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South Fellowship Church

Week 04

We Are Temples

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

The role of the body is inextricably connected to faith for followers of Jesus. We believe that God values the physical world enough to enter into it. One might even say that Christianity is the most earthy of the world religions. We also believe that eternity will be composed of some physical new heavens and new earth. Unfortunately, this truth seems difficult to believe. Dualistic heresies like Marcionism and Gnosticism have plagued church history, and we are not exempt today. We tend to think about our spiritual lives connecting to God while ignoring our body’s role in faith in the process.

The importance of the body is precisely where Paul turns to advocate for his sexual ethic. Our bodies matter because they are a temple. They are the domain in which the spiritual world can manifest into the physical world. Dallas Willard described our bodies as our “power packs”. Our bodies were meant to be tools through which God’s kingdom came into the world. Just like a temple was meant to be a place where God’s creation could encounter him. Our bodies are now in that place. We are the place where people meet God.

Have you ever thought of your body that way? How might this truth make you think differently about your sexuality? Remember, we are not our sexual desires, we are not our sexual orientation, but we are temples of the living God.

We Are Temples2022-10-01T22:44:39-06:00

Freedom

Freedom – what does this mean for a Christian, especially as it relates to our behavior? Paul writes in I Corinthians 6:12-13 NIV,

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”–but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Paul is quoting from the letter the Corinthian church wrote to him. Members of the church were focusing on the freedom they had in Christ, to the exclusion of the responsibility they had in Christ, that is, to behave in a manner worthy of followers of Jesus. Later in Paul’s letter to this church he says,

“Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. I Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV

We have freedom in Christ, freedom from following the Jewish law, because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross – once for all. But – just as with children growing into adults, as we grow in age and gain more freedom – we also grow in the responsibility we bear for our individual behavior. Not all behavior is beneficial or constructive for ourselves or for others. The Apostle Peter writes, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” I Peter 2:16 NIV. The Apostle Paul writes to the Galatian churches, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV

It seems that several members of the Corinthian church were only focused on pleasing themselves. Paul is strongly admonishing this church to behave in a way that honors God and honors God’s design for marriage. The author of Hebrews encourages us, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4 NIV

So, what about our freedom? I believe we need to keep I Corinthians 10:23-24 in mind. Ask yourself “am I not behaving in a manner that is seeking the other person’s good?” “Am I behaving in a manner that will harm someone else, or harm myself?” If the answer is yes, then I believe we do not have the freedom to act in that manner. Spend some time examining your own motives, actions, and behaviors. Confess as needed, ask God to clarify your next steps.

Freedom2022-10-01T10:18:06-06:00

Proud of Sexual Immorality?

It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this from among you? 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 NET Bible

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast affects the whole batch of dough? Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough… 1 Corinthians 5:6-7a NET Bible

It’s fascinating to observe vocabulary modifications that overtake the Church as the culture around us changes. A term that has become popular as we talk about ourselves and our culture is “brokenness”. It seems to upset fewer people than saying “mankind is sinful” or a using a term such as “sexual immorality”.

In 1 Corinthians 5:1-8, Paul addresses the toleration and even celebration of sexual brokenness that has been reported to him about the Corinthian church. Maybe those 8 verses could be paraphrased in the words made famous by the comic strip character Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Although it’s important to remember none of us is 100% free of brokenness, it’s destructive to tolerate, much less celebrate, brokenness in our midst.

In another letter Paul observes that those who repent and turn to Jesus start as fully broken: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NET Bible

But instantly, Paul moves past that start to describe what Jesus has done for us (justification – reconnecting us with God): “But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24 NET Bible

And, in another letter, Paul elaborates on our ongoing transformative process:

Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 5:23 NET Bible

In terms of sexual brokenness, our culture has come to resemble ancient Corinth. In order to be relevant and inoffensive to those we want to reach with the good news of Jesus, it’s tempting to be “accepting” and bend to swiftly morphing cultural norms. But we have the above words of Paul to guide us within our Church community. Here’s a summary:

  • Although those in the Church are broken, we are now justified by Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus is transforming us to wholeness, and it’s a process.
  • Don’t celebrate brokenness.
  • Don’t contribute to brokenness.
  • Confront celebrations of brokenness in the Church.

Consider one of the following actions today.

One: Think about the challenges sexual brokenness has presented or is presenting in your life. Is there another brother or sister you trust who can help you in that area?

Two: If you have received help with sexual brokenness and know of another believer who is struggling in the same area, pray for them and ask God to show you how you can support them in obeying Jesus.

Three: Let your heart be broken in prayer for one or more of those you know and love who are not in the Church and are presently captivated by sexual brokenness.

Proud of Sexual Immorality?2022-10-01T09:53:04-06:00

Are “We” Like the Corinthians?

Thank you all for the opportunity to write these four devotionals. It has been an honor and a privilege.

How much are we like the Corinthians? In our current culture, do we wanna do what we wanna do, when wanna do it – even, how we wanna do it?

Like the Corinthians, do we also turn our eyes from sexual abuse happening within the church? Do we enjoy socializing and celebrating with people who claim to follow Christ, but are sexually immoral, greedy, idolaters, slanderers, drunkards, or swindlers (1 Corinthians. 5:11)? Imagine if the Corinthians had electronic devices like we have today, such as iPhones, televisions, iPads, or the Internet. If they would have had access to such electronic devices, they probably would have used them inappropriately. Do we? Do we watch porn and violent movies, or use our social media platforms to slander politicians we don’t like, or neighbors, co-workers, or family members? How are we even vulnerable to sex trafficking and the like? Meanwhile, many who are like this are professing to be Christians.

Paul emphasizes throughout this epistle there is an expectation for believers to strive to live a holy lifestyle. Even now, in our social climate we have spiritual leaders who try to lead their congregation towards an honorable lifestyle. As we see repeatedly in the church, it isn’t easy because of narcissistic attitudes and corrupted behavior. As we let this continue, our family legacy is decaying, our church community is becoming spiritually dead, consisting of an immature body of believers. Meanwhile, the church might resemble the corruption of unbelievers’ in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or Chicago? Yet, many churches refuse to believe that they are like the Corinthians.

But let’s take a minute to remember the gospel message.

Those who follow Christ (i.e. Christians) have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They’ve asked for forgiveness of their sins. They believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross for the atonement of all their sins. They believe Christ is the Messiah. Like the Nicene Creed states, the Son, Jesus Christ, was both man and Divine, miraculously born of the virgin Mary, yet lived a sinless life. He was crucified, resurrected, and will return for his children who believe.

After true conversion takes place in their mind, heart, and body, believers must turn away from sin, or at the very least have a strong desire to surrender to righteousness and holiness. As a new creation, they are forming into the image of Jesus Christ, having the mindset to hate what God hates and love what God loves. With God’s help, we can choose righteousness over sin.

Let’s remember our personal story of salvation today. Think back to when you first became a believer. Who led you through the sinner’s prayer? Where were you? Write down as many details that you can remember, sign, date it. Keep the letter in a visible place.

Are “We” Like the Corinthians?2022-10-01T09:05:27-06:00

Lost and Found – Celebration

By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story. (Luke 15:1-3) MSG

Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it on your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Come celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue. (Luke 15: 4-7) MSG

In my research into the cultural aspects of this parable, I found that most likely a good shepherd, responsible for the care of another’s sheep, would be the one who searched for the one that had gotten lost. Such a shepherd would indeed celebrate with other shepherds who would understand how important it would be to find it.

Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it ? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.
(Luke 15: 8-10) MSG

In this parable, the ten coins, equivalent to ten day’s wages, were probably the household money for part of the month. Of special interest was a description of the house: excavations show that the less affluent lived in houses smaller than a single car garage which were built of slabs of black basalt. Windows were cracks in the walls about 7 feet above ground and the roof was also a slab of basalt. The floor was basalt stones with large cracks between them where dirt and other things could fall in. The woman would need a light and would have a hard time searching to find the coin. Certainly she would rejoice, and her friends and neighbors would indeed celebrate with her when she found it.

The celebrations in these parables were about things of value to people, but Jesus is about valuing and finding people. In Luke 19:10 he says, ”For the Son of Man has come to find and restore the lost.” And he tells them, and us, how much joy there is in heaven and how the angels rejoice over each person who repents and comes to the Lord.

It seems to me that celebrations come in many sizes. Sometimes they are large events: weddings, birthday parties, the celebration of a person’s life at a memorial service, family reunions and various holidays where families and friends gather.

They can also be small events: an unexpected visit or phone call from a longtime friend, FaceTime with someone who lives far away, gathering in the driveway with a neighbor family to hear from the children how their swim meet went, rejoicing with someone via text for an answer to prayer.

In large celebrations and small ones, we can still honor God and each other with grateful hearts and attitudes. This week be alert to possibilities for celebrating daily events as they come up in your life. Offer thanks and praise to God for showing you how to rejoice in each one.

Lost and Found – Celebration2022-08-04T12:41:41-06:00

Camping Out with God

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present food offerings to the Lord, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the Lord. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work.

(These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing food offerings to the Lord—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. These offerings are in addition to those for the Lord’s Sabbaths and[a] in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the Lord.)

So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’”

So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed festivals of the Lord.
Leviticus 23:33-44

God-appointed festivals were designed to remind God’s people of past events and foretell of future events. The entire Festival of Tabernacles, celebrated during autumn harvest, commemorates God’s presence with his people during the wilderness wanderings and also looks to the coming return of Christ when God’s presence returns to be with his people in a particular way once again.

It is prophesied when Christ returns, we will gather at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb celebrating the triumph of the Savior over all things, much like a final harvest festival (Revelation 19:7-10).

This festival begins with the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) which ushers in ten days of penitence for the people to prepare for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This holy day commemorates the annual moment when the high priest would enter the presence of God in the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 23). The Feast of Tabernacles is considered the holiest of days in the festival and begins five days later to celebrate the final harvest day and foreshadow the final harvest of souls.

Just as God instructed them, Jews continue to set up shelters on the Feast of Tabernacles and dwell in them for seven days. Notice how God specifically instructed them to pull from luxuriant trees and build beautiful booths. As they look forward to feasting in the fullness of God’s presence, God wanted his people to long for his presence in a playful and beautiful way. God purposely invited his people to camp out every year to remind them of how he too, longs to dwell with them.

In what way can you enjoy God’s presence in a playful and beautiful way? Could you go camping or create an event with beautiful hospitality? Use your creativity to enjoy God’s presence today and remember how much he longs to dwell with you.

Camping Out with God2022-07-24T15:45:08-06:00

Party, Celebrate, Feast, Play

“‘The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present an offering made to the LORD by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’” The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil–an offering made to the LORD by fire, a pleasing aroma–and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.’” Leviticus 23:5-14 NIV

On the fourteenth day of the first month the LORD’s Passover is to be held. On the fifteenth day of this month there is to be a festival; for seven days eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. Numbers 28:16-18 NIV

Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Abib he brought you out of Egypt by night. Sacrifice as the Passover to the LORD your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his Name. Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste–so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. Roast it and eat it at the place the LORD your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents. For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the LORD your God and do no work. Deuteronomy 16:1-5 NIV

Party, celebrate, play, be festive – what sorts of scenes do you imagine? Do you think of good food, friends, family, neighbors, games, children, holidays, long conversations, respite from normal work, vacations? Our bodies are designed for rhythms. We need a regular rhythm of work, rest, play and sleep.

The first Thanksgiving celebrated in America by former Europeans was a harvest festival celebrated with Wampanoag people in the fall of 1621. It took place over several days and they wanted to give thanks to God for a successful harvest and for surviving a difficult first year in New England. They shared meals, played games and celebrated God’s provision of food for them for the coming winter.

The Israelites had a similar festival – it had two names – Passover or First Fruits. This annual celebration was designed to ensure that the Israelites would remember that God provides. First, God provided deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Second, God provided for the needs of the nation of Israel – daily food, clothing that didn’t wear out, and everything else they needed while in the desert for 40 years. Third, God provided them with the promised land – the food, the home, the future it would provide for the nation of Israel for hundreds of years. Passover or First Fruits was celebrated in the first month of the Hebrew calendar, it would be in March or April in our calendar. Sometimes it was called First Fruits because it took place when the very first of the barley harvest was gathered. The Nation of Israel was told to bring the very first stalks of their harvest – the first of God’s provision of food for the coming year – as an offering to God. This was a recognition, an acknowledgement, a thanksgiving to God for that provision of a harvest, for that provision of food for the coming year.

The Israelites – just like the Pilgrims – celebrated God’s provision – with a party, a celebration, a holiday from work, a time to gather with friends, family and neighbors. It was a time to play together, talk together, give thanks together, and talk of the future.

Does your family have an annual celebration, festival, party, or gathering? Do you play certain games, eat special foods, or have traditions that you do every year? Take some time this summer, to reflect, remember, and thank God for His provision for your family, for the special foods that are a part of our summer parties.

Party, Celebrate, Feast, Play2022-07-24T15:26:11-06:00

Rhythms of Celebration

If you have tried to read through the entire Bible, you may have struggled with the book of Leviticus. It is a book full of rules and regulations detailing temple worship. Many might consider this book the most boring book of the Bible. Ironically it is in this book that we will explore the subject of fun and celebration. Leviticus outlines many feast days and festivals. Today I want to focus on a party that surrounds the Peace Offering.

The Peace Offering (Leviticus 3) was meant to be a sacrifice and a feast. The worshiper, the priests, and the poor, widow, and orphan would have shared the meal. This is different from some other sacrifices, which were burned up completely.

The Hebrew word for peace is the word shalom, which means both ‘peace’ and ‘wholeness.’ It’s the idea of everything being put right. The celebration, especially with the needy, would have been part of putting the world right.

How might you make a Peace Offering of your own? Perhaps one of the best things you can do to contribute to world peace is to throw a party. Invite someone in need to that party and enjoy. These sacrifices were costly to the worshiper. Treat the expense of the party as a spiritual practice of bringing peace to the world.

Reference:

https://bibleproject.com/podcast/what-did-burnt-offerings-really-mean/?utm_source=web_social_share&medium=shared_podcast

Rhythms of Celebration2022-07-24T15:00:41-06:00

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”

My title today is a quote from our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, who was well known for his joie de vivre ‘exuberant enjoyment of life’. I’m tempted to think he might have had a premonition of the impact of our social media landscape and the inevitable and damaging comparisons it has brought into our culture. But comparisons are not new. Here are the observations and advice of Solomon, the ancient Jewish King, recorded in Ecclesiastes 8.

There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. (vv. 14-15 NIV)

Grumbling about evil in the world around us, complaining, comparing – ‘woe is me’ ‘why me,’ and reminiscing about the good old days being dramatically better than today. All these strategies – or I should call them bad habits – erode our ability to cherish and celebrate the gifts God gives each day.

Here’s another ancient insight from the Apostle Paul who became well known for the intense persecution he suffered.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV)

Anytime an economic downturn, like the one we are now experiencing, begins to pick up a head of steam, it’s tempting to abandon legitimate celebration. Both Solomon and Paul point out that some circumstances are beyond our control, and injustice and wickedness are unfortunate features of life in this broken world. So I encourage you to meditate on the strategies employed by these Biblical sages.

Look at your surroundings and ask God to reveal to you something special he has given you to enjoy right now. Invite friends and family members to share what you’ve got while you’ve got it. Read all of Ecclesiastes 8 if you have time. Remind yourself that Jesus is your king. You have his wisdom at your fingertips and can daily celebrate his coming kingdom no matter your circumstances.

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”2022-07-24T14:23:45-06:00

Practice to Obey

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. (1 Samuel 3:1)

Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, ”Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. (1 Samuel 3:4-5)

Again the Lord called, “Samuel!”… Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel a third time and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me,” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
(1 Samuel 3:6a and 7-9)

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak for your servant is listening.” And the Lord said to Samuel: “See I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.”
(1 Samuel 3:10-11)

He (Samuel) was afraid to tell Eli the vision, but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son,” Samuel answered, “Here I am.” What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Don’t hide it from me.”… So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. (1 Samuel 3:15b-17a and 18)

While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do.
(Hebrews 5:7-8) The Message Bible

Obeying was hard for me as a child, particularly as some of the people were doing the exact opposite of what they told me to do. I often heard, “Don’t do as I do; do as I say,” and, “Are you listening to me?” It seemed to me that grown-up people could do whatever they wanted, but I couldn’t. What I didn’t know then is that it takes practice to learn to listen well and obey rightly.

I read 1 Samuel 1-4 to remind me of Samuel’s birth and early history as a boy ministering at Shiloh under Eli the priest. Samuel learned to listen for Eli’s voice and respond to his call. When Eli realized that the Lord was calling Samuel and told him how to respond to the Lord, Samuel was ready to do so, because he had practice in listening to and obeying Eli.

I have learned much about listening, obeying and practicing over a lot of years, but each season of my life from childhood until the age I am now reminds me that I will always have to practice. Sometimes it’s people I have to listen to and do what they tell me; but always it is listening to God and how he desires me to learn and grow in loving him and loving people.

By the Holy Spirit enabling me, my heart’s desire is to say with Paul:

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:12-14) MSG

How about you? Psalm 139 reminds us how completely God knows us in our uniqueness. Where do you need to listen to God and what might you need to practice doing in obedience to him? Take some time to read Psalm 139. Ask him to show you what he desires for you. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to obey.

Practice to Obey2022-06-26T17:13:50-06:00
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