him is to live in Him in obedience to Him. Thank you Lord!

PRAYER – Jesus I am in You and You are in me. As a believer in You, You have given me the free gift of salvation. You don’t expect me to now earn that same salvation. Help me to forgive myself when I do fail because You have already forgiven me. In Jesus name,Amen.

Am I Living My Title – 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Paul explains in these verses that he had evaluated his own motives and actions in light of the sobering fact that everyone will appear before Christ’s judgement seat. He knew and reminded himself of the fact that God saw his motivations. His life was an open book to God. Paul didn’t have to prove to God that he was sincere, for God already knew it. Like Paul, we are given a title and a ministry: “Ambassadors of Christ” with the “Ministry of Reconciliation.” An ambassador does not represent themselves but represents another. And we should do a self-examination and make sure the our motives and reasons are to bring glory and honor to the Lord rather than to us. Our mission is to preach this message to the world. Am I living an Ambassador of Christ life today?

PRAYER – Lord help me to see the world as You see them. Help me to see Your church as You see them. You love us so much that You were willing to sacrifice Your Son for us.  Thank You, Father. Amen.