Thursday, December 4, 2014
"Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another." - Galatians 5:26 AMP
"And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities." - Hebrews 10:24 AMP
Thoughts for Today
Within a local church, we often see competition and jealousy. Sadly, we occasionally see these characteristics among denominational leaders in the form of power struggles. And then there is the competition sometimes viewed among parachurch ministries and various denominations. When this happens, the world looking on doesn't see Christlike love. They see the same strife so rampant in the world. The only difference they observe is the church label.
It would be easy to judge and accuse others when we see this happening. But each of us instead needs to examine our own heart. Do we have our eyes on ourselves, on getting our own way, on proving our personal point of view . . . or on fitting in with God's plan. On doing what he has called us to do within the body of Christ.
I'm so glad for him. I wanted the promotion myself, but I trust God's plan. "John, that's wonderful, brother! Let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help! Let's go out to dinner tonight to celebrate!"
Today's second scripture gives an alternate way. God's way. Show love by watching over one another. Instead of competing and judging, stirring one another to good works. To helpful deeds and noble activities. We each need to use our God-given gifts to do what God has called us to do. Only then will the parts of his plan come together to accomplish his purpose. Only then can we show his love to the world.
Father, forgive me for the times proving my point or getting my way has been more important than seeking your way. Instead of encouraging others in their gifts, I have competed with them. Help me to care for others and encourage them in their walk with you and in using their gifts to serve you. In Jesus' name
These thoughts were drawn from
Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
- Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
- Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
- Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer and mutual support
- Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
- How to pray for healing and what to expect
- Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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