Thursday, April 23, 2015

Devotional Reading for Thursday, April 23, 2015 (the day after!)

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 27; 1 Chronicles 9; Psalm 141; Matthew 10

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.  — Matthew 10:37-39

Jesus’ mission is well-established, and now is the time for Him to send out the 12 apostles with His power and message.  He prepares them for the opposition and persecution they will face:  that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12); that our strength and victory come as we learn to let go and give Jesus priority over everything in our lives. 

We can think of these 12 apostles as one of the greatest generations of the church.  They were ordinary men and women, called out under the persecution of the Roman Empire to lay the spiritual foundation of the church, and most were killed in the process.  Somewhere in their discipleship journey, there was a RELEASE that moved them from double-minded followers to Revolutionaries for Christ.

Welcome home! I’m so proud of each of you working together as the body of Christ.  As we settle back into our routines, I pray that you will reflect how your walk with Jesus has been transformed.  It starts with our own awareness of and repentance of the Pharisee in our own lives.  How easy it is in our culture to be double-minded and hypocritical. 

But I have hope that if God can transform the lives of the 12 apostles, he can definitely transform mine.  On this trip, we each have had a glimpse of what it means to truly live by faith…to lose your life for Jesus and then find it.  To be weak and vulnerable so He can be glorified.  To choose to BECOME less so HE can become greater.

Your role as missionary disciples is to be hot coals within the church, your families and community; to be a testimony of what it means to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him; to not FEAR rejection and persecution because of the rare and deeper fellowship that it brings with our Savior.

Almighty Father, Creator of heaven and earth, so humbled that I am called to be your son.  Continue to transform my walk with you.  Help me to trust and obey you more…to be open to your revelation that allows me to see areas that FEAR has prevented me from embracing your promises for my life.  Give me the faith and courage to let go and trust in you.  To be patient in your work in my life…trusting that you will be faithful to complete the work you started.  I pray that as I continue to walk in faith and obedience, you will transform me to become more like Jesus.  That in Him, I will find the peace and love and hope that He gave to so many until He was united with you in heaven.  In the awesome name of Jesus I ray.  Amen. 

~Pastor Creighton

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