Silence and Centering
Lord, hear my prayer, and listen when I ask for mercy.
Gracious God, your Son Jesus came not be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. He is our Good Shepherd, whose leadership is less about the love of power, and more about the power of love. This same Jesus called us to follow Him, to lead as He did, to serve as He served, showing others His Kingdom way of life. But we need your forgiveness for thoughtless words, said without love, for hurried decisions, made without your wisdom, for destructive moments, when anger tore, for selfish motives, when our power wounded another. By your mercy, focus our eyes on you, Lord Jesus, And tune our ears to your Holy Spirit. Let our greatest passion be compassion, our greatest strength be love, So that in leading, we never fail to follow You, Through Christ our Lord we pray, Amen.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
Reading & Devotional:
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Faith and action go together. Understanding and works are tethered—joined together at salvation through the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. James 2:14-17 asks us,
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
The poor, orphaned, widowed, and lost don’t just need a word from God. They need us to act on our beliefs and love and serve selflessly with the help of the Holy Spirit. Gathering together as believers to worship is just a part of what God intends for us as his children. If we are to receive all that God has for us, if we are to walk in the abundant life God intends, we must resolve to be doers of the word.
James 1:23-25 gives us a window into the life of a believer who never puts action to his faith. Scripture says,
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Your identity as a disciple of Christ undoubtedly comes from relationship with God, but it is meant to be lived out in your deeds. God longs for you to live a life of good works in response to the unconditional love you’ve been given. He longs for you to live in selfless humility sharing with others what he’s done in you.
We’ve separated Christianity from the world. We’ve separated Sunday from Monday, the sacred and secular. Jesus lived in line with God’s love every minute he was here. He broke the rules in healing on the Sabbath. He ministered almost completely outside of the walls of the synagogue. He brought the good news of God’s grace to all who would believe everywhere he went. His life was in no way segregated. Jesus’s turning the water into wine at a party was just as holy and spiritual as his reading of Isaiah in the temple, proclaiming his fulfillment of the prophecy regarding the Messiah. His love was put into perfect action through every word, miracle, step, glance, and prayer.
With Jesus as our perfect example, let’s live in accordance with God’s will. Let’s blur the line of faith and works until the two become one. Let’s regard meals, conversations, rest, family time, and parties as important and holy as worshipping inside the walls of our churches. Let’s live as Jesus did and make love an action instead of just an idea we talk about on Sunday.
Devotional By First15
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.