Tag Archives: poverty

Best Church FOR The Community

TODAY’S VERSE
“Then he turned to his critics and asked, ‘Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?’ But they wouldn’t answer him.”
Mark 3:4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Pharisees just didn’t get it. Jesus came to seek and to save those in need. He came to call the undeserving to repentance. He came to love those outside of the synagogues as much as those inside it. And in many ways, neither do we get it. We too put our priorities in the wrong order. This became painfully apparent to me in reading a new book, “The Externally Focused Quest.” Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw wrote, “Most churches, blatantly or subtly, have an unspoken objective – ‘How can I be the best church IN our community.’ – and they staff, budget, and plan accordingly. – The externally focused church asks, ‘How can we be the best church FOR the community?’ and that one little preposition changes everything.” We can aspire to be the biggest church, best worship, largest children’s program, all good things but if we are not reaching those whom Jesus loves, are we really doing His will? If we are not loving the least in our community, are we really living for Him? The authors asked another crucial question. They asked, “If you had to close the doors of your church today, would your community care? Would they miss you?” Today, what would happen if we all decided to be the best church FOR our community? 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to love like You love. Help me to set my own priorities in the order You would have them. Help me work in my church to be the best we can for our community. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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More Than Caring

TODAY’S VERSE
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”
James 2:15-16

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own life that we forget about those all around us who are in need. We can’t save the whole world, so we don’t try to save just one. “Someone else will help”, we think as we walk away. But James says that we have to do more than just “care” about the poor, we need to help. In his book Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne shares about a survey he took of American Christians. He found that 80% believed that Jesus spent time with the poor. When asked if they spent any time with the poor, only 20% of the same group said “yes.” Shane concluded, “We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what He did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours.” James talks about our apathy toward the poor in this way, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”  It is not good enough to care about the poor. If we follow Christ, we need to do something.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, there are so many people hurting and in desperate need. It is overwhelming. My heart aches but I don’t know what to do. Please forgive me for my inactivity and help me today find something that I can do. Help me make a difference in someone’s life, even if it is just a small difference. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Faith, Hope and Love

TODAY’S VERSE
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
I Thessalonians 1:2-3, 7-8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is more than a belief system; it is a way of life. It is more than a way of life; it is a tour of duty. When we became a Christian, we enlisted in the service of Jesus Christ. There is a spiritual battle in the world. Poverty, injustice, abuse, and hatred are all part of the human suffering going on around us. Depression, divorce, drug abuse, psychosomatic disease is all part of the world we live in and God has created us to be His ambassadors of love. You and I have a purpose beyond mere existence. We are disciples of Jesus Christ. No one knew this better than the church in Thessalonica. Paul was blown away by their seriousness and dedication. He thanked God for their faith, love and hope and committed himself to pray for them. But it wasn’t what we would consider “faith, love and hope.” Listen to what Paul wrote. He said, “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope.” When is the last time we did something because of faith in a mighty working God? When did we labor in love? When have we had to endure hanging on to nothing else but hope? That is what it is to serve Jesus. You take the responsibility seriously. You involve yourself in the life of others. You step out, way over your head and know that only faith in God can get results. You take on situations that try your love beyond reason. It is hard, hard work. And when nothing else seems to be working, God comes through and you are inspired to get up and do it all again because there is hope. There is a hurting world. We have the answer. May we follow the example of the Thessalonians.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, give me faith to live for You today. Help me love today the way You want me to. Fill my heart with hope so it spills over onto everyone I come in contact with. Lead me on, dear Jesus.
AMEN

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Real Worship

TODAY’S VERSE
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want – Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”
Isaiah 58:6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What would God say about us at eleven o’clock on Sunday? You know, when we meet to worship. We sing our praise songs, we listen to the preaching, and we pass the offering plates. And then we go home, back to our own business, until we do it all over again a week later. All the while just miles from the front door of our church there are hundreds if not thousands of people hurting. Some hungry, some depressed, some broke, some addicted, some suicidal, some sleeping in their car. These all have families who are also hurting because of their plight. How many fathers and mothers are broken hearted over the plight of their children? How many children suffer because of the plight of their parents? And yet we worship. And then drive right by on our way home. When is the church going to listen to Jesus when He said, “Go into all the world?” not “Come into my house.” Surely we worship God in song and praise. Yes, we must feed on the preaching of His word. But not at the expense of ignoring what God really wants! Jesus said it best when he said, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’” Today, worship God by loving those hurting all around you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for only worshiping in Your house and not worshipping in Your world. Forgive me for ignoring the worship that you receive when I help those in need. Help me share my food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Help me give clothes to those who need them, and my not hide from relatives who need my help.
AMEN

______________________________________________________________

CLICK HERE to send this to a friend

You can get Devog sent to your e-mail as “Moment In the Word”. CLICK HERE to have this Daily E-votional sent to your e-mail 

 CLICK HERE to go to our BLOG Walking the Talk, and find out ways to help others.  

 Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
Now You Can.
CLICK HERE to Get your FREE Spiritual GIfts Test and Workbook  

Do you want to know how to be a Child of God? CLICK HERE to find out how