Category: Faith at Work Devotional
"Each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable" 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Sex is an incredible gift from God, a gift given for procreation and our enjoyment. But this wonderful gift is also incredibly powerful, so powerful that God in his infinite love for us has provided some instructions, some boundaries around the gift because he knew that being selfish people we would be tempted to use this gift for our own selfish purposes. He knew that on our own we would use the gift of sex for destructive and harmful purposes - purposes that the gift-giver never intended.
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:44-45 Is there someone in your life that has done you wrong? Are you still stewing about it? Do yourself a favor. Take a walk and honestly pray for that person. Trust in God's grace, not your own bitter feelings. You'll be blessed by this spiritual journey of grace-filled prayer.
Our behavior should never be determined by the behavior of others (real, expected, or imagined). Our behavior should be based solely on the amazing love of God in Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus lived, accepted people, forgave people, died on the cross for us all, - not because he would receive anything from us for it, - we, too, should act only from and in the power of the love of Jesus.
If Jesus suddenly appeared before you and asked, "What do you want?" how would you respond? Maybe you'd ask for physical healing for yourself or someone you know and love. Perhaps you'd ask for the restoration of a broken relationship. Or maybe you'd think much bigger and ask for peace in our world or the end of poverty.
"Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved." - Acts 2:46-47 We live in a culture that increasingly fragmented. People who live next door to you, people who work with you, people who go to school with you are feeling increasingly isolated. And yet God created us for community. Our hearts yearn to know and be known, love and be loved, serve and be served.
"All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved." - Acts 2:44-46 Focusing on Jesus, devoting ourselves to a growing intimacy with the Lord produces in us a focus on the needs of others. That is the critical balance of healthy spiritual community.
True spiritual community is not something we create. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. By grace we are one in Christ. By grace we are family, sisters and brothers beloved by our common Father. This is a gift. It is an objective reality. The challenge is living out this reality and making it a part of our experience.