Week 07

Podcast Episode

In addition to our daily devotional readings we also produce a weekly podcast in which we discuss the previous Sunday’s sermon topic. Over the next few weeks we will be publishing our podcast episode on Friday’s here in the Daily. We hope it blesses you. You can find the episode either on Youtube OR on your favorite podcast platform

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCWnNSTN-6XA7oYy6TBfS0LAxqxPvxVjH
Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/guys-drinking-tea/id1616539767

Podcast Episode2022-10-25T20:55:37-06:00

How We Play Our Part

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

Take a few minutes and read 1 Corinthians 13.

John 3:16 might be the most famous verse in the Bible, but 1 Corinthians 13 is likely the most famous chapter in the Bible. You might have heard it read at a wedding or a funeral. Jesus emphasized that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord, and the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. This chapter, too, reminds us that love is central to the way of Jesus. Without love, we have nothing.

This week we have learned that “You have a part to play and are gifted with the power to play it.” God has invited his people to participate in his actions in the world. He then supports that commissioning with the power of the Holy Spirit, but this chapter tells us HOW to participate. How do we know if another person or we are playing our part by the power of the Spirit? How do we know if we are on task? The answer is simple; it’s love. There is no law against love. How are you doing?

Even as I write, my shame rises because I know how often I have failed to love. Shame is not the aim of this chapter or this reading. Remember that the only way we can truly show love is by receiving it from God. God loves us first.

Take a moment to reread the chapter, but this time, anticipate the reality that God fulfills this chapter toward you. Let that be your motivation to grow in love for others. That source of hope is the only way to sustain a life of love.

How We Play Our Part2022-10-22T22:17:09-06:00

Are You Using Your Gifts?

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
I Corinthians 12:4-7 NIV

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. I Corinthians 12:27-31

The culture in Corinth was focused on status – who was rich, powerful, influential and in charge. It is not surprising that new Christians also were prone to contend for status within the Corinthian church by categorizing certain Spiritual gifts as more important or more desirable. Paul uses two illustrations to talk about different Spiritual gifts – a building and a physical body. Both help to get his point across.

We could also use any organization – the army for instance – to get the same point across. In the army of course there are leaders and followers. There are fewer leaders at the very top of the organization and more followers closer to the bottom. But each person has an essential role or job to fulfill. It may seem that the company cook and the company clerk are not as important as the general, but everyone must eat good food in order to perform their important jobs, and if there was no one to order jeeps, trucks or other supplies, no one would have the essential items required to do their daily tasks.

Paul lists the various Spiritual gifts in many of his letters to the churches. (I Corinthians 12:8-10, I Corinthians 12:27-30, Ephesians 4:11.) He says that each person is to use their particular Spiritual gift,

to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:12-16 NIV

Not unlike the different jobs in the army, Christians are to use their Spiritual gifts to build up the church body, benefitting both the individual exercising the gift, and the others who are served by the use of that particular gift. What are your gifts? Are you using them in some way within the church body? Ask God to show you how to use his gifts to you in ways to prepare others for service in God’s kingdom.

Are You Using Your Gifts?2022-10-22T21:56:01-06:00

Your Part

Are you feeling at home in the church you’ve chosen or that it is not quite the right fit? Read this:

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. I Corinthians 12:12-26 NIV

If classical pew-sitting and leaving the instant the Sunday sermon ends (or watching sermons on TV or the internet) has become your habit, the above passage confirms you’re intended to serve our Master as he builds his kingdom in an active, sometimes untidy body of Jesus’ followers, rather than in a pristine cloister.

You must start or start again somewhere.

If you’re unsure of your giftings, grab an opening, even if it seems an insignificant opportunity. Try joining a team with a variety of roles where you can move around as your faith journey comes alive.

Perhaps you’ve served in your community of faith for a while now. Are you in a role you’ve outgrown, and does God seem to be calling you to wrestle with a new challenge? Or maybe you need to take more responsibility in an area where you already enjoy benefiting others.

Some of you might already be established in ministry, exercising your gifts in confidence, the Spirit affirming that you are effective and necessary in your service. Encourage others around you as they develop their ministries.

Some of us don’t have the same energy or capacity we once had to fully operate in the gifts that connect us in the body of Christ. Maybe it’s time to major in mentoring or to ask God to open new ways of building God’s kingdom we’ve never considered before.

Most of all, don’t play dead if it seems the cost of being part of a body of believers is too great. Building God’s kingdom has always had a cost. Remember Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and the sacrifices of many fellow believers who have paved the way for us now and over the centuries.

Your Part2022-10-22T09:16:48-06:00

Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

Now about the spiritual gifts [the special endowments given by the Holy Spirit], brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were led off after speechless idols; however you were led off [whether by impulse or habit]. Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the [power and influence of the] Spirit of God can say, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is [my] Lord,” except by [the power and influence of] the Holy Spirit.

Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers], but it is the same Spirit [who grants them and empowers believers]. And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them].

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy spirit] for the common good. To one is given through the Holy Spirit [the power to speak] the message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] the word of knowledge and understanding according to the same Spirit; to another [wonder working] faith [is given] by the same Holy Spirit, and to another the [extraordinary] gifts of healings by the one Spirit; and to another the working of miracles, and to another prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and to another discernment of spirits [the ability to distinguish sound godly doctrine from the deceptive doctrine of man-made religions and cults], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues and to another the interpretation of tongues.

All these things [the gifts, the achievements, the abilities, the empowering] are brought about by the same [Holy} Spirit, distributing to each one individually just as He choses. 1 Corinthians 12:1-12 The Amplified Bible

It has been said over the years that the Holy Spirit is the forgotten member, the neglected member, the “Cinderella” of the Trinity. At other times, He has been sensationalized, e.g., glorified, in ways that I’ve come to believe grieves Him. I say this because of what Jesus told the disciples what the Holy Spirit would be about. He whom the Father would send in Jesus’ name. (John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7-15).

As I read these scriptures along with 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, I see that the Holy Spirit is about enabling us to grow in knowing and loving God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son. The manifestations given by the Holy Spirit are how we are strengthened to live in the way of Jesus in the church and out in the world.

A book that I have found helpful in learning to appreciate the Holy Spirit is:
The Holy Spirit-Shy Member of the Trinity by Frederick Dale Bruner and William Holden.

Along with reading the 1 Corinthian scriptures this week, also read those from John as a reminder of what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would be and do. I’ll be praying for you this week!

Manifestations of the Holy Spirit2022-10-21T20:08:56-06:00


You’ve saved up for that cruise to the destination of your dreams…the one where everyone but the crew is on holiday, indulging in luxuries and dressed in great outfits. You stroll up the ramp with family and best friends to have the time of your life. The ship arrives at your exotic first stop and you disembark with the rest of the passengers. All of a sudden a disheveled, dirty man rushes at you and your group, screaming, with face contorted and arms gyrating wildly – like an alien from a bad movie. The encounter threatens your utopian experience. Ugh! Later, you’re reminded of this story:

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” (Mark 5:1-8 ESV)

If you’ve been in a situation with a mentally ill, unpredictable person such as the Gerasene man, you wish for the insight and power of Jesus. But what can you do in such a volatile situation? Should you:

  1. Speak calmly to the person and redirect their animosity?
  2. Address the demon directly (assuming you know it’s a demon)?
  3. Call the police?
  4. Find the nearest social worker or psychiatrist?
  5. Distance yourself as much as possible from this weirdness?

My initial emotional reaction in similar situations has too often been disgust and fear of the person who is so terribly disordered. But, if I’m tuned to the Holy Spirit, God has allowed me to see that person as someone created in God’s image…but in distress.

In the Mark 5 incident above, Jesus’ stern rebuke of the demons exhibited true compassion toward the man. Not surprisingly, after the demons had been vanquished, the man responded this way:

As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. (Mark 5:18-20 ESV)

From a modern therapeutic perspective, it’s perplexing that Jesus refused to welcome this man as a disciple so he could fully “fix” him. It appears that Jesus knew the man’s wholeness would include mending of broken relationships that might have played a part in his demonic oppression.

In Luke 11:24-26, Jesus teaches hasty casting out of demons may worsen the condition of a person not ready for such a housecleaning. So our compassion for those who are spiritually and mentally distressed must be combined with Biblical wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

When you’ve been confronted by an unusually perplexing person, have you scrolled through amateur versions of DSM-5TR in search of a tidy, popular diagnosis to distance yourself from that individual rather than being God’s representative? Reflect on ways God has and is preparing you for compassionate, Spirit-led encounters with those who have bewildering appearance and/or behavior.

UGH! HE’S BARELY HUMAN2022-04-08T09:53:01-06:00

Do I Show Contempt?

He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. Acts 10:11-16 NIV

contempt means the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn

Throughout human history people of low socioeconomic class, people who are ill or disabled, or people who are extremely poor have suffered from others treating them with contempt or with disgust. Examples include lepers in ancient times, untouchables in India, people who are HIV positive, or disabled people in 3rd world countries today.

In Acts 10 and 11 Peter and the church in Jerusalem were taught directly by God through dreams, and a vision of an angel that Gentiles were and are loved by God, and were and are welcome in God’s kingdom. God did not want Gentiles to be treated with contempt or disgust.

The religious leaders of Israel in Jesus’ day were known for showing contempt for Gentiles, sinners, tax collectors and anyone they thought of as being unclean. But Jesus’ attitude toward these same people and his interactions with these types of people was a stark contrast.

In John 8:1-11 the religious leaders set a trap for Jesus using an adulterous woman. Jesus turned the situation around, by suggesting the person who had never sinned should throw the first stone at the woman. Gradually all the teachers of the law realized they all were sinners and left her alone with Jesus. He did not condemn her, but did tell her to sin no more.

Jesus called a tax collector to be his disciple and had dinner with his fellow tax collectors (Matthew 9:9-13), touched lepers in order to heal them (Matthew 8:5), had public conversations with women, even a Samaritan prostitute (John 4). Jesus touched both a man with dropsy to heal him (Luke 14:1-4), and let a woman with hemorrhaging touch his cloak (Luke 8:43-48).

In Peter’s vision about what is clean and unclean God tells him, “The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean,’” Acts 10:15. In the middle ages, when the plague was ravaging the populations, it was people who worshiped God, who took care of the sick and buried the dead.

All people are loved by God. We are all sinners in need of a savior. Examine your heart. Ask, do I have contempt for someone or for a group of people? Ask God to help you know how to pray for that person or that group of people.

Do I Show Contempt?2022-04-08T09:48:44-06:00

The Untouchables

“When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.””
Matthew 8:1-4 ESV

In reading over this passage, we can make four significant observations.

Though Jesus’ teachings were somewhat unorthodox, he had this allure that attracted many people to follow him.
The leper, weakened and wasting away by a highly contagious disease, unapologetically and humbly kneels before Jesus with utter faith.
The leper was UNTOUCHABLE! Physical contact with a leper might expose a person to this painful, life-wrecking infection. In this case, Jesus MAKES CONTACT with the man by bodily TOUCHING him. He healed the man immediately!

Jesus commands the man to tell no one. This is the first instance Jesus says to “tell no one” of the miracle that had taken place. Instead, to see the priest so that the priest could approve him back into society.

Let’s get some context. Jesus is in a season of demonstrating His authoritative kingdom power. He wants to establish Himself as Messiah by performing many miracles and revealing that the kingdom has arrived. He is showing His strength in healings, discipleship, and overthrowing Satan’s strongholds. Amazingly, Jesus’ one true mission here is to minister specifically to the marginalized, disappointing the messianic expectations of many who followed him.

The Old Testament provides specific guidelines for examining and treating these people with various skin diseases. Not only was leprosy a disease, but it also made the leper and anyone who touched him ceremonially unclean. (See also Leviticus 13:45-46, Numbers 5:2-4, Leviticus 15). Jesus was unaffected, and the man was healed immediately! Jesus wanted this man to show himself to the priest. He commands the man to do what the law required, to return to society even though this miracle would attest to the authenticity of his message concerning the kingdom’s arrival. Jesus didn’t want to draw crowds who simply came for miracles.

Jesus was unaffected or undaunted by this man. If He was DISGUSTED, He did not make it known. According to the Answers in Genesis site, “Leprosy has terrified humanity since ancient times… While people with leprosy traditionally suffered banishment from family and neighbors.”

“If one even so much as came in contact with or touched a leper, they too would be seen as defiled. Thus, people avoided lepers like the plague. What’s more, many believed that leprosy was a divine punishment for the act of slander. Thus, those who had leprosy were not only shunned, but judged by society. We can see how scandalous it was for Jesus to lay hands on and heal a leper. Not only did he risk defiling himself, but he was also showing his power over sin (Life Giving Water Blog).”

This is a compelling topic in a day and age of taking considerable precautions to not infect ourselves or spread infectious diseases. This story of Jesus healing the leper reveals Jesus’ heart. No matter what was afflicting this man before him, He loved him equally to the blind, the sick, the cast out, and the tax collector. He was not “grossed out” or “disgusted,” or thinking, “I might catch what he has.” He treated this man with dignity, respect, and compassion, bringing healing without shunning or judging him. The unseemly act of Jesus touching the untouchable, with the risk of defiling himself, revealed his power over sin and death! What a challenging thought during a pandemic!

Practice or Application: Let’s work to bring the healing power of Jesus Christ to others today, much like Jesus did in this story of the leper. Who do you know who could use a healing touch? Is there someone or a specific group you avoid? What might God be calling you to do in these instances? How can you show love to the sick? Being fully human with emotions, what do you think Jesus did with the feeling of disgust?

Walking in the way of Jesus, with the heart of Jesus!

The Untouchables2022-04-08T09:47:03-06:00

Disgust: As a Warning

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:14-16) NIV

Those whom love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me. (Revelation 3:19&20) NIV

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1&2) MSG

Although the word disgust is not mentioned in the above scriptures, the physical response to it is. We can feel disgust when we perceive something as distasteful to our sense of taste or smell, and sometimes to our sight, hearing or touch.

The church in Laodicea would have understood well what Jesus was saying to them. The water that flowed into Laodicea came through aqueducts from miles away and arrived lukewarm and tasted unpleasant. The Laodiceans may have gotten used to it, but someone experiencing it for the first time would likely spit it out of their mouth. Cold water refreshes; hot water cleanses. Lukewarm does neither.

The problem in the Laodicean church was that they. as a community and individuals, had tucked their faith into a closet while they succumbed to the culture of wealth and self-sufficiency all around them. They were the only one of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2 & 3 that were not persecuted for their faith. They may have even looked down on the other six churches with pride in their own advantages.

So Jesus gave them a heads-up warning,”I’m about to spit you out of my mouth.” But he also tells them that he loves them, which is why he warns, rebukes and disciplines them. They need to become earnest and repent.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” These words are the most quoted of Jesus’ words and are frequently used to encourage a new believer to come to Christ, but they were originally written to a once thriving community of faith as a reminder of his presence and his desire for a renewed relationship.

As I write this, I’m hearing Jesus say to me that there is a closet door in my heart that he is patiently knocking at.
How about you? Is Jesus knocking at a door in your heart?

For this Holy Week, as we approach Easter, meditate on the above scriptures and ask Jesus how he desires you to respond to his voice.

Disgust: As a Warning2022-04-08T09:44:25-06:00

How Do You Really Feel | Week 7

Disgust is a fascinating emotion. As humans, we feel a physiological visceral response when we encounter anything that smells bad, anything rotting, anything dying. We are repulsed. Our bellies sour. Our instinct is to move away. This can be beneficial for our safety and wise protection, but it also gets easily twisted when it comes to the disgust we feel toward others.

What happens when we feel disgust for others or when they feel it toward us? The Genesis narrative uses this concept “loathe” or “sickening dread” in context of relationship. Groupings of people like the “Gentiles” and “lepers” and “sinners” in the New Testament were also a source of disgust for the Jews.

Yet, Jesus repeatedly moves past disgust toward others. He moves toward the physically, morally, and spiritually compromised. As we walk in his way with his heart, we need to be a little skeptical of our disgust. God’s grace reaches down into our deepest disgusting parts to redeem us, and he invites us to walk in this way too.

  1. Get Honest … What disgusts you? Why do you think these things disgust you? How has your disgust helped you? How has it held you back from living in the way of Jesus? Share this with Jesus now.
  2. Change Mind … Listen for what Jesus wants you to know.
  3. Walk Anew … What does Jesus want you to do?
How Do You Really Feel | Week 72022-04-08T09:37:30-06:00
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