'congregation' Tagged Posts

'congregation' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” vs. 18 Romans 12:16-21 One of the problems in a diverse community, as the Body of Christ is intended to be, is learning how to live with people who are different from ourselves. We have different ethnic and religious backgrounds, different perspectives on gender issues, different political preferences – in fact, we likely think differently about every matter under the sun. So there will be…

Daily Devotions

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” vss. 4-5 Romans 12:3-8 Life in Christ is communal! That’s one of the basic teachings of Christianity 101 and nothing good happens when we don’t take it seriously. And yet that is exactly what has taken place in our congregations in the last century.…

Daily Devotions

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’” vs. 7 1 Samuel 16:1-11 Anyone who has ever been called to serve on a congregation’s pastoral search committee can empathize with Samuel as he carried out the charge that the Lord had given…

Daily Devotions

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” vss. 6-7 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 Paul was a great church planter. Apollos was an eloquent preacher. Paul thought they were fellow servants in the work of the Lord, but the people thought they were competitors. The result was division in the community as the believers chose between them. Some of our…

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…
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