7-27-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 26, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

choice.previewSunday, Jul. 27

Joshua 24:1-15

When I went to college it was very clear to me that I had to begin to make choices about what things I wanted to do with my life. I began, much like other college students, by planning out what classes to take. I didn’t really have a plan for my life other than to do what I thought I was supposed to do at that point in my life. What made immediate sense was that I would take classes at some college and stay out of major trouble.

Selecting a college in Florida had its own set of issues. It was a long distance away from Indiana which I believed was a good place to start. Due to financial constraints and distance, I did not actually visit the college ahead of time. I would be attending college in the south and southerners did things differently from northerners. I didn’t really fully realize that until I was all moved in and attending classes. It also became crystal clear to me that I was attending a suitcase college and I was part of a dozen or so young adults who spent each weekend on campus. Weekends allowed me lots of time to sleep and pretty much kick back and wait for the students to return for Monday classes.

I had to sort out what groups to join. Choosing to opt out of the drug scene placed me in a group of four who stuck together. I actually read my Bible and talked about the God stuff with others which seemed pretty natural in our small little group. Three of our four had been a part of a church youth group in our home towns so I think we formed a small youth group of our own to fill that void in our college lives. Our little foursome made it thru college without the added pressures of other scenes we could have chosen. For that I am so thankful. I totally felt God’s protection surrounding me during my college experience.

24:1 Joshua called together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He called in the elders, chiefs, judges, and officers. They presented themselves before God.  2 Then Joshua addressed all the people:

“This is what GOD, the God of Israel, says: A long time ago your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor, lived to the east of the River Euphrates. They worshiped other gods.  3 I took your ancestor Abraham from the far side of The River. I led him all over the land of Canaan and multiplied his descendants. I gave him Isaac.  4 Then I gave Isaac Jacob and Esau. I let Esau have the mountains of Seir as home, but Jacob and his sons ended up in Egypt.  5 I sent Moses and Aaron. I hit Egypt hard with plagues and then led you out of there.  6 I brought your ancestors out of Egypt. You came to the sea, the Egyptians in hot pursuit with chariots and cavalry, to the very edge of the Red Sea!

7   “Then they cried out for help to GOD. He put a cloud between you and the Egyptians and then let the sea loose on them. It drowned them.

“You watched the whole thing with your own eyes, what I did to Egypt. And then you lived in the wilderness for a long time.  8 I brought you to the country of the Amorites, who lived east of the Jordan, and they fought you. But I fought for you and you took their land. I destroyed them for you.  9 Then Balak son of Zippor made his appearance. He was the king of Moab. He got ready to fight Israel by sending for Balaam son of Beor to come and curse you.  10 But I wouldn’t listen to Balaam—he ended up blessing you over and over! I saved you from him.

11   “You then crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The Jericho leaders ganged up on you as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, but I turned them over to you.

12   “I sent the Hornet ahead of you. It drove out the two Amorite kings—did your work for you. You didn’t have to do a thing, not so much as raise a finger.

13   “I handed you a land for which you did not work, towns you did not build. And here you are now living in them and eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.

14   “So now: Fear GOD. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship GOD.

15   “If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship GOD, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship GOD.”

You’ll remember that it was at Shechem where God said to Abraham that he would give that particular land to Abraham’s people. Joshua reminded the people about Abraham and other people and he told them all that God had done. This is what God said God would do. God blessed the people in amazing ways.

As you think about the goodness that God has done, write down all the good things that God has done for you. At the end of today’s reading, Joshua tells the people that they are to honor God, serve God, do what God says, not worship false gods. Joshua then told them they had a choice to make. They could serve God or they could serve other gods. Joshua declared that he and his family would love and serve the Lord. We, too, have a choice; we can serve God or we can serve other gods. We can serve the gods of ambition. We can serve the gods of sport. We can serve the gods of entertainment. We can serve the gods of our career. All these false gods can stop us from worshipping and serving the real God. When you decide to serve God, what does that look like in your daily living? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you about some ways that people serve God

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Bernadette, Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: We love you, O God. We come before you this day to serve you. There are times when that becomes very confusing for us because we are torn between what we see, and what others see, as important and forget or disregard your ways. Be in all the choices we make. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

 

7-26-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 25, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

538a766bbd6ff.preview-300

A family serving soup to the community after the funeral for their loved one

Saturday, Jul. 26

Romans 5:25-33

Janell, who lived in Wrangell, Alaska, has given me an abundance of information. I asked her to remind me of some key points about a potlatch and that brought forth lots and lots of information. I’ll try to keep it simple.

Potlatches are traditionally lavish community gatherings marking important events; funerals, marriage, naming and dedications of buildings, etc. When a potlatch occurs, cultural ties are renewed and strengthened. Elders who come to potlatches may fit together puzzle pieces to one’s own family in the stories they bring and in the stories they hear. This is the place where the aural tradition reigns. Obviously, the older ones have stories to tell of olden days and their job is to pass those on to the generations.

There’s lot of pomp and dancing and singing and eating and partying that occurs at potlatches and the celebration often goes on for days. A potlatch is by invitation only and special seating occurs to honor those who are ranked higher. Gifts are really big; maybe even into millions of dollars. The family must give the gifts the higher the family to the lowest. The potlatch occurs for a variety of reasons; it may honor the dead or it may be held to gift a family that has lost everything to the fire. I am amazed at the huge amount of gifts given and the huge amount of food that is cooked, served, and eaten. I think I’d like to see a potlatch, but I suspect I wouldn’t be invited. What an awesome thing!

15:25 First, though, I’m going to Jerusalem to deliver a relief offering to the Christians there. 26 The Greeks—all the way from the Macedonians in the north to the Achaians in the south—decided they wanted to take up a collection for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 27 They were happy to do this, but it was also their duty. Seeing that they got in on all the spiritual gifts that flowed out of the Jerusalem community so generously, it is only right that they do what they can to relieve their poverty. 28 As soon as I have done this—personally handed over this “fruit basket”—I’m off to Spain, with a stopover with you in Rome. 29 My hope is that my visit with you is going to be one of Christ’s more extravagant blessings. 30 I have one request, dear friends: Pray for me. Pray strenuously with and for me—to God the Father, through the power of our Master Jesus, through the love of the Spirit— 31 that I will be delivered from the lions’ den of unbelievers in Judea. Pray also that my relief offering to the Jerusalem Christians will be accepted in the spirit in which it is given. 32 Then, God willing, I’ll be on my way to you with a light and eager heart, looking forward to being refreshed by your company. 33 God’s peace be with all of you. Oh, yes!

Paul is speaking about a relief offering for Christians. His continued observation and quick response to those in need is such a wonderful guidance in how Christians are to provide for those in need.

What are some ways you have heard that people have responded during a time of great need? What was the particular need? How were the people experiencing need? How would you describe an over and above kind of giving that you have witnessed? How might be God be calling on you today to give to someone in need?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you one person they know who is in need

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Bernadette, Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. Thank you for supplying our need in such abundant ways. Help us to not only take a good look at the gifts you have given us, but see the ways you desire that we help others with what you have placed in our care. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-25-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 24, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Presbyterian Youth Triennium Care Team

PYT Care Team. I’m the one in the red and white hat

Friday, Jul. 25

Romans 15:14-24

At the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, the Care Team is given multiple assignments in each day. We may serve as traffic cops to corral the 5,000 ish high school youth from point A to point B. We may ride along in an ambulance if a young person is injured. We most certainly will help with the young people as they enter and exit the worship space.

Watching 5,000 young people cram into lines to get to worship early so they will get a good seat is so inspiring. The Care Team is often asked to do night watches so that all the participants are in their housing area. We are asked to be a comforting presence with attendees who may be trying to process many emotions. All I know is that each of the assignments we receive there are many opportunities for others to meet God. That means we have to show up and let God work thru us. That’s quite enough for one day, I’d say.

15:14   Personally, I’ve been completely satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. You seem to me to be well-motivated and well-instructed, quite capable of guiding and advising one another.  15 So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me,  16 this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.

17   Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased—in the context of Jesus, I’d even say proud, but only in that context.  18 I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of my adventures, only the wondrously powerful and transformingly present words and deeds of Christ in me that triggered a believing response among the outsiders.  19 In such ways I have trailblazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece.  20 This has all been pioneer work, bringing the Message only into those places where Jesus was not yet known and worshiped.  21 My text has been,

Those who were never told of him— they’ll see him!

Those who’ve never heard of him— they’ll get the message!

22   And that’s why it has taken me so long to finally get around to coming to you.  23 But now that there is no more pioneering work to be done in these parts, and since I have looked forward to seeing you for many years,  24 I’m planning my visit. I’m headed for Spain, and expect to stop off on the way to enjoy a good visit with you, and eventually have you send me off with God’s blessing.

Paul reminds this young church in Corinth that he needs their help. Taking the gospel message out was never meant to be a one person operation. Paul wants the reader not to take his words as criticism but as encouragement to keep on keeping on in taking the gospel message out to others.

What kind of responsibility to feel you have in taking the gospel message out to others? If you were asked by a person on the street to tell them what this gospel message is all about, how would you answer them? Have you personally experienced God’s good news in giving us the gift of Jesus Christ to save us from sin? Would you rather just belong to a church and not have to think about what you personally had to do in the area of taking the God news/good news out to others? When you think of evangelism, do you believe that it just has to do with ticking up new members rather than actually sharing what’s on your heart? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they love about God

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Bernadette, Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: O God, we begin this day, surrounded by your love. We know that you have a desire for us to talk about you in our daily lives. Help us into this when we are afraid. Place us in those situations and give us the words and the actions to do and be what you need us to do and be. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-24-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 23, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

AR-308259941.jpg&maxw=400&q=90Thursday, Jul. 24

Romans 15:1-13

A leader leads by example. Leading by example comes with a heavy responsibility especially when you are a leader in a church. In the church, many eyes are on you. Those who look to their leaders are wanting the leader to lead so they will know where they’re headed. Leaders act in a way that helps us know how to lead our own actions and words and get them headed in a direction that is helpful.

In our hearts we can sense the difference between a leader who is in it for themselves and the leader who is trying to lead the group into what they believe is right for the whole.

Church leaders need to work together with the people to find what God wants to do thru them. God can do amazing things when we bring our lives together and offer all that we are to God’s use.

15:1   Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status.  2 Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

3   That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it.  4 Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next.  5 May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all.  6 Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!

7   So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!  8 Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them.  9 As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God. Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! For instance:

Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing;

I’ll sing to your name!

10   And this one:

Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together!

11   And again:

People of all nations, celebrate God!

All colors and races, give hearty praise!

12   And Isaiah’s word:

There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse,

breaking through the earth and growing tree tall,

Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!

13   Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Jesus is alive and the gospel message is true. Those who walked with Jesus have passed their rich story along to the others who followed. In turn, those who learned passed on their rich story of faith in Jesus Christ. And on and on.

Do you sense that you have a responsibility as a Christian? Are you most likely to just use the fact that you are a Christian when it benefits you? When would it be difficult for you to talk about yourself as a Christian? Who will God place in your presence today so you can pass on your faith to others? Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what has been the best part of their summer

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

Prayer Update Prayers for Bernadette’s family. Bernadette entered the church triumphant today….

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Bernadette, Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: Thank you for this day, O God. Thank you for those who brought us into your presence to begin our personal relationship with you. Bless us in this day so that we can carry your message out to others. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-23-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 22, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

ant-bridge_2302146kWednesday, Jul. 23

Romans 14:13-23

The good of the whole.

Say that you are making plans to go somewhere as a family or as a group of friends. There will most likely be a person who believes they are in charge. A take charge person seems to happen in every group. When that one person takes the lead, it becomes more difficult for the others to feel that they are a part of group activity. I suppose there are situations where the others in the group are just very grateful that another person will be leading them as they would rather have someone else making the decisions.

A healthy group leader will continue to engage the group members and lead them in a way that encourages all to participate remembering that we’re talking about the good of the whole. Each participant can add their thoughts, but each person is not to demand their own way as THE way. That’s not the easiest thing to do when you have a company with many employees who have an idea of how they each believe things should work. That’s not the easiest thing to do when you have a family with children with many different areas of interests and skills. Churches aren’t exempt from this need to work together. Actually, churches are to be a model for the rest of the world in their ability to listen to one another and work together.

See what I’m saying? Sounds a lot like the words we hear in the 13th chapter of 1Corinthians;

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.   (The Message Bible)

14:13   Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is.  14 I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.

15   If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don’t eat, you’re no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet?  16 Don’t you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!

17   God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy.  18 Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

19   So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words;  20 don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? I said it before and I’ll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling.  21 When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

22   Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent.  23 But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.

Paul is talking about the focus being given to the eating habits and what’s kosher and not kosher to eat or do. Most importantly, Paul reminds their reader that their most important job is to share our faith with others; to share about the God stuff with others.

When are you most easily able to talk about God in your life? If you went on a retreat would you expect that the participants would all be talking about God in their lives? What would you most like to ask another person about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what question they would most like to ask God

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: You have given us the gift of another day and we thank you, O God. We thank you that we have the opportunity to interact with so many each day. Give us the words and the actions to help others know you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-22-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 21, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

elephantTuesday, Jul. 22

Romans 14:1-12

We all know people who do not see things the same way we do. Some people would call those who see things in a different way, their enemies. To these people, there is no ability to accept a different way of understanding the world. There is no toleration for another point of view. At times these people live thousands of miles away from us and there are large bodies of water in between us. There are other times when we are living inside the same walls with those who cannot understand our line of thinking.

I believe that we all are given minds to process things in a particular way. God designed us to be a one-of-a-kind in the whole world and in all of time. In that gift of uniqueness, we often want others to believe the things we believe. We may even be surprised that all of us do not think exactly alike. Rather than learning from each other and embracing the way we each come to a different understanding of life and love and how to do relationships, we, in our stubbornness, turn away from others. Likewise, others may turn away from us when we do not totally buy into their worldview.

What is that children’s song?

The more we get together, together, together….the more we get together the happier we’ll be. Cause your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends. The more we get together the happier we’ll be.

How can we make this happen in our lives today?

14:1   Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

2   For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume all Christians should be vegetarians and eat accordingly.  3 But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table.  4 Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

5   Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

6   What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli.  7 None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters.  8 It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other.  9 That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

10   So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit.  11 Read it for yourself in Scripture:

“As I live and breathe,” God says,

“every knee will bow before me;

Every tongue will tell the honest truth

that I and only I am God.”

12   So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

God’s people assemble at church for one reason; to worship God. They worship God by their praying and singing, teaching and preaching. Worship should result in glory to God, blessing for God’s people, and fear and conviction for sinners. If we come to worship to display our spirituality, and our superiority to others, we will miss the blessing.

When you do a quick reflection on why you attend worship, what things come to your mind? If someone you do not care for walks in to worship, does their presence distract you? If Jesus was physically with you during worship, what do you think the seating chart would look like?   Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why people go to church

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

Prayer Request:  Prayers for a friend of Julie’s…..a 21 yr. old young man who died suddenly for no known reason.

Prayer Update: I am pleased to tell you Matt and Megan are doing well and expecting their third child in October. Carol

 And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: We love you, O God, and we thank you for this day. We thank you for the time you give us to worship you. We thank you for the gathering of thousands of Presbyterian youth at Purdue University in Indiana. Bless each of them that their hearts will be turned to you and they will connect in worship of you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

7-21-14 Daily E-Votional

Posted July 20, 2014 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

Love-One-AnotherMonday, Jul. 21

Romans 13:8-14

Love others. Doesn’t that seem simple? I think that loving others is probably something that comes natural to us. Somewhere in there, things take a turn. While I think that turning part comes to us pretty early on, I’m reminded of my own life and my own moments of trying to love others.

As I was driving along the other day, a car a little ahead of me was doing this serpentine deal within two lanes of a four lane option. I first wondered if the person was having a seizure or something. Then I wondered if someone nearby was pulling over in the other drivers lane. As oddly as the random serpentine driving began, it stopped at the stop light. That’s when I noticed that the serpentine driver rolled down his window and was chatting with the car next to him. Once I discerned that the driver was not under any duress, I could feel myself going totally over to the judgment camp.

When we were almost to the next light, the serpentine driver made a quick move over to the other lane, but just about cut me off in the midst of whatever it was he was trying to accomplish. I couldn’t find that love for others.

Ten minutes later, in the grocery store check out line, the cashier was one of the nicest workers I’ve ever met. It was easy for me to feel the love.

13:8   Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along.  9 The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself.  10 You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.

11   But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God.  12 The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.  13 We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight.  14 Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

This segment of Paul’s writing is a prescription for solving the sickness in the church body in Corinth. Love lasts, and what love does will last. Let me repeat that. Love lasts, and what love does will last.

When do you find it most difficult to love others? Who are some others that you don’t want to love? If Jesus were sitting next to you when you were finding it difficult to love others, what kind of questions do you think he’d ask you? If Jesus took hold of one of your hands and connected your hand with the hand of someone you were having difficulty with loving, what do you think your reaction would be in the presence of Jesus?  Have a day!

In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you why it is important that we love others

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer: Friend of Julie, Sue, Roger & family, Bernadette, Tanner, Tom’s family, Pattie, Frank & Jean & family, Ginger, Todd & family, Carol, Judith, Lynn, Bonnie, Alan, Matt & Megan, Al’s family, Carol M., Diane’s family, Linda, Vivian, Dee, Ron, Sue, Janine, Leigh, Kristen, Summer, Graham, Kevin, Karen

Prayer Request:  Prayers for a friend of Julie’s…..a 21 yr. old young man who died suddenly for no known reason.

 And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Alice, Tom, Tony, Al, David Dale, Sr., Mary Scott, Don, Jim, Diane, David, Herm, Helen, Father Billy, Joe, Brian, Clarence, Mackenzie, Nate, Gertrude, Dion, Marshall

Prayer: O God, you have given your love to us and we thank you. We are overwhelmed that you would love us when we do such unlovable things. Guide our hearts to daily living out the love you have given us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2014 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!


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