Today’s Text 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (NI

Today’s Text

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (NIV)
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,
24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.

Family Devotional Decisions, Decisions •

Family Devotional

Decisions, Decisions

• Who’s the first person you turn to when you don’t know what to do?

• How do you know when you’ve made a wrong decision?

We live in a complicated world. We will face complicated decisions. Fortunately for us, we have a resource we can use. God, the source of all wisdom, invites us to share our dilemmas with him. He makes his wisdom available to us.

In order to take full advantage of the opportunity, though, we first need to empty ourselves of our own “wisdom.” Sometimes when we ask for advice, we have already made up our minds, and we’re just looking for someone to agree with us. That might work with friends, but not with God. If we’re going to tap into his wisdom, we need to forget about what we want or what we think should happen. We need to let him guide us.

If you’re not sure how to recognize God’s voice, try talking to him from different perspectives about the situation you’re facing. Talk about the pros, the reasons you should do something. Then talk about the cons, the reasons you shouldn’t do it. Let him work in your heart and mind to help you realize which direction is best.

If you really want God’s wisdom, just ask him for it.

Dear God, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Never let us forget that your help is available whenever we need it. Amen.

Thoughts on Today’s Text We live in unc

Thoughts on Today’s Text

We live in uncertain economic times. Since 2008 it seems as though the whole world has been teetering on the brink of economic collapse. Governments at all levels have increased their debts as unemployment has risen. Economists argue about the appropriate course to take while interest rates are at historic lows. Perhaps we feel some nostalgia for former days when our economic future and our savings seemed more secure.

In Philippians 3, Paul says that we should not rest on our laurels; we should not assume that what we have done in the past will bring a reward. We must continue to strive toward the perfection found in Christ Jesus. Our human nature tends to want ritual and structure in religion to make us feel safe and secure, but Paul says that is not enough. We must never assume that religion (or financial security) is enough; we must “press on toward the goal.”

Churches that are open to the leading of the Spirit often do not settle into comfortable ways of doing things. They are frequently challenged by new people and new ideas. They are willing to forget what they once were as they strive toward their goal of being open to God’s message. This is not easy for those of us who like stability.

Today’s Text Philippians 3:12-16 (NIV)

Today’s Text

Philippians 3:12-16 (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Evening Prayer Lord, as this day ends, s

Evening Prayer

Lord, as this day ends,
soul and body, I am tired.
And all I have done:
is it worthwhile?
I need you, Lord,
where can I turn, except to you?

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things too sublime for me.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord,
both now and forever. Psalm 131

Today’s Devotional From Acts 9:11-20 “

Today’s Devotional

From Acts 9:11-20

“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims…But the evil spirit said to them in reply, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?'”

Ron Buford

I love seeing the “Expect a miracle” bumper sticker. It seems that I only see it when I really need one. It reminds me that my miracle is tethered to my faith expectation. No expectation. No vision of outcome. No miracle.

Paul was so filled with expectation that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them. Now that’s confident expectation and tangible outcome.

How did he gain such confident expectation that God would act? By attentively walking and working in relationship with the God about whom and with whom Jesus spoke; by recalling the way Jesus changed his life – radically. Paul and the disciples called upon God as an intimate friend, not a theological or intellectual construct.

Such a faith journey is a lot like cooking. You may start with a recipe, but over time you can end up smelling, spicing, marinating, feeling, tasting your way through to expert food wizardry, knowing exactly how the meal will taste—even before it is cooked, causing other chefs to ask, “What was that?”

The other exorcists in this story were using Paul’s recipe without the intimate seasoned working and tasting of the ingredients. If we want to feed the world the bread of life, through prayer, spiritual discipline, and our daily walk with God, we must do so with hopeful expectation, risk to our own reputation and innovation to become confident bakers of hope.

Prayer

O come with expectation, with vision of outcome. Experience your miracle – tasting, smelling, and seeing that God is good. For such, miracles still happen. Amen.

Thoughts on the Text The most memorable

Thoughts on the Text

The most memorable moment in Psalm 19 might be that often-quoted verse 14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.” This is not a quickie prayer. All of us need to consider our words and thoughts. Do Christians have a peculiar manner of talking? When we chat at the water cooler, interact at work, converse at a party: are the “words of my mouth acceptable to you, O Lord”? God doesn’t demand that we exhibit some pious, sugary, lilting niceness — but how do we talk in a way that pleases God and makes sense given our faith?

Morning Prayer Lord, teach us to number

Morning Prayer

Lord, teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart . . . Psalm 90

Help us do today the things that matter,
not to waste the time we have.

Yes, the moments we have are precious, Lord,
see that we count them dear.
Teach us to number our days aright.
Fill us this day with your kindness,
that we may be glad and rejoice all the days of our life.

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