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First Pres Joliet

A Daily Devotional from our faith community @ firstpresjoliet.org

Month

August 2015

Foo Fighters + Genesis

Genesis 4:2-6

I always wondered as a kid; what did Cain do wrong?  He was a farmer… why the harsh judgement about his produce?  The problem wasn’t about what he brought as much the quality of it.  He didn’t bring his best.  His brother did.  The obvious question here is pretty simple… do you bring your best to God?  Or do you bring your leftovers?

Here’s The foo-fighters thoughts on the concept.

Grace…

Ephesians 2 8-10

Ephesians 2:8-10  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”

Devotional Thought:  We often talk about God’s grace.  We can talk about God’s grace as a gift we don’t deserve.  We often talk about Jesus and the cross and that there is nothing on our part that we can do with regard to salvation.  Today, I want to focus on the last part of this passage…”created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life”.  What does is mean to be “created in Christ Jesus for good works”?

Enduring Faith

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II Timothy 2:8-13 (NIV)

II Timothy 2:8-13 (The Message)

How good it is to know that Jesus Christ “remains faithful” and “does not give up” (II Timothy 2:13).  It is worth it to endure in our walk of faith and trust in Jesus. Paul endured suffering, jail, and eventually death for the sake of sharing “the salvation that is in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 2:10). “Remember Jesus raised from the dead”(I Timothy 2:8) who endured and gave up everything for us.

We might reflect upon, that is, ask our selves, what we are willing to endure, even suffer, to be followers of Jesus and to build Christ’s Church.  Are there some things we need to die to in order to live more fully for the Gospel?

Like Paul, like countless others who have called Jesus Lord, let’s not give up on being Christ-Followers.  There’s much we can do to remain faithful.  We too can endure.

My Daily U-Turn

2 Chronicles 7:14

Three notes on this verse:

First, this verse is calling people who already have a relationship with God.  He calls “His people”.

Second, God calls people who already have a relationship with Him to repent.  What’s repentance?  Turning from sin to God.  Why does God say to do it?  Because people who already have a relationship with God still sin.  Daily.  In dozens of ways.  A lot of times I think our sin is pretty apparent to everyone else around us, but because we’re so blissfully self-unaware we miss a chance to turn from our sin to God.

Third, God will forgive and heal.  Repentance is just another chance to experience God’s grace.

P.S. – If you’re feeling pretty good about yourself because you can’t think of any ways that you regularly sin…. pride is also a sin.

My Daily U-Turn

2 Chronicles 7:14

Three notes on this verse:

First, this verse is calling people who already have a relationship with God.  He calls “His people”.

Second, God calls people who already have a relationship with Him to repent.  What’s repentance?  Turning from sin to God.  Why does God say to do it?  Because people who already have a relationship with God still sin.  Daily.  In dozens of ways.  A lot of times I think our sin is pretty apparent to everyone else around us, but because we’re so blissfully self-unaware we miss a chance to turn from our sin to God.

Third, God will forgive and heal.  Repentance is just another chance to experience God’s grace.

P.S. – If you’re feeling pretty good about yourself because you can’t think of any ways that you regularly sin…. pride is also a sin.

Go!

Mat 19: 5-8 Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:

“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

9-10 “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.”

I would encourage you to pray as you go out about your day to day, pray that you will see what Jesus had in mind when he sent the 12.

Be Blessed,

Bo M.

By Faith…

faith-road-sign-with-dramatic-clouds-and-sky

Hebrews 11:  “By faith…”  This chapter, known as the “Great Hall of Faith” tells us about such great stalwarts of faith like Noah, Moses, Abraham, Sarah.  When was the last time you read Hebrews Chapter 11? I encourage you to read it today…right now – just click on the “Hebrews 11” link above.  Then, I’d like you to think about the following verse in particular…“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God mmust believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Devotional Thought:  What is the state of your faith today?

Things That Matter

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I Peter 4:7-11 (NIV)

I Peter 4:7-11 (The Message)

Here we are encouraged to let what truly matters, truly matter in our lives.  The Message Translation says it well, “take nothing for granted…Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything” (I Peter 4:7-8).

What is it that matters most?  Here it is: wise and steady thinking, prayer, love, hospitality, using ones gifts to serve, and giving all the glory to God.

How are you doing this week with what matters most?

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Irrational Christians

Hebrews 11:1-16

Each one of these people in the passage share one thing; a dogged determination to follow God’s leading regardless of how much sense it made to them at the time. I think that too often we walk by sight and not by faith.  Let’s be a people who are “longing for a better country – a heavenly one” and as a result are willing to follow God anywhere.. no matter how irrational.

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