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First Pres Joliet

A Daily Devotional from our faith community @ firstpresjoliet.org

Month

July 2015

God says Hello

Hebrews 1:1-3

Whole books have been written about these three verses. For us I have one devotional thought: God has shown us Himself to us, He’s said hello. How?  In Christ.  You want to know God?  Get to know Christ.  How does this direct your worship this morning?

Simple! Right?

3 John 1:11
11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

This verse seems simple enough until we start defining what is good and what is evil. What do YOU do with this?

Enjoy the weekend!

Be blessed,

Bo M.

What is hope?

1-corinthians-15-58

I’ve shared several of my life verses…passages of Scripture that I hope and pray will guide me daily…the last one I will share with you is the following…

1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers (and sisters), stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Devotional thought for today:  Are you all in?  If you were to describe what it might mean to be fired up to do the work of the Lord, what would that look like?  Lastly…what would you claim as your life verse…which passage of Scripture best describes how you are called to live your life in Christ Jesus?

Don’t have a life verse?  What would happen if every Christ follower would discover a life verse of their own and be motivated by it every day…

 

In Your Heart

Proverbs 7:1-3 (NRSV)
1 My child, keep my words
and store up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live,
keep my teachings as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

What will we write upon our heart this day?  What will we treasure?

May we treasure the goodness of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Let us love God and love our neighbor as we love ourself.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. (The Jesus Prayer)

Malachi’s Warning

Malachi 4:1-2

I’ve been taking a class on the Old Testament prophetic books.  The prophets served as God’s mouthpiece to what we would consider good church people in the Old Testament. In reality these peoples hearts were far from God despite their stellar church attendance. After reading all the prophets in the past few weeks there is a pretty clear theme that runs through them all: God wants a relationship with His people. He offers abundant life to all.  Despite His generosity some reject the abundant, others-focused life that He offers. For those people, the future is not bright.  I can’t make anyone accept Gods generosity; all I can do is get up every morning, choose if for myself and show others just how good this abundant life is.

 

When they see

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” – C.S. Lewis

John 13:35The Message (MSG)
34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Be blessed,

Bo M.

The Word became flesh…

25-erdekes-teny-az-univerzumrol-1

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας·

Not only is this one of my life verses but it is the only verse that we had to memorize in Greek in Dr. Vanderbroek’s class in seminary.

Devotional Thought:  Why, of the entire Greek New Testament, would this be the one and only verse Dr. V. would have his class memorize?  Why would you want to know this verse in your heart?  I’ll provide my answer later in the day but I have a very strong feeling that you all will be able to figure it out.

A Mind For Life

We hear the phrase “mind over matter” which has to do with mindfulness.  As we think so we are in life.

Reflection about our life and faith shapes who we are, what captures our attention, what we say, and what we do.

In Philippians 4:8 we read, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬ NIV)

Today, let’s think our best thoughts- hopeful, faithful, loving, wise, and just thoughts…

May the mind of Christ be within us.   What are your best thoughts this day?

God Likes You

By the time most of you see this post our students will be on their way to Niagara Falls, follow along here: www.fpjstudents.WordPress.com

I shared this post with our students and their parents the morning we left.  I believe that our ability to accept God’s love and extend it to others (even those who wrong us) will define the future of our Church.

John 15:12-15

I’ve heard people say something along the lines of: “I know I have to love them, but I don’t have to like them.”  What a bizarre thing to say. How can anyone love someone well without liking them?  Everyone one knows that real love involves actual affection. If I told you I loved Shelby, but didn’t like her you’d feel bad for her and rightly tell me I’m missing out on what love really is. Obviously we won’t like everything another person does and we’re allowed to disagree with people, but do we hope the best for those we disagree with?  Do we speak glowingly of their positive characteristics when they’re not around?  For whatever reason, we know its to right to love that way in a relationship but we willingly settle for less in our neighborhoods and churches.

Thankfully, God doesn’t settle for that.  Isaiah says God delights in you.  Psalms says he rejoices in you.  Jeremiah says that he knew you and loved you before you were born. God likes you. He doesn’t just love you, He likes you.  He likes you even though He’s seen every awful thing you’ve said, done and thought.  He still loves and likes you even though He disagrees with some of your life choices. Even though you reject Him. He didn’t courageously go to the cross and die a brutal, painful, bloody and tragic death begrudgingly.  He did it with a love for humanity foremost on His mind and when He came back He said “Go and do likewise”.  So lets go and do likewise.

Below is a completely un-exhaustive list of people God expects you to love and like.

Yankee Fans
Red Wings Fans
Packers Fans
Bears Fans
Hipsters
Jocks
Band Kids
Potheads
A B C D + F Students
People whose schools give smiley faces instead of letter grades
Old People
Young People
The Middle Aged
Children
Your Mom
Your Dad
Your Dad Who Left You
Your Wife Who Left You
Your Husband Who Left You
People Who Wear Suits In Church
People Who Don’t Own Suits
Narcissists
Existentialists
Your Ex Best Friend
Yourself
Heterosexuals
Homosexuals
People who gossip about you
People you gossip about
Men
Women
The Gender Confused
Republicans
Democrats
Independents
Communists
Anarchists
Idiots
White People
Black People
Brown People
Racists
Northerners
Southerners
People who like the word moist
All the people who just gagged
Italians
Irish
Ghanians
French People
Germans
Inuits
People that make more money than you
People who make less money than you
People with Master’s Degrees
People who never graduated high school
Fat People
Skinny People
Depressed People
Anxious People
People in Wal-Mart who won’t make their kids shut up
Barak Obama
Donald Trump
Catholics
Muslims
Presbyterians
Baptists
Methodists
Unitarians
Westboro Baptist Church
The Islamic State
People who like Indie Music
People who like Polka
People who don’t like music
People who write really long lists.

Everyone believes that Christians need to love, but if we’re honest, we don’t actually try very hard.  Jesus likes you, but He still expects you to go and do likewise.

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