This month of July, our morning group will be using Settle My Soul by Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk. We all need to make time, as the authors of the devotional point out, to:
- savor the Savior
- align our thoughts with His Word and
- discover the peace which Jesus has for us.
In Acts 28:1-2, we find Paul landing on the island of Malta. There the people of the island showed them: unusual kindness and a warm welcome.
My commentary tells me there were about 276 people along with Paul who came shore that island. Amazing to think they were all welcomed.
“Unusual kindness” is the kind that goes a little beyond, slightly further than the ordinary kindness.
Father, help us to be willing to display unusual kindness and a warm welcome to those whom we will cross paths today. May all we do and say point others to You. It is in Your Name we pray. Amen.
“For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.” (1 Corinthians 15:31, NLT).
The words stand out. Dying to self is not a one and done type deal. It is done daily.
In ourselves, this will seem impossible. It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit at work in us that our flesh, and our wills, will die and submit to the will of the Father.
Although we know this, the struggle is very real some days.
The devotional asks: What are some places or situations in which God is asking you to pause and give yourself a minute to consider how your actions might affect others?
Lord, help us to learn how to die daily. May You make us willing to die daily as Your Spirit works within us. May the way in which we act and respond to others always be pleasing to you. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT)
He comforts us in our current troubles so that we are then able to offer that very same comfort to others. It is the very means by which He redeems our past pains and gives them meaning and purpose. They are never for naught.
The devotional asks this question of us: Who is your old self? Describe her and how you would have liked to have been comforted at that time in your life.
Our discussion revealed many of us have struggled with insecurity, often feeling like we never fit in. We wished someone had come alongside of us and told us our friendship was wanted. There is freedom in discovering Jesus calls us His friend.
We can offer unusual kindnesses,
as we die to self daily,
and let Jesus redeem our pains.