Whatever you’ve seen in yourself that makes you sad and downcast, God in heaven saw it first. And it didn’t stop Him sending His Son to bring you home because He loved you.
— John Hindley, “Serving without Sinking”
Scripture is not just the touchstone for the truth. God gave us the Scriptures so we might enter into a relationship with Him. William Tyndale wrote, “The scripture is that wherewith God draweth us unto Him … The scriptures spring out of God, and flow unto Christ, and were given to lead us to Christ. Thou must therefore go along by the scripture as by a line, until thou come at Christ, which is the way’s end and resting-place.
— ” Tim Chester, “Galatians: Rediscovering Joy”
This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE
“I [Paul], am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. 25God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. 26This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. 27For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. 28So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” Colossians 1:24-29
We praise you as we continue to pray through Colossians. We give thanks to You, who give us EVERYTHING we need IN CHRIST. Thank you for Paul’s example of what ministry is all about. Thank you for our church leadership, who like Paul, are making You known through the preaching of Your word. We pray for our leaders to continue to faithfully proclaim the mystery of the gospel, which is fully revealed and is summed up as ‘CHRIST in US!’ May we be taught and warned of any false gospel. Cause us to humble ourselves in obedience. Help us to grow to maturity in You, and to encourage one another to contribute in the battle for our church’s maturity in Christ, even to be willing to suffer for that goal.
Remind us that as we work and struggle for your glory, it is Your mighty power that works in us! Amazing grace. Amazing love. Amazing Christ. Help us to keep our eyes focused on You this week. AMEN
The best one-point plan for restoring order to your life: spend time every day in the Word of God and prayer.
— Kevin DeYoung, “Crazy Busy”
True discernment means not only distinguishing the right from the wrong; it means distinguishing the primary from the secondary, the essential from the indifferent, and the permanent from the transient. And, yes, it means distinguishing between the good and the better, and even between the better and the best.
— Sinclair Ferguson, “In Christ Alone”
Love is happy, not dour— Amy Carmichael, “Gold by Moonlight”
This post by Alex Drew was originally published at Seventy Two
1 Peter 3:13-22
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threatsa]; do not be frightened.”b] But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive,c] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.d] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
Serving to impress God or others – these motivations lead to the same place: bitter with God, annoyed with others; disappointed with ourselves.
— John Hindley, “Serving without Sinking”
Psalm 1 warns us not to “sit in the company of mockers” (v.1), but instead to “meditate” on God’s word “day and night” (v.2). Review your reading, viewing and surfing habits.
— Do you sit in front of the television or with your tablet in the company of people who mock the truth? What shapes your sense of what’s “normal”? Tim Chester, “Galatians: Rediscovering Joy”