Write it Out

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Take some time today to journal and reflect on the following questions:

In what ways have you seen God at work within you this week? Within your family? Within others you may interact with? 

In what ways have you resisted God’s word within you this week? 

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Represent in Your Work

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Colossians 3:17 (NLT) And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

That monthly report is due – again. The baby’s diaper needs changed – again. The toilet in the bathroom needs fixed – again. Oftentimes we see things such as these as distractions which are preventing us from participating inreal, good, and godly work. 

But as was noted earlier this week, this passage communicates a principle which is vital for followers of Jesus to grasp: All of life is ministry. Not only that, but everything we do – writing the monthly report, changing the baby’s diaper, even fixing the toilet; it all can be done as if we’re doing it for Jesus Himself. 

This means that every task, no matter how great or small, has a level of significance to it. The monthly report may reveal how the company can grow and have a more positive impact on the community. The baby has been created in the image of God, and needs close attention to grow and mature. Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus.

READING & PRAYERS:

     COLOSSIANS 3:17, 3:23-24, MARK 8:34-35

QUESTION: What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me?”

QUESTION: What do you need to do in order to see even the most mundane tasks as something important that you’re accomplishing for Jesus Himself? 

Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, today, I desire to be Your representative in everything I do and say. Help me to have an attitude toward others that says, “You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.” This is a mark of what it really means to love others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Represent in Your Words

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2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT) So we are Christ’s ambassadors…

This passage in 2 Corinthians is easy to read, but is quite difficult to live out each and every day. Throughout this text there are tremendous truths to latch onto. Some of them include:

  • Christ’s love controls us (5:14). It’s worthy of reflection – Am I allowing the love of Christ to control my words and actions? 
  • He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves (5:15). – Am I living for myself, or for Christ? 
  • So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view (5:16). — Am I seeing others in the same way Christ sees them? 
  • And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him (5:18). – A major part of my purpose is to reconcile people back to God. What steps can I take to more fully discover where God is already at work in their life, so I can join Him in that work? 

READING & PRAYERS:

     COLOSSIANS 3:17, 3:23-24, 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-20

QUESTION: Choose at least one or two of the questions from today’s devotional reading and write out answers to those questions. 

Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I confess that passages such as the one from today can lead me to feel like a complete and total failure. I don’t always allow Your love to control my words and actions. I’m more likely to live for myself than for Christ. I don’t regularly consider where God may be at work in the lives of others and join Him in that work. Yet, You really have provided me everything I need to live this way. It isn’t intended to be stressful, it’s intended to be freeing. Help me to experience real freedom by giving up control and simply following Your lead. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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Live at the Speed of Your Soul (Part II)

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Luke 10:41-42 (NLT) But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Imagine you’re having Jesus over for dinner this evening. You threw out the invitation thinking there was no way He would accept, but then the RSVP shows up in your mailbox. Jesus will join you and your family for dinner. 

How would you prepare? Would you rush, rush, rush to make preparations? Or would you make a simple meal, get out your notebook, and prepare to take detailed notes of what He shares with you over dinner? 

The Scripture reading today is a story that is very familiar for many of us. But even though we may appreciate it, we fail to actually live out the principle it is teaching. Martha was much more focused on the dinner preparations, but Mary was much more focused on sitting at the feet of Jesus. One was living at the pace of the world, and the other was living at the pace of her soul. A slowed-down life leads to a more fruitful ministry.

READING & PRAYERS:

     LUKE 10:38-42

QUESTION: What is something you may be need to give up in order to begin living at a pace that is truly sustainable long-term? Can you think of anybody who may be able to help hold you accountable to living life at a slower pace? 

Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, when I think of what I may need to give up in order to live at a pace that is truly sustainable, I become tense. There are things in my life I really enjoy that I don’t want to give up, and other things in my life I don’t enjoy that I’m unable to give up. Help me to be more like Mary, sitting at Your feet. May my time with You lead me to put a higher value on the things You value, and as I live out Your principles, may I begin to truly live a life of Real Purpose. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Live at the Speed of Your Soul (Part I)

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Colossians 3:17 (NLT) And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

How would you respond if somebody asked you if you were currently living at a pace that exceeds your limits? 

While not everybody would say we’re living beyond our limits, the majority of us probably are. We live in a world that thrives on accomplishments and achievements. You can’t get ahead unless you’re wiling to put in the extra hours. You can’t have what you really need unless you “succeed.” 

But the simple reality is, God has created you in His image, for His purposes, and for His glory. Our culture may define success one way, but God defines it very differently. He has given you a soul, and you will do well to live at the speed of your soul. 

Admittedly, this is a great challenge. We don’t often think about our lives being lived at a greater pace than our soul. But somewhere deep down, the majority of us can probably recognize there is a great need to pause, slow down, and simply be with Jesus.

READING & PRAYERS:

     COLOSSIANS 3:17, 3:23-24

QUESTION: What do you think it means to live life at the speed of your soul? 

QUESTION: Another way to understand the Scripture passage above is to recognize that all of life is ministry. In what ways may you need to slow down in order to minister to yourself and to others well? 

Take a Step: This week, continue to utilize the One Minute Pause app at least twice daily to begin practicing being with God and resting in His presence. The app is free, and is available on iPhone and Android devices. See pauseapp.com for details.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it’s so much easier for me to live at the pace I think others want me to live instead of prayerfully discerning the pace You have created for me to live. This week, help me to slow down and discover a pace of living that leads me to better know You, see myself as You see me, and see others as You see them. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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Write it Out

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Take some time today to journal and reflect on the following questions:

In what ways have you seen God at work within you this week? Within your family? Within others you may interact with? 

In what ways have you resisted God’s word within you this week? 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

God is Sending Us

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If the Apostle Paul’s letters throughout the New Testament tell us anything, they tell us that the local church is extremely important. Paul’s letters went to Rome, Ephesus, and other major cities of the Greco-Roman world. But even though these were major cities, the number of Christians in each city were few. Cities with tens of thousands of people may have only had a few hundred Christians. 

From a historical viewpoint, Christianity should not have survived as a major religion. But these small, local churches continued to carry on the message of the Gospel. Today, billions of people around the globe have been impacted by the Gospel. This would not have happened without God working in and through local churches. 

Today, God continues to use local churches as a means to spread the hope of the Gospel. Whether it is local missions and soup kitchens, short-term international missions, or long-term international missions, God is continuing to send His people to fulfill the Great Commission – making disciples of all nations. 

READING & PRAYERS:

  PHILIPPIANS 2:1-4

QUESTION: What are some ways God is sending and utilizing your church to share the Gospel today? 

QUESTION: In what ways may God be inviting you to join your local church’s mission on a local and/or international level? 

Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I know that my church does much locally and internationally, but I don’t always see how I’m contributing anything toward Your mission. Continue to help me grow in recognizing that no matter where I may be, You have called me to be there. As part of Your church, You are sending me. May I continue to see that all of life is ministry. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God Sent His Disciples

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Begin by Reading Genesis 12:1 and Matthew 28:19-20

Despite there being hundreds and hundreds of years separating these two passages, there are strong similarities between them. On the one hand, Abram (later known as Abraham) was told by God to “go.” He didn’t know exactly where he was going, nor did he know when he would get there. He was simply put in the position of needing to trust God. Abram hfs to leave his family, the religious beliefs of his family, his friends, and many other things behind. It took an immense amount of trust for him to follow through on God’s plan.

On the other hand, Jesus told his disciples to “go…and make disciples.” Just like Abram, they didn’t know exactly where to go. They, too, were required to leave everything they knew behind. They didn’t know exactly what would happen, but they trusted that God was sending them on a mission. 

Today, take the opportunity to reflect on the truth that you are also being sent to make disciples. Do you trust God enough to “go?”

READING & PRAYERS:

     GENESIS 12:1, MATTHEW 28:19-20

QUESTION: Do you currently trust God enough to “go” and make disciples? What may God be inviting (or requiring) you to leave behind so you will trust more completely in Him as you go? 

Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, when I think of Abram or Jesus’ disciples, I sometimes feel like You sent them because they had some kind of talent, gift, or ability that I don’t have. But today I’m recognizing that what they really had was an immense amount of trust in You. May I trust You as they did – in everything great and small. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God Sent His Son

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John 3:17 (NIV) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

The word mission basically means “to send.” When a person or a group of people are sent, they are on a mission.

All throughout the Scriptures, as we see the story of God unfold, it becomes clear that His mission was to be with His people. As such, it was necessary that He send Himself (or in this case, His Son) to be with His people. 

Because of our modern culture, we forget the significance of this and what it would’ve meant in the ancient world. Back then, every major religious belief saw humankind as servants for the gods. We were seen as lowly creatures, unworthy to experience the presence of the gods.

But the Christian storyline turned this belief on its head. God loved His people so much, and He wanted to be with His people so much, He came down to us. Not to condemn us and point out our unworthiness, but to bring us back into union with Him. God sent His Son, not just for others. God sent His Son on a mission…a mission to rescue and restore you.

READING & PRAYERS:

     JOHN 3:16-17

QUESTION: Be honest: You probably know John 3:16 by heart, but do you see yourself as worthy of God’s love? If not, why not?

Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I confess there are times when I know in my mind that You love me and see me as worthy of Your love, but sometimes this knowledge doesn’t fully penetrate my heart. Root out anything within me that may be preventing me from truly, wholeheartedly believing this truth that I am loved by You. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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Mission of God

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Romans 1:20 (NIV) For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

One characteristic of the heart of God is that He desires to be known. If you were to ask 100 people where they often feel connected to God, chances are high that a majority of them would say they feel connected to God when in nature.. There’s something about the silence, the stillness, and the wonder we experience in God’s creation that leads us to directly to Him. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:20, God’s eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen through His creation. 

Today, take the opportunity to consider where in nature you have felt connected to God? With this being the start of a new week, take a few moments to plan exactly when you will experience the presence of God through His Creation. Don’t just assume it’ll happen. Make a plan to experience His presence. Give your heart and soul the nutrients you need – the very presence and knowledge of a loving God. 

READING & PRAYERS:

ROMANS 1:20, HEBREWS 3:4, ISAIAH 40:28, ROMANS 11:36

QUESTION: When have you experienced the presence of God in nature? What do you think made that encounter so memorable? 

QUESTION: When will you experience the presence of God in Creation this week? Write it down, make a plan, and experience His presence. 

Take a Step: This week, continue to utilize the One Minute Pause app at least twice daily to begin practicing being with God and resting in His presence. The app is free, and is available on iPhone and Android devices. See pauseapp.com for details.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I confess I don’t always recognize that I need You and presence in my life. Sometimes I put off being with You, only to come to You when I’m in great need. But I’m recognizing that I do need Your presence and am always in need of it. Help me to experience Your presence this week. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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