'congregation' Tagged Posts

'congregation' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

But the Lord answered him and said, ‘You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water?’” vs. 15 Luke 13:14-17 The Jews had spent centuries discussing the sabbath and had rigidly defined the activities that could be done. Leading your donkey to water was permitted; healing was not. Jesus knew the rules, but it didn’t stop him from healing the woman who…

Daily Devotions

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!” vs. 51 Luke 12:49-53 Not everything that we read in the gospels brings joy to our hearts. Oh, there is much that is beautiful and inspiring, but Luke wasn’t in the business of censoring Jesus. Even when his words were disquieting and disturbing, Luke included them because they were a true reflection of what life in Christ is like. Jesus…

Daily Devotions

He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” vs. 14 John 16:14-15 Jesus had given the disciples a mission, to love as they had been loved, and he had given them the Holy Spirit as a guide. And because the world was so tumultuous and the challenges so great, in those early years they relied heavily on the daily guidance of that Spirit. Now that isn’t as easy as it sounds. There…

Daily Devotions

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” www. 18-19 Isaiah 43:16-21 Some people live with their eyes on the past. They long for the way things used to be and spend valuable energy trying to get back to original intent when interpreting the documents of…

Daily Devotions

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” vs. 1 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 No matter how many talented folks a congregation has, no matter how many ministry programs are available, unless there is a spirit of love within that congregation, everything else is pointless and worthless! Paul doesn’t mince words with the Corinthians. He spells out his most excellent way in terms that…

Daily Devotions

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.” vss. 29-31a 1 Corinthians 12:27-31a As Paul describes the Church, using the human body as a metaphor, he tells the Corinthians that together we are the Body of Christ, and individually members of it. Within that one body each one has been equipped by the Spirit for…

Daily Devotions

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” vs. 12 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 Paul believed that the human body was the perfect metaphor for the Church and took care in describing the similarities. In fact, it’s likely because of his influence that we now speak of the Church as the Body of Christ. His primary purpose in using this image…

Daily Devotions

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” vs. 7 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 Paul believed that within each congregation there were a variety of gifts, services, and activities that were sparked by the presence of the Spirit. Moreover, since no one individual could do everything, each person had been equipped with particular gifts. In his words, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” In a healthy congregation everyone would…

Daily Devotions

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” vs. 3 Isaiah 60:1-6 When the people of Israel returned from exile the prophet was ecstatic. He believed with all his heart that this was a turning point, the dawn of a new age of prosperity, and that the kings of the nations would come with their treasures to Jerusalem. New trade routes would open and caravans from afar would find their way to the hill…

Daily Devotions

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’” vss. 20-21 John 12:20-21 We’re curious about the Greeks John mentions here, and all kinds of questions come to mind. Who were they? Why did they search out Philip? And most importantly, did they ever get introduced to Jesus? Unfortunately John isn’t in the business of…

Daily Devotions

Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” vs. 15 John 2:12-17 According to the gospel of John, Jesus took his family and disciples to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover toward the beginning of his ministry. When he came to the temple for worship he was outraged. The whole outer courtyard had…

Daily Devotions

1 Thessalonians 1:1-5 … “We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” vss. 2-3 This letter of Paul to the Thessalonians is the oldest section of the New Testament and gives a glimpse into the inner life and concerns of the earliest Greek followers of Jesus. As such,…
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