Seeking God: Like an oasis

Seeking God: Like an oasis

Reading: Psalm 1-7, Isaiah 35:5-6

Christ: I have not left you alone. I am with you, My Father is with you. Haven’t I sent you the Holy Spirit the Advocate to live in your heart? And not only that, have I not given you a community of believers to rest upon? Like an oasis in the desert these are so that you would not lose hope until that day when I come to bring you to your permanent home. The blind will see and the lame will dance and you will see me face to face. For now, hope in Me and rest in fellowship of others I’ve called so that we are united together.

Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland.

Think: Through fellowship, we can know and be known. Connected to others and God through Jesus, we get to see God’s movement in ways we never thought possible. It may be awkward at first but through knowing and being known we get to see God’s work displayed in situations we may not otherwise come across. 1 John 1:3 says:

We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

Am I a committed part of a fellowship group? What holds me back from fellowship?

Pray: Dear Lord, your will is perfect. Let us not avoid being known and knowing others through a believing fellowship community. Let us be strengthened in You as we hear others’ stories. May our fellowship be glorifying to You and serve to build each other up for work in Your kingdom. Amen.


 

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~The PD Team

Seeking God: The forgotten people

Seeking God: The forgotten people

Read: Psalm 10:12-17, Luke 5:31-32

Christ: God will not fail to call everyone to account. This is why I came, to help you who are lost in the tangled web of your own sins. I offer the free gift of exoneration to the wicked as well as the helpless, and it is my dearest wish that ALL would choose to come to me. However, there are some who will exercise their free right to reject my love. For those people, I’m telling you that it may seem like they are getting away easy now, but they will not escape justice.

I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”

Think: If Jesus does not choose who comes to him, neither should I.   A stranger at the checkout counter is just as deserving of my love as are my best friends. How can I reach out in love to someone new today? Who in my life is being forgotten by me?

Pray: Dear Lord, Let me go about my day today, looking for the people around me whom I would ordinarily ignore and forget. There are more of these than I care to acknowledge, but I desire to model Jesus. Help me to keep my heart open to ALL the souls you have put in my path. Amen.


Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment below or send us feedback at purediscipleblog [at] gmail.com. We love to hear from you!

~The PD Team

Love Notes Series: Who is my neighbor?

Love Notes Series: Who is my neighbor?

In today’s reading, Jesus gets a big question from a man in the crowd: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”(Luke 10:25)

The man is actually a scribe of the Pharisees, who was supposedly an expert in the law of God. The NASB version calls him a lawyer. So shouldn’t this obviously very educated man be well acquainted with the laws spelled out in scripture? Jesus turns the question back on him. “What does the Law say you must do?” The man answers correctly, quoting both Leviticus 18:18 & Deuteronomy 6:5 respectively: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” and “love your neighbor as yourself”.

He wasn’t asking to genuinely find out the answer, he was asking to put Jesus on the spot and perhaps trap Jesus in his own words. Pretty sneaky, lawyer dude. The man then asks, “Who is my neighbor?” testing Jesus a second time.

Back then, the popular opinion among the Pharisees was that the word “neighbor”, as it appeared in scriptural commandments, only referred to those righteous believers of Israel who followed all the rules, went to temple, and always did the “right thing”. Neither the hated tax collectors, prostitutes, nor any other non-Jewish person counted as a neighbor to them, effectively cutting the “wicked” right out of God’s loving Will for the people he created.

Jesus refutes this idea with the parable that follows, sometimes dubbed “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:30-37), meaning that ALL people are to be considered neighbors regardless of religion, bank account balance, appearance, hair style, occupation, social standing, etc.

Back then the Samaritans and Jews were about as opposed in everything as you could get. Jews weren’t allowed to eat with, or even touch a Samaritan, lest they be defiled and unable to take part in temple rituals. Jesus’s suggestion was counter-cultural and provocative. And yet, to love a neighbor – any old person – was not only God’s command, it is the greatest command in all of God’s Word, equal to loving god with you heart, soul, and strength. Whoa.

This reminds me of a certain hate group that claims to preach God’s truth, while simultaneously protesting military funerals and wielding signs with absolute lies scrawled across. God doesn’t hate. That’s kinda his thing. The John MacArthur’s Study bible puts it perfectly: “Godly hatred of sin (see Psalm 139:21,22) is an abhorrence of all that is corrupt and base. It is not a spiteful, personal loathing of individuals.” (The Macarthur Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006. Print.)

So who are your neighbors? They are all around you. People you like, dislike, don’t know very well, and never met. They are all the exact same as you. Just flesh and blood, equally as loved by God, with souls thirsty for a Savior and a purpose. Love them. And love God.

Luke 10-30-37puredisciple.org.jpg


 

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Love, Molly