Day Two – Faith & Love

9/23/14

Read 1 Corinthians 13

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Sunday's Sermon

Today's Devotional

God wants to create in us a real sense of thankfulness, an attitude of gratitude for all the good gifts that He gives. Taking just a slightly different angle on that, if we asked the people around you – your friends, family, classmates or co-workers – would they say that they’re thankful for YOU?

In Colossians 1:4, Paul tells the Christians that he’s thankful for their faith in Christ Jesus and their love for all the other Christians. He recognizes in them a tremendous amount of faith. Here’s how the Bible defines faith: “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). I wonder if the people around us are thankful that the faith they see in us – do they see the sureness of what we hope for and the certainty of what we don’t yet see?

Furthermore, do they see how well we love? 1 Corinthians 13 is a gloriously challenging list of what love looks like. Do others recognize that kind of love in us? Stop to think about that question: do others recognize that kind of love in us? It’s that kind of love that Christ has called us to show to everyone around us!

Today's Challenge

Challenge: Re-read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Pick one of those descriptions of love that’s often absent in your life, and ask God to give you the strength to display that today.

Pray that we would be the kind of Christians who other people give thanks for. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to show obvious faith and love in your life today.

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Day One – “Thanksgiving in September”

9/22/14

Read Psalm 107:1-16

1Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord say this—

those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

3those he gathered from the lands,

from east and west, from north and south.

4Some wandered in desert wastelands,

finding no way to a city where they could settle.

5They were hungry and thirsty,

and their lives ebbed away.

6Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

7He led them by a straight way

to a city where they could settle.

8Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for men,

9for he satisfies the thirsty

and fills the hungry with good things.

10Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom,

prisoners suffering in iron chains,

11for they had rebelled against the words of God

and despised the counsel of the Most High.

12So he subjected them to bitter labor;

they stumbled, and there was no one to help.

13Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress.

14He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom

and broke away their chains.

15Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for men,

16for he breaks down gates of bronze

and cuts through bars of iron.

Sunday's Sermon

Today's Devotional

Have you ever been to a “Christmas in July” sale? The basic idea is that the sales are supposed to be SO good that you’ll want to spend as much money as you would during the Christmas season. I could address the major problem of consumer Christmas here, but instead I’d like to invite you to think about a “Thanksgiving in September” holiday. What if we were as thankful today as we are in late November? What if everyday was Thanksgiving? Paul seemed to have that idea. This past Sunday, we heard about the thankfulness that the apostle Paul had for the Colossian people. We also looked at how – in the first chapter of Colossians – Paul told US about so many things that we can be thankful for. We are grateful that we have an eternal inheritance, that we’ve been rescued from darkness, and that God brought us into Christ’s Kingdom. All of these are tremendous gifts! In Psalm 107, we hear of thankfulness that overflows! The psalmist starts with thanksgiving for salvation, but then he also recognizes the daily way that God provides for us and gives us everything we need for this life.

Today's Challenge

Challenge: What are you thankful for today? How can you show that thankfulness to God? To family? Through interactions with others? Within your own heart and attitude?

Pray that God would give you eyes to see ALL the blessings that He has given you, along with the response of thankfulness that He deserves!

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