14 Days Together- Day 12

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Devotion for Monday, August 1, 2011

Great day @ Sonshine Baptist Church
-Pastors message on change was really good. We learned that God’s greatest goal for you is to make you like Jesus, and that He has given us the power to do this.
-It was really cool to hear Corey and Jessica’s testimony this morning. I think it is amazing that we get to spend the next year+ with them as they train for ministry on the other side of the world. It’s cool to see people that aren’t much older than many of you guys who will read this who have been lead by God to do something for Him. So cool!
-Zac’s message tonight and putting God first and sacrificing for Him was great. I don’t think anyone there could have left without asking themselves if God really is number one!
-Tonight at Wendy’s was so much fun. It was cool to see such a positive thing come out of an application from our devotion the other day. People were hanging out and having fun, and I even overheard people talking about church/spiritual stuff.

We’re on our last couple of days on this series, let’s finish out well!

Here’s the text:
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 11-31

4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
So today’s passage is pretty heavy. There is a lot of information there, but I’ll try to sum it up well.

This is a portion of a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to a church in Corinth, Greece. The problem with this church is that they didn’t understand what church life was to look like. Specifically, in the passage we are reading today, He is trying to help the Corithians understand “spiritual gifts.” The Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the trinity, gives specific spiritual gifts or abilities to people when they get saved. To help them understand this, He compares the church to an actual body.

The church works like a body works. The eye is important. The foot is important. The toe is important. The fingers are important. The problem comes when an eye wants to be a foot, or a toe wants to be a finger. For this idea check out vs. 21-23. One is not more important than the other. The body functions best when there is a unity in the diversity. When there are people with different gifts trying to accomplish the task it works way better.

WARNING: MAN ILLUSTRATION: For instance- if a basketball team had nothing but 7’6″ centers but no guards who can handle the ball and pass well, then they will be weak as a team. But if they have 1 or 2 big men, and some other guys that can shoot the 3, and some other guys who can really handle the ball, then you have a solid, strong all-around team.

FOR THE LADIES: I believe that God designed the family to function this way. Dad’s learn from mom’s. Mom’s learn from dad’s. Children learn from parents. Parents learn from children (believe it or not.) A family functions as God designed it to when everyone understands their role inthe family. When a family doesn’t have the advantage of a mom and a dad in the home, a smart single parent will get other people in their life to help give their kids influence from the missing person.

It’s the same in the church. We’re all different. We have different spiritual gifts, talents, abilities and interests, but we have the same God, the same Christ, the same Spirit, and the same mission to help people to know God and forgiveness of sins. It is better when their is diversity that leads to unity!

Application:
1. You are an important part of the body of Christ- the church.
When you aren’t there, to know, grow, serve and go the body suffers. Imagine not having an eye for a day. That would not be fun!
2. Understanding our role helps us to all be unified.
Frankly, we need each other. Just like the eye needs the foot, and the hand needs the nose, you and I need each other. To function properly, the healthy part of the body helps the hurt part of the body to heal. Sometimes that doesn’t happen in the church. When someone else is hurting or does something wrong, we want to hurt them or make them pay. Really we should forgive them and help them grow.

How can you be a better part of the body? What are your gifts?

14 Days Together- Day 11

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Ruth 1

1Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

6Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

7Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

8And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

11And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

13Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

14And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

15And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

16And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

17Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

18When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

19So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

20And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21I went out full and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

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p>Commentary:
Today’s story opens with a lady named Naomi, whose husband and two sons passed away. Naomi was living the greatest pain she had ever known. She was grieving beyond words. She decided to leave the city that her family had called home, to return to the place where she grew up. She planned to leave her two daughters-in-law behind so that they could remarry and hopefully live happy lives. One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, refused to leave Naomi. She was so committed to Naomi and to serving God with her that she sacrificed opportunities to pursue her own happiness. As you read today’s story for yourself, ask yourself whether you know anyone who needs community like Naomi did. Spend some time praying for them. How is God leading you to serve them?

14 Days Together- Day 10

Devotions for July 30, 2011

Mark 2

1And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.2And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)11I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Pastor Ben’s Commentary:

Summary:

This is one of my favorite stories about Jesus. He is teaching in a house that is so full that people can’t get in. These 4 guys come in carrying their friend, who was handicap, to Jesus so that He could heal him. When they got to the house, there wasn’t a way to get in. These guys made a way to get their friend to Jesus. They literally tore through the roof and lowered their friend in. Jesus saw the faith of the guys who brought their friend to him, and because of their faith he forgave the man’s sins.

When the pharisees and scribes scoffed at the idea that Jesus could forgive sins, Jesus perceived their attitude. He basically implied that they should know that He can forgive sins (something you can’t see), but since they didn’t believe what they could see He showed them something to prove it. He showed them that He could heal the crippled man. Jesus commands, and the man is healed!

Application:

3 Things I Notice about this story:

  1. The friends had faith in Jesus.

They believed that Jesus could heal their friend.

  1. The friends brought their friend to Jesus against all odds.

They didn’t give up or give in. They didn’t stop at the first obstacle. They were creative, relentless and willing to sacrifice their reputation and money (they would have to fix the roof) to get their friend to Jesus.

  1. Jesus did for the man what his friends could not do.

The whole reason they did this is because they believed that Jesus could do something that no one else could do. Jesus came through for them.

My questions for today are…

Am I that kind of friend?

Do I have that kind of faith in Jesus? Would Jesus be pleased with my faith?

Am I sacrificial, creative, and relentless in getting my friends to Jesus?

Do I believe that Jesus is the real answer for those around me?

Tough questions…. But great to think about.

What do you think?

What now?

For many of us, the Refuge Camp 2011 was a life changing experience.  We made decisions that could potentially have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.

What’s interesting about something like camp is that you go from hearing the Bible 4 times a day with your youth pastor and counselors around, to heading back to normal life where it doesn’t necessarily look that way.  It could leave you asking yourself, or even God, “Ok, What now?”

That’s a great question!  At H2O we don’t want to leave it unanswered.  Over the next two weeks we’ll be helping you to answer that question- What now?  We’re going to do that in 2 ways:

1.  New Wednesday night Series:  “What Now?”-   This series will be on Wednesday, July 20th and July 27th.

2.  A 14 day Devotional Initiative right here at h2ostuff.com-  Starting tomorrow and lasting the next 2 weeks we are going to do a 14 day digging deeper devotional.  We’ve enabled comments on the posts so that the discussion can be right here on H2Ostuff.com.  We’ll post it to facebook and twitter to remind you to go do it each day, but where you comment should be h2ostuff.com so that we can all be on the same page.

This will be an awesome way to continue in your heart what God started at The Refuge Camp!  Make sure to participate!

-Pastor Ben