VotD: August 2, 2013

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Verse

“The Spirit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me. The Lord has appointed me for a special purpose. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to repair broken hearts, and to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison, ‘Be free from your imprisonment!’ He has sent me to announce the year of jubilee, the season of the Eternal’s favor: for our enemies it will be a day of God’s wrath; for those who mourn it will be a time of comfort.”

— Isaiah 61:1-2

Thoughts

Jesus read this passage at a synagogue in Nazareth to describe his ministry (see Luke 4). He came to preach good news, to bind up, to bring deliverance, to offer release, to proclaim grace, and to offer comfort. If Jesus has sent us into the world as the Father sent him (John 20:21-23), shouldn’t we be going the same?

Prayer

Through the power and wisdom of your Spirit, who longs to powerfully work in me, please open my eyes, dear LORD, to help me see those you put in my path with whom you want me to share your grace, deliverance, and comfort. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen.

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College Lifegroup: August 1, 2013

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For those of you who don’t know, I am a southern baptist and I go to a southern baptist church, and in our church we have lifegroups for different people in different walks of life. I happen to be a part of the college lifegroup. It is AWESOME and full of so many amazing people. I don’t think I’ve felt more welcome anywhere else. I can’t wait to make some new friends 😀

Anyway, we were supposed to talk about marriage today (last week we talked about sexual immorality) but instead we held an open floor so any topic could be discussed. It was really interesting listening to everyone’s conversation! I pitched in a bit too, but I’m not much of a talker. One thing that really stood out to me was the mention that our generation (I am 21) are striking out on different paths than our parents or grandparents. Instead of the desire to fulfill the “American Dream”, it seems like our generation is being called to partake more actively in living for Christ. Personally, I’m not so worried about that 9-5 job or that constant financial security; the dream of owning a home with a white picket fence, earning six figures, and having two and a half kids doesn’t come to mind when I think of my future. I think of travelling to far off places, building churches, learning languages, living as  a missionary, and bringing God to people across the globe. I don’t have a guy I want to marry (although I wouldn’t complain if I did) and I am content being single; it isn’t a big deal to me because my eyes are on God. I don’t want to get tied down in one spot and I don’t want to be comfortable and content with where I am. I want to be constantly pushing my limits. I want to step out of my comfort zone. I want to serve others. I want to serve God. And I am so glad I now know someone with the same mindset.

VotD: August 1, 2013

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I know it’s late, but here it is!

Verse

“Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.”

— Romans 8:1-2

Thoughts

“You are mine! My righteousness and glory are yours! Enter into your Father’s eternal reward!” If we are in Christ, we don’t face judgment, only welcome, with God our Father! His Spirit lives in us. His grace has set us free from the power of sin and death. His Son has paid the price for our sins. We are children of God!

Prayer

I praise you, loving and gracious Father, for your mercy and grace. Your steadfast and redeeming love never ceases. Your mercies are endless. Your love is new and fresh every morning as your Spirit fills my life and your hope revives me to face another day. Thank you! In Jesus’ name I praise you. Amen.

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VotD: July 31, 2013

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Verse

“You are my shelter, O Eternal One — my soul’s sanctuary! Shield me from shame; rescue me by your righteousness.”

— Psalm 31:1

Thoughts

When all the clutter is stripped away, what is your real hope? When you push aside the diplomas, awards, accolades, and honors, what is the basis of your significance? Only one source for hope and only one basis of significance is trustworthy. Only One — the LORD God — endures forever! Only our Father in heaven guarantees that our life is significant. So let’s place our hope in the LORD and have him be our refuge!

Prayer

O LORD, God and Redeemer of our Fathers, Keeper of your many promises, thank you for allowing me to place my hope, my future, and my significance in your hands. Give me the courage and the confidence to know that you will not let me be put to shame, but will share with me your righteousness on that day I stand in your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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VotD: July 30, 2013

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Verse

“If you judge other people, then you will find that you, too, are being judged. Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.”

— Matthew 7:1-2

Thoughts

Are you judgmental? Do you assume you can judge the intent of another person’s heart? Are you critical and negative about the actions of others? Jesus wants us all to realize that we cannot know the motivations of someone’s heart. When we are unfairly harsh or bitingly critical in our judgment of others, we are setting the standard by which God will judge us. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to exchange God’s grace for my unreasonable harshness. I’m going work harder at viewing others with mercy and grace.

Prayer

Dear God, please forgive me for being unfairly harsh and critical in my assessment of others. Thank you for being so rich and free with your mercy and grace lavished on me in Jesus. Please help me to be more gracious and merciful in the way I assess the intent and motivation of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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VotD: July 29, 2013

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Verse

“His wrath, you see, is fleeting, but His grace lasts a lifetime. The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.”

— Psalm 30:5

Thoughts

God is the God of all comfort (see 2 Cor. 1). Even when he deals harshly with our sin and rebellion, it is for our good. It will last only a short while and then it gives way to rejoicing. If you are in a time of discipline or facing the cruel consequences of sin, please don’t give up. Morning will come, and on that dawn will come God’s grace. It’s more than worth the wait!

Prayer

Father, please bless your children who are facing hardships and difficulty. Please help them endure through “the night” so that when your dawn comes, they can experience the great rejoicing that lies ahead. Please bless the following people, dear Lord, and help the find your joy…. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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