'congregation' Tagged Posts

'congregation' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.” vs. 10 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 The news that Paul had gotten from Corinth after his departure was disheartening. Because members of the congregation had come from different cities and had come to faith through the influence…

Daily Devotions

The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’” vss. 11-12 Luke 18:9-12 While there are literally hundreds of ways in which we can differentiate ourselves from others, there are a couple of categories that transcend even race and skin color. Jesus describes them as the righteous and…

Daily Devotions

For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires…” vs. 5 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Paul, looking back on decades of ministry, has some sound advice for the young preacher and teacher. “Proclaim the message,” he says, “be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage,” and have patience. What Paul advises is not easy in these…

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…
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